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Winter Match Activity Ideas

January 5, 2022, Lori Dossett

As the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder, Minnesotans are preparing for a challenging winter made even more difficult by the pandemic. Our amazing Match Engagement Team curated this list of winter activities that can be enjoyed virtually or in-person, indoor or outdoor. Use this editable “Bucket List” with your Little to curate a list of your favorite activities.
Be sure to follow all state guidelines and restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic when planning activities with your Little. 
Circle of Control Arts & Culture Both Indoor
Start by discussing situations you can or cannot control. Create a piece of art with a circle on it. Inside the circle, draw and write things you can control. Outside the circle, draw and write situations that you cannot control. This can help calm children and adults who experience anxiety during uncertain times. Source.
“I am” Self Portrait Arts & Culture Both Indoor
Asking Little to reflect on their own amazing character traits will help them understand what makes them unique. Using their own creativity, have Little draw an outline of the profile of their face and write powerful statements about what makes them amazing. Source.
Vision Board Arts & Culture Both Indoor
Have Little create a vision board of things they want to do in the future. Suggest thinking ahead in a day, a month, and in years. Have kids decorate their vision boards to reflect their goals and interests Source.
The Bakken Museum Arts & Culture In-person Indoor
The Bakken Museum inspires a passion for innovation by exploring the potential for science, technology, and the humanities to make the world a better place. Located on the West Shore of Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis, the museum features a world-renowned collection of artifacts, exceptional education programs, exhibits exploring the wonders of invention, plant medicine, technology, and science, and the Florence Bakken Medicinal Garden. More info.
Minneapolis Institute of Art Arts & Culture In-person Indoor
Explore the MIA Friday through Sunday! The museum has fantastic exhibits and galleries that are open to the public. While free, museum entry currently requires a ticket reservation by calling ahead due to limited numbers of attendees and strict following of CDC guidelines. More info.
Google Earth Museum Tours Arts & Culture Virtual Indoor
Visit dozens of world class museums through Google Earth! Matches can explore together, play eye-spy, or do scavenger hunts while video chatting together. Whether you’re learning about foreign culture, admiring art, or finding the goofiest sculpture, it’s a great time together. More info.
Snow Art Arts & Culture In-person Outdoor
Work together to make your own “sculpture garden” in the yard. After a snowfall, build sculptures, snow people, and more creative pieces! Add things like food coloring in spray bottles to dye the snow or special items to use in the building process to really make it your own. 
Create Music Arts & Culture In-person Outdoor
Your Little can use programs and websites like Incredibox to easily create music and share it with each other! This works really well while doing a video chat that has a screen share function. 
Book Club Arts & Culture Both Both
Read a book together and talk about it during your outings. By breaking it up into chapters or pages, you can both read at the same pace and talk about how things are going so far. This is perfect for matches who feel like they need a topic to kick off their conversations, or matches that both love reading. Audiobooks are great as well!
Entertainment Calendar Arts & Culture Both Both
The Twin Cities online guide to everything for kids, teens, & families! More info.
Snowshoeing Sports & Rec In-person Outdoor
A great way to get outside and enjoy winter! Several Minnesota State Parks have snowshoes available for rent for $6 a pair. More info.
Ice skating Sports & Rec In-person Outdoor
“Play it Again Sports” sells used ice skates if needed. More info.
Cross Country Skiing Sports & Rec In-person Outdoor
The Loppet Foundation offers lessons and events for kids and adults. Learn more.
Watch Sports  Sports & Rec Virtual Indoor
Is your Little an avid sports fan? Hang out via video-conference while watching your favorite pro or college team. 
Work Out  Sports & Rec Virtual Indoor
Get your body moving and your heart pumping. Share your favorite workout with your Little via video-conference, or find a new activity you can try together. More info.
GoNoodle Sports & Rec Both Both
GoNoodle gets kids moving so they can be their best through hundreds of engaging videos and games.
Improve your soccer skills Sports & Rec Virtual Indoor
Check out these soccer drills you and your Little can do virtually in the warmth and comfort of your own homes. More info.
Improve your basketball skills Sports & Rec Virtual Indoor
Check out these basketball drills you and your Little can do virtually in the warmth and comfort of your own homes. More info.
Theodore Wirth Park Sports & Rec In-person Outdoor
Find different outdoor activities for you and your Little to do at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. More info.
Buck Hill Sports & Rec In-person Outdoor
There are lots of ways to enjoy winter at Buck Hill in Burnsville. More info.
Story Yoga Health/Wellness Virtual Indoor
Experience yoga virtually through stories and movement with certified instructor Kjirsten Fogelson of Modo Yoga. For students in grades 1-6. Hosted by Hennepin County Library. More info.
Go sledding Health/Wellness In-person Outdoor
Find locations of sledding hills in the Twin Cities here
Peaceful Sensory Walk Health/Wellness In-person Outdoor
Find a peaceful place to sit or walk slowly in nature. Then share you observations using all five of your senses (something you see, smell, feel, taste, hear).
Read a book Health/Wellness Both Indoor
Read a book together over Zoom; watch an author read a book on YouTube; download a free audio book from a public library. Links to catalogs for Hennepin County Library; Ramsey County Library; Dakota County Library; Washington County Library; Anoka County Library
Random Acts of Kindness Health/Wellness In-person Outdoor
Shovel a driveway or walkway together as surprise to someone in need and talk about why someone would do something like that. Find more kind ideas here.
Gym membership Health/Wellness Both Indoor
If you have a gym membership, bring your Little to get fit and active this winter. Play basketball, racquetball, swimming, cardio machines, weights, or even register for a class together. If COVID-19 restrictions prevent you from attending, see if your gym offers virtual classes!
Create a gratitude journal Health/Wellness Both Both
Talk about everything you and your Little are grateful for and write it down in a journal. More info.
Learn about nature Learn/Life Skills In-person Both
Take a walk, look for animals and their tracks, find birds, appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Find locations of Twin Cities nature centers here
NASA STEM activities Learn/Life Skills Both Indoor
NASA provides lots of fun and educational ways for kids in grades K-12 to learn all about STEM. More info.
Crystal Growing Kit  Learn/Life Skills Both Both
Choose from a wide range of kits available on Amazon or other online retailers. Meet up in a safe space or host a virtual call to grow crystals that will last forever. More info.
Geode Kit  Learn/Life Skills Both Both
Choose from a wide range of kits available on Amazon or other online retailers. Meet up in a safe space or host a virtual call to break open crystal geodes and discover what’s inside. More info.
Snap Circuits  Learn/Life Skills Both Both
Explore a fun and safe way to control the flow of electricity. You can provide power to lights, small motors, and speakers. If you’re Little gets hooked, explore other kits. More info.
Light-Up Terrarium Kit  Learn/Life Skills Both Indoor
Work together with your Little to design and maintain an underwater garden. Makes a great nightlight! More info.
Read Together  Learn/Life Skills Both Indoor
Utilize a list like the New York Times or Amazon Bestsellers to find a book that you’ll both enjoy reading together. Depending on the book, you can also find reflection questions online to drive conversation as you read. More info.
Khan Academy  Learn/Life Skills Both Indoor
Learn together and earn badges for your accomplishments with Khan Academy. The free platform offers videos and short quizzes for mastery and retention for subjects covered in grades K-12 and beyond. More info.
Homework Help  Learn/Life Skills Both Indoor
Does your Little need help with homework or navigating distance learning? Several local libraries offer help, including Ramsey County Library, St. Paul Public Library, and Hennepin County Library.
College Fairs  Learn/Life Skills Virtual Indoor
Is your Little interested in learning more about college in general, or a specific college? Most colleges are hosting virtual campus tours. Learn more about virtual college fairs here.
Ready Set Give Community/
Both Both
Choose from several meaningful and rewarding activities that will make you and your Little feel good while helping others. More info.
Do Good Together Community/
Both Both
Show Compassion. Teach Kindness. Make a Difference. More info.
Order a Kindness Kit Community/
Both Both
Each Kitchen Table Kindness Kit encourages fun, nurtures compassion, and makes a difference, right from your own kitchen table. Just add markers, a few decorating supplies and your own creativity. More info.
Practice Mindfulness & Gratitude Community/
Both Both
Encourage gratitude and present moment thinking with great stories! Tune in for nuances of the story and talk together about the issues raised. More info.
Donate a Fleece Blanket Community/
Both Both
Keep our neighbors warm! Make Tie Fleece Blankets for individuals and families entering stable housing. More info.
Deliver Meals  Community/
In-person Outdoor
Help support families who are hungry by delivering Meals on Wheels with your Little. More info.
Send a Smile Community/
Both Both
Create cheerful drawings together. Then connect with Color a Smile to send them to soldiers, senior citizens, and people in need of a smile. More info.
Feed My Starving Children Community/
Both Both
Volunteer with your Little to hand-pack nutritious MannaPack™ meals specifically designed to assist in reversing and preventing undernutrition. More info.