When I set out to write a winter bucket list, I was basically tired of feeling like the cold was keeping us from making the most of our weekends as a family. I am one of those people who totally hibernates in winter. I really should live somewhere warm because I hate to go out in the cold. Living in NYC, you don’t really ever need to leave your apartment if you don’t want to either. You can basically order everything you need to survive the winter. But now that we have a toddler, the cabin fever is real, and we can’t just keep him cooped up inside all day. We’ll all go nuts.
The trouble is we aren’t good at planning out our weekends, and then we end up being lazy and watching Moana (for the 1000th time), eating my new favorite healthy french toast recipe, and fighting over the fact that we’re not doing anything while poor James runs after Dakota trying to get some energy out. It hasn’t helped that I have been battling the flu for like ever, and James keeps getting sick too. But after spending a long lazy weekend cooped up inside, I decided we need to plan ahead to make sure we’re making the most of our weekends until spring gets here. I know we’ll be glad we made the most of this time with James and doing activities is a fun way to make memories that we’ll always treasure as he gets bigger.
Sadly, when I started researching winter activities for toddlers, I realized that almost all of them are centered around the holidays like making Christmas cookies, decorating the tree, etc. and there weren’t a ton of ideas for things to do post-holiday during the never-ending winter doldrums. So I have a different kind of bucket list filled with activities you can do from January through March (since let’s face it, winter isn’t really over until April usually). Some are a little city-centric, but there’s also lots to do if you don’t live near a city.
Build a snowman (if it ever snows).
Visit the Natural History Museum.
See the train show at the New York Botanical Gardens.
Take James to his first movie. Any suggestions for how to get a toddler to watch a movie? Are we crazy for even trying with a two year old?
Go to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
Bake our favorite healthy muffins. And learn some new recipes.
Learn to use our slow cooker. Any amazing, healthy recipes we need to try?
Host a Super Bowl party. Basically just so I have an excuse to make all my favorite appetizers and junk food.
Bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes. It doesn’t have to be the holidays to bake, right?
Go sledding. (Again, if it ever snows again)
Take James skiing. Check! We tried this in Park City for the first time over Christmas, but I’d love to take him again this winter — maybe President’s Weekend.
Escape to the beach for a weekend. We’re in desperate need of an escape from this cold and luckily, we’ll be getting one this upcoming weekend when we’re headed to Florida to see family.
Have a DIY taco night. Andrew and I both love Mexican food, but weirdly, there aren’t that many great Mexican restaurants in our nabe and we don’t get to hit up our faves in the city that often anymore. I’d like to start making our own and perfecting our own recipes. We already have guac on lock, so it’s just figuring out how to make some good tacos and fajitas (my fave).
Visit Staten Island Children’s Museum. We’ve never been and it’s a hike from our apartment, but it’s supposed to be really good and perfect for a frigid Saturday with nothing on the agenda.
Go to brunch somewhere new. We always hit up our faves, mostly because they’re kid-friendly enough, but I’d like to try someplace new this winter.
Go to a trampoline park. My friends in the burbs are always at trampoline parks for birthday parties, etc., and I’m excited to try one of the ones in NYC. I think James will love it.
Go to the Trolls Experience. It’s a whole to-do but I hear it’s pretty cool and I think James would like it.
Take James to the circus. I’m not sure if he’ll sit through it but it’s coming to the city and I haven’t been since I was little so I’m excited to try it.
Take James to Sesame Street Live. I can’t wait to see his face when he sees Elmo!
Any I should add to our list? Let’s help each other get through the winter!