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9 Totally Awesome Day-cations You Should Take This Season

Keep cabin fever at bay with these fun winter activities for the family.

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Family driving sled on the snow and having fun in winter; Shutterstock ID 725886205; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHRobert Kneschke/Shutterstock

For much of the country, winter is a time of cold temperatures and wet snow. Staying inside all season is certainly one way to wait out the bad weather, but that kind of isolation can bring on the winter blues. So in addition to cooking up cozy meals and desserts to pass the time, venture outside to make any day a special one with these fun activities.

Too snowy or cold to venture out? Here’s what you guys can do super close to home.

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Mother and child in warm hat watching handmade glass Christmas tree ornaments at traditional German Xmas street market. Family with child shopping for Christmas presents on winter fair on snowy day.; Shutterstock ID 736421758; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHFamVeld/Shutterstock

Visit a Christmas Market

Open-air Christmas markets are one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit. Inspired by German holiday festivals, these markets are filled with ornate decorations, handmade jewelry, nutcrackers and more from local, national and international vendors. Not to mention tons of delicious foods like sausages, strudel, boxes of candies and steins of hearty German beer. So grab your family, a few mugs of hot cocoa or cider, and take a stroll around the stand under sparkling lights.

Here’s the best Christmas market in every state.

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a mother helps her son learn to ice-skate; Shutterstock ID 67763563; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHRDaniel/Shutterstock

Go Ice-Skating

Whether it’s done outdoors on a frozen lake, a community rink or an indoor ice center, ice-skating is quintessential winter. Just be sure to dress warm (and bring these Thermos-worthy cocoa recipes). And be careful—especially if you’re skating on a local lake or pond. In these natural settings, be sure to double check the ice thickness before you get started. Clear-looking ice should be at least 4 inches thick to safely skate on, and white, or “snow-ice,” should be at least 8 inches thick.

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Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, December 24, 2015: King Penguin at Asahiyama Zoo, the last Parade time of the day before sunset.; Shutterstock ID 432069526; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHGuzsudio/Shutterstock

Visit a Local Zoo

This favorite summertime activity makes a great winter one, too. Most zoos fill their campus with Christmas decorations and trees. Some even throw special events like Santa visits, light shows and live music. Plus, most animals are kept in their indoor habitats, so you and your family can get a reprieve from the extra-chilly weather by joining them inside.

Bring along one of these animal cracker treats.

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Father and Two Daughters Walking Through Christmas Tree Farm; Shutterstock ID 743807524; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHDanielle MacInnes/Shutterstock

 Browse a Christmas Tree Market

Make choosing a Christmas tree a family affair. Bring the kids to your local tree market, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, visit a choose-and-cut farm where you can pick the freshest tree possible.

Did you know Christmas tree delivery is a thing? Yup.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 25, 2014: Radio City Music Hall at night in New York during the holidays.; Shutterstock ID 252495766Felix Lipov/Shutterstock

Catch a Show

Attend a holiday theater production, like A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker. Not only will the show put your family in the holiday spirit, but most theaters also fully decorate their lobbies, adding an extra-special layer of festivity.

If you’d rather stay home to watch Netflix instead, make these recipes to go with your favorite Christmas movies

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Beautiful Christmas lights display.; Shutterstock ID 42979057Hannamariah/Shutterstock

Take in the Local Lights

Take a drive around your town (or neighboring ones) and check out local Christmas-lit homes. To make it extra special, bring travel mugs of hot cocoa and a Tupperware of fresh-baked cookies.

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Hands-on food of the hungry is the hope of poverty : concept of homelessness; Shutterstock ID 1218132919; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHaddkm/Shutterstock

Volunteer for a Good Cause

Give back this holiday season by volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or by participating in a food or gift drive. Not only will it help others in your community, but it proves that giving is always more rewarding than receiving.

Here are the items food pantries need most.

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Family looking at wild animals in a museum; Shutterstock ID 202325503; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHChubykin Arkady/Shutterstock

Visit a Museum

Whether it’s a local children’s museum, planetarium or science museum, this educational adventure is a great way to keep kids’ minds sharp during winter break—and it’ll keep you out of the cold on especially chilly winter days. Be sure to run a quick Google search before you go to check if there are any upcoming free-admission days.

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Mom with child reading book and relaxing by the fire place some cold evening, winter weekends, cozy scene; Shutterstock ID 547799722; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHAlena Ozerova/Shutterstock

Stay at a Cozy Cabin

If you want to get away for more than a day, spend a night or two at a comfy country house. Getting away from home is an opportunity to spend quality time with family exploring a new town, or staying in to play board games or just hang out in a fresh setting. And, since full house rentals can be as low as $70 a night, your little getaway doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out HomeAway or VRBO to explore towns and homes.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.