9 must-try activities to entertain the crew at home this winter

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9 must-try activities to entertain the crew at home this winter

It gets a bad rap as far as the seasons are concerned, but winter can inspire a whole lot of fun with family and friends. It's all about embracing a change of scenery and celebrating the chilly season. Whether it's baking sweet treats or setting up your own movie night under the stars, there’s lots to get creative with if you put your mind to it!

Here's our list of at-home winter activities that both little kids and grown-ups will enjoy. Get your calendar ready and see how many of these you can tick off before the season ends.

1. Host a movie night

If you often get together to watch the latest drops on Netflix, consider investing in a movie projector. These clever devices use wireless technology to screen your favourite films and TV shows onto bare walls, recreating the movie theatre experience. Step it up by adding a portable screen, a cosy outdoor rug, pillows, throws, and presto! You've got your very own moonlit cinema. Don’t forget the popcorn and choc-tops!

Try JB Hi-Fi, Kmart, Bed Bath N' Table, Farmers and Redcurrent.

2. Pretend you’re visiting the Swiss Alps

While international travel is on hold, you can easily recreate the cosiness of a ski chalet from home. Cuddle up in snuggly blankets, fire up some hot chocolate and get the fondue set cranking. Splash out on gourmet chocolate and serve it with fresh fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, and shortbread for dipping. For a savoury alternative, a blend of equal parts gruyere, cheddar and emmental will take you to cheesy heaven and back - pairs well with a glass of red, too!

Try from online at Stevens, New World and Kmart.

3. Spend a day photographing nature

Looking for outdoor activities you can still do in crumby weather? Nature photography can be an educational adventure that you can do with kids. Grab a single-use camera or a Polaroid and start snapping whatever inspires you, like beautiful flowers and interesting insects. Try a local park if you don’t have a backyard. Once you've developed your photos, have your favourites framed and you've officially created your very own masterpiece.

Try JB Hi-Fi and Kmart.

4. Introduce a monthly games night

A great way to cut down on screen time, playing board games and cards is fun for kids and adults alike. Go for a mix of old-school favourites – like Uno, checkers, Monopoly, Scrabble, Taboo, Cluedo – and new releases. For kids that are on the younger side, try playing in teams to keep things fair (and arguments to a minimum). If it's a grown-ups night you're planning, trays of tacos and pitchers of magaritas will not only go down a treat, but are easy to whip up!

Try from online at EB Games, Whitcoulls, Kmart and Farmers.

5. Plan a fun family (or roomie) pyjama day

It’s easy to get swept up in planning elaborate activities, but sometimes simple is best. Host a pyjama day – guests optional – full of playful activities and relaxation time. Little ones will love building blanket forts and getting stuck in playdough. For a girls day in, slap on a face and hair mask, grab some new nail colours and keep those chick flicks rolling. Matching pyjamas will make things feel extra-special.

Try from online at Country Road, Peter Alexander, Mecca Maxima, , L'Occitane, Cotton On Body,

6. Indulge in indoor camping fun

If sleeping under the stars in winter isn’t your thing, try setting up a campsite indoors. Assemble an outdoor tent (if you have one) or a play teepee for the kids, then layer mats, blankets, pillows and sleeping bags inside for comfort. If you do decide to venture out to the backyard, invest in puffer jackets to keep warm and extra-large marshmallows to toast on the barbie.

Try from online at Redcurrent, Bed Bath N' Table, YOYOSO.

7. Crown the kingpin

One of the most fun backyard activities during winter is ten-pin bowling. And while it’s probably not feasible to recreate a professional alley, you can certainly set up a single DIY lane that does the job. All you need is a bowling set and someone to keep score. And who says barbeque get-togethers are just for summer? Invest in an outdoor heater and you've got entertainment and food sorted.

Try from online at Kmart or Whitcoulls.

8. Get crafting

If you’re after a little quiet time, cross stitch, knitting, tie-dye and other such crafts are a great idea. Browse the web or Youtube for endless DIY inspiration and tutorials. Get the little ones involved with these [4 fun indoor craft activities for kids that don’t involve a screen](link to story), then sit around the table together and get cracking. Buy a few embroidery hoops while you’re there and frame up your work when it’s done to hang in the home.

Try Typo, Smiggle, Farmers, Whitcoulls and Japan Home Mart.

9. Whip up your own sweet treats

If you ask us, one of the best at-home activities is baking. Why? Unlike other pastimes, your hard work results in delicious treats. Browse through our list of exciting recipes (perfect for amateur bakers, and kid-friendly too!), then ensure you’ve got all the fresh ingredients and baking gear you need before you start.

- Apple and pear crumble
- Banana custard pie
- Passionfruit and white chocolate truffles
- T2's matcha cacao bliss balls

Try New World or T2.

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