Updated Dec. 27, 2016
Sometimes it’s hard to get out of that winter blues funk. Without the excitement of the holidays, snow and sub-zero temperatures lose their appeal and winter quickly becomes monotonous.
Luckily, Make It Better has a wealth of ideas to keep you occupied — some indoors, some outdoors, some a little out there and some that take no effort at all. Try to tackle them all and spring will be here before you know it.
1. Have a snowball fight.
2. Go sledding.
4. Grab a mug full of hot chocolate.
5. Host a dance party.
6. Cuddle up with some one you love.
7. Take the kids to an indoor play space. (Check out our list of nine great ones.)
8. Have some fun outdoors while getting in your daily cardio. (Here are six calorie-melting winter workouts that have a definite fun factor.)
9. Watch “Frozen.”
10. And after that little bit of inspiration, build a snowman.
11. Take the time to organize your home. (Here’s how to do it in seven days.)
13. Order dinner from one of these to-go joints.
16. Play a game. (Here are five options you may enjoy.)
17. Get cozy and watch one of these films.
18. Put down your phone and unplug for an entire day. (Could your phone could be ruining your relationships?)
19. Try a subscription box. You don’t even have to leave the house for these suggestions.
20. Go green by swapping out the cleaning products you’re using.
21. Go on a day trip. We have our DayTripper Guide handy.
22. Drive around and look at the pretty lights before they come down.
23. Bake cookies.
24. Make paper snowflakes.
25. Donate a pair of mittens.
26. Make snow ice cream with freshly fallen snow.
27. Serve breakfast in bed.
28. Make soup. Here are eight great recipes.
29. Round up things in your home to donate.
30. Write a letter. People appreciate a physical piece of mail.
31. Learn a new skill, like knitting.
32. Go to your local library.
33. Try stargazing.
34. Go to a museum.
35. Go to the zoo (on a warm day).
36. See a show.
37. Shovel your neighbor’s walkway or parking space.
38. Visit a distillery.
39. Go wine tasting.
41. Send us your events.
42. Bring treats to your office.
43. Buy your pet a treat.
44. Have a family pizza party and try making your own.
45. Visit the Bean when it’s covered in snow.
46. Go bowling.
47. Be a tourist in your own town.
48. Make an igloo.
49. On a freezing day, try making steam by throwing boiling water in the air. Just make sure you do this safely.
50. Plan your summer or spring vacation. (How about South Australia, Boston or one of these destinations that are a direct flight from Chicago?)
51. Have a “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars” and/or “Lord of the Rings” marathon.
52. Meditate by trying out a coloring book.
53. Try making ice balloons.
54. Enjoy those candles you never light or buy a new scent.
55. Take down your decorations.
56. Make a resolution.
57. Break a resolution.
58. Complete a resolution.
59. Write something — a haiku, a script, a book.
60. Binge-watch a show on Netflix. (Here are 10 that are worth your time.)
61. Take an acting class. (Find out more about the Actors Training Center in Wilmette.)
62. Do yoga with your pet.
63. Call a loved one you don’t see very often.
64. Bundle up and go to the beach.
65. Go thrifting.
66. Check something off your bucket list.
67. Try creating a vertical garden.
68. Sing karaoke.
69. Try a new recipe. (How about one of these with five ingredients or less?)
70. Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
71. Warm up with a Winter Sangria.
72. Organize your pantry.
73. Get started with the stock market. (Have questions? Here’s a beginner’s guide.)
74. Watch a documentary. (10 worth your time.)
75. Partake in high tea.
77. Buy yourself some flowers to brighten up your space.
79. Tackle all those digital photos you have floating around.
80. Work on potty training the little ones in your life.
81. Try out a high-tech parenting tool.
82. Work on reading with your child.
83. Pamper yourself at retail or beauty hotspots.
85. Update your home with beautiful wallpaper.
86. Go for a brisk walk around the block.
87. Try out a new social network.
89. Make sure your home is up on its winter maintenance.
90. Host a sleepover for your kids and their friends.
91. Transform an empty room into one you will use.
92. Have a create-your-own-pasta party with a variety of noodles, sauces and cheeses.
93. Find a local fundraiser to support.
94. Work on your skin regimen and make sure you’re eating the right foods.
95. Get healthy and active! (You can turn to our Best of 2016 Fitness & Recreation winners.)
96. Find something you normally don’t clean and do that. The baseboards, your electronics, etc.
97. Work on your stress levels.
98. Ready to make a change at work? Tackle your resume.
99. Sign your kids up for camp.
100. Spend time with your family. Don’t worry about needing to do things with them. Just enjoy their company.
If you have other great ideas, leave a note in the comments!