Keep the family entertained: Winter activity ideas

Winter can get even the best of us feeling cooped up - but with enough entertaining activities to keep everyone busy, it’s also a wonderful time for family bonding.  
Here’s a mix of indoor and outdoor ideas to make the most of the season.


Snuggle up with some great books

The best way to curl up by the natural gas fire!

Looking for new tales to enchant the little ones? Check out our kids' winter reading guide or our ultimate fireside book guide for a great selection of recommendations for all ages – from hot-off-the-press NZ authors to timeless cult classics.

Suggestion: Create a cosy reading nook with blankets and pillows, or encourage kids to read aloud and act out scenes from their favourite books to make it interactive!


Play a board game

Gather around the table for some classic family board game fun. Here are our top five recommendations

For more inspiration, check out Toyworld's board game section

Suggestion: Get everyone excited by setting up a weekly family game night with snacks and a rotating selection of board games. If you’re a competitive bunch, throw in some prizes for the winners!

Practise some te reo Māori

Why not use the downtime during the winter months to learn a new language? You can start with some basic phrases in te reo Māori here.  

You can also explore resources from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission, for more learning materials and fun activities.

Suggestion: Incorporate learning into daily routines by labelling your household items in te reo Māori, or download the Kupu app to expand your vocabulary!


Winter walks

Bundle up and explore the beauty of winter with family walks! There are countless local parks and nature reserves across the country, accessible to a range of skill, age or fitness levels.

For more ideas on where to go, check out Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa, the Outdoor Access Commission.

Suggestion: Embrace the season by planning themed walks, such as a winter scavenger hunt or bird watching, and bring along some hot drinks to keep warm!


Plant a veggie garden

Give the kids something to nurture and watch as it grows! A winter veggie garden is a great way to teach kids the importance of caring for papatūānuku responsibly and the deliciousness of fresh produce.

For tips on what to plant and how, visit for great seasonal gardening advice.

Suggestion: Take it one step further by building a raised garden bed together!


Get creative

Encourage creativity with winter-themed colouring in, painting and drawing!

You can find free NZ-themed printable colouring sheets at, or check out The Warehouse's arts and crafts section for affordable supplies. 

Suggestion: Host a family art day where everyone works on their own project, then host a ‘family gallery exhibition’ with everyone’s artwork on display!


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