Today we’re looking at eco-friendly winter family activities that can be explored inside and outside the home giving you lots of options. Eco-friendly means engaging in recreation that’s tied to greater environmentally responsible behavior, taking into account the human-to-nature relationship as well as living a plastic-free and waste-free lifestyle. How can we live in harmony with the environment, respecting nature, natural resources, and our ecosystems while doing no harm and truly leaving it better than when we started? Let’s see all the options for eco-friendly winter family activities that meet sustainable parameters.


Most parents these days realize the importance of teaching their children to care about the earth. From compassion to awareness to forward-thinking, learning how to respect mother nature is an integral part of developing children who will be engaged in society and a part of sustaining humanity. Dealing with climate change will be at the forefront of every day for our future generations. Thus this guide for eco-friendly winter family activities will help you share engaging, rewarding, and fun ideas for all age groups to get involved in learning about how to protect and conserve the resources of our environment while enjoying themselves at the same time. Every member of the family can join in as well, all working to become earth advocates. 


Green Crafting- Artistic expression is vital to brain development as well as emotional and spiritual balance in a young person’s life (we could say the same for all age grownups too). Working on art projects and crafts together is fun, satisfying, and an enjoyable winter family activity to participate in. And if you head to this list of hundreds of recycled arts and crafts projects you will also keep the entire activity eco-friendly. All the projects use recycled materials, making your crafts affordable and eco-friendly. You’ll be upcycling egg cartons, yarn, paper, bottles, CDs, denim, and much more. 

Plant Seeds, Grow Food

It is astounding how satisfying it is to plant seeds and in as little as a few weeks’ time, be able to harvest and enjoy fresh food that you created together. Many people are not in touch with where their food comes from and have maybe never even grown something from scratch. Whether you only have room for some planters and pots or a windowsill, a garden can be grown anywhere. Check out these great tips on how to plant. 

Indoor Herb Gardens

Link here. Ideas for one large pot, for small hanging pots, window sill garden, and many more.

Indoor Picnic

Make an afternoon of it after you’ve taken a bike ride to your local farmer’s market or food stand to get some delicious supplies. Surprise the family with this indoor winter activity by setting up a picnic on the living room floor, family room, basement, or enclosed sun porch.  This Picnic Packing Checklist will help you get organized and have a great time. Include one of these creative thinking games for some additional fun after mealtime.

Food and Drink

  • Mixed nuts, veggies and dip, cut fruit, sandwiches, and a sweet treat for dessert.
  • Or do a bunch of salads: egg, tuna, pasta, potato, fruit, bean…
  • For beverages include kid-friendly and adult selections. Depending on the temperature, you can have a thermos of hot cider or juice punch.


  • Eco-friendly cups, plates, and cloth napkins.
  • Serving utensils, if needed for salads or such.


  • Big blanket.
  • Pack up everything into tote bags, baskets, or backpacks. Let the kids be responsible for a bag each and even be in charge of serving and setting up.

Animal Foster or Shelter Volunteer

Another super eco-friendly winter family activity includes donating your time together at an animal shelter or caring for animals in need at home as animal foster parents. Check with your local rescue shelter to see if they need dog walkers, help cleaning cages in the shelter, or if fostering small kittens until they are old enough to be adopted is the best option for your family. This is a much needed service and teaches kids to give back to society, care for other sentient beings, and develop responsible habits. Here is a listing of animal rescue organizations by state.  

Clean Out & Organize Your Closet + Clothing Swap

Get the whole family involved for a few hours one afternoon. Everyone takes on one closet in the house. Make piles to donate, sell, or recycle. It is surprisingly rewarding to be able to purge. If you have collected enough in the giveaway pile, it can be fun to then host a ‘clothing swap’ with a few other families. This too is an excellent eco-friendly winter family activity.

Write Officials– This is an important part of becoming a steward for the earth: taking civic action. As a family, you can share your opinions and choices with your elected leaders and organizations that make policy decisions that impact your environment. Children can engage in research and take action on issues they care about personally. Nothing moves a politician and the public more than a child taking a stand.


Snowshoe Hike

An eco-friendly way for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors during the snowy winter months is to take a snowshoe hike. This is an incredibly enjoyable experience. You float on top of the snow, exploring natural trials and observing winter wildlife in your area. As you’re using human power to move (versus snowmobiles or skiing lifts) so there is no environmental impact.

Sledding For Everyone

High on the list for eco-friendly winter family activities is a day of sledding. Some may say this is the perfect winter activity. It’s good cardio exercise; it’s free; and it’s a sustainable activity for people of all ages. If you have the means in your winter town, put this activity on the family’s schedule and have a great time.

Visit A Natural Hot Spring

This is not an option for everyone but if you have some hot springs in your area this can be one of the really enjoyable and eco-friendly winter family activities to add to the bucket list. The whole experience, from the journey to learning about natural springs, to actually soaking in hot water during chilly outdoor weather is quite thrilling. 

Outdoor Ice Skating

Frozen ponds, lakes, or rivers can provide some of the most scenic ice skating rinks in the world. Check out your town to see what’s available. During winter months many ‘pop-up’ rinks happen giving you another option for eco-friendly winter family activities. If rental skates are not available, keep it eco-friendly by borrowing pairs from friends, or shopping second hand markets rather than buying new.

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