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Whether you love it or hate it, winter is here, so you’re going to have to get used to it for the next three months or so. However, with winter comes snow and snow activities, which can really be a blessing to families who are on a budget after a holiday season filled with too much money spent on gifts and suspiciously high energy bills. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of the snow that takes over your yard and the inside of your house when your guests don’t wipe their feet.

Want to get away from it all, but can’t find the time or money for a proper retreat? Go out in the backyard and build yourself a snow fort. If an icy base was good enough for Superman, you are sure to enjoy yours, though I can’t guarantee how much “solitude” you will actually get if you have dogs or children. But hey, they might keep you a little warmer inside your frozen lodging.


Is your family going stir-crazy inside the house? Suggest a good old-fashioned snowball fight to work off some of that steam. Chances are good once you come back inside everyone will just want to throw on pajamas and watch Netflix for the rest of the day rather than complain about how bored they are or bother you to provide them with an activity.


Actually have a moment to yourself, but can’t escape anywhere because your car and the roads are covered in snow? Bust out that camera (or your iPhone) and snap a few photos. Share those pictures of snow-covered trees and bushes on Facebook to give your friends and family the impression you are slowing down to enjoy the beauty of nature rather than fuming about the fact you can’t get to the grocery store when you are somehow out of milk again.


Kids all snow-suited up only for you to realize their sled broke last year, and that was the one Christmas present you forgot? No worries – cut open one of the Amazon boxes you still have laying around from your holiday ordering to create a thrifty substitute. Bonus points if you have some twine available to make a handle.


Want to get your kids more involved in art without breaking the bank sending them to classes? Play a game of snow sculpture building. Pick a subject and let them have at it. Snowmen are overrated and don’t offer much challenge to your budding artist. Choose something unique, and it’ll keep them busy for hours. Who knows, your yard may even become the envy of the neighborhood if you have a snow dragon.


And if all else fails when it comes to enjoying the snow activities this season, just sit down in front of a window with a hot cup of coffee or tea and watch the snow fall gracefully, being careful not to think about the similar downward trajectory of your life, and instead think about how glad you are your socks aren’t wet.

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