It's Raining! It's Snowing! Cabin Fever Busters for Families

By: Ann Saylor

When cabin fever starts to kick in, it’s time to get creative! Here are some fun ways to make indoor memories with your family when it’s cold outside. Get tips >

Host an International Night. Close your eyes and put your finger on a map of the world. The spot where your finger lands (or closest to where your finger lands) will be your country to explore on International Night. Do some searching online to find a recipe from that country for dinner; find a game from the country that your family can play together. Create a playlist of music from that country and dance, sing, or simply listen together. Use Google Translate to learn a couple of phrases in the country’s language.

Play games, of course! Raid your game shelf, or pick up a game at your favorite thrift store. For young children, try Memory, Candyland, or Guess Who. For older children, try Boggle, Battleship, Rummy, or Pictionary. For teens, try Spades, Hand and Foot, or Catch Phrase. Add some yums to your fun with popcorn! If you get snow outside, gather some fresh snow to make snow cream. Combine one gallon snow, one cup white sugar, one tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1-2 cups milk in a large bowl and blend with a mixer. Serve immediately. Add a little flair to your snow cream by serving berries or chocolate syrup on top.

Have an old school movie marathon via Hulu or Netflix. Pick a favorite old cartoon, television show or movie. Snuggle up on the sofas, and relish in the memories together. Not sure where to start? Some of our favorites include Knight Rider, Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, A-Team or The Cosby Show.

Tell Us: What are some of your favorite old school movies or TV shows?

Make homemade hot chocolate and read together. Some great read-aloud stories for younger kids: Little House on the Prairie, Ralph S. Mouse, The Chronicles of Narnia, Velveteen Rabbit, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking.

Tip: If you have older kids, let family members tell their own stories by candlelight or firelight.

Have a Marshmallow Olympics night. Do a marshmallow basketball toss into a Tupperware bucket. For a marshmallow drop, have one partner lay down on the floor with an ice cream cone held point down on his chin while his partner stands above him to drop mini marshmallows into the ice cream cone. Do a marshmallow baseball throw by seeing how far each person can throw a marshmallow (you can challenge older kids, teens, and adults by telling them that they can’t use their dominant hand!). See who can make the craziest or scariest marshmallow monsters with different size marshmallows, licorice, toothpicks, frosting and skittles. What else can you do with marshmallows?

Got a fireplace? Bonus: Roast and eat your marshmallows afterward…mmm :)
Photo credit: Dimitri N via Flick’r.

Make a home movie. Start with family photos or videos (new or old), a family talent show, or make a video tour of your favorite places around town. Use iMovie, PowerPoint, or Windows Movie Maker to make your creation.

  • Do you have an idea for an awesome Cabin Fever Buster? Comment below and share it with us!


1. “Snowed In” image via Bohpix on Flick’r.


These are great ideas. We tend to get windstorms here every winter and the power is out for several hours. Even though my kids are in their mid to late teens, this is a time for computer free family time on our L shaped sofa.

Although my idea of “The Pot Boiled Over Stories” was a FAIL, we always have a great time. These ideas are awesome and will come in very handy next storm.

Now these are some interesting ideas for combating cabin fever. I bet there are going to be a lot of people trying out the Marshmallow Olympics. I have never heard of that game but it sounds fun.



Some people just don't know how to continue reading and learn what to do with themselves when it comes to cold weather and not having the opportunity to get outside.

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