10 cheap things to do over college winter break

By Jennifer Jussel

So your best friend is going skiing in Colorado this winter break, and your crush is off on some island resort in the Caribbean. What are you supposed to do with all this free time you have at home? Well ... whatever you want! Here are ten winter activities you can do during your break to avoid boredom.

1. Go ice skating

Ice skating

Even if it’s just with your little brother, ice skating is a festive winter activity that never gets old. You might fall on your butt a couple of times, sure, but your battle scars will make you that much cooler when you get back on campus.

2. Hang out with your family

Being in college means being away from family practically 24/7, so take some time to let the people supporting your college experience know that you care about them. Whether it’s just sitting and talking by the fire or watching a movie with them, they’ll definitely appreciate it.

3. Curl up with a book

Read a good book for winter break

Remember way back when, when you used to be able to read for pleasure? Yeah, you actually have time to do that again! Use the long winter break to get absorbed in a good book — or two! Who knows, maybe it’ll give you a new perspective on life before you start the new semester.

4. Volunteer at an animal shelter

Many animal shelters need extra help during the winter, and if you’re not allergic, it’s a great activity to commit to during the holidays. Cats and dogs make fantastic company when you’re feeling lonely, are a great pick-me-up, and the accomplishment and joy you’ll feel after helping an animal find a home will stick with you all year long.

5. Check out the Christmas lights

Check out the Christmas lights

Many cities have awesome holiday festivals, including a trail of lights to walk or drive through, photo opportunities, and holiday-themed food from various vendors along the way. Take the chance to go explore, and if your town doesn’t have the best show, try one of the small towns nearby! Many small towns dedicate themselves entirely to decorating for the holiday season each year, and are an absolute delight to see.

6. Get back into an old hobby, or find a new one

If you like to write in your spare time, write a short story or a poem. If you’re an artist, make something. It doesn’t have to turn out perfectly, but doing what you love can make your winter break a great one.

7. Have a brief love affair with a TV series or movie

Watch a TV series during winter break

I personally recommend "Scrubs," "Game of Thrones," and "Jane the Virgin," all of which are on either Netflix or HBO. But it’s always nice to revisit an old movie series, too, like "Harry Potter" or "The Lord of the Rings." If some of your friends are in town, you can even make it a Christmas-themed movie night with cookies and hot cocoa!

8. Catch up with high school friends

Your college friends may be in their respective locations, but that doesn’t mean you have to be alone and bored during winter break. Hit up your old high school friends and find out what they’re up to! Go for a lunch date, go to a movie, or take a walk down memory lane and visit your old high school hangout spots.

9. Pamper yourself

Pamper yourself

(People, take notes for girlfriend gift ideas.) Paint your nails, take a bubble bath, or try looking up a “self foot massage tutorial,” and treat yourself! It might be cold and unpleasant outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be perfectly warm and happy inside your cheap personal spa.

10. Help somebody else out this winter break

Volunteer at the soup kitchen, visit a retirement home with your friends, pick up trash along the beach or in your neighborhood, volunteer to read to children at the local hospital, or anything else you think would benefit more than just yourself this holiday season. Participate in a winter activity that helps the greater good.

Being bored this winter break is not an option; go try these winter activities!

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About the author

Jennifer JusselJennifer grew up in suburban Austin, Texas where she managed to become a balanced mixture of weird, hipster, and nerdy. She now attends Trinity University where she studies music composition, psychology, and creative writing. During her free time, she volunteers with Alpha Phi Omega and Hope Hall.