How to Survive a Snow Day

You got the dreaded call. School is cancelled. And just like that, your plans are over. But instead of freaking out about missing meetings or not being able to run errands, you should be thrilled that you get to spend more quality time with your kids. Or, at least that’s what Pinterest tells you. But let’s get real…sometimes you just feel like you are going insane when you are snowed (or in Chicago’s case recently, frozen) in. You’re not alone, dear parents, I feel your pain and want to share some ways to get through what will for sure be a LONG day.

How to Survive a Snow Day

Embrace the fact that you won’t be leaving the house. Wear whatever you are most comfortable in.  For some, taking a hot shower, getting dressed, and putting on fresh makeup makes them feel great.  Good for them. As for me, I will be rocking my shark slippers and fleece lined leggings like it’s my job, as well as some of these cozy sweaters.

Set up a schedule for the day. That’s right, have a game plan. One of my favorite things to do is to designate a certain task for each hour. For example, we have a reading hour which is blissfully unplugged, followed by one hour of activities determined by either one of my boys (as long as there aren’t any sharp knives involved I’m down for anything), then an hour of preferred electronics…anything to spice up the long day and keep us looking forward to something…other than the news that school is back on for tomorrow, of course. Looking for some activities to choose from?  Here are some screen free ones, as well as some Lego themed and sensory play activities that are always a hit. Don’t forget that one of the best things about a snow day is getting bundled up and playing in it, too!

Go outside and PLAY. Whether you create ice marbles, go sledding, or have a good old fashioned snowball fight, playing outside is the perfect way to spend an hour or two on a snowy day.

Reach out to friends. As long as the driving conditions aren’t incredibly insane, see if anyone local wants to come by to ride out the day out together. After all, misery loves company….and your kids will tire one another out while you two get to catch up. That is, if your kids can refrain from interrupting every two minutes. Mine are sadly still working on this.

There are drive thru’s for a reason. And delivery services. Too lazy to make lunch? Really want a strong cup of coffee?  Then bundle up and get something (again, only if the weather allows) a snatch up my favorite dinner hack, a rotisserie chicken, OR give a GIANT tip to someone for delivering your favorite takeout. If the weather is too bad, take advantage of your slow cooker. You can typically make something really tasty just by emptying out the contents of your fridge and cabinets and letting the slow cooker do its magic. Even better? Eat it all as a picnic on paper plates. Easy clean up and something fun and out of the ordinary for all of you to enjoy.

Bake something. I mean, is there anything more comforting than freshly baked cookies? Doubtful. Spend time together measuring ingredients, mixing things together, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor while sipping on hot cocoa under the blankets.

Watch a movie. Yep, that’s right, give in to the television. Is watching one movie going to kill your kids?  Definitely not. Pop some popcorn and find a fun flick to watch together. You can even make a drive in movie at home. Do cartoons drive you crazy?  Me too. I absolutely LOATHE Lightning McQueen so I have found some great shows and movies On Demand and through Netflix that all of us can enjoy. We absolutely love nature shows because of the calm music and soothing narrations, usually by a former James Bond (I’m looking at you, Pierce Brosnan) and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a British accent. Another relaxing movie to watch together?  Fantasia. These family friendly sports movies are also great for not only their entertainment value, but also for their life lessons.

Hold a happy hour. Not only is it a time to celebrate the fact that you survived being cooped up all day, but it is a fun way to treat yourselves. Pour yourself your favorite cocktail and make a mocktail for your kiddos. Cheers to the thought of Spring, even though it seems light year away…

Be sure to read my Winter Survival Guide for ways to have so much fun that you don’t even notice the temperature outside.

You can do this!
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  1. Jules Ruud says

    There are delivery services for a reason. I think I’m going to put that on a wreath and hang it on my door. This is awesome. I love the happy hour idea and will be referencing this often as the cold days get long here.

  2. Cara (@StylishGeek) says

    Thanks for your wonderful post! It does not snow in my area but lately it has been really cold (30 to high 40s) that it just makes me want to crawl under the warm sheets and stay there for hours! I love the ideas you gave because I can definitely take the time to do some indoor ‘me’ time to get over the cold climate!

    • Amanda says

      My favorite thing to do in the winter is hide under the warm blankets with a great book..I wish the boys would realize that they should just stop moving and relax in a comfy bed once in a while!

  3. Angie @ My So-Called Chaos says

    These are really great tips-especially the schedule. We never really got snow days growing up here because in Utah, you go to school or work even if it’s a complete blizzard outside. I think it’s because we just are so used to it-we used to just take extra days off for summer and spring break to use up the extra allotted snow days the district gives.

    • Amanda says

      We are used to snow in Chicago, but when the whether gets significantly below zero, school is called off. We are currently in a deep freeze and hope we warm up soon before we go crazy!

  4. Tammilee Tips says

    We have not had any snowdays yet! We live far from town so when we have a snow day we are really stuck. Love all of these ideas, we have done Netflix marathons before during a snow day.

  5. JENN says

    These are great tips for surviving a snow day! I find too often my kids want all day screen time when they have a day off! These are great ideas to keep them busy! If not, I always resort to chores! lol

  6. Tee says

    Great ideas. Definitely would love to make the time to read (everything slows down during snow days) and make a meal with the slow cooker. We have yet to have a snow day this year yet. But let’s see what the rest of January will be like!

  7. Emma Spellman says

    I live in Chicago and it was like 6 degrees yesterday. I walked by the door in my kitchen last night and floor was ice cold. Two more months until Spring!! I can’t wait, but until then I will definitely be using some of your ideas with my toddlers!

  8. Amy says

    I love this!! Makes me remember being young and wanting to stay out and enjoy the snow with no cars in sight! Now if just rather stay in. Lovely post!

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