Whether you’re holed up somewhere with snow, far enough south to still feel a little toasty, or are somewhere in between temperatures and latitudes, being on a houseboat in the winter gives you time to reflect on life and, yes, maybe time to get a little bored. And hey, if you’re not a year-round liveaboard and you’re tucked away at home thinking about your houseboat, you could stand to get your mind off things and do something purely fun. Regardless of the situation, if you’re running low on things to do to keep the season lively, check out these ideas for things to spice up the day.
Have a game night
If you go to any game aisle at the store, you’ll see a ton of different options. Look up reviews to help you nail which ones your family would most enjoy and grab a few new games to try out. Some tried-and-true ideas are Loaded Questions, Sorry!, and Settlers of Catan. We played Loaded Questions at the in-laws for Christmas and everyone thought it was so fun, they set up Skype dates every Sunday to keep the games going while everyone’s apart. No joke. It's that fun.
Watch old or favorite movies
Go all-out. Pop a pile of popcorn and try out some new flavors—gooey caramel, sweet and salty marshmallow, cookies and cream, garlic-herb, pumpkin and white chocolate, three-cheese—there are endless options. Dig out tons of blankets and pillows, pile everyone in the den and have a marathon of I Love Lucy or Lord of the Rings, whatever fits your fancy, as you pass around the bowls.
Throw a family shindig
Inviting family or friends over for a party is always fun. It gives everyone an excuse to pick their favorites and cook a nice dinner together, which is always something to look forward to. Bake a decadent dessert like these Deep Dish Brownies and sit around the table, eat, laugh, and indulge in chocolate.
Make homemade hot chocolate
Take chocolate a step further and have a homemade cocoa night. I know the powder kind is good and you can make it creamier by adding more scoops (you get serious pushing 10), but Creamy Hot Cocoa is in a class all its own. Bust out marshmallows, candy canes, graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies, or whatever you like to dip and serve it in a wild assortment of mugs. Seriously, it’s hard to beat the homemade quality for sheer chocolaty creaminess.
Have story time
Time to wind back the clock and make everyone feel like a kid again. Have everyone throw on their jammies and gather in the living room for story time. You can read little kid books like Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein, or indulge in longer books like Harry Potter or Fablehaven. There are endless stories you could pick. Taking turns reading aloud, using different voices for characters, and even acting out scenes as they’re read will make the night even more interactive and lively.