Winter Activities If You Don’t Celebrate Christmas

Festive image with winter drinks, fairy lights, candy canes

Although December is well-known for Christmas, it is also the start of the Winter season, with plenty of fun and festive activities you can enjoy regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Many students will be going home for the Winter break, and some will be staying in Halls. This blog will provide you with some ideas for enjoyable Winter-themed activities you can do at home (and/or with family) and if you’re staying in Reading.

Winter brings about cold weather and short days, making it the perfect time for cosy nights in with friends/family or by yourself if you prefer. Some things you can do include having a board game night with friends/family/roommates, hosting a book club or getting cosy with a good book. Add some festive decorations such as fairy lights, candles and fluffy blankets with Wintery patterns for a seasonal touch. To feel a bit more festive and warm, don’t forget some Wintery treats such as a cup of hot chocolate decorated with marshmallows, whipped cream and gingerbread men or shortbread. You can also make some with your friends and family for a social activity and to enjoy together.

In addition to this, you can warm up your house or room by baking or cooking some Winter recipes. Baking things will make your house smell amazing, especially if you love festive spices and want to make your own gingerbread, cookies, brownies or mince pies. For some extra fun, you can try decorating shortbread or cookies with icing to make some seasonal patterns like snowflakes, robins, trees etc. For cooking, you can warm up with soups and fresh bread, hearty pies and dishes with plenty of root vegetables (such as potatoes and carrots) for comfort and to keep well-nourished.

Decorating for the season can always be fun either by yourself or with friends/family, and decorations don’t need to be Christmasy! As the days are shorter and colder, illuminating your room with warm or colourful fairy lights can add some joy, as well as candles which also provide some Winter scents and fragrance. Many shops sell cute woodland animal decorations (such as little wooden toys, little fluffy owl or penguin with earmuffs etc.) and plenty of things with rich red plaid, mini pine trees and pine cones. For some DIY, there are plenty of ideas on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, such as paper crafts to make garlands. Don’t forget fluffy pyjamas or blankets and plenty of comfy pillows with snowmen, snowflakes or any seasonal pattern you like for some extra festive touches. If you enjoy it, you can also paint your nails or do your makeup to line up with the Winter theme.

If you’re staying in Reading, you can visit the town centre which is already decorated for the Winter season, filled with lights and stalls where you can buy festive food and admire the scenery. As it gets dark early, you can catch the way the decorations light up the lake and shops around 4pm! If you want to treat yourself, many shops and coffee shops have seasonal menus, so you can feel more festive and enjoy the special limited-edition items. You could also shop in the town centre to see what kind of seasonal things (decoration, clothing, accessories) are being sold and get some Winter inspiration.

Reading Winter Wonderland is also open and you can book slots online if you are interested in seeing what activities they have (such as ice skating or a Winter grotto). It’s also nice to walk around in the cold crisp Winter air – as long as you bundle up with plenty of layers (e.g. scarves, gloves, thick coat) and keep safe! Walking and keeping active is also key to staying healthy and warm during the upcoming colder months.

Overall there are plenty of fun activities to do alone or with family over the Winter period, and remember the season is only as magical as you make it or want it to be. Taking time to admire the sparkling Winter lights and decorations, baking/cooking things you enjoy and having cosy nights can be as fun as you want them to be! Remember to take care of yourself as it gets colder, keep well-fed, rested and warm to get the most out of the Winter break.

Whether you’re going home or staying in Halls, you can look up some Winter movies for a cosy night in, get some board games or plan out some books to read. Make a list of some Winter themed drinks and recipes you want to try – such as hot chocolate or baked treats. Finally prepare some warm and cosy clothes, pyjamas, blankets etc. to keep safe and comfy during the Winter period.

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