5 Great Ways to Spend Winter Break

From theater outings to ice rinks, great ways to fill the post-holiday weeks

Winter Break Activities
"The Snowman" theater production opens on London's West End. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

There's a let down once the holidays are over, especially when your college kid still has weeks of winter break left. Your child's feelings of boredom, culture shock and even dismay over shifting allegiances may require a different approach to college break survival. But the upside? While those pre-New Year's days pass in a frenzied whirlwind, there are many weeks more to enjoy just being together.

This, at last, is family time. Here are five great ways to fill that time:

  • A Night at the Theater: "Nutcracker" may be over, but every major city has some cool theatrical event running in wintry January - local concerts, touring Broadway shows, or a new production, such as "The Snowman" extravaganza pictured above. Make it a family date. Better yet, make it a tradition.
  • Snow and Ice: Take the family ice skating or head for the snow to ski, snowboard, sled or just throw snowballs.
  • Over the River... Even if you did the "over the river and through the woods" routine for Christmas Day or Hanukkah, a second, January visit may be a calmer, sweeter time to catch up with older relatives and extended family. There are less hustle and bustle, and more time to talk.
  • Galleries and Museums: You probably didn't do much gallery hopping when your kids were younger, but now that they're older and more sophisticated, this is the perfect time to introduce them to one of the great joys of life - freebie days at hot museums.
  • The Great Outdoors: Take a hike, ride a bike, enjoy the great outdoors and work off some of those holiday calories. Better yet, go geocaching, a sport that combines all the fun of a treasure hunt with hiking and a little dash of geeky fun. All you need is a smartphone and a good pair of walking shoes.