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Winter Fun: 10 Events and Activities For Cold Weather

By Joseph Oriente

10 Engaging Winter Event Ideas

Now that your staff has a solid foundation with recreation management software and best practices, you can start brainstorming event and activity ideas. With past community event trends in mind, think of programming that brings families and individuals together, even despite the cold weather.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Indoor sports league. Thinking of new and exciting sports programs can be tough, however most people will be happy just having something active to do in a team setting. While the temperatures are dropping outside, encourage community members to participate in an indoor sports league. Whether it's flag football or soccer, moving a typically outdoor sport inside doesn't have to be difficult. With the right recreation management software, you can easily set up an indoor sports league.
  2. Snowman building contest. Bring some competitive spirit to an event with a snowman building contest. This will surely get kids out of the house and encourage them to interact with each other. Gather some local community members to be judges and watch people start building!
  3. Arts and crafts night. Gather families in one of your indoor rec centers and have an arts and crafts night! This is the perfect cold weather activity as you can stay cozy inside. Plan this event right before the holidays and people can start making gifts and cards.
  4. Theater production. This is an event that requires more planning, but will engage your community for a longer period of time. You can employ different members with set design, costume design and acting, and watch them get excited with each practice for the show.
  5. Family ice-skating night. This will require having a rink or access to one, but a family ice-skating night is the perfect winter activity. Sell hot cocoa and play some festive music as people skate around the rink. This is one of those events that would not happen in any other season, so community members will flock to a well-planned ice-skating night.
  6. Rec center movie night. Your recreation centers should be designed with flexibility and multi-use in mind. When the weather starts getting colder, moving more of your community events into your various rec centers is a great idea. Host a movie night in one of them, providing popcorn and other treats. Families and others will love this idea and bring their blankets for a cozy community night in.
  7. Winter chili cookoff. Combine a hearty winter meal with some friendly community competition with a winter chili cookoff. Not only does this get people engaged in the cooking competition, but it also attracts other community members to attend and taste the different chilis. This event is a great way to get people out of the house, and it also caters itself.
  8. Polar plunge. Though most of your winter activities may be indoors, consider something like a polar plunge. This is a popular event where a group of people will go and take a dip in the cold winter water.
  9. Indoor run-a-thon. Set up some treadmills in your rec center and host an indoor run-a-thon. This is an efficient way to engage community members by encouraging some friendly competitive spirit and philanthropy. For more details on how to plan a run-a-thon event, read this article.
  10. Winter concert. Host a winter concert, either inside one of your rec centers or in your local park if it's not too cold. Encourage families and individuals to leave their homes and enjoy some tunes with the rest of the community!

One of the great things about any of these community programming ideas is that they are flexible and can be customized to your community's needs. For example, you can focus an event to engage only youth or only families.

Additionally, any of these events can be easily turned into a fundraising event with tickets, donations and concessions sales. Bonfire has a resource for fundraising event ideas if you're curious for more information.

Cold weather doesn't necessarily mean your community programs should slow down. With the right recreation management software, you can easily engage members with events and activities. Reference our list of ideas if you don't know where to start, and good luck!

Joseph Oriente is the president and founder of Capturepoint, creator of CommunityPass software. Joe established Capturepoint in 1999 and launched CommunityPass in 2003, which was initially created to provide online registration and payment for a local town sports council that was overwhelmed with an increasing number of paper registrations. Since then Joe has been responsible for expanding CommunityPass nationally to become one of America's most well respected and complete online management solutions with registration, membership and facilities software serving the recreation and school markets. For more information, visit www.communitypass.net.