Twenty things to do during Winter Break

There are a load of things to do around the Christmas season but if you’re planning on staying in the Gig Harbor area things can be expensive. Often the most inexpensive things end up being the most fun, as the lower cost reduces the stress that holidays can bring. Below are a list of things that you’re sure to have fun doing but at the same time staying within your budget.

Rachel Smith, A&E Editor

1. Have a movie marathon- Watch all of your favorite Christmas movies, some good ones include: The Polar Express, It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, and Home Alone. If you’re looking to get out of the house and do something more expensive, head to the movie theater.Jackie Haines

Cost: Movie Theater- $5 per person (only on tuesdays).
Home: Free
(excludes additional costs for snacks)

2. Zoo Lights- Point Defiance (Tacoma) or Woodland Park (Seattle)

Cost: Point Defiance- $9
Woodland Park- $9.75
(Costs differ with age and membership)
Dates: November 28th- January fourth.

3. Take a trip to Mount Rainier for some sledding or skiing, or even snowshoeing. Although, its a long drive you’re sure to encounter snow, that rarely comes to Gig Harbor.

Cost: Gas! Additional costs if you’re taking the ski lift or sledding as a group in marked off areas or are going with a guide as part of a tour group. The price is also dependent on if you have your own supplies. If you are not going to the typical tourist destinations on the mountain then the cost should be free, just a fun day playing in the snow!

4. Go ice skating

Website: (Bremerton is one of the closest ice skating rinks, however there are more in Seattle.)
Cost: $6.50 per person plus $2.50 for skate rental.

5. Bake all your favorite cookies or desserts to spread the sweet scent of Christmas around the house

Cost: The price depends on how much you bake and the ingredients required in the recipe.

6. Help a neighbor- Help them, after they have given you permission, put up and take down Christmas lights or ask them if there is any yard work that they need help with. A small act can make a big difference.

Website: rs-this-christmas-season.aspx. This website features ideas for helping not only your neighbors, but others as well.
Cost: Check with neighbor.

7. Throw a Christmas party- Have a cookie or gift exchange and wear your ugliest sweaters, hanging out with friends and family brings people closer during the season!

Cost: Depends on what you buy.

8. Go shopping- Make sure you have gifts for your friends and family! Make it fun by bringing some of them with you and observe what things they are interested in as they shop but make sure you don’t make it obvious, it’ll ruin the surprise!

Website: Both of these links feature a map of the two closest malls.
Cost: However much you are willing to spend but remember to stick with your budget!

9. Get bundled up and drive around and look at all of the lights- Although simple, it is just as fun as doing any of the above activities, looking at the lights at night is sure to brighten up your mood about the dreary weather.

Cost: Gas

10. Attend Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Where: At your local Catholic/Christian Church
Cost: Free
Date: December 23 or 24, the time varies based on the church and some churches even have candlelight service a day before christmas eve so the date can also vary.

11. Prepare Christmas Eve dinner

Website:—celebration-recipes/christmas-recipes/christmas-eve-dinner-ideas#15.This website has a numerous amount of ideas for Christmas dinner along with the recipe.
Cost: Based on the recipe you choose.

12. Make a gingerbread house- Add on your favorite candies and glue it together with vanilla icing, it’s sure to taste great! You can buy a gingerbread making kit at pretty much any store, you can even make your own from scratch if you are brave!

Cost: Around $10 if you’re making it yourself and about $20 if you’re buying a kit.

13. Go to a Christmas play- Some good ones include: Scrooge the Musical and the Nutcracker, although these are a bit more expensive, there are a large number of other plays Christmas related throughout the area that are less expensive, if you are looking for something that is cheaper.

Website: Unfortunately, the Nutcracker is already sold out but it’s definitely something to do for next winter break, but make sure to purchase your tickets in advance as they are more expensive when they are bought at a later date.
Cost: $15 per person.

14. Go caroling either in your neighborhood or just within your own household- If you’re really into music you could try creating your own remixes to some traditional Christmas songs.

Cost: Free

15. Read a Christmas story every night until Christmas- Not only is this entertaining and fun but it’s also sure to remind you how many days are left before the festive holiday.

Cost: Free, if you already have the books.

16. Make your own wreath- Go outside and as Gig Harbor has a never ending supply of trees it shouldn’t be too hard gathering holly and tree branches, use some wire as the base and insert the branches at a clockwise angle to form an O. Now hang it wherever you want, however, wreaths always look best when hanging on your front door for everyone to see.

Website:|/274364/holiday-wreaths/@center/1009036/christmas-wreaths-garlands-and-more|269550. This website features ideas on other creative looking wreaths as well as the one that this link leads to. This website focuses on the more traditional wreath, not to mention the least expensive.

Cost: about $12 if your following the instructions on the first link, it really depends on if you already have the necessary supplies. However, if you are not following the above link and are instead following the second, a few dollars is probably all you need to spend for the wire base.

17. Buy a set of ornaments to decorate- This is cheap and will give your Christmas tree a personalized look.

Cost: One package- $6

18. Seattle Christmas Ship Festival- This event runs up until December 23, where ships decorated in lights go to different locations and end in a finale parade in Kirkland. The drive from Gig Harbor is about an hour but is definitely worth it.

Cost: Free
Date: December 23, 8:00 p.m.-11:05 p.m.

19. Donate to a local charity or non profit organization- Help others have an amazing holiday too by giving back to the community.

Cost: However much you are willing to give.

20. Have an amazing Winter Break!

Cost: Free