Top 7 Things to Do When Snow Keeps You Home

Stuck at home during the blizzard? Here are some great snow-day activities.

Feb. 11, 2010— -- After yet another big storm on the East Coast, many schools and even some offices are closed today.

Yay! Snow day!

All right, now that everybody has that out of their systems -- what do you plan to do with your free time? This blizzard has left some people trapped in the house for days. For others, boredom may just be starting to set in. So to help pass the hours, we have come up with seven ideas to keep you and your family entertained while stuck in the snow.

These are just seven ideas. There are plenty of other good ones. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments section. Maybe for the next storm we will expand the list to 10 or even 14 things to do when stuck inside. Let's all just hope we aren't snowed in forever.

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Board Games

There's nothing quite like spending time with your family. Don't just plop down in front of the TV. Do something the whole family can join in on: board games.

Sure, they may be old fashioned and don't come with as many bells and whistles as that Wii or Blue Ray player. So what? These games have been around for decades. There must be something good to them.

Monopoly isn't only fun because it lets you buy real estate, collect rents, build hotels -- all while you try not to go broke -- but it also teaches some good lessons in risk, investing and managing money.

For something a bit less challenging, try Candy Land, which has been many children's first game for more than 50 years. Colorful characters and whimsical places take children through a journey of magic and fantasy. What better activity for a snowy day?

Some of our other favorites include Bobble, LIFE, Jenga, checkers, chess, Clue, and Apples to Apples.

Winter Cleaning

All right, enough fun. Now it's time to get down to some work. Have that closet that you have been meaning to clean out, but just never found the time to tackle?

This might be the perfect day to clear out those clothes from last season -- or two waist sizes ago -- that you aren't wearing anymore. But don't throw out those outfits. Make a pile and when the snow clears, donate them to a local charity. And, hey, for most people the donation is a tax deduction.

After you organize your closet, move on down to the basement or garage. Look, we know it's not going to be fun, but would you rather do it today or on a bright, sunny spring day?

Movie, TV Marathon

OK, now you deserve some vegging out on the couch.

That show or movie you've been dying to see? Well, now is the time. You know you have always wanted to watch "Lost" or "Mad Men" but have missed too many episodes to keep track of what's going on. This is your chance: Make a snack, or two, shut off the phone, pop the DVD into your player and start at the first season's first episode.

Or maybe today is the day to watch that movie you've been waiting and waiting to see. Sure, your cable company might have plenty of picks on-demand, but check out the American Film Institute, which lists the top 100 movies.

When you're done with those Netflix wrappers, make some origami. Yes, that's right, origami. There is of course a Web site that shows you how. It's aptly named Netflix Origami.

Spend Time with the One You Love

Birth rates have been rumored to go up nine months after big blizzards and power blackouts, although subsequent reports said the supposed bubbles weren't real. (The urban legend arose from the 1965 Northeast blackout. The New York Times did a series of stories in which doctors said they noticed an increased number of births nine months later. The theory was debunked in 1970 by a University of North Carolina demographer.)

Now, we're not suggesting that people go out and try to increase the size of the population. But with Valentine's Day right around the corner, it might not be a bad time to curl up with the one you love and spend some quality time together. And hey, besides shoveling, it might just be the best way to burn calories during a blizzard.

Read, Read and Read Some More

You know that stack of books on your nightstand that you say you'll get to one of these days? Well, today is that day. You don't need any great supplies or exertion of personal energy to read. You can even do it in bed.

Maybe it's finally time to tackle that self-help book, or that romance novel. Why not read more about Wall Street and the recession, or maybe some fiction about the secret meanings of all the buildings in Washington, D.C.?

It might be freezing out, but with a good book you can easily pretend to be on a warm, tropical beach.

And, of course, if you have run out of some good books to read, don't worry: There are plenty of other good stories on to digest. And while you might be stranded at home, we are here furiously typing away for your pleasure.

Cook, Bake and Experiment

You might not be able to make it out to the grocery store to pick up that vanilla or chili powder. But don't let that stop you. Take out the cookbook and start experimenting. Chocolate chip cookies for the kids? A new souffle? Or how about turning that old standby meatloaf recipe into something with a kick?

Cooking can either be a great solitary escape or a fun family activity. And nothing is quite as comforting as a good home-cooked meal on a snowy day.

Just dust off one of your cookbooks and -- depending on how long you are stuck at home -- go through it page by page.

Do Your Taxes

Yeah, we don't want to do them either. But before you know it, April 15 will be here. Plus, if you are getting a refund, why not get that cash now? Maybe you can use the extra money to buy a really nice Valentine's Day gift -- or, perhaps, a new, more-powerful snowblower.

Just as with cleaning out the garage or your closet, would you rather do it now -- or in April?