Not heading out of town for the holidays this year? Looking to do something memorable on the first day of 2011 without spending the money needed for a warm-weather or ski vacation? You have lots of options – some even in your own back yard.

Even if you’re in part of the country that’s bitter cold in the winter, don’t spend the day in front of the TV set.

Get together with family and friends to make a home movie, for instance. Take out a video camera, or something like The Flip video. Rather than record your family clamoring around the kitchen, write a script, cast characters, choose a director. The kids could learn valuable movie-making or performance skills – and you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun together.

Not up for that creative task? Check out a movie that’s playing at the theater. New Year’s day is a great time to pack your children up in the car and enjoy some family-friendly entertainment.

Do something educational. Visit a local museum, aquarium or historical site.

Spend time outside. Go for a bike ride (many areas have paved paths), a long walk at a park or, if weather permits, sledding or ice skating. It may qualify as freezing outside, but what’s more enjoyable than bundling up to get some fresh air and physical activity – and coming back inside again to cuddle up with a cup off hot chocolate.

Play board games. Even in the day-and-age of smartphone and iPhone applications, there’s nothing like curling up in front of a fire with real-world Scrabble, Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit.

Get started on your resolutions. Whether that means hitting the gym, reading a book or cooking up some healthy meals, you’ll likely have free time that day to begin the new year just as you envision it.

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