Whether you're looking to make money for the holiday season or accomplish some other financial goal, there are plenty of winter side hustles to choose from.
Below, we've got ideas for outdoorsy types, indoor money-makers, and the hybrid hustling folks who like a bit of both.
To start things off though, let's look at three of the best winter side hustles over all (or at least the most classic and well-known). Further down we'll look at some other more unique ideas for both Christmas and the winter season as a whole!
(Side note: if you're still gift shopping, be sure to use cashback sites to save yourself some money.)
Top 3 Best Winter Side Hustles Overall
1. Snow removal
With winter comes snow, and with snow comes snow shoveling and snow plowing.
The first option, snow shoveling, is a classic side hustle has been done by kids around the world probably since the first snow shovel was invented. That said, even though this is a popular way for teens to make money in the winter, anyone can really do it. All you have to do to get started is start knocking on doors. You can also use platforms like Shovler or TaskRabbit to find clients.
If you find some success there, you can take it to the next level by getting a snow blower, or even better, a snow plow. A snow blower would be best if you want to continue working on residential driveways and such. A snow plow is for if you're much more serious and want to get into subcontracting for businesses and cities (here's a guide).
2. Making and selling crafts
I don’t know about where you live, but in my town there are a ton of Christmas markets and other winter markets that happen throughout the season. This is a great opportunity to sell crafts (gloves, hats, holiday sweaters, pet-related products like treats or clothes, candles, holiday cards, decorations, gift ideas, and more).
Online platforms like Etsy are also very popular places to sell these things, and this avenue opens the opportunity for digital crafts as well (printable coloring pages, activity sheets, print on demand art, etc.).
An alternative route here could also include operating some sort of craft workshop activity for people who want to get together and make something. You'd provide the supplies, work area, and general guidance.
3. Holiday decoration and light installation
Here's another classic. This one is proven to work year in and year out. When Christmas comes around, people simply don’t want to do the decorating themselves, so they hire others.
To market, you could put signs up around your neighborhood and use places like social media, Nextdoor, Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, Taskrabbit, and similar.
Ok, that’s the overview of our top three winter side jobs, but we’ve got way more where that came from. Click a category or keep scrolling:
Outdoor Winter Side Hustles
4. Providing ski or snowboard lessons
In most cases this is more of a full-time or part-time gig rather than a side job, and you’ll need to live close to a mountain to make it possible, but if neither or those are an issue it can be a very fun and fulfilling option. Just keep in mind you'll most likely be dealing with kids a lot. Don't expect this to be a “get paid to ride” sort of deal.
5. Selling hot chocolate or coffee
Just as lemonade stands work in the summer, hot chocolate or coffee stands are a great way to make money in the winter. This is something even kids can do.
To get started, all you'd need is the hot chocolate ingredients, a good thermos to keep it hot at your stand, and some paper cups for people to enjoy. You could also bring whipped cream and peppermint candy canes as paid add-ons.
You could set this up at markets (if you're able to get permission) or simply outside popular areas or in your neighborhood. Anywhere there's a good amount of foot traffic will work! If you set up on a road, just make sure you have a visible sign that cars can see.
6. Winterizing homes
This is a great way to help others save money on electricity, so it shouldn't be too hard to sell. You could help insulate walls and attics, seal windows and doors, service heating systems, and/or protect pipes from freezing.
You’ll need some skills for this, but you can most likely learn how to do some basic things online and then apply them to your own home first to learn. Taskrabbit, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and similar could be a good place to find clients.
7. Christmas tree delivery or sales
Lots of people don’t have a proper way to transport a Christmas tree. You could offer to set up a time to either meet someone at a lot, pick out their tree with them, and deliver it. Or, you could go yourself, find a tree they like, and deliver it. There are larger companies that do this, so finding local clients on Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist might be best.
If you want to take it to the next level, you could also open up your own Christmas tree stand. This will require more equipment and an investment into multiple trees, but it can be pretty profitable. Check this story out.
8. Dog walking
Dog walking is a popular year-round side hustle, but you might be able to find more clients in the winter due to less enjoyable weather. If you're okay with the cold, that's an opportunity for you. Try finding clients on places like Rover or Wag.
While you're doing this, make sure you're getting paid for your steps!
9. Picking up dog poop
Similar to the above, this is something that fewer people would want to do in the winter. In fact, I've done it myself and picking up dog poo in the rain and snow absolutely sucks.
If you're already a dog walker, you could also simply add this on to your list of services. This is a great additional way to make money and help your clients.
Indoor Winter Side Hustles
10. Being a mall Santa (or elf)
This is one of the most prestigious Christmas side hustles around. If you’re jolly, have the looks, and like bringing joy to children, you might make a good Santa. And according to Monster, a gig like this can rake in up to $20,000+ in a season. Not a bad haul for a 1-2 month side job!
If you don't have the build for a Santa, you could also consider being an elf or some other Christmas or holiday related character.
11. Taking seasonal surveys
There are plenty of paid survey sites you can use for this. Not all of the surveys you take will be winter or holiday related, but you can make a few extra bucks either way.
12. Pet grooming
This is another side job that can be done year round, but it’s actually extremely important during the winter. Regular winter grooming will help prevent overgrown hair, which can lead to tangles, skin irritation, and even infections (source). This applies to cats as well.
13. Pet sitting
Many people like to travel in the winter, so that often ends up in them looking for someone to watch their animals. If you're already offering services like dog walking or pet grooming, this is a great service to add to your arsenal. You can find additional clients on places like NextDoor, Rover, and Wag.
14. Professional gift wrapping
I’ve gotten better at wrapping gifts over the years, but I still don’t enjoy it very much. And I’m sure many others feel the same way. Some also just don't have time to do it themselves. Those are the potential clients here.
And even if you're not a gift wrapping expert yet, if you enjoy the process, you can become one! Check out some tips here.
This isn't just a winter side hustle either. This person actually started a gift wrapping business that runs year round. She does birthday gifts, Christmas, Valentine's, Super Bowl parties, and more. (By the way, this service idea goes great with a decorating service as well, so it can be expanded nicely.)
To market this type of business, social media will definitely be a good place to show off your wrapping skills and find inner network clients. You can also try places like TaskRabbit.
Once you make a bit of money, consider getting a van and becoming mobile. That way you can go directly to houses or outside of stores and wrap people's gifts as they wait.
This is another side job that works year round, but for the winter time, it's actually in quite high demand (probably due to many people going out to holiday events and parties). Try these babysitting job apps to get started.
16. House sitting
As mentioned with the above winter side hustle ideas, many people travel during the colder seasons, which means house sitting opportunities are also easier to find. With this type of gig, you might be required to maintain house plants, clean, and do other small maintenance tasks. You can find opportunities like this on places like TrustedHousesitters.
17. Baking and selling sweet treats
Similar to selling crafts, you could also bake things like holiday cookies, cinnamon buns, and other goodies and sell them at markets. Pet treats are always a popular option as well. Besides selling your goods at local markets, you could also try to go bigger and cater for holiday parties.
18. Website and app testing
This is a fun way to make money in the winter while staying indoors. In most cases it doesn't require any advanced technical skills either. Some places that pay you to test websites and apps include UserTesting, Trymata, Tryber, and PlaytestCloud.
19. Selling freelance services
Freelancing is another one of those side hustles that can work year round, not just during the winter. And there are a lot of different services you could provide. Some popular and proven ideas include tutoring, proofreading, writing, graphic design, web development, marketing, transcription, and general virtual assistance.
20. Seasonal product flipping
It’s best to get a start on this a bit before the holiday season, but this is another one that can work all throughout winter and the rest of the year.
That said, online retail goes crazy in Q4 and before Christmas, specifically with gift-related products like toys, household goods, clothes, mugs, and similar. Decorations can also do really well. To capitalize on this rush, try to stock up throughout the year by finding discounts at local retailers, and then flip the products on local marketplaces, eBay, Amazon FBA, and similar.
Hybrid Winter Side Hustles
21. Car wrap advertising
This is another good winter side hustle for the holiday season. October-December are high times for advertising as companies finish off their yearly ad budgets and try to catch the holiday shopping rush. Car wrap advertising is a way you can profit from that rush. You can find opportunities for this on places like Wrapify, WrappedMedia, and Carvertise.
22. Event planning and setup
Events are most common during the holiday seasons, and the event organizers often need a lot of help setting things up. To get started, you could find ones in your local area, email or call them, and see if there’s any way you could help them setup, market, or similar.
23. Renting out your extra space
Things like Halloween decorations, outdoor equipment, patio furniture, boats, and Christmas decorations are all things that people typically put in storage for the winter. You can rent out extra space that you own (e.g. a driveway, garage, attic, etc.) on places like Neighbor Storage to help those people out and earn some passive income.
24. Delivery and personal shopping
If you’re comfortable driving in winter weather, delivering things like packages (e.g. on Amazon Flex, Roadie), groceries (e.g. on Instacart), restaurant food (e.g. on UberEats, Doordash), and similar can be a good side hustle.
This is another one where you’ll need to be comfortable driving in winter conditions. If you are, you can benefit from increased rideshare opportunities due to that bad weather and things like holiday parties. Try getting started on places like Uber and Lyft.
26. Find money-making platforms
There are plenty of other sites and apps out there that offer ways to earn money in the winter. We're constantly adding new ones to our Money-Making Platform Discovery tool, so be sure to check it out for additional ideas.
Conclusion: How to Make Money In the Winter
In the end, making money in the winter isn’t too much different from making money at any other point during the year.
- Fill a need. What’s popular during the winter? What do people need help with? What do people not want to do themselves?
- Market yourself. Where are those people that are in need hanging out? How can you find them and reach them to tell them about your services?
- Provide value. Once you’ve done the two steps above, go above and beyond with your product or service.
When you’re picking from one of the winter side hustles above (or coming up with your own unique idea), keep these things in mind, and remember to try and do something you’ll have fun with.