Northeasterners were in panic mode Monday as cities and towns across the region prepared to shut down public transportation, roads, schools, government buildings and parks ahead of what was expected to be a historic blizzard. As much as 3 feet of snow was estimated to fall in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York, where government officials declared states of emergency Monday. The preparation ahead of the storm made it clear this is not the week to go outdoors. But to make the most out of the brutal weather, below are seven fun things to do inside what you can't do outside. 

1. Winter drinking games: Bourbon will keep you warm. So will rum. To turn your indoor drinking into a game, put on the weather forecast and take a sip every time you hear the word “blizzard.” Take a shot if you hear a new term to describe the blizzard, such as “blizzardcane,” recommends More winter drinking game ideas can be found here.

2. Tell scary stories: The power has gone out. The only sound is the whining of the wind. Tap into the dark mood and recount your favorite childhood scary stories. Use a flashlight to illuminate your face and scare friends and family. Craft your own tale, or recount one of these. 

3. Break out the crafts: If you have children, help them make a fluffy polar bear out of shaving cream, a paper plate and glue. Turn old mittens into hand puppets.  Make a baby blanket for your pregnant friend.

4. Read: Snuggle up with a blanket and open the book you've been meaning to read. Looking for titles? You can never go wrong with the classics. Start with "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, then reread "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott. 

5. Cook: Keep your home warm by cranking up the oven. Cookies, brownies, pies, chicken and lasagna are all good winter foods. Find a new recipe at Saveur, Food & Wine or Bon Appetit. 

6. Build a fort: Pillows, blankets and chairs can become a fantasy time castle for children bored with books or toys.

7. Sleep: Crawl under a stack of blankets and catch up on all the sleep you missed over the holiday season. Your body will thank you.