As a new parent it can be difficult to plan a family activity. You have to make sure that the youngest and the oldest alike will be entertained and distracted enough because if they are not, you KNOW they’ll take it out on each other. The logistics of the decision can get a little confusing. So, what are some fun things to do with the family that are going to be well-received and won’t take a dent out of your wallet? We’ve gathered a few of our favorites to share with you so that you can use them or take inspiration to get those creative juices flowing. Let’s talk about fun with the family!
Some general tips on family planning
Ideally, the place which you select needs to be something that adults and children are going to enjoy. In reality, for the adults the best part is likely to translate out to being able to eat or otherwise relax peacefully but that is not always the case. As far as keeping the kids entertained, that part might be easier than you think. Check out a few of the examples that we have chosen and you will see why family outings don’t have to be the chaotic nightmare that you are imagining.
You might not know it, but many of your local theaters offer performances specifically for kids of all ages. Load up Google and type ‘children’s theater’ along with your city name and you can see. There are many shows that will delight your children and even instill a classy love for acting and theater in them from a young age. Don’t worry; it is entertaining for adults as well. Seeing the looks of wonder on your children’s faces and their delighted laughter will make your day and who knows? The actors might surprise you too, after all, it’s what they do!
The local Science Museum
If you’ve never visited a science museum then you should give it a try. Science museums are an absolute TREAT. We have yet to visit a science museum that didn’t have activities for the kids, designed to teach them at the same time that they make the lessons memorable and fun. Kids can learn principles of compressed air by pressing buttons that send tubes up complicated pipelines or explore archaeology by dusting off a mock dinosaur skeleton with a brush like a real archaeologist. Lessons like this stick and are a great way to steer your child towards a rewarding future, but even if they don’t decide to become Indiana Jones or the next Nikolai Tesla they are sure to have a good time in a place that makes them think. So consider your local science museum. They are cheap, fun, and those lessons can sometimes last a lifetime!
Camping and hiking
This one can be a little risky if your kids hate going outside. On the other hand, many of us grew up when the age of video games was just getting started and we were told ‘go outside’ quite often. When we’d ask, ‘what do I do?’, the answer was always ‘use your imagination’ and off we would go. While pushing for outside time is a bit scarier these days then it was for us, you can impart a love of the great outdoors with a little supervised fun. Invest in a large family tent or a few small ones and if you don’t want to pick some random nearby woods then consider renting a camping space. That’s right, a lot of nature parks offer the option to rent a space and the nice part about this is that you can get a small plot next to the lake (so you don’t get lost) and they will generally offer amenities, like a nearby picnic area with a roof and running water. In this way, you can ‘rough it’ without having to ‘rough it so much’. Once you are there, teach the kids to setup camp, teach them campfire rules, and you’ve also got a chance to impart in them a little respect for nature. Just be sure to take those phone and hide them somewhere and in a little time even the grumpiest kids will go around. It’s in their nature.
You know, people tend to blow off the Zoo without giving the idea the thought that it deserves. At the zoo you can see animals from all over the world. Yes, the kids can see them on Google or YouTube (and they might argue that, at first) but it’s different when you get to see them in person. Zoos also sometimes have other entertainment, such as trains going through the park where you can ride and see
“Do you remember the first time that you went into a petting zoo?”
the animals in style, and there is always a petting zoo where kids, young and old, can pet animals that have proven day after day that they are kid friendly. Do you remember the first time that you went into a petting zoo and nervously held out a hand full of food pellets? How it tickled when they ate the food (to your delight!)? Yes, the Zoo is hardly a new idea, but too often people just write it off as boring when it is anything but. There is a reason that Zoos are still around, folks, so why not take advantage and treat the whole family to a classic that never gets old?
Some final words on family entertainment
Family time is probably the most important thing in our lives. Friends come and go but family is family. It is as simple as that. Your children, you, and your spouse are never going to be these ages again, so why not skip the TV time and the habit of family members holing up in their own areas by age and get out of the house together. After all, isn’t family time what it is all about? We wish you and your family the best!