Finding an activity that the entire family can enjoy can be a challenge. And unfortunately, most of us tend to find a few ideas that work and keep going back to them again and again. Here are some unique places to take your family, and the list includes activities appropriate for a wide range of ages and interests.
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. —Genesis 33:5, KJV
Paint Pre-made Pottery
Most areas have at least one studio that offers pre-made pottery that can be painted and then glazed. Some studios offer family discounts, or provide smaller pots for the younger folks in the family. It’s a fun idea that can work for kids of any age. It’s also a good choice if they’re looking for the perfect gift for mom or dad.
Do a picnic in the park, but make it fun by dressing up for the occasion. Use old clothes you have around the house, or even better, take the family to a local thrift store. You can either pick a clothing theme for the family or let the kids just go crazy. Children under 10 will love this idea, but it might not be something you can convince your teenager to try.
Take a Late Night Hike
Many parks and woodland areas are open late to allow hikers the chance to see the skies in an entirely different light (so to speak). A number of the bigger parks also have a volunteer or park ranger to lead groups of hikers while providing information along the way. A night hike is exciting and different and your kids might even learn something along the way.
Take Your Kids for a Late Ice Cream Surprise
Family nights don’t need to be complicated or take a long time. Have your kids been extra good this week? Take them out for a surprise late night ice cream run after they’ve gotten into their pajamas. Sure, late night ice cream isn’t something you should do on a regular basis, but piling the family into the car to drive through and get a quick treat is the type of unexpected and fun thing the kids will be talking about for days.
Try a Late Night Zoo Visit
Most larger zoos have extended hours some nights, along with special evening-only events and exhibits. Even if your family frequently visits the zoo, seeing it at night is an entirely new experience. Even better, some nocturnal animals are only exhibited at night, which makes for an even more unusual treat.
Take in a Flick At the Drive-In
While there are a lot fewer drive-ins still in business than there were when you were a kid, most communities still have one or two around in the suburbs. For children who’ve grown up with HDTV and iPads, the retro charm of a drive-in will be an experience to remember.
Five Dollar Shopping Night
Give each of your children five dollars and take them to the mall to buy a present. The trick is that they have to buy a present for someone else. You can either assign them a recipient or let them make the decision. But either way, picking out a present for someone suddenly makes the gift choice a lot more meaningful and exciting.
Have an old school cookout in your background or at a local park area. Choose foods you have to cook over an open flame and don’t forget to end the evening with the family favorite—S’mores. You can bring the kids into the planning process by having them research recipes in old cookbooks or online.
Volunteer As a Family
While your family may do some volunteer work already, it can be fun to occasionally choose a special bit of volunteer work to do together as a family. Maybe it’s volunteering to run the booth for a charity at the local carnival or dropping off some needed meals for elderly community members. The idea is to do something which is both meaningful and still fun for the family.
Make the Night Kids Choice
Instead of deciding what to do for the family, allow the kids to make the decision on where to go and what to eat. You can set some guidelines, but give them as much leeway as possible. So if they want something not-so-great for dinner followed by a night on the swings at your local park, give them this chance. Who knows, you might even find yourself enjoying the night as much as the kids!