Family activities can be both very rewarding and completely exhausting, especially if you have little kids. Getting them all to stay in one place and sit still can be almost impossible. I’m always looking for new activities the entire family can enjoy that aren’t too expensive. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with your kids, here are some of my favorite outings.
Picnic in the Park
There are a number of things I like about picnicking in the park. First, it’s choosing what to eat. In our house, each member of the family gets to choose one thing they want to make. We make a list, go to the store and each work on our own dish. Then when it’s time for lunch we get to share and talk about what each person made. Going to the park is also a great place to play some games. We bring the Frisbee, play on the jungle gym, and the kids do a lot of running around. When the picnic is over everyone’s exhausted and ready to rest when we get home which means we get some nice quiet time.
The State Fair
The state fair only happens during the summer but it’s definitely one of my favorite family activities. Admission is pretty cheap and there are enough food choices that everyone stays happy. Between the farm animals, the games, the shows, and the rides there’s enough to keep going for hours. They usually have some special activities for the real little kids, like pony rides or face painting. And one thing I really appreciate about the fair, which I never even considered before the kids, is that there is an abundance of portable toilets. Kids need to use the bathroom a lot and they never seem to want to go at the same time. And maybe it’s only me, but I’ve noticed a real improvement in portable toilets through the years, or maybe it’s just that we’re now calling them portable toilets instead of porta-potties. Either way, they smell better and are cleaner than when I was growing up.
We have a great natural history museum in town that really caters to kids. A lot of museums offer tours designed for children where they give them a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibits and displays which is a real treat for the kids. I definitely recommend museums that have some sort of activity everyone can participate in as opposed to something like an art gallery where you wander at your own pace taking in the paintings. I haven’t met a kid yet that will put up with that!
My family volunteers once a month at the local food bank. Mostly it’s just sorting cans and dry goods but everyone feels good about it when we leave. It’s even good for the little kids because there’s always something they can help out with. Every family has their own activities that they like to do. It’s not so important what you do, just as long as you get to spend some time together and have fun.