The week is long and there’s so much to do. With work piling up, kids that need to be driven to school, soccer, and playdates, and a house that, despite your frequent remonstrations, has not yet learned to clean itself, you may have little time for fun during the Monday to Friday grind. This makes it all the more important to squeeze in some quality time with the family when the weekend finally arrives. But you may be out of ideas when it comes to entertainment that will please both adults and kids. So if you’re looking for a way to break the mold of boring weekends spent at home, here are just a few great family activities that will provide some entertainment for all.
Game night. Board games can offer you a fun family evening. But forget the moldy oldies in the closet and think about some of the newer games on the market. Apples to Apples (available in a “junior” version) helps kids to understand the meaning of words (and wordplay) while Pictureka is a fun memory and identification exercise. Or if you prefer a game where kids don’t compete, check out Forbidden Island, a co-op game where everyone sinks or swims together. And think about jumping in on some video games with your kids (for once they’ll have the advantage).
Museum. You may be okay with browsing some of the finest works of art on the planet for a few hours, but the kids are bound to get bored with this scenario pretty fast. Instead, why not find a museum with displays that everyone will find diverting? A natural history or science museum may exhibit everything from dinosaur bones to dioramas depicting early man. And most will have interactive displays, classes, and even performances to delight the whole family. But you can also consider fringe museums for something off the beaten track. Wax museums, national museums, and even hall-of-fame type institutions may scratch your itch for something a little different this weekend.
Cooking class. Okay, this might sound like work; but you’ve got to eat, right? So why not get a little help from the kids? Have everyone pick a recipe they’d like to try (assign one person an entrée, one a side dish, and so on). Then take a trip to the market and have everyone learn how to make a new dish, complete with plenty of taste testing. Make sure to keep the kids engaged – even toddlers can try to stir. You’ll all try something new, you’ll begin to teach the kids a valuable life skill, and you’ll get a fantastic (if strange) meal in the bargain.
Camping trip. Getting back to nature is a great way to relax, and the fact that you’ll have no cell reception only means more time to connect with your family. So pack up the tent, fill the cooler with hot dogs, and head to the hills for the weekend. Or if it’s too cold outdoors, push back the furniture in the living room and put your tent in there for the night!
Treasure hunt. Whether you live in New York, L.A., or Des Moines garage sales can provide you with some amusement on a dull weekend. Pack the kids in the car and pull up a listing of nearby sales to peruse. Give everyone an allotment of funds and then go on a quest to make someone else’s trash your treasure. You may just come home with a very cool project piece that the family can decorate for further fun.
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.