By Marnina Delahanty
1. Set Up an Indoor Campsite in Your Living Room
Whether you pitch a real tent, or invent one out of blankets draped over chairs, camping in the living room is great fun! Here's a logistics tip: Stock up on clothespins from your local version of the dollar store to clamp sheets together. For a stronger grip on blankets and comforters, try the large black plastic and metal clamps used on stacks of paper.
2. Volunteer as a Family!
This one requires more planning, but the payoffs are many and unexpected. Go for something near and dear to your hearts, whether it's serving food at a homeless shelter, or picking up trash along a local river-side parkway. Demonstrating your family values through hands-on activities done together truly drives them home for every one involved.
3. Host a Hot Chocolate Buffet!
Hands down, this cannot be beat for its novelty, fun, and interactivity. In the grocery store baking section where you find vanilla, check out the many flavor options you probably never knew existed. But be sure to put a grown-up in charge of doling them out, since a little goes such a long way! If you have it in you to put up with a little extra mess, kids love to make whipped cream, and it's pretty simple with an electric hand mixer. Finally, you can make use of those cookie decorating leftovers - don't forget the sprinkles!
4. Visit a Museum!
Take advantage of a museum you've overlooked up until now. There's nothing like a walk through history to inform and educate attendees of all ages.
5. Go Bowling!
Check for Groupons or promotions your local bowling alley may have on offer. Bowling is often so overlooked that it's fun and new to every one involved. Just remember - shared shoes, so double check that everybody's wearing socks!
6. Have an At-Home Spa Day!
Even if you're just using generic lotions and cheap nail polish, this one can be great fun, with plenty of bonding time. Raid your stash of tiny hotel toiletries, and cosmetics counter freebies for supplies. And if you're inviting guests, suggest they sport robes for maximum relaxation and a lazy afternoon together.
7. Go to the Library!
Not all fun eminates from electronics. If your family is like most of ours, you could use more reading and less screen time. What beter place to kindle the literary fire than a library?
8. Make a Family Scrapbook!
You may never catch up on this project, and that's okay! Make it an ongoing project that you break out for school vacations right about when the kids start complaining they're bored!
9. Go to the Zoo!
Make a game of it by challenging the kids to find the strangest facts about animals! This will trick them into READING the placards they usually IGNORE!
10. Host a Dance Party!
If your brood doesn't let loose in freeform dance, break out your old exercise DVD's, or buy them at your local version of the dollar store. OR, hook the laptop up to the TV & tune in to a good dance instruction or aerobics channel on YouTube!
11. Have a Craft Day!
One rule: No glitter! (If you don't know what I mean, just trust me; NO GLITTER!)
12. Go Indoor Rock Climbing!
Again, you may want to hunt for a bargain for this one, as it can get expensive. Check out Groupon and call to learn what specials they're running.
13. Go Ice Skating!
If you're not lucky enough to live near a traditional indoor ice skating rink, search online for temporary options. They've become seasonal draws to outdoor venues and are generally open from just after Thanksgiving to mid-January.
14. Go to a Movie!
These days kids generally expect entertainment to come out of hand-held devices and in-home televisions. So, a good old fashioned movie theater can be a big treat. Best of all, matinee rates are offered every day!
15. Go Roller Skating!
Think Saturday Night Fever and just let loose! This new year, Asurea celebrates you and yours! We hope these affordable family activity ideas help you to spend more quality time with your loved ones. Now, grab those kids and go make some memories!