15 Fun and Engaging Family Activities For All Ages

Finding things to do with the entire family in tow is not always an easy feat. There are many reasons for this, one being agendas. A lot of times family outings end up with the children in tears and you wishing you were in bed, with the covers pulled up and a pillow over your head. Eventually, we develop a sort of mental block as to what is fun as a family and what can be traumatic for everyone involved.

Have no fear! The following is a list of engaging activities for you and your children to enjoy together. The list is long, so there are many options for you to try. Just remember, the goal is to enjoy yourselves (at least a little) if you want to have a successful family activity. This starts with smiling, read the studies.

F A M I L Y F U N

1. DANCE! Ever feel like going to the park with the kids and strutting your stuff on the dance floor all at the same time! Baby Loves Disco is your kind of place! With locations in dance clubs across the US, you can host a birthday party here or just go for an afternoon of dancing with the kids.

They play fun disco tunes and you can have snacks and drinks when you need to refuel. Check your local area to see if any clubs are holding Baby Loves Disco during the day. If you cannot find one, submit a location or area to the company and they will try to open one up! What a great way to spend an afternoon!

2. MUSEUMS. Local Art, Childrens or History Museums – Children like to go to museums, especially if it means having fun. Pack a picnic and plan on staying for a while. You can get a tour of the museum on headsets or just walk around together and point out what you like (or do not like) about the artwork or artifacts that you encounter.

3. ZOO. Animals are always a hit, especially with the young ones. Once there, look for petting zoos, primates and polar bears, for some reason kids go nuts over these little fellows. Also, make sure to bring snacks, water and a camera!

4. PARKS. Neighborhood Parks and Theme Parks possess great potential to entertain kids for hours. With lots of space, there is always room for releasing energy and stimulating activity. Make sure to hold on tight and stay together. Talk about what to do if someone gets lost before getting stuck in a crowd. Enjoy the outdoors!

5. FARMERS MARKET. There are wonderful opportunities to talk about health and to see new and interesting things at farmers markets. Take advantage of the platform to show kids how to find good fruits and veggies and talk to farmers about how they grow their crops. This is a great way to get kids interested in the foods that they eat and to discuss nutrition.

6. AQUARIUM. Fish are fun! They come in an abundance of beautiful colors, shapes, sizes and habitats. Lots of homes have fish as pets, but many kids have not had the opportunity to explore fish stores and aquariums. It can actually be a relaxing experience (as long as you agree beforehand that you are leaving all of the fish at the store!) The next time you are looking for a rainy day activity, put the slickers and goulashes on and go fishing at the aquarium!

7. MOVIES. If your child is over 3 years old, the movie theater can be a great treat. Pack some of your favorite healthy snacks, grab a sweater and catch a fun flick. IMAX theaters are in many cities across the US now and have great educational films for kids, not to mention the theaters are enormous and have incredible sound systems.

8. THEATER. There are many theater companies in even the smallest towns with childrens theater. Check your local playhouse to see if anything is coming up in your neighborhood. If so, buy some tickets and make a date. If not, create your own play, complete with script, costumes and makeup! Action!

9. LIBRARY. As long as your child is capable of being quiet, this should be a mandatory experience for children as someday it might be a thing of the past. Most local libraries have weekly story time, which can be a lot of fun for young kids. Many libraries even have staff lead songs and art projects. Check your local library for details.

10. CITY HALL. Do your kids know what government is? Probably not. However, City Hall can be a great place to talk to kids about the local lawmakers, while showing them the courts and politicians of the city. If your child is over 7 years old, schedule a class field trip for these future voters and politicians of America!

11. GOLF. Whether you go to a miniature golf course or a putting green, golf is a good, all around fun activity for the whole family. Plan to make a few hours of the game and enjoy it. Just make sure that all kids understand proper form and that golf clubs are held *differently* than baseball bats.

12. SKATING. Ice skating and roller skating are great activities for both boys and girls. Skating encourages motor skills and physical activity as well as family bonding as together, kids can fall down and hold each other up!

13. BOWLING. Strike-outs build self confidence and who does not love to wear those stinky shoes? Bowling is a good, old, all-American past time that all children should experience at least once! Do not forget to bring socks (unless you want to borrow socks from the alley).

14. ART. Make art! Use paper and supplies that you find around the house, yard or school. Create projects that involve nature and color. You can make self-portraits, a family painting or a family mural. Just remember that there is no wrong way to make art, except if you do not make it.

15. BASEBALL. Take them out to the ball game. Need I say more? Oh yes, bring a coat if it is cold out and be prepared to sing and eat peanuts.

So, now you have 15 activities to enjoy as a family. Each one can be done as many times as you wish, so if you try them all, you are bound to love at least a few of them! There are many fun activities that you can do with your family. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your family adventures. Be prepared with food, warmth, money and your smiles and everything should be just fine.

Britt Michaelian, MA is a family safety expert and CEO of Responsible Family Company, designed to empower families with safety, health and responsible living. Sign up for the newsletter, read the blog, order the award winning Emergency DVD and a Safety Consultation at http://responsiblefamily.com

210/365 – Beginning of the Bash
The second day of my family vacation in New Hampshire this year (Saturday July 28th) was at my employer’s annual outing, the first I’ve been able to attend in over 7 years at the company (past events have consistently conflicted with one of my alumni association obligations.) I’m still floored they continue to put this on every year, given that they have to rent out what seems like half the hotels in the White Mountains to accomodate everyone and their families.

This is the center of activity for the outing, the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, just outside of Crawford Notch. I took this as the evening’s celebration was about to get started, just about dusk, from one of the large outdoor patios on the side of the hotel facing Mount Washington, looking back at the balconies. I tonemapped the image in Photomatix, although it’s not, strictly-speaking, an HDR shot. The skies are a little beyond where I usually push things with tonemapping, but I like the effect here, as it was nearly dusk and stormy-looking.

I rented a very wide-angle lens (the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm ƒ/2.8G ED for Nikon, a rectangular fisheye lens) for this trip, to see what kind of impact it would have on composition. One of my coworkers and Flickr contacts regularly posts quite lovely shots taken with his fisheye, so I thought a week in the mountains would be a good way to audition one myself. I’ve got the lens for another day or so, and I think I’m just getting the hang of using it–the combination of very wide angle, geometric distortion, and the ease of getting hyperfocal images makes for some interesting possibilities. I’ve had a lot of fun with the lens, and the next little block of my 365 shots will have been taken using it.

Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 10.5mm ƒ/2.8G fisheye, 1/15s @ ƒ/2.8, ISO800. Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.
By djwtwo on 2012-07-28 20:33:15
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By Unsplash from Pixabay

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