Family activities, when done right, strengthen family bonds and provide incredible memories in the years to come. However, when done without enough planning, they can be boring or even frustrating for everyone involved. In order to make sure you’re creating the best experience for your whole family, make sure to start planning early. And to help, we’ve made this resource on family activities and fun things to do with kids, just for you.
- Preparing for Fun Activities for Kids and Things To Do With Family
- Fun Things To Do On Weekends
- Indoor Activities for Kids
- Backyard Activities For Kids At Home
- Local Kid Friendly Activities
- Family Fun: Other Kid Friendly Activities and Resources
Whether it takes as much planning as a camping trip with the kids, or you’ve just decided on a spontaneous day trip to the ice cream shop, all the best family memories start with a fun idea. The kids always grow up so fast, so planning fun memories and capturing them with personalized photo gifts can help you relive the best moments. When you’re deciding on family activities, it’s also important to keep a few things in mind. To help you make sure you’ve covered all your bases, we’ve provided a few simple reminders below:
Plan Snacks, Drinks, and Meals for the Activity
The quickest way to turn a fun family activity into an exhausting task is to let those involved go hungry or get thirsty. Plan ahead for snack times and always bring plenty of water wherever you go. This simple reminder helps cut down on exhaustion more than anything else (besides a good night’s sleep.)
Organize Transportation Ahead of Time
Are you planning on driving? If so, make sure you’re not going anywhere where you might want to drink alcohol. Or make adjustments for someone else driving, taking an Uber or Taxi, or using public transport. Planning this ahead of time helps cut down on last minute stress when you’re scrambling to figure out the right method of transportation.
Get Packed Early
Packing your day or weekend bag for family activities is a tiresome task that often gets left until the last minute. This usually creates problems because you can easily forget something last minute. Instead, pack ahead of time so you’ll make sure to have all the sunscreen, cameras, and medications you need.
Take Plenty of Photos
Family activities make the best opportunities for photographs of the whole brood. Make sure you’re packing a good camera (or at least your phone) and that you remind yourself to take pictures through the whole adventure. These are sure to be fond memories, and also make great photo books when you want to look back on them later.
If you and your family find the most free time on the weekends, make sure to take that time to so something special with each other. We’ve collected some of our favorite weekend activities for you below:
Learn a New Sport
Use your weekend to visit a local park or community gym space and learn a new sport as a family. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, softball, bowling, or even sailing, learning a sport provides fun, exercise, and family bonding opportunities. This also makes a great opportunity to invite other families to join in. If you want to make the activities even more fun and inspire family teamwork, you can create custom family sweatshirts with your last name.
Go on a Family Hike
Family hikes are a perfect way to combine family bonding with healthy exercise. This activity gets everyone outdoors, teaches healthy habits, and gives you a perfect opportunity to teach your children about wildlife and nature. Just make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and other resources you might need. Also, when picking your hike, make sure to take into consideration the hiking abilities of everyone in the family.
Go to the Beach
If a trip to the beach is more your family’s speed, make it extra special by planning activities ahead of time. Bring a volleyball set up, or water-safe sports, or inner tubes for the kids. If it’s not too crowded of a beach, bring music the kids love to dance to. Also make sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and sun protective clothing.
Go on a Road Trip
If the kids are able to sit still for longer periods of time, road trips can make the perfect family activity for the weekend. Road trips are perfect for sightseeing, exploring, and spending time with the family. Including fun activities can help turn your road trip into a fun memory, so make sure to check out our resource on travel games for kids and family.
Go to the Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s markets are typically only open on Saturdays or Sundays, making them a perfect family outing opportunity for the weekend. Take the family to the market and use it as a learning opportunity on locally sourced foods and healthy recipes. Afterwords, take home the groceries and use them to teach the kids how to cook a delicious recipe using the organic foods from scratch.
If you’re looking for a longer weekend activity than hiking, consider a camping trip with the whole family. Camping trips are great family activities because they provide the opportunity to learn about wildlife, survival skills, and help cut down on technology use for the weekend. These trips often give long lasting memories that the whole family will look back on in the years to come. If you’re going camping in the cold winter months, be sure to bring fun personalized fleece blankets with you so the kids can keep warm inside their tent.
Looking for family activities that don’t take you away from home? Whether it’s raining or bad whether, someone is sick, or any other reason you don’t want to leave the house, we’ve found some fun family activities that keep you in the comfort of home. Find them below:
Throw an Arts and Craft Party
Arts and crafts make up one of the staples of childhood. When done right, the kids will stay entertained for hours and you’ll have creative art projects to save for years to come. If you’re looking for specific art and crafts to do with your kids, check out our complete resource on art projects for kids.
Have a Game Night
Game nights make perfect family activities any night of the week. Games are a great way to have fun together while introducing some friendly competition. If you’re looking for specific ideas for your family game night, make sure to check out our complete guide on fun family games for game night.
Stage a Play
Putting on a play in your own living room is a perfect activity for families with plenty of creativity and a love for stories. Have your kids help craft the perfect screenplay, then put together costumes. Once all the preparations are complete, stage the play for the rest of the family, and make sure to record it to look back on in the future.
Try a New Recipe
Cooking together can be a great way to bond with the kids while teaching them skills they’ll use for years. Try a a new recipe at home with the kids and show them that they can enjoy a fresh, homemade meal easily. Let them get a little messy – as long as they clean up afterward! Try the recipe for crusty french bread below that’s simple and easy. With fresh bread, you’ll have more variety to create a meal that might include sandwiches, pasta, soup, and more.
Crusty French Bread
- 2 1/4 tsp active yeast
- 1 tsp sugar, honey, or an alternative sweetener
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl.
- Let the mixture sit so the yeast can proof for five minutes. When it’s ready, the mixture will look foamy.
- Add the salt and flour to the bowl. Mix with your hands, a spatula, or a stand mixer on low speed. Mix only until you can’t see any more dry flour – it should be fully incorporated.
- Lightly dust your dough with flour on all sides. Cover the flour in the bowl with a clean towel and let it sit for about an hour so the dough can rise. It should double in size.
- After an hour, prepare a large cutting board by lightly dusting it with flour.
- Carefully tip the dough onto the cutting board.
- Sprinkle more flour onto the dough and start shaping it by pulling in the corners toward the center. Keep folding in the dough until it starts to feel tight. Flip the dough over and gently tap it into a round loaf.
- Dust flour into a medium bowl and gently place your dough into seam-side down. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit for 30 minutes to let it rise again.
- While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, prepare a dutch oven by placing it into the oven and heating it to 460 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After the oven is preheated and the dough has been rising for 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on the cutting board you previously used to shape your dough. Carefully tip your dough out of the bowl and onto the parchment paper.
- Use the parchment paper to carefully lift the dough and place it into the dutch oven (this part is best for the adults instead of the kids since the dutch oven will be hot).
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes in the covered dutch oven.
- After 30 minutes, take the lid off the dutch oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until it develops a brown crust.
- When the bread is done, carefully use the parchment paper to lift the bread out of the dutch oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
- Once cool, cut into the bread and enjoy!
Make Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream? And one of the best ways to make the dessert tastes even sweeter is to have the kids make it themselves. Most ingredients for homemade ice cream can be found at home, or you can also buy a professional ice cream maker. Kids love this project and it’s also a great opportunity to teach them about nutrition and baking skills.
Sometimes the best adventures can be found in your own backyard. There’s plenty of fun to be had under the stars just feet away from your own home, and we’ve found a couple fun examples, just for you:
Glamp for a Night
If you like the idea of camping with the kids, but don’t think they’re quite ready for a weekend in the outdoors, try glamping for a night. All you need is a tent or fort set up in either your backyard or living room, supplies for a sleepover, and candles or flashlights (because you can’t have electricity while camping!)
Plant a Garden
Planting a garden is a perfect opportunity to teach kids about gardening, healthy eating, and spending time in the outdoors. Whether you help them plant carrots, peas, or even an apple tree, this hands on, messy activity is sure to impress. Just make sure to provide plenty of water in a stainless steel water bottle as this outdoor activity for kids can be hard work.
There’s always plenty of local family activities that are fun and easy to take your kids to. But if you’re new to an area or just need a little inspiration for your next family outing, check out our recommendations here:
Your local movie theatre is a perfect place to take the kids. Whether it’s for a birthday, as a reward for good grades, or just as a way to break the monday blues, movies make the perfect family activity. Check out local theatres for classics, or try out one of the newer luxury theatres with a dine in option.
Mini golf courses are perfect for any age: little kids and adults alike love these creative golf courses. Plus, Mini golf courses are especially perfect for anyone looking to add a little competition to their family outing.
Volunteering combines family bonding with service to the community, making it the perfect family activity. Whether it’s serving food at the local homeless shelter, volunteering at the retirement community, or even just offering to help walk the dog of a neighbor who recently fell ill, volunteering brings the family together.
Take a Cooking Class
Cooking classes make for messy fun and educational family activities. Look for local listings for anything from pasta making classes to farm to table lessons open to all ages. Best case scenario: the kids have a clearer picture on what to make for their next breakfast in bed menu for Mother’s day.
Visit a Local Museum
Many local museums are free to visit and full of fun facts and interesting stories you and your kids are sure to love. Let your kids pick which exhibits they want to visit first and let them explore at their own pace.
Visit the Zoo or Aquarium
Most kids love learning about animals, and if you have a little zoologist in the family, taking them to your local zoo or aquarium can be the perfect weekend treat. Help them identify all the animals they find, and take pictures along the way so they can remember them long after. You can turn your zoo outing photos into beautiful photo tiles that you can put up in your kids’ room. As they grow, the photo tiles are easy to remove and replace with new memories.
We’re always looking for ways to help bring families together, so we’ve created resources of our own just for kids and families. Find them below:
Make a Story
Kids love stories, and they especially love stories that they can relate to. For your next family activity, help your child craft their very own personalized story book. They’ll love the hand on creation and in the end you’ll have a great bedtime story book for years to come.
Turn Their Artwork into Something Special
If an arts and crafts session produced art projects you can’t wait to show off, or even if there’s a holiday coming up and you’re searching for meaningful gifts, consider turning your children’s artwork into something special. Custom gifts using your kids’ artwork make for a great family activity and you get special decor and prints to save through the years.
If you’re looking for additional family themed inspiration, check out our additional family resources: