Here are our Top 4 Family Friendly Weekend Activities
Having quality family time together can be difficult when you take into account work, school, after school activities and sport. Although you may be ferrying the kids around here, there and everywhere it isn’t what most would class as ‘family time’. Taking advantage of free weekends to spend some time together as a family can be very rewarding; if you can only manage one weekend a month where the whole family gets together, you may find that everyone starts looking forward to that special time together (even the teenagers).
So what do you do? Find something that the whole family can enjoy together and that everyone can be involved in. We know that families are on a budget so most of things we are including are either free or minimal cost. However there are few things that do cost a bit more so maybe make them a once a year special trip.
At Home Activities
If it is a nice day then find a bunch of games that keep everyone on an even playing field (i.e.: Little ones can play just as well as bigger kids). Bocce, Crocket, capture the flag, totem tennis, soccer ball on a rope. Play one on one or in teams, get outside in the fresh air and have some fun. Why not start a bit of a veggie patch; you don’t need a lot of space or even a garden bed as a lot of veggies will grow happily in pots. Pick some veggies that are easy to grow and care for (celery and spring onions are especially easy as they will re-grow from trimmings). Herbs are also great and fairly easy to maintain, they just need a trim every now and then.
If your planned family day is a bit gloomy and rainy; grab out the board games and puzzles and enjoy the competition. I strongly advise avoiding Monopoly unless everyone can handle losing. Sit down and read some books together. Jump in the kitchen and do some cooking together (even using some of your home grown veggies and herbs). Kids love to help in the kitchen and there are parts of the preparation that are safe for even little ones to help with. (Have a read of our Kids in the Kitchen article).
Go on a scavenger hunt, this can be an inside and outside game although I recommend you limit the territory (either inside or outside), set a time limit and give the kids a bag to keep their ‘treasure’. Put together a list of about 20 items for them to find. Be a bit creative and let them use their imagination by giving clues like “find something beginning with K”, “find something that smells really bad”, “find something that is yellow” etc. Set them off and when time us up everyone comes back and the winner who has found the most items gets a little prize (they get to choose dinner, a trip to an ice cream shop), something that they will enjoy but that you can also include other children in as well.
Visit the Local Park/Explore Your Local Area
Visit your local tourist information centre and see what they recommend for tourists to do in your local area; you might be surprised at what there is to do that you never knew about or even something that you have been to previously and forgotten about.
Why not find a great playground that has a mixture of play equipment for the kids and open space to run around, kick a ball etc. There are more and more parks with exercise equipment popping up around the country. These are a great way to get the whole family some exercise while having fun. Most of the equipment can be used by kids about 5 years up with a little help from Mum and Dad. No matter what type of equipment your local park has you can even create your own obstacle course and make a bit of a competition of it.
Have a look at your local council website for a list of parks in your area and see if you can find one close by that will suit your family.
There are a surprising number of miniature train ride facilities; they are a great, cheap day out for the family because seriously who doesn’t like Miniature Trains? Most miniature train locations will run a ride day once a month and they generally have picnic/BBQ facilities on site so why not take along a picnic lunch and extend the day out a bit? Try doing a google search for miniature trains in your local area and see what is around; I can assure you that even if it is a bit of a drive it will be worth it; the kids will have a ball and most parents do too (although we could never admit that we had more fun than the kids).
A little bit of research in this area can go a long way. Discovery Centres and Museums are becoming more popular and most nowadays have a dedicated kids’ area where they can play and learn. There are
loads of discovery centres, museums and botanical gardens throughout Australia so no matter where you live; you should be able to find something close by; if not some of these places would be well worth a weekend away to see.
Have a look at this website for some ideas: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/discovery-centres/
Whatever you decide to do; do it as a family and do it as regularly as you can and enjoy your family.