Spending quality time with your children can be challenging, and tearing them away from electronic toys even more difficult.
Try involving them in planning family “time outs”! Get a paper map and draw a 100-mile radius around your community. Then spend some time finding things to do in that area.
The 100 miles can be driven in approximately two hours so the maximum driving time to and from an event would be possible in a day. Now, start searching!
Out in the country
Do you have family farms in your 100-mile radius? Some will allow visits to their animals and produce facilities.
You can look for horse back riding, alpaca farms, and sheep sheering events to watch, or even enjoy picking your own produce at vegetable and fruit farms.
Florida is unique to kumquat growing and you can visit the packing plant in Dade City, while Plant City, Florida is famous for strawberries! The northeast has a many apple and peach orchards. Your own community will have it’s own specialties for you to explore.
Community Fairs and Bazaars
Many of these events are seasonal and offer a wide variety of entertainment options. You will enjoy local 4H students showing their animals, tractor or horse pulling contests and pie eating contests.
Then there are local block parties with street dances, and church festivals offering favorite ethnic foods. Once you starting visiting these events you will make then an annual event.
Once you explore this option you will be surprised to find both events to watch, and those you can participate in.
Local colleges have teams and depend on community fans to support them. You children likely have favorite sports and you can decide whether you want to attend the local football, soccer or basketball games or all of them!
Other activities to check out are family snow days with sled riding and ski events or family fun runs, bike tours and even water sports if you live near the ocean or lake.
Community Theater productions
If your family enjoys movies then they will love live theater! Your opportunities may be wider than you think. Many communities have a local group that produces several plays a year.
Local schools often put on at least one production a year, and make sure to look for both college and high schools. The amateur actors will amaze you and they will appreciate your support.
Explore your town’s history and locate historical sites. Is there a railroad museum, or vintage boat-building site? What about an old gristmill or abandoned castle?
Whether George Washington slept here or there is an annual ghost tour, or George Burns ate in this Pullman diner in the 60’s, hunting down these places become an interesting adventure into your town’s past.
Once you have a list of things to do, let the family vote on something every week for your “Family Time Out”. Offering the children the opportunity to choose what they are doing will help them buy into the idea!