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My parents used to say, “Family is everything.” I’m pretty sure I’d be living in a van down by the river at this point in my life if my family hadn’t helped me through life. And I’m not talking about a tiny house van. I mean a van with ripped stinky seats and no AC. But how can we keep our family to keep being a family? Besides giving each other grace every.single.day… One of the best ways to strengthen bonds is intentional time together. There’s lots of ways to do this and below are some ideas for a fun afternoon with family.
I not only am blessed with family that are blood relatives. I also have friends that I consider family. My BFF and I have been through thick and thin the last 30+ years; she is like a sister to me. I would be so lost without her! And have lifelong friends that I know if I called them in dire straights right this minute that they would help me or if they called me, I’d come running. And let’s not forget my neighbors. I feel like I’m living next to some cousins I never knew I had. We help each other out, laugh together, cry together, and throw one heck of a BBQ. Good times. I’m just sooo blessed.
It is essential to build relationships with family and friends. How can you know you are and have a support network of love without putting time in? I know that life is so busy and we can’t spend every waking moment with all the people we hold dear in our hearts, but every once in a while (and hopefully more than that with our own kids and spouse) we need to spend time together. You should do activities to strengthen your bond.
So in that vein of thought, check out these ideas for a fun afternoon with family.
Have a Picnic
When our funds are super low but we want to have a daycation, picnics are my go to. Getting my family and myself away from electronics and into nature is so good for us. It’s super easy to put together and doesn’t have to cost much. All you will need is food and drinks that everyone likes (you can even just go through a drivethru on the way to your destination), a blanket, and sunblock. I try to have a picnic with my family at least once a year. Parks are my favorite place to go but while traveling we have picnic’ed at rest stops, states’ welcome centers, on beaches, and even in our own backyard. Hmm, ok, I really do love picnics. LOL
Visit the Beach
The beach is an excellent place to have a delightful afternoon. Whether you live near an ocean or a lake, a day at the beach can be a fun afternoon with family. With your swimming trunks, rafts, and surf board, you can enjoy the waves together. If you have children with you, you can build sandcastles or even teach them how to swim.
You can also opt for a peaceful bask in the sun as you have lunch together or pack some healthy snacks. Remember to carry enough food and water to last the whole afternoon and don’t forget the sunscreen. PSA from your melanin lacking blogger! lol
Have a Barbeque
Many people believe that nothing brings people together as much as food. Invite members of your extended family on one afternoon for some grilled meals. Make it a potluck so everyone can contribute because if you are part of my family, I know you’re going to bring a dish no matter if I ask you to or now. Might as well make sure Aunt Mertle doesn’t bring the same thing as Cousin Sassafras.
As you wait for the meal to finish cooking, you can play outdoor games like cornhole, horseshoes, cards, or board games. Or if you are like my family, you can just sit around and talk… a lot! lol Try out some new cooking methods. There are several great cooking methods, but this reverse sear cooking method by GrillingMontana.com is an excellent way of preparing meals that leaves your guests in awe. If you want to have the label ‘best chef,’ try out fantastic grilling ideas.
Visit the Movie Theater
Watching movies at home is fun, but watching movies in a cinema on a giant screen is so much better! We love movies so much that I’m surprised our wall at home hasn’t just turned into a giant TV although the one we have now pretty much takes up the entire space. At the movie theater, you get to create memories together as you laugh, jump at unexpected scenes, or are in awe of the scenery in the movie. Plus, it gives you something to talk about. Be sure to pick family friendly films your whole family will enjoy. Save some money by going during a lesser priced matinee and have everyone eat before you go to save money on concessions. Although, I can’t say no to movie theater popcorn!
Take a Hike
You might be going out of your mind if you are a momma hitting the middle of summer break and not knowing what to do with your bored kids. Might I suggest a taking a hike? No, no, you can’t run away from your family; not that kind of “taking a hike”. What I mean is, how about taking your kids out in nature on a hike. Hiking saved my sanity last summer as we were stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment (there’s 5 of us… 5) and the lockdown meant there was no entertaining things that we could do because all the museums, theaters, indoor playgrounds and even some outdoor playgrounds were all close. ALL OF THEM.
So this hippy dippy momma returned to nature.
Initially I wasn’t sure about the whole thing but my husband loves hiking and is into “working out” and “exercise” and “other air quotey type healthy stuff that I only adopt kicking and screaming because I’d rather being shoving fistfulls of cereal into my mouth straight out of the box (end air quote). Anywho… turns out I really love hiking which can be a bit of a challenge now we are happily back home in one of the flattest states in all of the US. Hiking isn’t as tough here which is great for less children complaining while we go on hikes. We’ve seen so many neat things on our hikes… cactus, wildlife, lakes, bugs, bunnies, and other people’s friendly dogs that love being petted. My favorite thing was when about 5 deer walked across a trail right in front of us once. This was also a good learning experience for my kids – like don’t try to pet them they are wild animals learning experience. LOL Anyway, hiking is a fun afternoon with family. Be sure to bring plenty of water, let someone know what you’re doing just in case, and follow trails that you know or have a map for.
Go on a Road Trip
Looking for a way to spend forced quality time together that doesn’t cost anything? Pack your kids into your car and start exploring! You don’t even have to leave your own town. We live near Shreveport, Louisiana, and the downtown area has a huge collection of murals everywhere! “Once in a Millinneium Moon” is one of the tallest and largest murals in North America stretching 30,000 square feet on two sides of the building and 14 stories high. It’s amazing. This makes for a wonderful afternoon trip. Cruise around the city near you or the countryside with your family. Just outside of our town is where a sunflower festival is held each year and farmers plant row after row of sunflower just beside the country highway. It was so fun to see this year and they don’t mind if you stop and pick some flowers to take home. There are so many neat things to see in this world. Taking a short road trip with your family in tow is a fun way to spend time together that doesn’t cost much but is so valuable for building up family bonds. Remember, choose a trip destination that is easy to reach and return home on the same day if you don’t have enough time.
These are just some of the ideas for a fun afternoon with family. Building memories and bonds with your family doesn’t have to cost much. Having time without electronics and having in real life face time is essential for human connection. Try out some of these fun ideas and soak up time together like happy sun rays. (Ok ok I know kids can be cranky but the more you do this the more they will appreciate it LOL) Life’s too short to not spend it with family!
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