Family Favorite Activities

LEGO Games ChallengeFamily Time Activities

We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What do we do with all that time? Of course, the basics of working, sleeping, eating. Where do family activities fit in? Many of us squeeze those in as an afterthought and after the ever-growing list of things-to-do.

I’m grateful that my family views “together time” as a priority. It is as valuable as the household errands, working, and sleeping. After all, my husband and I only have so much time with our son before he’s out of the house and living his own life. We often think about the memories we want to create, the values we want to share with him, and the education we want to expose him to.

That being said, our family is quirky. We have a  slightly bent sense of humor. We enjoy watching movies, talking about what works in the latest commercial, and listening to music. We have fun being together, talking, sharing positive news, and learning about the world around us.

Here are our favorite family activities:

1. Family Movie Night: we try to have family movie night every week, usually on Friday or Saturday night. We choose a movie that we’ll all enjoy (action/adventure, comedy, and animation are favorites). We usually set up our version of a movie theater – turn down the lights, camp out in the living room, and eat take-out or have popcorn.

We used to rent from Blockbuster, but a couple months ago, we joined Netflix – what a fantastic service. We choose movies online, and one movie is sent at a time. When we’re done, we slip the DVD in the return envelope. It saves on driving time, postage, etc. for less than $10.00 a month (plus we can stream movies instantly either on our computer or on Xbox 360). A win-win.

2. Cooking – my husband loves to cook, and I enjoy baking. We want our son to know how to cook when he’s on his own, and we include him in cooking new foods. We’ll agree on a new dish to try, and each of us prepares a portion of the meal. It’s fun to cook together, and at the same time, we’re exploring new recipes.

3. Walking – taking an outdoor walk is a wonderful way to get some exercise while getting in touch with nature. It’s usually quiet, somewhat meditative, and is usually a good time to talk through an issue. We enjoy spotting squirrels, landscaping, changes in the environment. Fun and relaxing, walking is a casual family activity.

4. Singing and playing music – my husband and I enjoy singing, and our son is a guitar player. Sometimes, we’ll start by singing an old favorite, and our son will learn how to play it on guitar. Other times, he’ll share one of his favorites, and we’ll look up the lyrics. Music is a big part of our lives, and we enjoy sharing it as a family.

Family Fun Activity
Watching our Tampa Rays is a fun family activity

5. Visiting area attractions – we enjoy visiting area attractions, like watching our Tampa Rays at the Trop, visiting the Clearwater Aquarium or attending events in Largo or holidays in Gulfport. These include all kinds of fun activities, from art, music, movies, history, mini golf, batting cages, after ball game concerts, holiday events, etc. We enjoy re-visiting our favorites but love new events or finding secret ‘treasures’.

I don’t think family time should be pushed off into the slivers of leftover time. What memories are you building? What are you learning about your kids as people? What are you sharing with them? It’s not easy being a parent, sometimes, but I think making time for family is a priority. What are some of your favorite activities?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and LEGO blogging program, making me eligible to get a prize pack. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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26 thoughts on “Family Favorite Activities”

  1. Pingback: MONSTERS trailer arrives: $15,000 never looked so good (vid) |
  2. Jennifer,
    Sounds like you’ve got a balanced family life and are keeping it a priority. Good for you! I’ll definitely use you as a role model for the couples I work with in counseling. My daughter is almost 17 and starting her senior year in H.S., so getting her to spend family time isn’t as easy as it used to be and I surely do miss it.
    Take care,
    Dr. Adam Sheck recently posted..Get Your Man To Share His Feelings

  3. my family isn’t too big now (just my husband and me) but we lead such busy lives that we make spending time together a priority. a “must” for us right now is dinner each evening and sunday mornings, and we love cooking together and working out together.

    very sweet share jennifer. how old is your son?
    Melissa McCloud recently posted..Wasting Your Life In Second Life

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  5. These are great ideas, Jennifer. I actually love the whole stay at home mom thing and I am not old fashioned. You might not even be a stay at home mom but it sounds like you see the importance of being there for your kids. Too many people use television and video games as babysitters. Great ideas, thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for sharing this. It’s interesting since our kids are out of the house, but I wished I would have been able to access this information when they were growing up. Of course I may have not been open to it at that point in my life. But it’s so great to see such am emphasis on family.

    Thank you again,


  7. Jennifer,

    Love your family time ideas. Some of our family activities include: watching movies together, going for Dim Sum or dinner, cooking a special Sunday breakfast… etc.

    Our oldest son is heading off on Aug. 31 to Germany for a year. He’s taking his 3rd year of University in Nuremberg. It’ll be quite an adventure for him and we’re happy for him (will still miss him though).

    Family is important, and it’s great to see you’ve come up with a lot of unique and fun activities to share with yours.

    ~ Pat and Lorna

  8. Hi Jennifer,

    Wow! Sounds like you and your family have it down! Excellent.

    It’s just me and my husband at home now. Our kids are grown and out on their own, mostly in others states so visits are even few and far between. However, we stay in touch all the time via the phone, Facebook and email.

    My husband and I have date night every Friday night and like Robin (above) even if it’s Netflix at home, we really enjoy it. We cook together most nights, too, which is really nice. We also plan our weekends, whether it’s a quick get away or a project around the house or something like that.

    This last weekend we painted, freshening up the house. We listened to music and laughed a lot while we worked. We also have a pool table downstairs and a Karaoke machine, so we play a lot together. We’re also both musicians.

    Family time, whether it’s a large or small family, is so important. It’s what keeps everything worthwhile!
    Deb Augur recently posted..The 1 Tip for Free Traffic

  9. Hi Jennifer,

    I love the idea of family night. Ours is more eating out rather than watching a movie although we love playing games. I think it’s a great idea to have a weekly tradition. I grew up with Sunday dinners and I still remember those formative years fondly. I think this is especially needed and necessary as more kids are turning to technology and friends for social bond.


  10. Hi Janette,

    I agree – family traditions are wonderful! It’s great to have those memories of special family events and traditions. It was really important to us as we raised our son. We’ve carried forward some of our childhood traditions, while creating new ones for our family. I think it helps us bond and grow as a family. I hope our son looks back on his childhood and family traditions with fond memories. It’d be nice to see him carry them along to his own family some day.

  11. Update: I won the grand prize! Ten LEGO games! My son’s thrilled (though he probably won’t play them as board games, but take them apart for his stop animation movies!) TwitterMoms is fabulous fun – are you there yet? Big thanks to them and LEGO!

  12. Thank you, Cheryl! We really enjoy spending time as a family. Most times, we find stuff to do together that costs little or no money.

    Ah, yes, our son is on YouTube, so I imagine he’ll be creating more to share. :)

  13. Jeez, thanks very much for posting this! It is gonna aid me when I am thinking about going to Tampa Theatre in Tampa! I am from Clearwater, FL so I am not familiar with Tampa. Next time I visit my family will be so much better! Very Wonderful!

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