Keeping the entire household entertained is a big ask. Some people want to stay in and stare at their devices. Others want to dust off their hiking boots and go exploring outdoors. Some family members don’t care what happens as long as they get fed. Managing the expectations of your nuclear tribe can be likened to putting out fires in a matchstick factory that’s just found out – in the most telling way – that it’s perched atop an active volcano. Good luck.
Finding the right entertainment around birthdays is much easier. Toys are the fastest way into the good books of your little ones (for example, check out the best gifts for 4 year old girl for inspiration). But toys can’t always be relied upon to provide the light relief that your family needs when everyone is under each other’s feet and you need to get out of the house for a while. Ready for some ideas on how to beat the boredom? Let’s begin.
The zoo isn’t somewhere you go for an hour. Going to the zoo means you have got to pack up the car, plan outfits, take sunscreen, plan your food throughout the day, and take cash out of the ATM … it’s a big deal. You don’t just run into the zoo. You make a day of it like it was a trip out in a foreign country. But if you put the right prep work in, you and the kids are going to have a day to remember.
The and out features of many modern zoos include bat caves (be brave!), great apes, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and mountain-dwelling birds with wingspans that can blot out the sun. Be sure to pay attention to smaller exhibits, too. That’s where you’ll find weird and wonderful animals from around the globe, like colorful poison dart frogs, red knee tarantulas, and leaf cutter ants.
Four! Is probably about the right age for children to start enjoying mini-golf. Fore! Is what to shout if you hit an errant ball towards an unsuspecting fellow mini golfer. Children under four are welcome to give it a go too, it’s just that the wandering attention spans of micro-toddlers might be a little on the “run away, run away and pick up golf balls and scream a lot!” side.
Mini-golf is fast and fun. You don’t even need to keep score. Well, between the adults you sort of have to keep score because pride is pride and your other half isn’t getting away with things that easy. You might just inspire a lifelong love of the game.
Family movie night
When all is said and done, family movie nights are always there to mop up the leftover temper tantrums and settle everyone down before bed. Get your blankets. Get your pillows. Pop some corn and grab something fizzy to drink. Then spend almost an hour trying to find a movie before deciding that you’re going to start the Shrek series from the start. It’s what Saturday nights with the family were made for.