When it comes to family, there just isn't enough fun to be had. When the heat begins to crank up outside you have only two choices: do something indoors under the air conditioner, or go outside and do something sizzling. Whatever you decide to do, it's important to consider the age and health of those in your family. In part-1 of this series, let's focus on indoor fun as the heat rises and boredom tries to set in.
- Go shopping. The mall is a great place to be together and beat the heat. Most malls have a variety of shops, so everyone can enjoy the experience. Shopping is a great activity for anyone in decent health, but if you have family members who need medication or specific health needs that require a lot of sitting, this might not be for your family. If your household is full of women, you have a better chance of this activity being a hit. Although some men love shopping, you may get a few yawns from the men. Also, if you have young children or someone is breastfeeding, it may seem too hard but many see it as doable and still fun. So, shop at your own risk if you have family members with different tastes or needs. You could end up with small children and husbands asking, “are we done yet?” if you don't think it through.
- Go see a big screen movie. This is usually a sure fire hit for just about any family. The only exception might be an unruly child who throws fits to get attention. In a case of this kind, you may want to leave the little ones with a sitter if you need some peace and quiet, but that defeats the whole idea of family time, right? Another option is to see a movie your kids want to see. Just don't force a cartoon on family members who truly hate them. It could seem more like torture than fun if everyone isn't in agreement on the film.
- Take the family out to eat. If it has been a while since the whole gang ate out, this may be just the thing for your family. Many families have the best time around the dinner table, and what better way to bring everyone together than to give the usual cooks a break and go out to eat. Take into consideration dietary restrictions and family members who have special needs.
- Go out for ice cream. Many cities have ice cream shops, and what fun it is for kids young and old to pick out their favorite flavor and dig in. If someone is unable to eat ice cream in your family for medical reasons like allergies or sensitive teeth, you may want to try another activity.
- You could go nerd and have an in-house LAN party (Team Fortress 2, anyone?). There are a lot of local area networks fractured throughout the world. If you happen to own one or know someone who owns one, you could set up a time and place to play network games together. These days you could do this with a series of tablets, but windows-based networks are more common; however, it's better if you pick a non-DRM-restricted title so that everyone will be able to play without the need to create new user names and passwords for steam or origin. Got games going back to before 2005? You're good. Digital rights management software like origin is pretty new and won't be found in titles older than 2006. Co-op gaming is a great way to connect with your immediate family. Better yet, send out invitations and have a family reunion LAN party, just be sure it's something most of your clan enjoys doing and can afford.
Whatever you and your family decide to do indoors, just be sure to keep it family oriented. Remember, it is all about building and renewing family bonds. Friends are great, but they aren't family, even if they may seem like they live at your house most of the time. This is a time to recharge as a family unit, and friends will have to wait until another night. It's worth it to foster and grow the family without the distraction of friends, and what better way than through family fun.
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