Most families are exhibiting signs of cabin fever at this time of year, especially after staying indoors most of the weekend after the blizzard. The sibling sniping is at record levels, the toddler whining is incessant and tweens and teens are fixated on their electronic devices. Time to cure your family of cabin fever with these ten fun ideas for activities the whole family will enjoy.
1) Get outside and play. Check out Ski Bradford for ski rentals and lessons. Cross-country trails are open at Weston Ski Track. You can go sledding on the town common or ice skating at the Burbank Arena. For a splurge book a weekend for your family at Nashoba Valley or Wachusett Mountain. You can also try other snow adventures such as riding your registered snowmobile through Lowell/Dracut/Tyngsboro State Forest.
2) Pool party. Take the family swimming at the YMCA or splurge with a surprise overnight stay at Sheraton Colonial in Wakefield or the Hilton in Woburn.
3) Family film festival. Celebrate the upcoming Academy Awards with a marathon of your family’s favorite flicks. View movies from your own collection, rent some from Redbox or check out DVDs from the Flint Memorial Library.
4) Arts and crafts bash. Get a group of friends together for a “craft bash” at your house with activities for both adults and kids. Ask a friend who loves to knit or draw to share his or her skill at the party. Not crafty? Head to the craft section of Walmart and ask employees for suggestions on craft and activity kits with instructions.
5) Serve others. Nothing brings a family out of a cabin fever funk like serving others. Find local volunteer activities where you can volunteer on your own or with your whole family at the food pantry.
6) Bowl! Bowling is a fun indoor activity for the whole family, from toddlers to teens. You can bowl at Candlewood Lanes.
7) Family game night. Playing board games together can be a great way to bond—and pick up some math or spelling skills. You can find great old school games like Scrabble and Monopoly at Walmart.
8) Put on a show. Got toddlers? Grab some puppets and make a "stage” together from an empty box for hours of fun. Elementary-age kids? Invite over some of their friends, drag out some “costumes” from your clothes or a dress-up box and encourage them to put on a play. Plan a “make a movie” afternoon for your tween and teen with their friends. Give them some ideas for making a video with their friends, loan them a video recording device such as a smartphone or iPad and then host their “movie premiere,” followed by a showing of their favorite movie.
9) Take a class together. Parks and recreation, REI and the library offer some great classes for the whole family.
10) Start a book club. Winter is the perfect time to start a family book club. Pick a book the whole family will enjoy and read aloud to younger kids or let tweens or teens pick a book they want to read that you'll read too. Discuss over a dinner featuring food reflecting the book’s themes. You can also start a mother and daughters or fathers and sons book club with your friends. The librarians at the library can make great suggestions for books your whole family will enjoy.