Fun Things to do with Kids

I found that after my separation from my husband, I no longer took my time with my kids for granted. When I was married, I’d do my own thing, and maybe complain about the kids from time to time. But when I no longer saw them as much, I’d want to see them every chance I got. And I wanted my time with them to be really special. So, we’re always doing fun things. For this week’s blog, I’ll list all the things that my boys and I have done to give you some ideas for fun family dates. Even if you aren’t separated like me, they grow up so fast. I can’t believe that in nine short years I’ll have two adults on my hands! So, take advantage of the time you have now. Even if those days seem long…the years are so short. Here are some ideas for making those moments count. Some you can do now during the pandemic, others have to wait.

  1. Go on a hike. I take the kids to a couple county parks nearby with caves or waterfalls or boardwalks out to Lake Michigan. The hikes are about an hour or so long, so they won’t make the kids overly tired. We go spring, summer, and fall.
  2. Go to the library to find books, read some books and then head to a coffee shop for some hot chocolate. The coffee shop is just right across the street from the library in my town.
  3. Go to the trampoline park. For us, this is a trip to Green Bay or Appleton. We pay for an hour or two of jumping. It gets the kids exercise too.
  4. Rock climbing is fun, especially for teenagers. I have an adventure park in my town that has rock climbing, laser tag, batting cages, an indoor playground and a foam pit. The kids love it and it’s something we can do in the winter.
  5. Speaking of winter, take the kids sledding. We can walk to a sledding hill from my house. And of course, don’t forget the hot chocolate afterwards.
  6. Roller Skating is fun. There is a rollerskating rink down the street from my house that’s open Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.
  7. Minigolf is in the same location when it’s warm.
  8. We have a great water park in my town too. It’s perfect for hot days and is, again, just down the street.
  9. Tennis or basketball at the park is fun for an hour or two on a summer afternoon.
  10. Playgrounds are still fun for my kids. The playground down the street from my house just installed a zip line. The kids love it.
  11. Shopping. I give my kids each $10 and they have fun finding ways to spend it. We go to the mall, a game shop, or to a sporting goods store.
  12. Get pizza and play arcades. I have a couple of pizza places in town that have arcades attached to them. I get a roll of quarters and we make an evening of it.
  13. Board games or card games. My kids and I bought a chess set at a garage sale that we use. We also have a family Trivial Pursuit game, Trouble, Uno, you name it.
  14. Ice cream is part of our routine on a weekly basis. I find the boys and I have deep, emotional conversations over a blizzard or two. We also have an old fashioned ice cream parlor and chocolate shop that makes amazing chocolate sauce.
  15. Museums. At least once a year I take the kids out of school for a day so we can go to a museum. We have a couple of children’s museums close by and a science and nature museum in Milwaukee.
  16. We visit the zoo a couple times a year as well. There’s a nice zoo in Green Bay, a bigger one in Milwaukee, and a small one a bike ride’s distance away if we have an hour or two to kill.
  17. In my town, we can walk to the lighthouse or watch the car ferry come in. We take a picnic lunch and sit on the beach for a bit too.
  18. Bike rides. We like to bike along Lake Michigan to these gardens called West of the Lake Gardens. Then we scoot over to Dairy Queen afterwards.
  19. There’s always fun at our local YMCA. We go swimming on Saturday evenings, play pool, play ping pong, or play basketball.
  20. I live within walking distance to a donut shop and a small ice creamery and coffee shop. Yes, we are always getting treats. 
  21. We have an amusement park called Bay Beach that charges $.25 per ticket. I bring $20 and the kids ride the ferris wheel or the roller coaster all afternoon.
  22. We have a children’s storybook gardens 30 minutes away. The gardens are beautiful to see for the adults and the kids like going in the playhouses and visiting the exhibits that are inspired by children’s books.
  23. We visit the movie theater a couple of times each year and get huge bags of popcorn every time.
  24. We bake together. Usually cookies. We’ve made cake pops and caramel corn too.
  25. We paint together. I got the boys an art set with paints, colored pencils, and chalk that we make masterpieces with.
  26. We go geocaching. Download the app. It’s a great thing to do during quarantine!

There you go. Twenty six ideas for dates with your kids. My boys and I are active and we enjoy spending time together. We have deep conversations while doing fun things. And the boys know that I find time with them really special. We’ve made so many memories. I hope you can make some of your own. If you have any other ideas for family activities, list them in the comments. I’d love even more ideas!

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