I Need Things To Do As a Family
25 Things To Do As a Family Near Me
by Lu, OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers
Being a parent requires a stretch of the imagination, especially when your kids are young. What do you do when everyone is antsy to get out of the house or looking for something to do at home that doesn’t require WiFi?
If you’re searching for things to do as a family near me, then you’re seeking inspiration, and I’m here to deliver. Yes, I admit that many of these ideas aren’t entirely unique. However, how many times do you just forget about something? Like, for example, when was the last time you went bowling or played mini-golf? Do you have a YMCA a mile away and have never stepped foot in the door?
Let’s shake things up with some oldies but goodies and a few new experiences for the whole family!
Fun Family-Friendly Things To Do
1. Go to a Local Festival – You’d be surprised how many fairs and festivals are going on right under your nose. They cover the gamut with arts and crafts fairs, food fests, and music. In Las Vegas, we’ve got the San Gennaro Festival, Greek Fest, and even a Pirate Festival.
2. The Park – Whether you live in the city, suburb, or rural area, chances are you have one nearby. Make a day of it by packing a picnic, bringing a blanket, and enjoying the time away from to-dos and electronics. If there’s no playground, that’s ok. Grab a frisbee, soccer ball, bocce ball set, or anything else that spurs on some family-friendly competition.
3. A Playdate at a Neighbor’s House – You might make some friends in the process! Getting out of your house is good for everyone involved, even if it is only temporary. Plus, it saves you time and money by not having to plan an outing. Now, I’m not saying walk up to a stranger’s door. But is there someone you’ve had a few conversations with but never taken it to the friendship level? Maybe it’s time. Both you and the kids will benefit.
4. Take a Hike at Your Nearby State Park – Nature is great for any child, teaching them about animals and plants while also increasing their physical activity level, which will make going back home easy peasy lemon squeezy!
5. Family Board Games Night – When’s the last time you’ve dragged out the Monopoly board or the Jenga cards? There are tons of classic games out there that everyone loves, like Battleship, Uno, and Yahtzee. If the kids are little, challenge them to Candyland or Hungry Hungry Hippos. Make some fun snacks, and it could become a regular event in your house.
6. Bowl a Few Games – It doesn’t matter if your nickname is Striker or if you roll the ball down the alley with two hands; bowling is good, family fun. Some bowling centers even have disco nights and other themed events that everyone might appreciate.
7. Paint Your Own Pottery – I’m sure there are at least a few places in your area where you can paint your own pottery, cups, plates, bowls, usually for cheap. Just remember, you might be displaying that lopsided pink and orange ashtray for years, even if smoking isn’t allowed in your home!
8. Roller Skating (or Roller Blading or Ice Skating) – This is one I can vouch for, as it had been years since I last took some turns around the rink. But, boy, it’s fun! It’s one of those activities that you might forget about and begrudgingly agree to, but you’ll love it (and make some memories with the kids!).
9. Visit Your Nearby Amusement Park – If it isn’t too far away, then it’s worth the day trip. Many amusement parks offer family discounts which you can find either on their website or in an ad near their entrance gates. If you’re lucky enough to have something like a Six Flags or Disneyland in your backyard, it might be worth the annual pass.
10. Outdoor Theatre – Your kids might not be jazzed about a night at the theatre. However, a day at a play might be a different story. Most cities have some kind of summer theatre opportunities at an amphitheater or park. You pack a picnic or buy some festival-like goodies on-site, and it’s a fantastic way to spend a few hours with the family.
11. The Library – Depending on the day of the week, many libraries have special programs for children and teens. They sometimes offer storytime for the little ones, which usually includes a craft or activity. Even if it’s a regular day at the local library, you can pick out some books together. If you want your kids to become exceptional readers, then this is the place to start!
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12. Fishing – It’s a great form of family time with minimal physical labor involved on your part. Children love spending time outdoors, and fishing gives them their own little fishing pole while also teaching them patience and perseverance from waiting for a fish to bite.
13. Go to a Movie (or Drive-In!) – Take advantage of those $1 deals or check out your local theater’s website for discount tickets, matinees, etc. Also, have you ever piled everyone in the car for a trip to the drive-in? It’s a lot of fun for families to set up lawn chairs and blankets and watch a family-friendly flick under the stars. Even if your town hasn’t had a drive-in theatre in years, COVID has prompted new pop-up outdoor movies.
14. Backyard Camping Night Under the Stars – Grab your gear – a tent, sleeping bags, pillows, and flashlights so that you can watch constellations in the sky together. If you’ve got an outdoor fire pit, you could toast marshmallows and make s’mores. Or, if you’re really ambitious, find a nearby camping site for one overnight.
15. Visit a Museum – Art museums might be top of mind, but if they’re not your thing, you’ve got plenty of other options. If you’ve never searched locally for museums, you might be amazed. Most cities have at least a dozen or two, from children’s museums to science and more.
16. Go Exploring in Your Hometown – Pick a neighborhood and do it up right! Act like a tourist, visit small shops, try a restaurant you’ve never seen before, walk around and get some exercise, stop for ice cream, or let the kids lead the way.
17. Rent E-Bikes – This is my favorite one. Rent some e-bikes and pick a spot. There must be some trails, a state park, or a beach area you want to explore. With e-bikes, no one will get left behind, as they can switch from manual to automatic when they’re tired of pedaling.
18. A Day at the Zoo – You might be fortunate enough to have the San Diego Zoo in range. But, if there’s no prominent zoo that comes to mind, don’t give up, as you might have some petting zoos in the area.
19. Take a Day Trip – If you pile into your car, what will you come across that’s two or three hours away? It doesn’t have to be a big resort destination. There are all kinds of day trips that provide something for everyone. You might even visit a small town and just walk around for a while. For example, Boulder City is about 30 to 45 minutes outside Las Vegas, and, yes, the Lake Mead Recreation Area is there. But, the village of Boulder City is a fantastic place to spend a few hours. When the weather cooperates, restaurants set up tables on the sidewalk. There are little shops (including a candy store) and fun things to explore in a two-block radius.
20. Indoor Trampolines – Jump, jump, jump! It’s fun for kids of all ages, not to mention good exercise, too. You’re bound to find someplace to do a little indoor jumping. And, if not, then move to plan B and head somewhere like a Dave & Buster’s or an indoor skydiving spot (or opt for #23).
21. Climb a Rock Wall – Like trampolines, rock walls have moved indoors. But, again, there are always backup plans. If you don’t have access to a rock wall, then shoot for the real deal. You don’t have to tackle a mountain. Instead, head out for a hike and challenge the kids to small climbs.
22. Miniature Golf – It seems like the most well-worn idea and something that consistently pops up when searching for “things to do as a family near me.” But, c’mon, when’s the last time you hit the mini links? These days, you can sink a putt inside or outside, so you’re covered year-round.
23. A Backyard Project – Buy something for the whole family and get it set up or rolling. I’m talking about things like a treehouse or fort, or maybe your own trampoline. If you have small children, you could buy a swing set or even set up a water slide.
24. Scenic Train Ride – This one might not be top of mind, but it’s an excellent idea for the entire family. Depending on your area, you’re bound to find something, from a half-hour ride to a day-long tour.
25. Go, Team! – You might not have a household full of sports fans, but it doesn’t matter. Pick a team that’s in town and give it a try. Have you ever been to a minor league baseball game? Half of the action is what takes place off the field. There are giveaways, contests, good music, and, of course, ballpark favorites like hotdogs and cotton candy. And minor league or amateur sports tickets are relatively inexpensive.
Another Suggestion When You’re Looking For “Things To Do As a Family Near Me”
I’ve just scratched the surface with ideas for things to do as a family regardless of where you live. But as I was putting the list together, it dawned on me that it got the creative juices flowing.
So, the next time you need some inspiration (beyond my 25 suggestions, of course!), sit in a quiet room with some pen and paper and build your own list of 25. Make sure you give yourself a goal so you really stretch the imagination. You’ll be surprised at the awesome ideas that pop up in the process!