1. Free day at local attraction with a twist
Find out when your local museum or local attraction has a free day. Now make it a personal trip by going online and researching your favorite exhibit. When your family visits the museum, educate each other and make it a private museum tour.
3. Take the movies indoors
Instead of spending $10 a ticket to take the family to the movies, plus the cost of popcorn, soda, and candy, watch your favorite holiday movie at home and start a family tradition. If your movie selection at home is deficient, consider borrowing a DVD from the library.
4. Board game championship
Announce your family’s annual Scrabble or Charades (or other board game) bowl game for the holidays. Make the championship real by printing rules, game brackets, certificates for winners, and play “home” and “away” games where each family member can host a game in their own room. Just think, a “home” game gives children a reason to clean the room.
5. Bake Holiday Cookies and take to neighbors
Find your favorite holiday cookie recipe and tweak it a little to make it your family’s own secret recipe. Bake cookies together, where every person has a role, e.g. the measurer, the mixer, the baker, the quality-controller, and the packer. Then take cookies to your neighbors and see them smile.
6. Dress up dinner at home
Eating out can be special, but do we have to go out to have a special meal? Why not dress up for a special night at home? Print the menu, light some candles, and make dinner special with everyone sitting around the table.
7. Take old clothes to the local thrift store
Spend an evening helping every family member find one of two things to take to the neighborhood thrift store. Giving together as a family makes the holiday special.
8. Plan a day with grandparents or at a local elderly home
Holidays become special when you create a memory for someone else. Why not plan a day with your grandparents? Drive them around and enjoy the evening listening to old time family stories. And if your grandparents are not in town, visit the local elderly homes and spread cheers by singing carols.
There’s nothing quite like a good treasure hunt inside the house. Have each family member hide something special and write down a clue for the rest of the family. As the evening unfolds, you will see the competitiveness overflow.
10. Take a day off and give the gift of time to your child
Finally, the best gift you can give is that of time. Take a day off, turn off your cell-phone, and spend the entire day with your child. No plans, just total enjoyment.