Day #7 30 Day Summer Fun Challenge: Crazy for Construction Sites

What is it with boys and construction equipment? They just love to watch the big machines destroy and build. When my son was 2 he was enthralled by construction equipment and would point it out through the car window. By the time he was 3, he knew the name of all the major equipment and would correct me when I mistakenly called a “front loader” a “backhoe.” (Smart Aleck!)

Well, since I live in Chicago and we have two seasons here – Winter and Construction – I thought I would share one of the fun things we used to do with my son to give him a fix for the Big Machines.

We used to drive around our neighborhood and find a construction site or if we were lucky enough to be able to walk over to one, we’d strap my son in the stroller and head over for some “better-than-reality-TV” entertainment.

Staying out of the danger zone, of course, we would look for a spot to park the car and watch or stroll around and look on in amazement through the safety fence. Cheap. Loud. Fun. The kind of entertainment every young boy craves. Take some photos and show your toddler on the computer screen later to relive the exciting memory. Have fun!

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Tags: Adventures · Cool Finds · Family Fun Ideas · Summer Family Activities

Weekend Fun Idea: Create Your Own Family Holiday

At a loss for ideas this weekend to have fun with your family? Memorial Day is in two weeks but that’s just too long to wait. We want something to look forward to NOW. Why not create your own Family Holiday? We all love holidays right? Special foods, special activities, time spent with people we love (or at least like.) Maybe you don’t get to take off of work for your own invented Holiday, but any reason to celebrate ranks high on the family fun meter.

Check out the post we wrote on How to Create Your Own Family Holiday.

Some new ideas I have this year are:

Chocolate Festival – Have chocolate at every meal. Figure out how to add chocolate to every dish you eat that day. Search for recipes online for inspiration.

Our Family Gives Back Day – Spend the day helping out various charities. Call some of your local charities and ask if there is something you can do as a family to help out.

Family Adventure Day – Grab a map with a 2 hour driving radius from where you live. Have one of the kids close their eyes and stick a pin into the map. You now have a destination for your adventure. Look up the town on Google and see what interesting things or restaurants there might be in that town and head out to discover a new place.

Maybe if your family holiday idea really takes off, Hallmark will start creating greeting cards for it.

What ideas do you have for creating your own Family Holiday? They can be funny. We like funny.

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Tags: Adventures · Family Celebrations · Family Fun Ideas · Holiday Traditions

Friday Night Fun Idea: Camp Indoors!

Kids Sleeping Bags & Flashlights

If you are looking for an idea for some unique Family Fun this weekend, check out the article that I wrote for on Camping in the Great Indoors.

If you like the article, please leave a comment on their site letting everyone know.



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Tags: Adventures · Family Fun Ideas · Friday Night Fun

Is The Addams Family Musical Suitable for Kids?

addams family
Over the Holiday Break, we took the kids to see the new Addams Family Musical. Before going, we searched everywhere online to see if the play was family friendly but we found no information. Granted it was the premiere of the play so there weren’t a lot of reviews out there, but I thought we found find something on whether it was suitable for kids or not. All we saw was a blurb on the general story – Wednesday is 18 and falls in love for the first time with a “normal” boy. The Addams Family invites the boy’s family for dinner and hilarity ensues.

So, we went for it as a family Holiday treat.

On one hand, the price of the tickets sort of excludes children. It is an expensive outing to take the whole family to see any Broadway quality play. However, as I said, we wanted to do something special during Holiday Break, our friends could get us great tickets and we could go together, my husband and I fondly remember the Addams Family from our youth, and our kids have finally reached an age where they won’t get freaked out when the theater gets loud or dark or totally embarrass us by kicking seats, demanding snacks, or pointing things out during the play. (“Look Mom, there’s a guy back there!”)

The play, it turns out, is not really suitable for children. The play focuses a lot on sex and a lot of the humor, especially in the first half, is sexual innuendo. Fortunately, it went over my kids’ heads so they focused on the singing, dancing and especially the slapstick comedy so … they LOVED it! They loved Nathan Lane’s enthusiastic portrayal of Gomez, especially his sword fighting. He was fabulously funny for adults and children. (“Mom, he’s the voice of Timon!”) Bebe Neuwirth fit the part of Morticia perfectly but the real stars of the show for the kids were Uncle Fester and Grandma, played by Kevin Chamberlin and Jackie Hoffman. They loved Uncle Fester falling in love with the moon and the way they were able to fake him flying on stage was truly magical. And, when Grandma asks to be spanked at the dinner table the adults and the kids were laughing their heads off … for different reasons … but who cares. The kids loved the monster under the bed scene and I misted up when Bebe sang the Second Banana song about Mom’s stepping back to let their children shine. The set design was incredible, as well.

Our kids weren’t the only ones in the theater that night so I was glad that we weren’t the only adventurous parents. We did have to “educate” the kids on who the Addams Family was – yet another generational gap. We went to the library and found some old tapes of the Addams Family TV show before we went so they would recognize some of the characters.

Bottomline, even though my kids loved it and we truly had a Chocolate Cake Moment together as a family, I would recommend getting a babysitter and go with some friends. You’ll enjoy the play a lot more if you aren’t cringing and wondering if the kids understood that joke.

Here are some additional reviews on the Addams Family Musical.

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Tags: Adventures · Family Fun Ideas

Create a Fall Family Fun Plan

Pumpkin Farm

Pumpkin Farm

I have found the best way to make sure you and your family have fun is to actually plan it. I don’t know about you, but for me, if it’s not on the calendar it won’t happen. What works for our family is to sit down together and list out all of the fun things we want to do for the month or season. Then we grab a calendar and pick some dates. Once we all have it on the calendar, we can generate our list of any “to-dos” to finalize our plans – making reservations, buying tickets, or inviting other people to have fun with us.

Here are some of our ideas for having more family fun this Fall. We will be adding more blog posts to give you additional creative tips on how to make these activities even more fun. If you are looking for more ideas check your local park districts, libraries, YMCAs, and Children’s Museums for fall events.

Top 10 Ideas for Fall Family Fun

1. Apple Orchard/ Making Caramel Apples
2. Fall Foliage Drive
3. Visit a Pumpkin Farm
4. Leaf Pile Forts, Mazes & Piles
5. Hiking/ Photo Scavenger Hunt in your local Forest Preserve
6. Creating & Decorating for Halloween
7. Throw a Halloween Party – for kids or adults
8. Organize a Neighborhood Trick or Treat Procession
9. Neighborhood Flag Football Party
10. Flashlight Corn Maze Adventures

I hope this list has inspired you to get out your calendar and start some planning. Check back for more ideas and tips on how to have more family fun this fall season. I’d love to hear what you love to do with your family, so please share.

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Tags: Adventures · Family Fun Ideas · Ideas for family projects

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