Saturday, August 3, 2013

Free Family Fun

No cash to travel? No problem! Here are some free activities your family can enjoy this summer.

Family fun is important. I’ll never forget the day that a friend gave my family free passes to a carnival. It had been a hot and angsty summer in our house full of teenage girls, but by the second shrieking roller coaster ride, the tension had melted away like an ice cube on the pavement.

You don't need a roller coaster to rejuvenate. The key to family fun is a low pressure situation and something to laugh about. Here are some activities with minimal cost and stress, to get your family laughing this summer:

Take a family bike ride. Check out the Des Plaines River Trail at Algonquin and Campground Rd. for peaceful, traffic-free ride through the forest. Click here for a map.

Rock out to Radio Disney at the Library’s free Dance Party on Friday, August 23rd, from 6:30 to 8pm. Click here for more details.

Get crafty. This can be as simple as coloring together or as complicated as paper mache. Check out the library's craft books in the 745 Dewey range for ideas.

Watch an outdoor movie. The Des Plaines Park District will show Cinderella in the Lake Park Memorial Pavilion on Friday, August 9th, at dusk. Click here for more details.

Drop everything and play. One day my dad came home from work with a playground ball, marched us out to a park, and taught us to play kick ball. 20 years later, I still remember it. Need inspiration? Find a new game in one of the library's outdoor activity books. Click here for a list.

Hold a family game night. Play your favorite board game, or keep each other guessing with charades. Even the little ones can act out simple phrases like “Daddy mowing the lawn.” Let the hilarity ensue!

Read aloud together. It's a great bonding experience, and a good way to get the kids ready for school. Here are some funny family read-aloud titles that appeal to boys and girls of all ages and parents too. Read a chapter every night and laugh yourself to sleep.

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