Long Weekend Living
Three days. No work. Just play. Long weekends are definitely something to look forward to.
But sometime around Thursday night I always find my brain racing – how should I spend the weekend? Should I have planned something elaborate? Usually, the answer is no. What I’ve learned from those last-minute panic attacks is that long weekend family fun doesn’t need days of advance planning. Really! From my idea list to yours, here’s a few family activities that won’t empty your wallet or make you scramble to find tickets to a busy tourist attraction. Have fun in, and around, your own home while staying active and healthy.
Pack a picnic
Enjoy a meal together, in a new location. Packing a picnic is an old favourite but it doesn’t have to be predictable – add a theme! For example, only pack goodies that are round. Get the kids to help you shop for ingredients and pick out fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market that match your theme. Cherry tomatoes, blueberries and Tre Stelle® Bocconcini are perfect finger foods or skewer builders. Round sliced cheese, like provolone, in rollups or buns keeps the theme going. The great thing about picnics: they are an activity for outside or inside. If you find rain ruins your weekend, lay out a blanket in the family room to unpack your whimsical lunch.
Forest scavenger hunt
Taking a walk in the park or a nearby woodlot may seem like an easy idea to spend some time outside with a loved one or the kids. But take it a step further to keep everyone interested and bring a little competition to the weekend. Make a list of things to see along the way and have a scavenger hunt race. Who can spot a mushroom growing on a tree first? A caterpillar? The first one to finish their scavenger hunt list gets a treat!
Photo shoot fun
A few good photos are the best way to remember what might otherwise have been an unmemorable weekend. Whether walking in the neighborhood, or making silly faces in the mirror, take turns being the photographer and the scout, who stays on the lookout for photo-worthy moments and objects. Kids are great at finding hidden photo opportunities. With one hour or one day photo printing, you can also spend an evening creating a photo collage of the day’s fun.
The temptation to keep yourself busy can make for a pretty exhausting weekend. Plan too much and you’ll find the family cranky by Sunday. So dedicate one day for just lounging to recharge everyone’s energy. Pick two family favourite movies – or new releases you haven’t seen yet – and set up for an afternoon movie marathon. Make it special with personalized snacks like mini pizzas or gourmet popcorn in individual paper bags: grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and balsamic vinegar for the adults, shredded cheddar cheese and butter for the kids.
Refresh a room (or two!)
Who doesn’t like a makeover? If the weather gets rainy, it’s a perfect day to take a look around the house for a way to make it new, without spending any money. Put on a timer for two minutes and have everyone pick out two or three items in the house that they love. Now, find a way to work them into that person’s bedroom so they can enjoy them. You might need to remove old items you don’t love any more (pack them up for charity), or even rearrange the furniture to fit a favourite chair in a new place. Refresh the house and if secretly your goal might be to get the kids to clean up their room a bit and that’s ok too!