There is no shortage of options when it comes to entertainment these days. Multiple TV channels, the wonders to be found on the Internet – who hasn’t spent a few hours watching hilarious videos on YouTube, or had a box–set day on the couch? So, you may think there’s no need to consideralternative forms of entertainment with so much to choose from.
Well think again, because you could be missing out on some great opportunities to have fun and experience something memorable and exciting. So, what are the alternatives to the digital comfort blanket?
You may be saying, well, they’re not new, they’ve been around for years! That’s true, but consider that even well into the digital age, board game sales are still on the up and show no sign of diminishing. There’s a reason they have stood the test of time, and remain so popular – they provide hours of entertainment and fun for everyone in the family to enjoy together, at a pretty low cost. Board game companies aren’t resting on their laurels, either – they are continually developing new games and putting new twists on old classics.
If you haven’t seen the new generation of games, have a look and see what you’re missing. Interplanetary warfare, games set in various historical time periods, run your own art gallery or even battle to see who can be the best dressmaker! You do need to consider what game is best suited to you and your family, avoiding overly complicated challenges if you have young children for example. But many so-called children’s board games can provide the best and most simple fun for everyone, and usually create a lot of laughter!
Card games have also evolved over the years. The classic games you can play with a standard pack of cards are still some of the best – Snap is one everyone has heard of that remains popular because it creates tension and excitement but is so simple even little kids can play it. If you want to try something different, how about Top Trumps style games, or one of the themed strategy games?
This has been around for a few years now, so you’ve probably heard of it. Participants often become obsessed with this activity, and find it keeps them stimulated and entertained for years. Geocaching involves searching for hidden treasures using smartphone apps or GPS receivers. “Cachers” search for the cunningly concealed items in the great outdoors, where they also plant their own treasure boxes. Before you get too excited, the term treasure is a little misleading! You are not going to find gold bars and precious stones hidden away in this activity. The boxes usually contain small objects with no real value, and/or a logbook in which the finder can record their unearthing of the cache. The thrill, as they say, is in the chase.
The search begins on a geocaching website. Some of these are subscription based services but there are also many free services, known as open caches. Before embarking on a geocaching adventure, make sure you know what it’s all about and that you are suitably equipped. There are many caches located in pleasant surroundings with few potential hazards, but they can also be hidden in more challenging terrains with the risk of snakes, loose rocks and steep drops. Do your research and find a local group who will be happy to offer advice and welcome you into the fold.
Murder Mystery Adventures
The whodunnit has been a favorite of books, films and TV programs for generations. Crime as a genre has never been more popular, and has been an enduring source of entertainment for all age groups. For the family, the sub-genre of “cozy mysteries” has all the thrills of working out who did the crime without the grislier aspects that crime noir encompasses. Think Agatha Christie, or Murder She Wrote. If you enjoy solving puzzles and reading mystery novels, you could try a murder mystery yourself. There are numerous resorts that offer murder mystery vacations if you fancy treating yourself – but this is not such a great option for including the whole family. Alternatively, you could try one of the new generation of play at home games, like the Murder Mystery Subscription Box. You receive a box of clues every month and use them to try and resolve an intriguing crime. The clue objects can lead you into online and real-world lines of enquiry, and can keep you entertained for many months. With this kind of game, all the members of the family – and friends as well – can be involved in working out the solution, and you get the thrill of anticipation when a new box is due for delivery.
Make Your Own Fun
There’s no shortage of websites offering ideas for family activities, so get searching and see what tickles your fancy. Don’t be too ambitious – if you haven’t been camping since high school and the kids want to have fun living wild, it’s probably not the best idea to set up camp in a mountain wilderness. What could be good is a camp-out in the back yard, so everyone gets to enjoy the adventure of sleeping outdoors with minimal stress. There are plenty of indoor games and activities you can have a go at, many requiring little expenditure whilst providing hours of entertainment. Family cooking can be great fun, if you choose something like pizzas that young and old can get involved with. If you don’t want to stray too far from your tech, get everyone dressed up as zombies and make your own horror movie on your smartphone.
With so many hours of our lives spent sat in front of the TV or tablet, anything that gets your loved ones to turn their attention to a family–inclusive activity must be a good thing.Screen time can be wonderful, and movie night with bowls of hot popcorn, all snuggled up on the couch, are some of the best times. But they’re not the be-all and end-all. Getting involved in activities in which the family communicates, spends time interacting and expands their horizons will bring everyone together and make your family life far more rewarding.