Fun activities to make the most of your time as a family

In our recent guide 'Secrets to maximising family time' we took a look at some of the ways that you can better organise your tasks and increase the amount of time you have available to spend with your family. Here, we will look at some interesting and inexpensive ways to have fun throughout the week, once you've managed to get everyone together.

A happy home

A large chunk of our days are spent either working, travelling, doing household work or studying and this can mean that even the small family acts of eating meals together and hearing about each other's days are sometimes missed out on. However, these acts can be instrumental in strengthening family bonds.

Cooking together is one great way that you can spend quality time together. Try splitting up tasks between you and your partner when preparing a meal, as you can teach each other new skills while you hear about each other's day. Cooking together will save preparation time which could mean that you can both put your feet up quicker.

Young children can find cooking and baking lots of fun and it is a great opportunity to get messy! Start off with easy recipes that are full of texture, like pancakes, pizzas, cakes and cookies. This can also be a great method of teaching life skills to young children as well how to safely use kitchen utensils and ovens, which can be valuable life skills for when they leave the roost.

Statistics show that children who eat with their families on a regular basis are less likely to be overweight, will do better in school and have less trouble with drugs and alcohol. Further to this, eating meals together provides an opportunity to share some insight into each other's daily lives, build conversational skills, discuss any problems and celebrate achievements.

Once you have eaten your family meal, you may find that your children have homework to do. Children who are given lots of attention and support with their after school homework or exam revision are statistically likely to do much better in their exams and form valuable skills and attitudes towards work which will equip them well for later life. You can support your child by sitting with them while they complete their work, with some gentle encouragement to complete their tasks to the best standard they can.

Explore the outdoors

Weather and work schedules permitting, the weekend offers a great chance for you to get out of the house and explore some of what the UK has to offer. Whether it's just you and your partner, or as a family, there are plenty of parks, woods and other outdoor areas to choose from and you can search for places to visit on websites like National Trails, TripAdvisor and the National Trust, or simply ask friends and colleagues if they have anywhere they could recommend.

It's always a great feeling to reconnect with nature and for children in particular, reports have shown that spending time playing and exploring natural space can be a positive factor in physical health and their mental well being. Simple acts like skimming stones, rolling down hills, flying kites, gathering leaves and hunting for insects can be lots of fun for children and for adults too!


Although, camping isn't everyone's cup of tea it can be one of the cheapest holidays out there, provided you have all your equipment already.

Tents, sleeping bags and roll mats are obvious supplies to remember but you should also think about torches, batteries, water containers, matches, waterproof clothing, food, cutlery and a cooking unit.

When it comes to choosing a site, Scotland has plenty of free wild camping areas and although more restricted in England and Wales, there are parts of Snowdonia and the Lake District that are available to be used for camping free of charge. However, it's worth noting that many of these areas are off grid and as such lack basic amenities, so if you have young children or prefer a less basic form of camping then you might prefer to visit a caravan site with showers, toilets and WiFi or even just take a camping trip to the bottom of the garden.

However you decide to spend your camping weekend, staring up at the stars, singing songs and toasting marshmallows around the camp fire are just a few special memories that you could take away.


Geocaching is a fun outdoors activity, similar to a treasure hunt, which has sky rocketed in popularity recently. Armed with a smart phone and the Geocaching app, there are over 2 million 'caches' which can be found worldwide. You simply log in to the mobile phone app, type in a postcode that you are planning to visit and then choose from one of the many Geocaches hidden around. You then, with the help of the app, try to navigate your way to the 'cache'. Many Geocache hunters will leave small prizes at the Geocache site, which you are encouraged to replace, while others will simply sign their name to say they have shared in this experience. To find out more about Geocaching visit:


Another way to enjoy the outdoors is to go for a picnic. You can take the kids, invite some friends or simply take a good book to get stuck into. Either way, once you find a nice spot you can unfurl your blanket and enjoy.

You can keep things frugal by preparing your cookies, sandwiches and drinks at home and also inviting your friends to prepare a dish to bring along and share. Don't forget to pack ketchup, salt and pepper and plates, mugs, glasses, serviettes and cutlery.

A day at the seaside

Britain is blessed with numerous beaches across its coasts and if you live nearby to one then a trip to the seaside can help make the weekend one to remember. Building sandcastles, playing ball games, looking for crabs and paddling in the sea are just a few of the activities you can enjoy there and when you're done you can explore the arcades and finish off the day with a bag of chips, an ice cream or some candy floss


If you and your family are looking for a way to get involved with the community then you could always go along to a community day. In some areas, volunteers will regularly come together to spruce up parks and green spaces which have seen better days. This can be truly rewarding and help you feel like you have done something very worthwhile with your weekend. Also, if you have children it can help to instil a sense of community spirit and show them what can happen when people come together for a good cause.

Get active

NHS guidelines recommend that adults aged 19-64 get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week; however with the ease of modern living and with many jobs being office based it can be hard to keep up. One way you can combat the fat and get active is to plan healthy activities at the weekends that are still enjoyable - for instance, playing tennis, going for a bike ride or going swimming. In fact, you may find that many of these activities can be enjoyed together as a couple or as a family, and many sports centres and swimming baths will actually provide concession rates for children to enjoy.

On a rainy day

Unfortunately the UK isn't blessed with great weather and you might make exciting plans for your family only to have them scuppered by a change in weather.

Board games often get overlooked but you can't beat the experience of playing together as a family, something which can't ever be emulated by expensive gaming consoles and computer games. Dig out that old Monopoly board and team up so younger family members can learn the rules.

Many of the activities that you might have had planned outside can still be enjoyed indoors. If camping isn't going to happen then you can still set up a den, eat some sweets and share some ghost stories and if a picnic was what you had planned then you could have a movie night instead.

Although there are plenty of things you can do at home to keep everyone occupied, you don't have to stay at home if you don't want too. There are lots of unique and interesting buildings that you could visit and many of them are free of charge.

London is home to some of the best museums in the world and many of them are free to the public. The Natural History Museum has iconic exhibitions to teach you all about life on planet earth, the British Museum is dedicated to human history with many Roman and Greek artefacts and the Science Museum has plenty of interactive exhibits to get involved with.

There are also some awe inspiring museums outside of the capital, try the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the Museum of Liverpool, or the Leeds City Museum all of which can be visited for free.

If you can't visit these places then there are always local libraries. It's a good idea to become a member of your library as whatever your age you can borrow books for free. Many also offer the opportunity to borrow CDs and DVDs, read newspapers, surf the internet or even brush up on your local history or another subject you might be interested in.


Strong families spend plenty of time together, eating meals, going on trips, relaxing and socialising. These kinds of experiences not only enrich our lives but provide us with memories that we can truly cherish in the future.

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