Most families are exhibiting signs of cabin fever this time of year. The sibling sniping is at record levels, the toddler whining is incessant and tweens and teens are fixated on their electronic devices.
Time to cure your family of cabin fever with these 10 fun ideas for activities the whole family can enjoy:
1) Get out and play. Check out the only snow skiing facilities in Georgia at the southernmost ski resort community in the United States, Sky Valley Resort, or the nearest snow sports resort, Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort, just over the state line in Alabama. For something closer to home, try ice skating in nearby Kennesaw at the Ice Forum, which is open 365 days a year and offers public skating 7 days a week. For a splurge, book a weekend for your family in Tennessee's Ober Gatlinburg or one of North Carolina's nearby ski resorts, such as Sapphire Valley or Cataloochee.
2) Pool party. While locals ages 50 and above can swim indoors at Sam Smith Park's Senior Aquatic Center, families may find indoor swimming at Cartersville hotels, including Hilton Garden Inn and Country Inn & Suites by Carlson.
3) Family film festival. Celebrate the upcoming Academy Awards with a marathon of your family’s favorite flicks. View movies from your own collection, rent some from Video Country or check out DVDs from the Cartersville Public Library.
4) Arts and crafts bash. Get a group of friends together for a "craft bash" at your house with activities for both adults and kids. Ask a friend who loves to knit or draw to share his or her skill at the party. Not crafty? Head to Hobby Lobby and ask employees for suggestions on craft and activity kits with instructions.
5) Serve others. Nothing brings a family out of a cabin fever funk like serving others. Find activities where you can volunteer on your own or with your whole family, such as at a local charity, including Advocates for Bartow's Children, Etowah Valley Humane Society, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, The Salvation Army and numerous other local charitable and civic organizations.
6) Bowl! Bowling is a fun indoor activity for the whole family, from toddlers to teens. Although Cartersville no longer has a bowling alley, you can find lanes nearby at U.S. Play in Kennesaw, Cherokee Lanes in Canton, Paulding Bowling Center in Dallas or AMF Bowling Center in Marietta.
7) Family game night. Playing board games together can be a great way to bond—and pick up some math or spelling skills. You can find great old school games such as Scrabble and Monopoly at Target or Walmart.
8) Put on a show. Got toddlers? Grab some puppets and make a "stage" together from an empty box for hours of fun. Elementary-age kids? Invite over some of their friends, drag out some "costumes" from your clothes or a dress-up box and encourage them to put on a play. Plan a "make a movie" afternoon for your tween and teen with their friends. Give them some ideas for making a video with their friends, loan them a video recording device such as a smartphone or iPad and then host their "movie premiere," followed by a showing of their favorite movie.
9) Learn to do something together. In addition to city of Cartersville's youth and adult athletic programs and special events, including a March Easter egg drop, Bartow County's Recreation Department offers athletics, which this year include karate classes for kids and grownups. Hobby Lobby offers painting, sewing and decorating classes for the family. Home Depot holds home improvement workshops and free kids' workshops from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month, which are reportedly similar to Lowe's Saturday Build and Grow children's clinics from 10 to 11 a.m.
10) Start a book club. Winter is the perfect time to start a family book club. Pick a book the whole family will enjoy and read aloud to younger kids or let tweens or teens pick a book they want to read that you'll read too. Discuss over a dinner featuring food reflecting the book’s themes. You can also start a mother and daughters or fathers and sons book club with your friends. Cartersville's public librarians can make great suggestions for books your whole family will enjoy and author James Patterson teamed with Patch to make a number of suggestions, including:
- Presenting the Tailgate Book Club
- The 12 Best Children's Books of 2012
- Kids Not Reading Enough? Patch Has Tips from Author James Patterson
For more on books and reading, see our dedicated section: Patch Reads.
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