Bond with your family during fun weekend outings.

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

Don't park your kids in front of the TV all weekend. Before you know it, they'll be college students who only come home to do their laundry, so make the most of your time together.

Plan an outing that breaks up the boredom, and promises learning and laughter. Whether you live in a small town or bustling city, there are new adventures around every corner. Explore our ideas for families of every size and budget.
Plan a family trip to a farm or orchard.

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

2. Down on the Farm
Ready to get your hands dirty? Many working farms and orchards are open to the public during peak seasons. Do a little research to see what's ripe for the picking, and plan a day down on the farm. Armed with buckets and bushels, kids will enjoy fruit picking, hayrides, corn mazes and visits with farm animals.

If you call ahead, you may be able to arrange a guided tour or a tractor ride. By the time you leave, you'll have a trunk full of fresh produce, and your kids will have a new appreciation of where their dinner comes from.
Practice your swing at an indoor sports complex.

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

3. Sporting Good Time
Rain, snow and sleet can't stop true sports fans. When the clouds roll in, head to an indoor sports arena in your area. Many of these complexes feature batting cages, swimming pools, basketball courts, ultimate Frisbee fields and other places to stretch your legs.

To create a little friendly competition, divide your family into teams and compete for silly prizes. As you race from one event to the next, you'll get the heart pumping and the blood racing. If this event is a hit, invite other families to join in the fun.
Explore your local library.

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

4. Explore the Local Library
Before big bookstores sprouted up in almost every city, parents took their children to the public library to jump-start the imagination. Libraries may not be as popular as they once were, but many communities still offer free programs for young readers.

Find book recommendations for kids of all ages!

Contact your local branch to see if they host a story time for different age groups. Some branches even put on free puppet shows, summer classes and sing-alongs! With free Internet, magazines and books at their fingertips, parents will also find ways to occupy their time.

To continue the fun at home, start a family book club! Once everyone has finished reading, dress as your favorite character for the discussion.
Go beyond the backyard and explore a national park or preserve.

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

5. Natural Wonders
Whether you live near rocky mountains, sandy beaches or the Great Plains, there's a nature preserve or national park nearby. Go beyond the backyard and explore more of our great planet. Pack a picnic lunch, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. Join a guided tour, or head out on your own with a book of local flora and fauna.

To incorporate arts and crafts, bring along chunky crayons and white paper. Ask your children to collect an assortment of leaves, and then create leaf rubbings using the colors of the rainbow.

Many parks offer bike and boat rentals, so if your legs grow weary, explore the terrain with a different means of transportation.
Plan an outing to a science museum or planetarium.

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

6. Science and Space Adventure
Have an aspiring astronaut or mad scientist in your midst? Plan an outing to a nearby science museum or planetarium. To appeal to little ones with little attention spans, many museums have launched hands-on exhibits that teach kids about everything from insects and fossils to earth-friendly lifestyles.

If stars are more your speed, plan your visit around the next eclipse or lunar event. The planetarium's giant telescopes and space experts will help shed some light on these natural phenomenons. Check out the schedule in advance to see if there are special events or IMAX films of interest.

Want more suggestions? Explore America's wacky attractions and amusement parks.  


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