Family Activities for the Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, | as they say! With the weather cooling down and the holiday spirit heating up, there’s no better time to bond with your children. These events and winter activities will help you to make the most of this holiday season, prevent boredom, and keep the entire family thoroughly entertained at the same time:

Make indoor igloos: No, we don’t mean out of snow! Using sugar cubes and royal icing, have your kids create unique “snow” houses on paper plates. If you’d like, take it one step further and decorate them gingerbread house style using seasonal candies.

See a light show: Few things will excite your kids more than holiday lights! Take a stroll through Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and view their gorgeous landscape, decorated with over half a million twinkling lights. Or, if you’d prefer to stay in your warm car, Meadow Event Park hosts a drive in light show with thousands of LED lights that is synchronized to music through your radio – too cool.

Make paper snowflakes: Not only is this activity a lot of fun, it’ll also allow your kids to get creative and learn all about symmetry – with only two materials required. Hang your favorites from the ceiling, tape them to your windows, or add string and create holiday ornaments. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, consider making yours 3D. http://www.kidskubby.com/paper-snowflake-tutorial/

Go to a parade: What kid, or adult for that matter, doesn’t love seeing Santa in person? The Children’s Museum of Richmond (all locations) is holding a Thanksgiving parade on November 21 that your kids can participate in, and the more traditional Dominion Christmas Parade will be held downtown on December 5.

Take a stroll back in time: Experience the charm of an old-fashioned Christmas by visiting one of the many holiday events at Maymont, from November 20 to January 3. The Maymont Mansion halls will be decked out in gilded age fashion, and events including costumed Victorian ladies and gentlemen, horse drawn carriage rides, and delicious food and drink will certainly leave a lasting impression on the whole family.

Make homemade hot cocoa: Throw that cardboard box aside and get hands-on! Homemade hot cocoa is easy to make, hard to mess up, and super fun to eat. Kick it up yet another notch by adding homemade marshmallows to the top; your taste buds won’t know what hit ‘em.

Play snowman volleyball: Blow up some white balloons, have your kids draw snowman faces on them using markers, and let them toss the balloons back and forth. Best part? It’s an active indoor activity that can be enjoyed without breaking anything…usually.

Create art out of leaves: Take advantage of the season’s beautiful leaves while they’re still around. These projects will allow your kids to be artistic, and will give you plenty to decorate your home with for Thanksgiving.

Go ice skating: Get in touch with winter and challenge your body by taking your family ice skating. Your kids will get great exercise, let out some energy, and have great laughs in the process.

Test out cookie recipes: Ever wondered if that recipe for “World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” is actually the world’s best? There’s no better time than baking season to investigate. Find a few different recipes for your favorite cookie, make small batches of each, and let your kids vote for their favorite. It’ll be the most delicious experiment you do all year!

Decorate a gingerbread house: This activity is a classic for a reason – there’s nothing more fun than playing with food! Gingerbread house molds can be purchased in most department stores this time of year, but if you can’t find one, try making yours with graham crackers.

Create outdoor ornaments: The trees outside your house need love too. When the weather gets colder, make festive ice ornaments using water and seasonal trinkets or greenery, such as holly. Birdseed ornaments are also fun to create, and your kids will have a blast seeing the various species of birds feasting in your yard.

Make snow ice cream: Nature can help you make some tasty frozen dessert. Get the most of of this year’s blizzards by creating snow ice cream; your kids will think it’s the coolest, most delicious dessert they’ve ever had.

With so many possibilities for wintry fun, you and your family are bound to stay entertained, strengthen your relationships, and create magical, lasting memories this holiday season.

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