Your Best Night In
The next time nasty weather or a tight budget forces you and your family to stay indoors, keep calm and don’t panic! Make lemonade out of those proverbial lemons that life hands you, as the saying goes. With just a little creativity and a few items that you already have in your house, you can turn a weather-induced lockdown into a night of family fun and togetherness or a perfect romantic evening.
Valentine’s Day is coming up – but with the nation still reeling from the season’s uncharacteristically brutal storms and dragging economy, an evening out on the town can seem a little unappealing for even the most daring daters. Not to mention, with busy lives and sometimes incompatible schedules, even couples without children sometimes find it difficult to carve out time for one another other. Being grounded at home is the perfect excuse to rediscover one another.
Keep the evening simple so you can focus on each other. Try a challenging new recipe from Pinterest using only the ingredients you already have. Build a fire, open a bottle of your favorite wine (or make hot chocolate), watch the video you made from your last trip together, plan your fantasy vacation, etc. You may just look back at an evening of inclement weather as one of the most romantic evenings of your relationship.
When you’re snowed in, you can still have an exciting evening with kids of all ages! Cut simple characters from cardboard pieces (super hero, witch, villain, mom, dad, boy, girl, etc.) and glue them on Popsicle sticks. Then turn off the lights, leaving only a reading lamp focused on a blank wall and stage your very own play using the cardboard characters. Keep it freewheeling and wholesome so even the wee ones can play an active role in the production.
Plan a ‘drive in’ move night with the kids! Stash some twizzlers, popcorn, and movie candy for rainy nights. If you’re feeling particularly creative, print some movie tickets and shuffle the kids outside in their pajamas and blankets to the family minivan or SUV. If your vehicle doesn’t come with built in TV screens, a portable DVD player can add some winter magic to your little ones’ night. No portable DVD player? No problem! Cozy up on the couch with your family, instead!
Older kids may scoff at move night – instead, opt for family game night. If video games are your kids’ bag, get the whole family moving (and laughing) with a dance challenge game.
Inclusivity is Key
If your home is a multi-generational home, include the whole family in a game of cards or a board game. Nothing gets a room laughing harder than a group of Apples to Apples; even the traditional games like Rummy or Spades have a nostalgic appeal. If your kids are too small to understand complex games, try something simpler like Go Fish.
Being forced to stay indoors by the weather and turning it into a bonding moment is much easier in a comfortable home environment. Make sure your HVAC system is in good working order to prevent rising tempers and cabin fever.
Beth writes on behalf of American Air and Heat, a family owned company that has been providing air conditioning in Orlando since 1986. Beth is currently reigning champion as “Best Aunt ever” (at least according to her 7 year old nephew), and she enjoys spending time with family and her job as a horseback riding instructor of kids.