Fun Family Activities for Kids: Ideas & Resources

No matter the size of your family, whether it’s 2, 3, or 10 family members, there is a wide range of fun-filled activities and ideas for the whole family: mom, dad, brothers, sisters, grandma and grandpa – something for everyone! Whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter, daytime, night time, indoors or outdoors, a quick midweek break or a weekend family break, we’ll have a fun activity for your family.

In the meantime, check out our family and kids-related content:

Awesome Activities for Your Family to Have Fun:

Okay, enough with the formalities, and now let’s get down to the question on your mind: what are some fun family activities?

We’ve broken down this post into the following sections below:

  • Outdoor activities
  • Indoor activities
  • Daytime activities
  • Nighttime activities

Fun Outdoor Family Activities with Kids

The outdoors is a great place for a family to get together, weather permitting, as the fresh air can be invigorating and energizing, and allow for bonding between siblings, parents, and even cousins!

Let’s start with outdoor activities in the backyard of your own home:

Hide and Seek: Depending on the size of your backyard, hide and seek is a great way for your kids to run and explore but within the safety of your own home. This game becomes more challenging and interesting if you combine it with the indoors of your home.

Gardening: Much like our indoor gardening ideas above, outdoor gardening is a classic fun family activity in which the whole family can bond and enjoy together. There are many ways to approach family gardening, and we recommend starting out by taking your kids and family to the local gardening store, whether it’s a nursery or a plant sale shop. Having your kids involved early on in the process is fun – they get to choose seeds, ready made plants, and other plant equipment that they might want to use. Of course, after you plant the seeds together, you can have your kids occasionally check in on the plants, make sure there are no weeds near by, and collaborate together on a watering schedule. Before you know it, your kid will be running the entire outdoor garden!

For more fun family activities to do inside your own home, check out this great list here.

Once you decide to go beyond the home, there are a ton of outdoor places that are ripe for fun outdoor family activities, such as parks, playgrounds, beaches, and more:

Fun Family Places to Go

Biking together: There is nothing more bonding than having an entire family bike together. If you have young kids, it is ideal to start slow in your local park or even a quiet parking lot. But once the training wheels come off, you can start to take on local routes or even quiet streets. Every family is different, but it makes sense to have one parent in the front, the kids in the middle, and the other parent in the back as the anchor. Also, feel free to collaborate with another family to make it an even more fun outdoor group activity.

Hiking: Not every city has hiking options, but you can certainly check out your local woods (assuming your city has deemed it safe). Woods are a great place for a family hike, in which kids can explore, dogs can run loose, and parents can appreciate nature.

Mini Golf: Nothing screams family activity more than a mini-golf trip! Mini-golf seems to be a family favorite for everyone, as it involves fun and wild golf courses, as well as friendly competition. Just make sure your kid doesn’t hit the ball too hard – he can save that for the driving range!

Local sports: The interesting thing about sports games is that you don’t necessarily need a huge sports franchise in order to watch sports. Every town has their local high school or even college, and generally there is almost always a football or baseball team for locals to come watch. This is a great outdoor fun family activity for any family to go to.

Ice Skating Rinks: Skating with the family is a great treat. What could be more fun then gliding around on ice with your kids, with fun music booming in the background. America is chockful of fun rinks, including Miami, Boston, NYC, DC, and more. The best part is, some rinks stay open all year round. Check out our list of most family friendly ice skating rinks that you should definitely check out!

Gym Activities for the Family:

Gyms are perfect for rainy days and bad weather. Whether you need an outlet for your kids to run around, or an intramural pickup basketball league, there is something to do. Now, if you are able to rent out a part of the gym for your family to play, then the sky is the limit on various gym-related fun family activities, and here are our favorites:

Octopus Dodge Ball: This game involves the classic dodgeball rules, but instead of going off to the side after getting hit by a ball, the player just sits in the spot that they were hit. These sitting players can then tag anyone who runs by them, forcing them to sit as well. Soon enough, you’ll have an octopus formed with family members!

Spin and Run: This is a basic race, probably best between just two family members. Why, you might ask? Well, it probably isn’t a great idea to have too many dizzy people running around. The basic premise is to have 2 people, ideally siblings, each take a bat or a ball and hold it above their head, look at the bottom of it, and then spin around ten times. THEN these 2 dizzy siblings will race eachother to the finish line! And yes, hilarity will ensue.

Hula Hoop Freeze: Have a few kids spinning with hula hoops. They are only allowed to hula hoop until the count to 10. Then they can be tagged by anyone, and then they are IT. Of course, anyone who is using the hula hoop is invisible from getting frozen by anyone else.

Dance Classes

In keeping with the theme of indoor gyms, perhaps consider kids’ dance classes. There is no such thing as too young for your kid to start learning how to dance. With dance studios taking on kids as young as 18 months, learning to dance early on is definitely a positive activity for your kid and can help with both physical and artistic development. With tons of dance studios around America, we’ve chosen some of our faves and outlined below:

Additional Things to do at Home with the Whole Family:

Here are a few more classic fun indoor games which everyone knows and require no explanation:

  • Bingo
  • Go Fish
  • Monopoly
  • Hide and Seek

Indoor Family Activities with Kids at Home

indoor activities inside house

There are many reasons why you may want to keep things indoors with the family. Whether it’s the rain, the cold, or any other reason you can think of for wanting a roof on top of your head, well, that is totally legitimate.

And the truth is, you don’t need a reason to have fun indoors with the family. Family activities can be held anywhere, including your living room, den, and even your kitchen!

In terms of indoor activities that the whole family can enjoy, the list is really, truly, never ending.

However, we’ve gone ahead and broken up potential indoor activities into several subsets below:

Indoor Planting Activities:

Planting is a forgotten art for things to do in one’s home, school, or office. That is because people often assume all planting and gardening if for the outdoors. That is certainly not the case, and there are definitely a bunch of fun planting activities that you can do with the whole family.

Venus Flytrap: Let’s start with the most simple and also a fan favorite. We here at UNICEF Kid Power certainly are no experts when it comes to plants, and for official information here is a great resource on this plant.

The great thing about Venus Fly Traps is that they can indeed be grown indoors. However, it is important that you place the plant by a window, ideally one that is opened on a regular basis. The open window can be anywhere in the room, but the sunlight must hit the plant. The fun part is obviously feeding the plant.

If your kid has patience, he may get to witness the Venus Flytrap capture a bug such as a fly or ant. But, it is definitely a fun thing to watch if you feed your Venus Flytrap various goodies, including tiny pieces of chicken or fruit. Make sure that your kid doesn’t feed it something absurd like a crayon or clay – this can harm the plant!

Check out this amazing slow motion video capture of a Venus Fly Trap catching a fly:

Plant racing: Before you get too excited, we’ll have to explain what we mean by racing here. This would essentially be a competition between family members, on whose plant can grow the fastest. It would make sense that the only way to stoke interest from all family members would be a bit of friendly competition.

Essentially, each family member would get their own identical seeds, dirt, and pot. After that, each is on their own! It is up to each person in charge of their respective plants to water it correctly, give it the right amount of sunlight, and perhaps be creative with other plant-growing creative ideas (playing Mozart near the plant comes to mind). Every week, the plants can be brought next to each other and measured to see who’s has grown the most! You can also measure other aspects such as first seeds to sprout, and differences in leaf structure, color, or quality.

Looking for some more ideas for indoor plant ideas and activities? Here is a great list!

Daytime Fun Family Activities with Kids

There is certainly plenty of overlap between daytime and outdoor fun family activities. However, we came up with a list of a few activities for kids which are absolutely exclusive to the daytime, involving places which you probably only want to go during the day anyhow: Beaches, playgrounds, campsites, and biking/rollerblading/skating.

When it comes to beaches, here a few fun daytime activities:

Frisbee Golf Activity. Dust off the ol’ Frisbee and bring it to the beach for the day. Instead of just tossing it around (though you can do that too if you’d like ? ), set up goals and targets with other beach gear. For example, place a sandal somewhere about 30 feet away, and place a towel in the opposite direction 25 feet away. Toss the Frisbee and try to nail the target! And if you have a family dog, he can totally participate!

Kite Flying: This is a classic daytime beach activity, and the reason is because kids love it! Sure, parents might get anxious watching their kids sprint through other families and stomp on random strangers’ towels. However, kite flying is also educational, as kids will be able to learn and understand how the kite can soar depending on the wind direction. And, it’s definitely a beautiful thing to watch.

Tug of War Sandpit: This is a great one but requires some effort. Before you start tugging the rope, dig a pit in the middle. Then place the rope over the pit and have the opposing captains stand across from the pit, facing eachother, and holding the rope. Let the tug of war begin! Obviously the team that loses will fall into the sandpit. Caution: this game involves a bit of physical risk, so please do so with extreme caution and take preventative measures (for instance, make the sandpit only a few inches deep).

Playgrounds offer a plethora of daytime activities for families to have some fun! Depending on the playground, there are different options available. Obviously if you have slides and swings, then there isn’t much creativity required to have activities. But if there isn’t much for your kid to do at the playground, (or if another kid is hogging the swingset), well, you have plenty of classic kids games:

Red light green light activity: If you don’t already know, here is how this classic kids game works: one kid is a traffic light on one end, and the other kids are at the other end. When the traffic light kid turns to face the group he or she can scream “red light!!” at which point everyone immediately freezes. Then the kid turns his back and shouts “green light!!” and everyone can run forward. He then turns and shouts “red light!!” again, and anyone caught running has to go back to the end of the line. The first person to get close enough and tag the traffic light is the winner!

TV Tag: This is an interesting one and more enjoyable for an older family. It is a basic game of freeze tag, but in this case the person that unfreezes the frozen player must call out a TV show title each time. The catch of the game is that every TV show can only be used once!

Elastics: This requires a parent to bring along some elastic rope, and is a classic game that kids can play for hours (and burn off some calories as well!). Rather than explain it, we figured we would show you this fun to watch and easy to understand video:

Looking for more fun kids activities during the day at your local playground? Have no fear, Pinterest has a huge list!

Biking: We mentioned it above, and biking is a great family activity. Often, most playgrounds and parks have wide swaths of pavement where you and your family can easily bike for hours.

Rollerblading: This can be indoor or outdoors, but rollerblading can ostensibly be done on any bike path. It’s best to start in a confined space if its your kids’ first time rollerblading.

Skating: Skating is less of a journey-activity like biking is, and is more for fun bursts in your local playground. Whether your local park has a skate park, or just a blacktop for freestyling, skating can be fun with a few family members involved.

Looking for more daytime beach activities for your kids? Check ‘em out here on Pinterest!

Fun Night Time Family Activities & Ideas

Though most of our indoor fun family activities with kids listed above can be done at night, we were able to cobble together a few family night ideas that are specific to night time that the family and kids and teenagers will love!

Stargazing: There is plenty to write about on this subject, and we’ll leave it to the experts (link below) to explain it all. However, the night time presents a unique experience where a family can gaze out onto the stars together in wonderment.

Whether it’s a solar eclipse, or using a telescope to spot Saturn in the wee hours of the morning, or catching a random shooting star, gazing at the night time sky as a family is truly an experience. Additionally, it allows parents to teach their kids a thing or two, by pointing out notable stars such as: Orion’s belt, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Polarus, Vega, Canopus, Pollux, and Deneb.

Here are more resources for learning about the midnight sky and its brightest stars.

Movie night: Now we know that TV watching is not the most productive family activity, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world to get the family around the fireplace, cook a yummy dinner, and turn on a movie which could hopefully be fun for the whole family. There is definitely something to watching a movie as a family bonding night time activity rather than during the day. We’ve written a post about fun family movies here.

Baking: Although this can be done during the day, there is a definitely an enjoyable and soothing effect of baking before and during bedtime hours. Going to sleep at night with the fresh aroma of a warm cake that was just baked really is an underrated experience, and is what qualifies baking as a fun night time activity for the family. You can get everyone involved as well: get your spouse to get the utensils ready, and have the kids pour and mix ingredients. And, if you want, let the kids have a surprise pre-bedtime snack of the cake you just baked, assuming it’s not too late in the evening.

Camping: If you have a backyard, then why not pitch a tent and go camping! Pull out the sleeping bags, maybe even light a small bonfire (but be careful!) and sit around the campfire and tell fun or scary stories. The best part is, if your kids get scared you can always go right back inside and into bed!

Indoor Camping: Sure, this kind of defeats the purpose of camping. But, if your kids are younger and still afraid of sleeping outdoors, then why not try a trial run with indoor camping. (This is also good for households that don’t have much of a backyard). The idea is still the same – gather everyone in one room, and feel free to make it as realistic as you’d like! You can pitch tents, put everyone in sleeping bags, and even roast marshmallows! Talk about a fun indoor nighttime activity for the family! This is also conducive for a family that has a baby at home, allowing the parents to be within earshot.

Listening to nature: Depending on where you live, this can be a fun activity. If your family lives anywhere mountainous, or even in certain suburbs, you can definitely hear sounds nature. Often times, we take the natural sounds of nature for granted, but if you listen closely you can hear tons of interesting sounds!

We bet you never thought this could be a fun family activity! If you put your ear to the outdoors, especially at nighttime when things are more quiet, you can probably hear crickets, cicadas, tree frogs, hummingbirds (more likely during the day), bats, and croaking lizards. Your kids will be amazed at all of the amazing sounds of nature that they’ve always heard but now can truly listen and take note.

We hope you enjoyed our comprehensive list of fun family activities for things to do with kids. If you find yourself looking for additional ways to entertain your kids or teens, definitely check out our list of 2017’s best kids’ fitness trackers – bound to give hours of entertainment to your kids, and our Kid Power Bands are for a good cause as well! Any other awesome ideas? Let us know by sending us a message on our Facebook page!