Quality time with family is great, but sometimes we find ourselves in a repetitive cycle of the same activities. Choosing the same movie, restaurant or activity isn’t done on purpose; it usually has something to do with time, tiredness or lack of planning. We want to help you take your next family night or weekend to a new level. Here are a few ideas to spark some creativity when planning your next family gathering:

Family Fun: 4 Tips on Enhancing Family Time

1) Explore a new area.

When my family comes to visit, we always plan a short day trip to a city or town we’ve never visited before. New England is bustling with small, quaint towns that allow for shopping, tasty food and spectacular views. There is a lot of quality time to be had between the car rides, exploring new shops and taking photos to commemorate your trip. Looking for a great New England stop? Check out a few options here.

2) Spend the night in.

One of my favorite evenings includes a “themed” movie night. Allow one family member to choose a movie while another comes up with a meal idea that compliments the movie theme. For example, if you’re watching Cast Away or The Little Mermaid, try cooking up some of these beach-themed dishes. This can be a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen and learn the ins and outs of healthy (and fun!) eating. I spent many a night bustling around the kitchen with my mom and those memories are priceless.

3) Get Outside.

The weather is getting nicer. You’re at a desk all day. It’s time to lace up your shoes, recruit your family/friends and explore the outdoors. Whether it’s’ going for a hike or a walk, time spent moving will benefit your health as well as your relationship with the loved ones in your life. Get outside with these 15 trails within an hour of Boston.

4) Alternate.

If you’re anything like me, you love to plan. It’s time to let go of the reins. Each week, let a different family member choose the activities for family night. One person’s idea of “fun” could be completely different from your own. Put yourself out there and let go of your inner planner. By experiencing something different that your brother/sister/parent/child suggests, you might just find that you learn something new about them. Check out these fun, family-friendly activities in and around Boston.

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