Fatherhood & Family

Family Bonding Activities to Strengthen Togetherness

family bonding

Family bonding activities are so important to the health of our families. In today’s world, families tend to be on the go all the time. As the kids get older, it becomes harder and harder to get in that precious together time. With preteens, elementary, and teen kids, the level of interest in family bonding activities goes from 100% down to a disheartening 10%. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t tempt them into some family bonding activities.

Family Bonding Activities that Get Kids Interested

While our teenagers, and perhaps our preteens, may express a lack of interest in family bonding activities, they can still participate in and enjoy family time. If you’re looking for ways to bond as a family without stress or flak from your older kids, then these activities are for you.

Local Events

It’s easy to track down local events during the holiday break or other school vacation time during the year. These events are usually easy on the wallet, as well. Many of them only cost a small amount, and still, more of them are totally free. Check your city’s website to find events that you can use to get your kids excited about spending time together as a family.

Board Games

Board games are the great equalizer of family time. Younger kids love them, and no matter how much the older kids complain, they eventually end up having a reasonably good time, as well. Even if you don’t have a vast collection of board games to choose from, don’t worry. You can easily find tons of board games at your local thrift store.

Create a Treasure Hunt

This is a great family bonding activity when you have both younger and older kids. Enlist the older kids to help create a treasure hunt in which the entire family can participate. The older kids can come up with clever ideas of what the family will search for, and the younger kids will love trying to find it.

family time

Family Dinner

One of the easiest ways to have quality family time is to eat together whenever possible. While some days, that might not be an option, aim to eat as a family whenever you can. It’s an old-time favorite that many families have stopped doing, but it’s one that’s so important. When you have dinner together as often as possible, you’ll soon find that the family bond strengthens more and faster than you’d think.

Family Travel

Family trips are a great way to make family bonding fun and exciting. There’s nothing better than exploring a new place as a family. It’s impossible for everyone not to feel like they’re on a grand adventure. Whether it’s a staycation or a big trip, try to plan something every year. You can increase the excitement by letting the kids help plan it. The older kids can also help by pitching in part of their job money to go on that big trip, leading to a sense of accomplishment.

Family Bonding is so Important

Family bonding is an incredibly important part of raising kids. Keeping a roof over their heads and getting them to all of their activities is good, but making sure they have a strong bond with the family unit is even better. Whether you’re looking for activities to do during the holiday or summer break or you’re just trying to find something to take up a weekend, these ideas will work year-round and easily encourage a deeper bond between you and your kids.

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Fatherhood & Family

15 Epic Backyard Projects to Get Your Family Outdoors

15 Backyard Projects

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As kids get older, our lives get busier. It becomes harder to prioritize spending time together as a family. However, we all know the importance of spending time together with our loved ones. It strengthens family bonds and helps us relax. Moreover, as kids get older, it is also harder to get them to put down their electronic devices, get out in the backyard,  and have a conversation! It can be such a chore, it’s crazy. They get to be like zombies and would on electronics 24/7 if you let them!!

Families That Play Together Stay Together

While it is challenging to find time to spend together and to get your kids to put down their phones, it is more important than ever before to prioritize family time.  Family studies researchers at the University of Illinois found there are benefits of spending time in nature as a family and believe that families who regularly get outside together tend to function better.

Therefore, it is time to get your family outdoors together! The combination of spending time together as a family with the outdoors will make a huge difference in your family life. By designing your backyard to be an oasis for your family, your kids are more likely to put away their electronic devices, get outdoors, and look you in the eye. And if you involve them in planning and building your project, you can teach them valuable organizational skills while you’re at it.

15 Backyard Projects to Help Families Enjoy Your Backyard Together

We’ve identified 15 backyard projects to help you get started in making your backyard a space your family loves to hang out. With older kids, they can get help with many of these projects making both the project and the result something to enjoy as a family.

  • Make Pallet Furniture – Pallet furniture is more popular than ever before. This is because it is versatile and cheap. If you need outdoor furniture, such as seats or tables, you can build pallet furniture together and then give it a bright and whimsical paint job. Your kids will take pride in knowing they helped build furniture that everyone uses.
  • Crochet a Hammock – If you are on a budget or simply enjoy DIY projects, consider crocheting your own backyard hammock. If you want to try something unique, you can even craft a hammock out of grocery bags (find instructions here).
  • Make a non-traditional swing – Think beyond the traditional swings you can purchase. Do you have an old rocking chair gathering dust? Or lawn chairs? Paint them in bright colors and hang them from a tree. Or perhaps you have other objects that could be turned into unique swings. While tire swings are one of the most obvious choices, there are countless things you can hang from a sturdy limb to make your backyard swing unique and perfect for your family.
  • Dig a koi pond – A backyard koi pond will provide your family with endless entertainment. You will need to work together to build the pond and to take care of your Koi fish. Your kids will love feeding the Koi and watching them grow.
  • Build a fire pit – Want to encourage conversation and family bonding? Build a fire pit! Simply by circling the fire to tell stories, share jokes, or make smores, your family will have a special place where you will make lifelong memories.
  • Design a Rube-Goldberg machine to water plants – Encourage your kids to embrace STEM learning by working together as a family to design and build a Rube-Goldberg machine to water plants. Check out this example from PBS Learning Media of a simple machine used to water plants.
  • Build an epic Ninja-style obstacle course The popularity of the TV show “American Ninja Warrior” has spawned a spinoff for kids and inspired families everywhere to build challenging obstacle courses in their backyards. It takes some planning and effort, but there are online tutorials that can help you build a backyard obstacle course with balance beams, cargo nets, ramps, teeter-totters, monkey bars, climbing walls, and more.
  • Chalkboard Walls – Adding a chalkboard wall to your fence is a great way to embrace art, literacy, and fun outdoors. Your family can draw pictures or leave messages for one another on the chalkboard. As kids get older, you can use the chalkboard wall to play family games such as Pictionary.
  • Treehouse – Add a treehouse to your backyard and your kids will never want to come inside. Plus, building a treehouse together will encourage family members to work together to complete a difficult task. Here are some backyard treehouse tips.
  • Butterfly Feeders – If you want kids to spend time in nature and notice the wonder of their surroundings, make some DIY butterfly feeders. No matter how old we are, butterflies capture our attention. Why not bring them to us with food and water? 
  • Bat Houses – Another fun building project for families is making a backyard bat house. Bat houses are homes for bats. If you want to have fewer backyard bugs, a bat house is a great idea. DIY Network has complete instructions.
  • Outdoor Movie Theater – Bring the nostalgia of the drive-in theaters to your own backyard by creating your own outdoor movie theater. Add some comfortable seating, pop some popcorn, and invite the neighbors. Your kids will rush to turn off their indoor electronics to watch something on an outdoor screen. Here are HGTV’s instructions for creating an easy outdoor movie theater.
  • Life-size Games – A fantastic way to play together as a family is actually to play games together. Considering building some DIY life-size games such as Jenga, Dominoes, and Connect Four. Some families have even designed giant backyard chess boards!
  • Backyard Bowling – Another great family project is DIY backyard bowling. If you build a backyard bowling lane, your family will be sure to spend ample amounts of time together outdoors competing and having a blast. DIY and Crafts has a how-to guide for building your own backyard bowling lane.

Practical Precautions

Spending hours outdoors building things, climbing, and playing is great for kids’ physical and emotional development. But there are common-sense precautions that are good to take to keep your family happy and healthy.

  • Safety rules – Take care when letting children help with hammering, drilling, and using tools. Children should be supervised around fire pits and ponds. Teach kids to take turns on swings, hammocks, and ladders. Discourage roughhousing on obstacle courses. Setting ground rules makes playing safer and more fun for everyone.
  • First aid kit – Skinned knees are badges of honor for many active kids. Keep a first aid kit handy to disinfect and bandage any “boo-boos” so your child can get back outside quickly. But on a more serious note, allergic reactions from bee stings or insect bites can be serious. For kids with known allergies, keep an epinephrine auto-injection pen in your kit. And both children and adults should take care not to overexert themselves. It’s a good idea for all parents to learn CPR and first aid in the unlikely event of an emergency.
  • Stay hydrated – Children are at greater risk of dehydration than adults because they often forget to drink or don’t recognize that they’re thirsty. Their smaller size also means dehydration can set in faster. Make sure your kids have plenty to drink before, during and after playing outdoors.
  • Wear sunscreen – Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can reach kids’ tender skin and cause a nasty burn. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen before they go outdoors, and reapply every two hours.

Enjoying time outside is beneficial for kids and parents. With a little creativity, effort, and some safety precautions, you can pry your kids away from their little glowing screens and get them moving.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray & 4 Ways To Rock At Grandparents

This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - blu-ray and more

If you’ve been following along online, you know that the Sweeney family has been psyched about the Blu-ray release of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (in stores NOW!!). Not only did I have the opportunity to interview the Director of the film, JA Bayona, but my wife also sat down with Bryce Dallas Howard! It’s really been an amazing time for us. We really just love the movie. Period, end of story. Action, adventure, comedy, dinosaurs…what more could a family ask for in a movie?? In case you need a little help, here’s what it’s all about!!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Synopsis

Building on the wonder and adventure that has mesmerized audiences worldwide, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues one of the most thrilling series in movie history with an adventure 65 million years in the making, captivating audiences of all ages with a stunning new chapter filled and more dinosaurs than any other Jurassic film.

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - dino with Blu-ray

Family Movie Night

So, when we found out that it was time to host our very own family movie night, we jumped at the chance. And the timing could not have been more ideal. Long story short, we are refinishing the hardwood floors in our home and it’s kind of a big deal. If you’re not sure, I bet you can imagine. You’re basically moving, but almost everything is now in my basement and kitchen. And I had to do it all in two days. Thankfully, to make things a little easier for everyone, my parents recently moved into a home nearby, so we had a convenient place to crash. This really is going to make this process so much easier. The kids were really excited, and so were my parents. We are coming over for about 5 days, mom and dad…be prepared!

Now, the question is, what can we do to keep everyone happy and entertained in their temporary home away from home?  There are a ton of ways to have fun at grandma and grandpas house, and your kids know each and every one of them. Check out the list below and let me know what you think! Is it party time over there,  or what? This is the part where you say, why weren’t my parents so fun and easy going when I was a kid. I think that’s another post altogether.

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - dad and dino

4 Ways To Rock Out At Grandma and Grandpas

1) Eat All of the Things

Yes, I know. We don’t want to encourage bad, unhealthy behavior, but how cool is it that I don’t have to cook or prepare lunches, or even snacks!?!? It’s awesome, baby, and the kids love it, too. My mom stocks the fridge and cabinets with all their favorites…cookies, loads of fruit, gallons of milk, ice cream, yogurts, and more. They really love being able to help out, so this is perfect for them.

2) Play All of the Games

My parents have iPhones and iPads and all of that, but they still love a good board game, card game, or coloring book. And the kids do, too. It’s great family time spent together, old school and good. It’s the perfect way to pass the time and bond.

3) Sleepover Anytime

We are obviously having an extended sleepover stay, with me and my wife included, but even on a random weekend, the kids just love to sleepover their grandparents house. It’s like a mini-vacation where there’s less questions and nagging and more fun and pampering. Everyone wins…and most of the mommy and daddy get a night or two off. How can you beat that?

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - mom and dino Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - close growl

4) Family Movie Night Party

Family movie night? You bet, it’s one of our favorite activities! More often than not, we love to put a little pizazz into our night…make it a party. Yes, a movie night party! This time, we were going with gear, dinos, and awesome snacks.

First up, dino costume. Yes, you read that correctly. We opted for a blow up dinosaur costume that only Caleb could fit into and it was dope. We surprised everyone and everyone really couldn’t have had more fun. The inflatable dino costume was so much fun and really cute. It was perfect.

Next, matching t-shirts, because why not? You can either look for t-shirts and hats that are already made or you can try to make your own using services online that allow for custom printing. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s really not expensive. Plus, who doesn’t love a good t-shirt?

Buy the Blu-Rays you love if it’s a movie that you are going to watch over and over and over again – like JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. It makes a lot of sense and the kids really get so much out of them. There’s all those bonus scenes and that amazing picture to go with it.

Finish it off with some Jurassic World sweets and gourmet popcorn, and the night is complete and a massive success. Grandma and grandpa loved every minute, especially when the dino costume came out. Laughter ensued, joy-osity rained down on the land. Happiness reined.

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - scary dino

Bring Dinosaurs To Life

We love this movie and I hope I’ve given you some inspiration. If anything, just take away that this is a great movie to watch with the entire family. Need more? Check out this trailer!!!

Have Your Own Party

It’s time to call JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM your own. Don’t be shy now. You can take home all the dinosaurs all day long because the Blu-Ray has officially released. Fans can access this movie on digital, Blu-Ray, HD, 4K, and more! It’s all out in the market RIGHT NOW featuring more than an hour of bonus content. It’s just a lot of good, family entertainment. There’s something to excite and please just about everyone in your family. How many times can you really say that’s a thing??

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom Blu-ray Party - popcorn time

Find Out More


Get social with Jurassic World on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @JurassicWorld

Search for #TeamJurassic and #FallenKingdom

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5 ways to throw a dinosaur themed party


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So Many Fun Games To Play with All You Can Play

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine. All of the love of the fun games to play are all mine, too!

Chuck E Cheese's West Islip

Endless Summer

I love the summer. It’s simply a time of fun, joy, and good times with friends and family. The kids can’t get enough…and neither can I. There are just so many great activities for kids and fun games to play, it’s really the pinnacle of kid-dom, right? From beach days to road trips to vacations to other countries, the summer is the ideal time to relax, experience, and to just enjoy life. Kids have all the time off, but it’s the perfect excuse for grown-ups to enjoy the time as well. While there are so many fun things to do outside, there are some rainy days or some super hot days where you wouldn’t mind being inside for just a little bit. You know the feeling? I want to show how just how fun a day inside can be…right smack in the middle of your summer fun!!!

Chuck E Cheese's All You Can Play

Chuck E Cheese's family selfieAll You Can Play

If you’re looking for fun things to do with your kids and family to shake things up in the middle of the week, look no further than Chuck E. Cheese’s! I think that’s period, end of statement. While the token-loving mouse of old is still so much fun, Chuck E. Cheese’s is rolling out All You Can Play, which means your family can play unlimited games for the amount of time purchased!! In other words, more of all the fun you want. All You Can Play lets parents be the hero by giving kids free reign of Chuck E. Cheese’s to play all games as many times as they want. Just choose an amount of time and when your time is up, you’re done. It’s that easy!

Chuck E Cheese's shooting game

Chuck E Cheese's siblings showing play card

All games. Any day. It’s literally endless games for kids starting at $9 for 30 minutes! That’s really an insanely good deal. We played for 90 minutes and played hundreds, if not thousands, of games in that time. We were one a mission to maximize those minutes, baby, and we did. I have to say, that was also part of the fun. We had a ton of fun, but if you need a break, you can pause your time up to two times at the kiosk.

Chuck E Cheese's flying game

Chuck E Cheese's basketball game

At Chuck E. Cheese’s, there’s a game for every member of the family. There are just so many fun games to play!! Which one is your family’s favorite? From shooting, to skeeball to driving, and more. My kids love them all, but we are all really drawn to the basketball, football, and soccer games. It’s just so much fun to mix gaming and sports. It’s the perfect pairing! Sure, I get a little into it…but that’s cool, right??

Chuck E Cheese's game printing out tickets Chuck E Cheese's happy boy with tickets

Chuck E Cheese's prize collection

Ticket Time

While you don’t have any more tokens with the All You Can Play card, the kids get such an amazing kick out of collecting those classic paper tickets as their reward for doing well at each game. The thrill of seeing those babies stream out of the game never gets old, even for me. There’s just something about it. It’s old school, old time fun. And it’s awesome. Once you have your fun tallying your totals (we racked up over 1500 tickets baby), you get to collect your booty. I think they kids love getting the candy and toys the best of all. There’s thought, strategy, negotiation, and barter involved. It ticks off all the boxes and then some.

Chuck E Cheese's inserting tickets Chuck E Cheese's prize collection

Chuck E Cheese's pizza lunchThere are some things that never change, and thank God for that!!! And just so you know, there’s a fill salad bar, freshly made delicious pizza, and even beer and wine for the big kids. Chuck E. Cheese’s has it all!! Plus Chuck E. himself is out and about all day long, every hour on the :30!!!! What’s better than that???

Chuck E Cheese's in person with my son

Find Out More

Don’t forget to sign up for Chuck E. Cheese’s loyalty program, More Cheese Rewards, more fun games to play. The more you visit, the more rewards you can earn to use on food, drinks, games and prizes! Sign up for More Cheese Rewards by downloading the mobile app via iTunes or Google Play. Find out even more about the awesome All You Can Play option, birthday parties, kids games, and more at:

Chuck E Cheese's father and son selfie

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Fatherhood & Family

Bring You And Your Son Closer Together

I am truly blessed to have two awesome sons and a father that’s still around and kicking. There are few things better in life then being able to enjoy those amazing times with your boys and dad. It’s such an essential part of a man’s existence and it’s what really keeps me going each and every day. It’s at the heart of so much we all do, and the relationship between a father and son is especially unique, and it’s one that you probably want to make sure you are looking after as well as possible. Not only is it important for your son’s development as an individual, but you will probably find that it is one of the most important relationships in your whole life too. What’s more, there is a certain bond between a father and son which is different to any other kind of relationship. As the symbol of manhood which they will use for their development, you will be an important force, and it’s good to remember that you hold such an important position. It’s also worth trying to be as close as possible to your son, and there are many ways to do just that.

Bonding Like Men

Above you you are probably keen to be able to bond about the shared maleness of the two of you, and that means finding a way to do so. There are a huge number of activities and so on which you engage in in order to make this happen, and it all depends largely on what you and your son in particular will be likely to enjoy together. Whatever it is, the most important thing is that you find things you can do together which help to improve your son’s understanding of what it means to be a man. As the role model in the relationship, you might at times feel that there is a particular pressure on you to represent the male figure well, and in a sense there is. However, your mark as a father is all in how well you manage to live up to this, and it’s a challenge which is worth taking on. If you get it right, you set up your son for a fuller and more meaningful life, so it is definitely worth thinking about. The more you can bond over this, the closer you are likely to be, and the better off you are both likely to be too as men.

Seeing Yourself As A Role Model

This process of being the role model is not something that everyone takes to in an equal manner. Some men will find it more difficult or stressful than others. Whatever your response to it happens to be, it is natural, and you need to make sure that you do not place too much emphasis on trying to be something you are not. Above all, the good male role model is he who is unashamedly himself, and this is what you need to instill in your son as early as possible. Learning to see yourself as a role model in this way means not trying to act in a certain way but embodying who you are as fully and as completely as you possibly can. In this way, you will be a role model for the same way of being for your son, and he will be much more likely to be himself without a feeling of lack or shame inside him. This is essential for him to grow up in a particularly confident and forthright manner, and it is likely to be something you want to focus on first and foremost in dealing with your relationship with your son.

Developing Common Interests

Even if you sometimes feel that you and your son are quite different from one another, there are always interests which you are bound to share in common. The key really is to focus as much as you can on those interests, and try not to worry yourself too much about the rest. There will always be things which you are able to enjoy together and things which are less likely for you to bond over – and if there were no differences between you at all then there would be little point in having children. However, spending time developing common interests as best as you can and working on spending time together in the pursuit of those interests is always going to be hugely beneficial. Be sure to focus on those above all others – no matter what they might be in your case – and don’t worry too much about what you do not really have in common. This will keep the tone of your relationship positive, and that will be beneficial for the both of you.


Spend Time Together

There is nobody out there who can really tell you what activities are best for you and your son, because there is no other father and son relationship quite the same as yours. However, if you think about some of the more traditional father-son activities, you can often see a particular trend in engaging with your son in a way which encourages the development of a certain male behavior. It’s certainly true that there are particular activities which are likely to lend themselves especially well to you as a father and son team. These might include playing your favorite sports, going camping just the two of you, hunting, hiking, or anything which is physical and can bring you both together in that kind of way. The activities you choose may vary, but the overall idea remains the same, and ultimately it’s all about bonding as two men in the way you find best. Do that, and your relationship will blossom all the more as time goes on.

Share Treats

There are always many occasions to buy gifts, and it doesn’t just have to be birthdays and Christmas. You can treat you son to a gift at any time just for the sake of it, and it is always likely to go down well. When you do buy your son a gift, however, you might want to try and buy him something which really speaks to him both as a man and as the individual that he really is. If you buy the gift with this in mind, you will probably find that it really does make a huge difference to our relationship and to his development as well. The kinds of potential gifts you could buy are really entirely up to you and what you think he would genuinely enjoy and get use out of. However there are also always a number of possible classics options available to you as well. A good example is to buy him a casio zegarki, a classic style of watch which can lend a certain old-world charm to a mn of any age. If your son is of age, you could buy him whisky or his prefered drink. Or anything that you think can relate to the hobbies he has or the activities you engage in together. Whatever you buy, buying him gifts is likely to be a great way to continue bonding, and it’s definitely well worth it.

Listen To Each Other

If there is something that men in a close relationship tend to fail to do, it is to talk and listen to each other. You need to try and do whatever you can to really listen in an active way to your son, and to encourage him to do the same for you. This will ensure that you are much more likely to know what is going on in your son’s life at any one time, and vice versa. If there is anything that keeps a father and son together, it is this, so don’t overlook the apparent simplicity of this essential practice. The more you are able to listen to one another, the better off you will be, and the closer your relationship will be. If at any point you find you are really struggling to listen to each other properly, then you might want to make it a regular thing to sit down and have a good conversation. This is often all that is necessary to ensure you are listening to each other as fully as possible.

Be More Spiritual

Even if you don’t normally consider yourself to be very spiritual, you will definitely find a benefit in focusing on this side of things in your relationship with your son. However you decide to approach it, thinking about and talking about the spiritual matters together is one of the strongest possible ways to really connect. There is something about the spiritual that really brings two people together, especially within a family relationship, and it’s something that is worth developing if you are serious about being as close to your son as you can possibly be. If you don’t consider yourself highly spiritual, and you are not sure about this, that’s fine – but if there is even an inkling inside you that this is the right way to go, you should definitely think about finding a way to make it a reality within your father son relationship. You will be amazed at what this simple act can do to really open up your relationship with your son on a deeper level – and this will change the ordinary material aspect of the relationship in huge ways as well.

Enjoy this special bond, it’s truly one of life’s greatest joys.

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Entertainment & Leisure

10 Ways to Enjoy Fall with Your Family

It’s almost that time of year; Fall will be here before we know it. The leaves will change color, the air will become more crisp and cooler. The smell of apple and pumpkins will be in the air for us to enjoy. It’s the best time of year to enjoy your family without sweating to death or getting burnt by the sun. The days are a little shorter, but they are more enjoyable due to the milder weather patterns. It’s my favorite time of the year I think.

Why not get a jumpstart to Fall by planning to have some fun this season with your family, here’s some ideas:

  1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch – if you have these in your area, they really are a beautiful site to see. Many farmers will open up their doors so that visitors can come enjoy the festive view of the pumpkin patch where family activities are usually present too.
  2. Go on a Corn Maze – if you research your local area, you should find some corn mazes setup for visitors to enjoy. Some corn mazes have a price, but the fee is usually pretty reasonable. This is a super fun Fall activity to enjoy with your family.
  3. Go on a Hay Ride – during the Fall season you will find that many farms will allow hay rides to happen as a means for them to earn a little extra revenue. Consider going on a hay ride with your family, it will be a memory making event for sure.
  4. Leaf Rubbings – before those leaves get all crinkly, perhaps consider doing some leaf rubbings where you take crayons and paper, place a leaf behind the paper and rub the crayon along the paper to make beautiful artistic photos.
  5. Grave Rubbings – similar to leaf rubbings but instead you visit a local cemetery and find old gravestones. You will take a piece of paper and rub the crayon over the paper that has been placed on the gravestone to etch the saying onto the paper.
  6. Foliage Tour – during the Fall season you will see many foliage tours happening. This is a great way to get out and enjoy the family while viewing the amazing colors of the leaves during this transition season.
  7. Visit a Cider Mill – apple cider is super popular this time of year, check out a local cider mill where you can tour it and taste their yummy apple cider. This could make a fun and educational day for your whole family.
  8. Take a Nature Walk – Fall can be a wonderful season to get outside more, the air is cooler and the humidity has slowed down. Consider taking a nature walk with the family after dinner time so that you can enjoy your wonderful family together with nature.
  9. Go Apple Picking – this is a great season to go apple picking, many orchards will open their doors and quite often you will find picking your own apples is more cost effective than purchasing the apples in store.
  10. Carve a Pumpkin – Fall is the perfect time of year to do a little pumpkin carving. Get those pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, come home and get crafty with the carving utensils together as a family.

There you have it 10 ways to enjoy Fall with your family this year. Do you have a favorite Fall season activity to do as a family?

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Fatherhood & Family

How to Create a Family Fun Weekend Tradition and Savor Childhood

It’s important that you take the time to bond with family. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Your kids won’t be around forever and soon will venture out into the real world to create their own version of happiness. They will go away to school and maybe stay there. Take my neighbor. 4 kids, all came home after college. In the span of a year, one more to New Orleans, one to Boston, and one to Brooklyn. There’s one left, and who knows what will happen next. My daughter is 11…she will be in college in 6 years. I can’t even think about it. It’s some scary stuff, really. It’s literally life changing, just as much as that first day you took your first baby home. As you start to watch your kids grow older, it may dawn on you that you have little time left to create a family fun weekend tradition. It’s time today to think about how you can create a family fun weekend tradition so that maybe, just maybe, these kids will return each weekend as adults to have this type of fun forever.

Start to discuss the idea of having a new tradition that your family does on the weekend. Perhaps you don’t do this EVERY single weekend, but plan it for the second weekend of every month, at least. It’s not about how often you partake in this family fun weekend tradition but more about how it’s planned and consistently implemented. Figure out what types of things your kids enjoy doing and find that common ground in which you can work with your partner to plan a family fun weekend tradition.

Research the ideas your kids like and do with them. Let them have fun but also see what goes into it all. Research your budget and create a plan of attack. Let them know that things aren’t free, and take planning. It will show them about life and it will give them an idea that this is really important. It should give it all more meaning, at least we can hope.

It’s important to bond as a family unit. Traditions, regardless of what they are, tend to be the easiest and most perfect way to start reconnecting as a family unit. Even if your kids are now teens, it’s important to keep this family running strong before they venture out into adulthood.

Once you have determined the budget, what type of family fun weekend tradition you will create, it’s time to sit down and put this into action. Have a family meeting, where even the youngsters are involved, to plan out your weekend tradition itinerary. Let each kid have something you will do together be important to them, those little ones may just want to do a craft or read a book, that’s okay! You don’t have to go broke and you don’t have to travel anywhere to start planning a family fun weekend tradition.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get started in creating these magical memories with a family fun weekend tradition today! Enjoy your time together as much as you can! Time is a fleeting and very fickle thing.

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Food & Drink

Celebrate Special Moments with Gallo Family Vineyards

This post brought to you by Gallo Family Vineyards. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Guy and the Blog.

Christmas time is maybe my favorite time of the year. I love the music, the decorations, the cheer, the anticipation of what’s coming. I love that it’s about the birth of Jesus and about Santa being merry and bright! I love that everyone is a little bit cherrier, with all those great parties and get-togethers.

The most important part of it all for me is family time. With three kids, it’s a really special time of the year. I love it all. Blasting the music, putting up the Christmas tree, drinking hot cocoa, going wreath shopping, seeing Santa…and so much more! It’s really what memories are made of and what life it all about. I don’t think there’s very much better seeing your kids absolutely light up the room on Christmas morning. It’s something really special. It’s a great time and a fun time and something that I remember enjoying as a kid even to this day.

Sometimes, however, life doesn’t always work exactly as planned. Sometimes it takes 5 or 6 times to get the gingerbread house to stay up, or maybe Caleb breaks 1 or 5 Christmas ornaments along the way, or it just seems like there are too many ornaments to put up in one day. And all those presents! But always do your best to keep in mind that all that chaos is the really good stuff that you will always remember. When things get to feel a bit overwhelming, just sit back and relax. Take some time out to take it all in. Maybe pause a little bit and enjoy yourself.

When things get a little hectic, I’m a big fan of wines by Gallo Family Vineyeards – and their Merlot to be exact. Gallo Family Vineyards celebrates the Modern American family and prides itself on being created by an American Family (Gallo) for American Families for 80+ years. Since the holiday season lasts for weeks, it’s always to stock up on some 1.5L bottles, be it Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir. We are talking a perfect way to chill and enjoy the moment. This time of year is special, so do everything you can to make it as special as it can be.

Being with family and sharing good times is not about picture-perfect greeting card pictures or making the best cookies in the world. It’s about life, love, and happiness. It’s the imperfect moments that make it human and real…and pretty darn fantastic.

So the next time you run out of wrapping paper or stamps or the Christmas turkey or ham burns a little bit…it’s ok. Don’t freak out, just sit back, relax and enjoy it. It’s those moments that you will remember and it’s those moments that make life as fun, unpredictable, and joyous as it is.

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