Relatives incoming!

If you have relatives coming into town for Thanksgiving or any other holiday in the next few months, it’s a good idea to have a list of activities you can all do together. Check out the suggestions below for ideas!

Games! Bring on the board games and card games. There’s nothing like gathering everyone around for a classic game or a new favorite. Make sure you have a few games available that can support as many players as you have guests, or that players can work in teams! Set out a few snacks and spend a few hours together around the table or spread out on the floor. Need some ideas? Click here.

Get baking and cooking!
Employ a few of your guests to help with meals other than the main event. As they help you chop vegetables, flip pancakes, or make coffee, you’ll be getting some face time with them while making sure everyone gets fed.

Take them to a local attraction. If they’ll be in town a few days earlier than or after the actual holiday, take them to a local attraction! It could be a festival or event happening just that weekend, or a local museum they’ve never seen, or perhaps the beautiful lakeside park you haven’t visited in awhile. Show them what your town has to offer, even if it’s simple as a unique coffee shop or a boutique store perfect for window-shopping.

Assemble a fire pit. Check with fire codes for your neighborhood before proceeding, then build a fire pit in your backyard! Pick a spot, then dig up the grass in a circle, leaving a bare circle of dirt three or four feet across. Then take a trip to the local hardware store for some bricks (be sure to ask a sales rep which kind is best for fire pits!). Stack them in a ring around the fire pit, leaving space between each one, then stack the second ring over the open space, then repeating until you have a ring about five or six bricks high. Prop up a few logs and a fire starter, then light it up! You and your relatives can gather around it in the evening, roasting marshmallows or hot dogs and holding mugs of hot cider or cocoa. If you don’t like the look, simply take up the ash and plant grass seeds over the space it in the spring. Alternatively, if you’d like to spare your yard, portable fire pits are often available for as low as $40. It may be worth the splurge to have something that will keep you entertained for hours—not just in the winter, but year round.

Put the kids in charge of decorating. Check out this article for some fall décor DIY projects that would make a great craft for the kids (whether visiting or otherwise) to do by themselves or with the help of relatives eager to spend time with them. Making a leaf garland, picking up some sewing skills with felt, or making a centerpiece for the table make a great craft project they can all do together to keep them busy, entertained, and helpful. Try this article for more fun things to do together.

Make a documentary! Especially if your relatives are from out of town and you rarely see them, work with the kids or with each other to film the experience on the home video camera. Make a list of interview questions you can ask in between filming the sightseeing and the special moments of the holiday. Have the kids or the relatives interview one another—what’s your favorite part about visiting? What was the traveling like this year? What did you do or are you planning to do when you’re in town? If you could do something differently next year, what would it be? What was the silliest moment so far? The most delicious dish? Be sure to get some candid moments when you’re out and about or during the big holiday. Have a tech-savvy family member edit the film and put it all together, and you’ll have a wonderful keepsake of the whole visit.

What about you? What family traditions do you have when groups of friends and relatives come in for the holidays? Share them on this week’s message board!

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