Saturday, December 27, 2008

Star Cinema Grill

We visited the Star Cinema Grill for the first time this week. This theater shows new movies but also has a full menu with waiters who bring the food to you. You can order throughout the movie. We went on Tuesday when all show tickets were $5. The menu ranges from candy and popcorn to entrees reminiscent of Chili's. The prices were no worse than Chili's and my husband said the hamburger was better than Chili's! This theater does not allow preschoolers so this is a good family activity for families with older children.

Monday, December 22, 2008

finding the right gift

We always love buying gifts for each other at Christmas. I think it's important for the kids to be able to find gifts they want to give as well. When they were little I let them help me make things to give to people. As they grew, they wanted to pick out special little things to be just from them. We would let them pick out items at the dollar store that would be appropriate gifts. As they got to be tween aged, I would let them go around the store by themselves choosing items and even let them check out alone (as I stood nearby keeping an eye on them without trying to see the gift they were getting me.) Now as teens they can choose great gifts and pretty much spend their own money. Having Dad take them shopping for me and me take them shopping for Dad is another great approach to keeping gift giving special. Letting kids choose their own gifts is important and teaches them to be selfless gift givers. It is also lots of fun to see what they have picked out for everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas lights

One of our family's favorite traditions is walking around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. It's nice to talk a walk after dark and see all the festive Christmas decorations and lights for the holiday. It is a fun activity for both kids and adults. It's relaxing and a good way to spend time talking together.

In the past we have also driven around other neighborhoods to see the lights and decorations there too. We have seen lights set to music and even a Santa Clause roller coaster! Spending time relaxing together and enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday are great family building activities.

Friday, December 12, 2008

decorate the tree

Our family loves to decorate the Christmas tree together. I have the ornaments I've collected since I was a kid and the same is true for my children. It is fun to reminisce over each ornament. We play Christmas music and spend an evening together going over the memories each ornament and photo bring back to us. It is a special tradition I look forward to each year. And when my kids leave home, I intend to give them their collection of ornaments to take to decorate their own tree with.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

christmas cookies

One of my favorite activities during the holidays (and any time really) is baking cookies. I love the smell of them baking and of course love to eat them. This is great activity in which the whole family can participate. You can use any recipe to make your favorite cookies or even use the slice and bake dough. It's fun to introduce kids to new recipes. And decorating cookies is almost as much fun for the kids as is the eating! The cookies can also make great gifts for teachers, friends and neighbors.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

family fun run

On Thanksgiving Day, my husband and I got up to do a small local fun run. Our kids decided they would rather sleep in. But there were several other families who showed up together. Several young kids ran the 5K with (or even without!) their parents. It was cool to see the dad pushing a stroller run with his older daughter and then go back and come in with his wife and younger daughter. There were snacks and prizes and even a kids K complete with prizes. It's a fun way to spend time together and promotes healthy living at the same time!