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A weekend without any plans can be a rare commodity in a family.

Image courtesy of xedos4 at

Image courtesy of xedos4 at

Let’s consider the expanding problem of the rare free weekend. If your kids are 8 and 10, you only have 400 to 500 weekends left until they most likely will move out of the house. Now, that sounds like a lot, but that’s also the number of weekends that have happened since they were born. And let me ask you…have they gone by fast? I bet they have. But, let’s double check our math a second. The idea of 400 to 500 weekends left with kids this age is only accurate if they want to spend every weekend with you between now and turning 18. Let me ask you another question. Did you want to hang out with your parents every weekend from about 13 years old through leaving home? Probably not.

So, we can now probably say that we can cut that 400 to 500 in half. More likely though…cut it by 2/3. You’re down to 100 to 200 weekends. Now, add this to your calculations…how many weekends a year do you actually have totally free with your kids? No activities, no practices, no obligations outside of the house. How many? That math doesn’t lie. For must families…not that many.

I don’t want to make you depressed or sad…but reality is…an open weekend is rare and special.

I want to encourage you to take advantage of every weekend you can.

Take the following list of ideas, add to it and save it somewhere. Save it electronically or hang it on the fridge. You could put each idea on an index card inside a box, and draw one randomly on the rare free weekend.


Make Every Open Weekend Count


  • Make a family movie. Using the smartphones, camcorders, computers, tablets, etc you have at your disposal…do a YouTube search on how to use them to capture and edit a movie. It’s easier than you are thinking. Plus, if you have a 10 year old…they probable already know how, or will figure it out quick.
  • How many Zoo’s are within a 2 hour drive of you? Make a list, and visit everyone. (My wife is getting us a package deal for Zoo’s in Ohio and PA from the Smithsonian.)
  • Make a family scavenger hunt. (There’s a link to a free ready made family scavenger hunt in Related Post below)
  • Volunteer at a mission or other not-for-profit.
  • Find a free performance or concert. Some orchestra’s will have free shows from time to time.
  • Plant and take care of a pizza garden. (Lay down a holahoop in your garden. Section it off like a pie. In each section plant a different pizza ingredient)
  • Play…simply just play.
  • Or, go ahead and veg out in front of the TV.  Watch a series of movies or TV shows.  Have some amazing food.  Talk about what you’re watching.  Make a game out of it; for example.  Everytime a character does or says something specific; everyone stands up, spins around and sit’s back down.
  • ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?


  • Create more free weekends. Get your calendar out and schedule FAMILY WEEKEND whenever you can. Then, be diligent to protect these weekends.
  • Create a list of your ideas.
  • Add your thoughts to the comments or on my Facebook Page.



Questions: What’s your favorite weekend family activity?  Which of these ideas sounds most fun to you?

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