Summer Is Here!
Although, if you are in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, summer might also make you nervous. Family relationships might still hold tension, and certain events and places may trigger cravings for drugs or alcohol. So how can you make this summer a time to strengthen family bonds and create happy family memories? We offer some suggestions below.
A Few Basics
Keep the following tips in mind when choosing activities or making plans:
- Consider everyone’s input when making family plans. Let the family decide together where to go and what to do.
- Planning an event can be part of the fun. When you listen to everyone’s thoughts, ideas flourish. Make compromises whenever possible.
- Make a list of priorities for your event. What do you most want to do or experience? What is your main goal for the activity? Let everyone make their own list, and try to incorporate something from each list in the final plan.
- Make a realistic budget. Fun family activities do not have to be expensive. Set the budget and stick to it.
- Surprises are fun. too! Occasionally plan a surprise for the family to enjoy.
Still not sure where to begin? Here are some ideas.
Have a Scavenger Hunt That Lasts All Summer
Create a summer family adventure that lasts all season long. Every time you and your family go away or to an attraction, search for specific goodies. For example, if you go to the beach together, search for rocks or shells of a certain shape. If your next trip is to a zoo or a park, collect as many things of the same color as you can. If everyone is old enough to use a camera or smartphone, you can all take pictures of items on the list, such as different species in a natural history museum. When summer ends, see who collected the most items and have a special age-appropriate prize or reward for them. Need more ideas? Check out this article.
Spend Time Exploring a National, State, or Local Park
Whether you spend a day exploring the beauty of nature or several days on vacation camping in its magnificent splendor, time spent in a park will be an exciting family adventure. Depending on the park, you may have access to trails for biking or hiking, lakes for fishing, rivers for tubing or canoeing, tables for picnicking, fields for playing frisbee toss or flying kites, and so much more.
If you live in the beautiful state of Indiana, you can choose from many national, state, and local parks in the Terre Haute area:
- Indiana Dunes National Park – features 15 miles along the beautiful south shore of Lake Michigan with 15,000 acres and 50 trails through forests, prairies, wetlands, dunes, and river banks.
- Turkey Run State Park – features hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking trails along sandstone ravines and aged forests.
- Dobbs Memorial Park – features a butterfly garden, 3-acre pond, restored prairie, trails, forests, and wetlands.
Spend the Day at a Water Park or Amusement Park
Just about everyone loves spending a day at a water or amusement park. Most parks have areas with rides and activities for younger children. Many parks have live entertainment and booths featuring artists and craftspeople. Taking the whole family to parks like these can be expensive, so plan ahead and set a budget.
Outdoor Concerts, Shows, & Plays
Many local organizations host concerts, shows, or plays under the stars in a park or on the beach. Pack a snack, bring a blanket, and enjoy the show. Others may host special children’s events in the afternoon or family movie night on a big outdoor screen.
Have a Special Fun Family Day or Night
Put together a special night for family fun. Gather everyone’s favorite snacks or grill some hot dogs and hamburgers. Light a campfire and roast marshmallows or make smores. Get out your sleeping bags or set up a tent. Tell stories around the campfire or set up a screen and watch a movie. Do whatever your family enjoys doing together.
Several other ideas for a special fun family day or night include:
- Make a pizza or ice cream sundaes together and let everyone add their favorite toppings
- Take turns having everyone choose their favorite board game to play
- Play a game of miniature golf, go bowling, visit a local arcade, or play laser tag
- Go to a sporting event
- Take a family bike ride
- Go to an escape room
Do You Need Help?
Family fun is compromised when someone in the family is suffering from addiction. If you or a loved one need help overcoming problematic substance use, Anabranch Recovery Center can help. Take the first step and call us today.
About the Author:
Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience. A former reading specialist and learning center director, Terry loved her years working with children in the educational field. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues. For the last six years, her writing focus has been on addiction and mental health issues.