The reason you invite guests to stay with you in your homes during the holidays, or any other season for that matter, is that these family and friends do not live close by and you would like to enjoy an extended visit with them. Once you have caught up on the latest news and gossip and admired how much their children have grown, then what do you do?
The best way to keep the visit from becoming tiring after the excitement of the first day has passed is to build activities into your plan for entertaining houseguests. Activities can get everyone who needs a bit of diversion out of the house and leaves behind those who perhaps need a little quiet time to recharge.
Take a look at a list of 50 activities you can do with your houseguests, most are organized by season. Some of these activities will be best with children, some will be adult only, but you can choose those that best suit your guests. Most of these activities cost very little money, which is something you will want to consider, especially if your guests have incurred large expenses traveling to your home. If you do propose an activity that is expensive, be sure to clear it first with your guests before you purchase tickets and give them less expensive alternatives so they can decline the expense gracefully.
There are some year-round activities that may require more outerwear gear for comfort, like if it's winter and there's snow in the ground, then certainly bundle up. But, most are indoor activities, like movie-going or museum visits. Children can even enjoy a visit to a winery with rows of vines weave through.
- Go to the dog park with your Fido-friendly guests.
- Take the kids to the playground.
- Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
- Catch a newly released movie.
- Shop at a nearby outlet mall.
- Check out the local children's museum.
- See the current exhibit at your town's art museum.
- Visit a local winery for a tasting.
- Go to the zoo.
- Go to the aquarium.
- Visit a rescued animal center.
- Go to the bookstore for coffee and browsing.
- Go bowling.
- Take everyone to the roller rink.
Some of these winter activities require snow (and colder climates), but even if your town is in a no-snow zone, you may find these warmer weather climates still feature snow-themed fun like ice sculpture carving or faux snow happenings.
- Take a nighttime drive to look at holiday lights.
- See a local choral group perform.
- Go to a local production of "The Nutcracker."
- Go to the town's Christmas tree lighting.
- Go ice skating indoor or outside.
- Shop the pre- and post-Christmas sales.
- Take a trip to a historic site.
- Build a snowman.
- Have a snowball fight.
Once temps start warming up, the flowers start blooming and parks start to fill up again with picnic blankets, running children, and families seem to emerge from hibernation. This season features St. Patrick's Day and Mardis Gras revelry, as well as family get-togethers during Easter and Memorial Day.
- Go for a picnic in the park.
- Take a hike in a nature preserve.
- Play tennis at the courts at your town's local school or parks.
- Join a pub crawl for St. Patrick's Day.
- Experience bocce or shuffleboard at the courts in the park.
- Visit the Easter bunny at the mall.
- Stop in at an arboretum to see the bulbs and trees in bloom.
- Go fly a kite.
School's out, the temperatures rise, and the season for capitalizing on outdoor fun has arrived. Beaches, pools, and water sprinkler parks are a way to beat the heat, while markets, fairs, and concerts are "where it's at" for your region.
- Have a picnic at the beach.
- Go to the neighborhood pool.
- Catch a free concert in the park.
- Take a spin down a scenic country or mountain road. Stop at little tourist shops along the way.
- Attend a professional car race.
- Visit the best ice cream shop within 15 miles.
- Bring the kids to a petting zoo.
- Go fishing and cook up a summer seafood feast with your catch.
- Experience crabbing and have a crab boil when you return home.
- Stop in at the local farmer's market.
- Stroll along the boardwalk and play the games.
- Enjoy the county fair.
School's back in session. Temps begin to drop, but coming with it is the frivolity of Halloween, harvest festivals, football season home openers, and usually a family-centric Thanksgiving feast.
- Head out to the closest orchard for an apple picking picnic.
- Take a hayride to pick pumpkins.
- Visit Santa right after Thanksgiving.
- Go to a harvest festival.
- Join a tailgate party at a professional or college football game in your area.
- Go on a leaf-peeping drive to view the fall foliage.
- Play a game of touch football.