Hands-on learning experiences that get students out exploring the community are invaluable. Often more information is retained than acquiring facts from a book, and students are more likely to become interested in, even excited about the topic. Share that same kind of excitement with your family this holiday season by skipping the “stuff” under the tree and planning an experience they won’t forget.
The gift of experiences will most certainly bring your family closer together and may spark a new interest or skill that provides hours or even a lifetime of joy. As a high school student, I was lucky enough to take a class trip to the western United States to study geology. I still carry those memories with me, today. That amazing experience camping under the stars and touching and observing the rocks we were studying influenced who I am and my love of nature. Experiences broaden our minds and make us feel part of the world.
So, take advantage of this special time of year and build some memories that everyone will be talking about next holiday season. You don’t have to take a faraway trip to have an adventure. Quality time together at a local park or museum can be just as fun and open young minds to a new idea, all while creating a stronger bond between parents and children. Here are a few experiences you might be able to take advantage of in your community.
- Take a drive up the coast or through a scenic part of your community. Take in the local flavor by enjoying a meal together or an attraction that is unique to the area.
- Venture to a zoo or botanic garden to see the holiday lights.
- A field trip to a kid-friendly art or history museum, or science center can spark imaginations and a love of science or history.
- See a live stage production. Some of the best Broadway shows travel to different locations around the United States. Or visit your local performing arts center to see what they are offering for the holidays.
- Visit a local makerspace. Libraries often host makerspaces. Your kids may just get inspired to design and create gifts for the entire family!
- Enjoy the sounds of the holidays by listening to a local orchestra or band.
- Sign up the whole group for cooking, photography, or skating lessons. Getting your kids interested in activities you can all do together is priceless. If cooking is your thing, start some of your own annual food traditions or pass down family recipes.
- Volunteer with a local charity, maybe a food bank. Make this an annual meaningful event.