Summer is not completely canceled.
Here are 100 things we can do with or without kids.
(CNN) This is not the summer we had hoped or planned for. The calendar is littered with canceled vacations and summer camps, shuttered pools and playgrounds, spots in our calendars meant to be spent with friends and loved ones. The summer weeks ahead are filled with ... nothing. (For some, nothing but work.) Adults, kids and adults feeling like kids, all bored. And that boredom, combined with the fear of getting sick or actually getting sick, could make for a cruel summer. But wait. There really is still fun to be had. With a little bit of imagination, we can set ourselves free from that cage of coronavirus. We can play silly games. Connect with family and friends. And find ways to express gratitude for others, including our families and first responders.
1. Family game night: Have a weekly game night, and rotate who chooses the game. We'll be playing Monopoly this weekend at my house. The first time, we'll use the Hasbro rules. The second time, we may use the lesser-known rules from The Landlord's Game, the original game created by Elizabeth Magie Phillips.
2. Family movie night: Show a movie on
the main television in your home (we have one TV, so this is easy). Serve popcorn and sodas and sing along to "Mary Poppins," watch Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader duke it out in "Star Wars" or watch a modern Disney classic.
3. Family dance party: Host a family dance party to all sorts of different music and show the kids you can boogie (or salsa). Invite more guests via Zoom.
4. House or neighborhood scavenger hunt: Set up a scavenger hunt with clues at the end that involve a prize such as a favorite dessert or the winner's choice of movie night pick.
5. Create light: Make candles from scratch with yummy smells to give as presents.
6. Face painting: Learn to face paint and practice on each other. Hold a contest over Zoom to vote for "best paint job," "most realistic," "best superhero" and "scariest animal."
7. Do a puzzle: If you're bored with your puzzles, trade with a neighbor.
8. Lego challenges: Give everyone a bag of Lego pieces and charge your crew with building a house, a store, a park, their school or a castle in the sky — and then set the timer. Creativity wins! (There are great 30-day Lego challenges to be found online.)
9. Raise a glass to freedom: Sing straight through Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton." Not for little kids — we get it — but you can pretty much sing your way through the entire musical. Little kid substitute: "Mary Poppins," of course.
10. Each one, pick one: Each member of the family gets to pick something from his or her personal list for the whole family to do together. One rule: No picking something you already know another relative hates. Not fun!
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