It always amazes me the reaction I get from people when they find out I don’t have cable. You would think I just told them I am an alien from the planet Melmac joining them on this terrestrial planet to learn more about their customs. Yes, if I was going to tell someone something crazy like that I really would use that much detail, it makes it more entertaining. Much more entertaining than TV! So, here are some great alternatives to TV that our family uses to pass the time. These might be a great alternative if you are trying to watch less TV, or if your TV is on the fritz and everyone is walking around the house like a zombie complaining there is nothing to do. Even my four year old has claimed the occasional boredom in our house.
- Geocaching! Oh my gosh, if you haven’t tried out geocaching, then you need to check it out soon. Geocaching is basically modern day treasure hunting. Sure the treasure isn’t much more than a little toy or the satisfaction of signing the “found it” log, but the fun is in the find. People are hiding little boxes or containers all over the world for you to find, then adding the coordinates online, most commonly at geocaching.com, where you can grab your GPS and go find them. It’s an amazingly fun activity and gets even the most cozy couch potato out in nature having a blast. If you don’t have a GPS, you can find one to buy online by clicking here.
- Go camping. You can do this anywhere. Actually go out with a tent, sleeping bag and cooler to your favorite overnight location, camp out in your own back yard, or in our case, camp out in your living room! We like to play pretend a lot, but once the kids get older (they are currently only 3 and 4) we’ll be spending a lot more time under the stars roasting hot dogs and snacking on s’mores. No matter if you are roughing it on the real deal, or just playing a game in the living room, camping is a sure way to have a ton of fun without the television on.
- Read some books. It doesn’t matter if you are reading together or on your own, why not let your imagination create some pictures for you to watch rather than Hollywood. I read a lot of motivational books, such as Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog, but I do enjoy a good Janet Evanovich novel every now and then as well.
- Visit museums. In our area there are so many things to see. Some of the cost money, some of them don’t. Some of them we can even buy an annual pass, making it cheaper in the long run for places we visit frequently. The zoo is one of the best places we have around us, but we enjoy art museums, natural history museums, botanical gardens and so much more.
Charlie on the elephant statue at the zoo.
- Organize your house. Or at least a room, or maybe just a closet. Believe it or not one of the best ways to overcome bordom is to actually do something. If I don’t feel like doing any of the projects I should be doing, then I try to see if there is something else in the house that catches my eye. If nothing else works see if you can find an organizing challenge online, contests are even better. Check out the start of my 31 day organizational challenge for March 2013! I’m hugely motivated to complete this project now even though I had no motivation to do so previously.
- Play a game. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of Bocce Ball or Candyland, you can have fun with your family both by getting outside on a nice day to play a backyard game, or sitting around the table talking smack to your loved ones. My husband and I like to opt for games such as Go, Chess or Backgammon for our indoor play, but the girls are starting to get into card games. When it warms up, we’re hoping to start getting into a little bit of Frisbee Golf since regular golf just hasn’t seemed to click with either of us.
- Have a Spa Party. Invite your friends over, or just indulge yourself with a makeover of your choosing. Whether it’s trying out some new facials your found on Pinterest, or giving your toenails some much needed love, you’ll feel much better when you’re done. I know I do.
- Dance. It’s great exercise and it’s fun. The best part about it is the versatility. There are a wide range of dances, and an even wider range of music to choose from. Put on the tunes and get a dance party going. It doesn’t matter if you are dancing alone, with the family or maybe with some friends. If you want to glorify this even more, search for some dancing how to videos online and learn some new moves to share with everyone. Even if you’re not a start dancer, it doesn’t mean you won’t have fun partaking in the groove.
- Get creative in the kitchen. With all of the recipes I post, you can tell I love to cook and experiment while cooking. I have a ton of fun with the kids and we get to eat the delicious results. Need a yummy recipe to start out with? Try my Rocky Road Brownies. You can make them as gooey or chocolaty as you want them.
- Make some money. There are a a lot of ways to pick up a few bucks, whether you decide to offer a service on Fiverr.com, sell some jewelry on Etsy, or maybe unload some of your extras on eBay. One of my chosen money makers is Secret Shopping. I love making a few extra bucks during the month while helping to improve customer service for different companies. It’s a win/win. I get compensated, often with free food (I pay up front and am reimbursed later) or I get to learn about a new service, and they get a report on customer service interactions from a customer perspective. It’s great! Be careful though, and do your research on any money making idea. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check out my guide to becoming a secret shopper if you’re interested in more information on this area.
What other activities do your family take part in to give TV a break?