From smart phones and tablets to TV and video games, it sometimes feels technology is taking over our lives. So how can we reclaim family time and connect with one another? Here are a few suggestions to get your family started.
Connect with Nature • The National Parks Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year (the official date is August 25, 2016), but you don’t have to go to a national park to enjoy the great outdoors.
Just grab the Explorer Backpack available at Collierville Burch Library and check out a local park. The pack contains a magnifying glass, binoculars and informational guides. The idea was sparked by the NPS's program Every Kid in a Park, a free park pass available to fourth graders and their families. Click on Every Kid to learn more. With your library pack, go on a scavenger hunt and collect flowers, insects, or leaves to create a nature collage.
Wild about Animals • Got an animal adventurer in your family? Head to the Memphis Zoo and have fun exploring the newly opened Zambezi River Hippo Camp. Or walk around the meadow and pond at Lichterman Nature Center, where at noon on Tuesdays through Saturdays, you can watch the Backyard Wildlife Center’s animal keepers feed reptiles and birds. They also have backpacks families can check out. Keep a photo journal to record your visit and note interesting facts about the birds and animals you see.
To Market, To Market • Memphis Farmers Market marks its eleventh season under the Pavilion at Central Station, where vendors gather every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. to sell their goods. This venue provides a great opportunity for families to buy fresh produce, enjoy live music, and take part in kid-friendly activities. Plan a meal together, then go on an "I Spy" adventure by shopping for your ingredients at the market. Afterward, enjoy a family meal (screen/phone free) and share stories together.
Step Back in Time • History comes alive at the C.H.Nash Museum Chucalissa when you attend their weekly Saturday Family Day program at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. You can learn about the prehistory to Trail of Tears, engage in beading or pottery-making, and try your hand at throwing darts with an atlatl. While at the museum, explore the American Indian mound complex, tour the hands-on archaeology lab, and hike the nature trail. Make a point to discover the Native American tribes of the Mid-South.
Multicultural Learning • Looking to travel to a destination without leaving home? Then Memphis Greek Festival (May 6 & 7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.) and Latino Memphis Festival (May 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.) are the places to be this weekend. Get immersed in culture, food, and festivities offered for families. At home, work on a poster together to display your understanding about the country.