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The gifts have been opened, the stockings disassembled and the kids are now driving you nuts.

Here are a few suggestions to keep them entertained through that long winter’s break.

  1. Bowling: Always a great go-to, a day of bowling gets the family out of the house, offers a little friendly competition and even a tiny bit of exercise!
  2. Ice Skating: I don’t care if you can’t skate—find a rink nearby and get those kids out on the ice! You can just watch if you want, but let your kids burn off some energy and enjoy some fresh air. You’ll be happy you did later on when they are passed out by 8pm.
  3. New Year’s Eve Party: Let your kids have a little fun and plan their own new year’s eve celebration. Pull out a stack of board games (maybe even splurge on a new one) and let them plan a menu full of fun treats. Encourage them to make their own decorations as well, and don’t forget to serve up some fizzy sparkling juice in plastic champagne flutes as an added touch!
  4. New Year’s Day Movie Marathon Party: You may be tired from a new year’s eve celebration or have plans to take down your Christmas tree on New Year’s Day. The last thing you want is a pack of kids tugging at your leg all day saying, “I’m bored.” Order up some new movies your kids haven’t seen yet, pop some popcorn, turn out the lights and declare the afternoon dedicated to a “movie marathon.”
  5. Snow Sculpture Contest: If you’re lucky enough to have snow on the ground, send the kids and their friends out to create snow sculptures of anything they want. Let them know there will be prizes for most creative, funniest and best-looking and see what they come up with!
  6. Mini Family Vacation: The week after Christmas can be a bit of a let-down. Beat the blues by taking the family on a weekend ski trip or to an indoor water park for a night.
  7. Kid Exchange: Think you’re going to go crazy if you don’t get rid of your munchkins for at least one night? I’ll bet you have a friend or sister/brother who feels the same way. Organize a night to take your friend’s kids for a sleepover and then have her do the same. Sure, you’ll get stuck with twice the kids one night, but keep your eye on the prize—an evening to yourself!
  8. Toy Organization/Donation: Christmas may be over, but it’s never a bad time to give. With all the new toys your kids just received, it’s a great time to go through old ones and get rid of the toys that are no longer used. Find a good place to donate and make your child part of the process.
  9. Scavenger Hunt: Some night after the kids go to bed, set up an elaborate scavenger hunt that will take up at least a few hours of the afternoon. Your kids will love figuring out the clues and searching inside and outside the house for the final treasure! What should that treasure be? A movie, game, puzzle or anything that will occupy even more time!
  10. Art Project: Find something BIG for your kids to tackle like painting a play room wall, drawing on chalkboard paint or stenciling their name on a nameplate for their door.