Your 6 cousins, in-laws you don't remember, and old Uncle Wilbur are all in town for the holidays and everybody's just sitting around the fire, talking, and eating all of the holiday goodies. If you're going insane trying to keep the kids out of trouble and also a little worried about your second helping of Grandma's stuffing, here's a great list of activities that will keep you active, keep the kids entertained, and provide an excellent way to bond with family that you only see this one time of year.
Bike Riding: Embrace your inner child by taking a bike ride around one of the many trails in the Central Florida area. The cooler, dry months of winter offer the perfect conditions for a leisurely ride. If all your out-of-towners are from other states, chances are great that they'd love to see the beach! It might be too cold to swim, but head over to the coast and rent bikes for riding along the shore.
Backyard Ball: This is a tradition in many families, and you can start it with yours this year. Round up everyone for a good friendly game of ball. If everyone's involved, choose something like Kickball or Flag Football so that even the kids can play. If it's more of a 13-and-up kind of crowd, something like Soccer, traditional Football, Baseball or even Basketball would be fun. You'll need to plan a little in advance to make sure that you have the appropriate equipment; a Kickball is cheap and you can find just about anything in your garage to be bases. Team up in non-traditional ways (don't put your family against your in-laws!) and use sibling rivalry to your advantage! Games are a great way to ensure that at least a few memories will be made.
Paintball and/or Laser Tag: Any activity that gets people out running around is a good thing! Paintball can be an expensive sport (and those paintballs hurt when they hit!) but laser tag is similar and just as fun. This is a game better played if all of the people playing are around the same age, since skill level will matter. Rather than just run around shooting each other, play a goal-based game such as capture the flag. The cheapest way to play games like this is with Nerf guns that fire foam darts or balls, but it's hard to tell who got shot and who didn't, and you'll be stuck picking up the foam "ammunition" from your lawn for weeks.
Indoor Rock Climbing: Sometimes holidays are not only cold but also rainy. Indoor rock climbing is a fun and safe activity for people of all ages and skills. The benefits are numerous. Climbing uses all muscle groups simultaneously and helps increase balance and coordination. There are multiple indoor rock climbing venues here in Central Florida, but you'll want to call ahead and make sure that the venue you've chosen isn't closed for special holiday hours.
Video Games: Don't laugh! Video games have gotten a lot more active since I was a kid. There are some great video games out there that are specifically designed to get players in shape, get the kids off the couch, and even get Grandma involved. If you've got at least a medium-sized family, chances are great that at least one person has either a Nintendo Wii, Playstation Move or a Xbox 360 Kinect system. You'll need one of these three systems to play, then you can drive to your local video rental store and pick up a plethora of motion-based games. Wii Sports is a great game with a variety of options, but there are also dance games, zumba games, yoga games, fighting games... the list goes on! These games are sure to get the whole family involved and result in a fun way for everyone to try a new technology.
Staying active and burning off some calories during the holidays doesn't have to be a chore! It can be an exciting, fun and memorable. Use your imagination and bring your family together in a way that makes everyone's holiday just a little less sedentary.