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5 Ways to Create Quality Time with Your Teens This Winter Break
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5 Ways to Create Quality Time with Your Teens This Winter Break

Winter break is a great opportunity for families to reconnect after the busy back-to-school season. When routines slow down, we have an opportunity to pass on day-to-day routines in favor of good ol’ family fun. From one mom of teens to another, I’d like to share five ideas to get you more of what you crave most this winter break—quality time with your growing teens.

1. Family Favorites Dinner

There are few things sure to please your teens more than their favorite meals. While adults tend to emphasize meal planning, teens would rather have all their favorite dishes in ONE meal. Designate a family meal night that indulges the whole gang on the condition that you prepare it together. The experience is sure to bring some laughs and your children will benefit from learning how to prepare family favorites. Check out these Rustic Recipes to spice up your traditional Holiday favorites.

2. Game On

As winter break continues, you might start to wonder what your teen looks like without the permanent iPhone silhouette obstructing their face. It’s time for some old school games! To get started, organize a few of your family’s favorite board or card games and create a festive space around the fire. If you think of it in advance, pick up some simple prizes to encourage some friendly competition and set a time limit of an hour or two to keep the energy high. By making the activity spontaneous, you might even get a request for a repeat. Sometimes we all need to be kids again!

3. Impromptu Family Night

There’s no better way to tell your teens that they’re the most important people in your world than declining a social commitment at the last minute in favor of a spontaneous family night. For this epic night of family fun, consider planning some of your teens’ favorite activities like ice skating, bowling, or a favorite holiday movie at the local theater. You might even blindfold them and put them in the car when you’re heading out to their favorite restaurant beforehand to add an element of suspense. Sometimes I find myself treating my teens like adults and I’ve learned that they welcome opportunities to regress a bit.

4. Day Tripper

When the going gets boring, it might be time for a day trip. Whether the destination is a mountain, the beach or an iconic site in your city, packing up the family for a change of environment might be paramount to your winter break sanity. Use the time in the car to talk about things that you’re curious about like places each of you wants to travel, what your top anti-bucket list items are, etc. And, if possible, include some fresh air activities to renew your inner peace.

5. Appreciation Brunch

Families are busy! And when routine prevails, it can be challenging to find time to acknowledge how hard everyone in the family is working. If you find yourself needing appreciation or wanting to pamper your teens a bit for their hard work preparing for SATs, making the honor roll, or just getting it out of bed, consider an appreciation brunch. It’s not important if the meal is fancy, home-prepared, or at a restaurant if the intention is stated and you manage to gather your crew around the table to recognize a job well done. Recharge, renew, and raise a toast to 2018!


Need another Winter Break activity for you and your teen? If you’re considering teen travel and haven’t requested a free copy of our 2018 spring break and summer programs catalog, it’s not too late! Get the catalog >>

About the Author

Jack Weinstein

Content Production Manager

Jack has spent his professional career as a writer and editor. Before joining Rustic, he worked as a journalist in Kansas and Colorado, taught English in Swaziland, and transitioned to marketing roles in the Boston and New York startup worlds. Jack is excited to channel his love of storytelling and his appreciation for education as Rustic’s Content Production Manager. When not working, Jack is either watching baseball or planning his next adventure. Jack and his wife, Blythe, live in Brooklyn.