Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Relaxing Activities At Home

What are your favorite forms of home entertainment or relaxing activities? Growing up, I loved to read. Reading books allowed me to visit places I had never been, meet the most interesting people, and enter a beautiful world of imagination. I still remember the feeling of finishing a book and realizing these characters felt like friends, like I had actually lived or visited a certain place, or even like I had just solved the mystery that had stumped the hero/heroine throughout the story. My absolute favorites were the Trixie Belden series, and I always wanted to become part of the "Bob White Gang".

As a somewhat odd mix, I also loved any and all outdoor activities. Riding bikes, hiking, exploring new parks with the family, or even just walking around the neighborhood in the evening were all favorites of mine. So many memories from our 27-mile family bike ride one Saturday, hiking Crowders Mountain in North Carolina, swimming endlessly one summer we vacationed in Florida, and just enjoying being outside in the fresh air. (I know, many of these aren't home activities, but things like biking and walking around the neighborhood are just as fondly remembered).

One form of entertainment that wasn't necessarily popular when I was younger is online games. I joined the Candy Crush craze for a short time, then slowly lost interest. I tend to enjoy "thinking" or mind games, so chess has always been one of my go-to board games. My dad is generally the only person who will actually play the game with me, so online chess games are a wonderful option for when we can't get together and play. I recently discovered a website with not only chess, but a whole assortment of chess-related games that are fun, entertaining, and can even help improve your chess game! The first one I tried was the Chess Challenges for Clever Minds, where you are given a certain amount of moves to checkmate the king. It starts from very basic levels (one move to checkmate) and you can choose harder or easier challenges from there. Sounds simple, but it is definitely challenging as you move into harder levels! This same website has free games in literally dozens of categories, so be sure to check them out!

In addition to online games, the past year or so we have started doing game nights with friends. These tend to run for hours, with our longest one ending around 4:00 in the morning! It has been so neat to learn all kinds of new games and enjoy time with friends. Settlers of Catan, Nertz, Happy Salmon, and Fuzzy Logic are just a few games I have been taught in the past few months, and I love all of them!

How about your family? What are some of your favorite memories of home entertainment or activities? If you have favorite games, books, activities, or game sites, feel free to share them in the comments!