38 Things To Do With Your Family Before (or After) Your 38th Birthday


Today, January 25th, is my 38th birthday.  Wow (pause for reflection).  I have experienced life in 5 different decades.  I am 13,880 days old.  Yes, I took the time to calculate.  Well, not really, I just used a calculator online.

I have experienced a lot during my 38 years.  I have experienced some incredible highs, as well as some really deep lows.  I have met some wonderful people, and some that weren’t so great.  I have done some pretty cool things, and some crazy things!  Through it all I have never stopped changing (ask some of my high school and college friends), and I have never stopped learning.

Many of my greatest achievements and memories have been done with or in relation to my family; my family growing up, and my immediate family now.  In celebration of my 38th birthday I have compiled a list of 38 things for you to experience before (or even after) your 38th birthday.

38 Things To Do With Your Family Before (or After) Your 38th Birthday

  1. Pray together.  And do it regularly.  We have all heard the saying “the family that prays together, stays together.”  Prayer is the gorilla glue bond that breaks every barrier.  If you have never prayed with your family, you must.
  2. Go to Disney World.  We have gone to Disney two times, and it is everything you hear it is.  A magical place full of fun for the entire family.  The one place every family must go.
  3. Have a picnic in the backyard.  Even if you someone doesn’t enjoy sitting on a blanket where bugs can easily visit, you will enjoy the time together, and the kids will love it.
  4. Make a tent in the house.  We have done this as kids.  Pull some blankets from one piece of furniture to the next, and act like you are truly camping out.
  5. Go camping.  Like for real.  My wife and I have stayed in a cabin a couple times, but none of us have every gone camping.  Nor are we outdoors type people, but a one time experience sounds fun.
  6. Read the entire Bible.  We are working on this, but would probably do better if we systematically attacked it with a Bibile reading plan of some kind.  Going through God’s word with wife and kids will be a great experience.
  7. Go on a bike ride.  Bike riding became our thing last summer when our son learned to ride without training wheels.  I don’t know why riding a bike is so fun for kids and adults, but it is.  Doing it as a family adds to the fun.
  8. Plant a garden.  I know nothing about gardening or growing stuff.  However, as a family project it is something I think we all should experience.  You never know you may discover a green thumb or two.
  9. Take a road trip.  Our first trip to Disney we drove.  It was our first real long road trip with my wife and kids.  It was long, we sometimes got on each other’s nerves, but I would definitely do it again.
  10. Go to the beach.  There are no beaches near where I live in Indiana.  So the appreciate of sand, and an endless body of water are something to really appreciate.
  11. Go water skiing.  I’ve never been water skiing, but my thoughts are if you are at the beach, then you gotta do it.
  12. Build snow forts and have snowball fights.  There are no beaches here, but there is always snow.  The annual snow ball fights for our family are epic.
  13. Go to a professional sporting event.  The atmosphere and fan experience is at a completely different level today.  Every family should experience their favorite sport in person.
  14. Have a scavenger hunt in and around your house.  Work together to plan it, make teams, and enjoy.  Bring out everyone’s creativity and have some fun.
  15. Allow the kids to choose and prepare dinner.  Of course you have to have at least one child old enough and responsible enough to prepare a meal.  And you have to be willing to eat it not matter what it is or how it looks.
  16. Have consistent Date Nights and Days.  First, mom and dad should be dating regularly, and on occasion mom and dad should get some one on one time with each child.
  17. Go stay at a hotel in the city you live.  You don’t always have to go out of town to stay in a hotel.  Experience your city from a different perspective by going to a hotel and living like you are on vacation.
  18. Stay up all night.  I admit I might not be able to hang in this area, but the idea sounds fun to stay up watching movies, playing games, eating your favorite snacks and enjoying staying up until the sunrises.
  19. Have pajama day.  Similar to the all nighter, do something not normally done and everyone stay in your pajamas all day long.  Do nothing  but hang out and relax.
  20. Go ice skating.  We have not done this for a while, but the times we have done it were great!  Everyone fell at least once, except me of course. 😉  It can be a fun outing, doing something you don’t normally do.
  21. Visit another country.  We have not been out of the country yet.  It is on our list to do for sure.  I expect experiencing other countries and cultures will be an eye opening and fun experience.
  22. Volunteer as a family for a cause.  Serve food to the homeless, help with Habitat for Humanity.  Do something that exposes your family to the struggles many people have, and allow them be used to help.
  23. Renew your wedding vows and have your kids be apart of it.  Typically, our kids were not around when we were married.  Give them an opportunity to be part of than and for you to relive that day again for you and your spouse.
  24. Become debt free and stay that way.  One of the greatest gifts to your family is not being in bondage.  We are aggressively working toward that now as a family.
  25. Learn to speak a language.  The world is getting smaller now, and English may be the most spoken language throughout the world, but it is helpful to speak others.  The process of learning together and then communicating later will be fun.
  26. Start a family business.  Even if you don’t plan to have a generational family business or even a business that supports your family today, this is something to do.  It may just be a lemonade stand, but starting some business project would be a great experience.
  27. Visit the White House.  I’d love to visit the White House and get to see first hand where the families that have shaped our country have walked and talked.  Experiencing it with family is something I look forward to.
  28. Fast from something.  If your kids are small, they may not be able to handle or understand a fast, but sacrificing something you need or want for something greater is a wonderful experience.
  29. Run/walk a 5k.  Physical fitness is important, and something we should all value at all ages.  Completing a run/walk together can be a great bonding experience that may lead to your kids valuing their fitness.
  30. Research your family tree.  Knowing where you come from and your history is very important.  It may reveal some unique things, and the entire family can share in them.
  31. Start a family journal.  Use this to share deep thoughts, as well as random seemingly insignificant experiences.  I use Evernote to remember and organize everything for my family.  No matter what you use, find something and start to document the life of your family.
  32. Share your faith with another family.  I’m not sure that we’ve ever intentionally done this as a family, but I can only imagine the power it would have on your witness to have your spouse, and kids sharing their story about knowing, loving, and following Jesus.
  33. Write a book.  We all have unique stories to share.  These stories should be shared.   They may end up being very valuable to other families.  Technology today has made it very easy to write, publish, and even distribute a book if you desire.
  34. Visit a national landmark.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a national landmark.  I am into history, so I’m certain doing so will be a great experience.
  35. Drive cross country.  Similar to the road trip, this is an extended multiple day road trip with stops along the way.  Perhaps take Route 66, which was made famous for our kids because of Lightning McQueen.
  36. Go on a cruise.  I’m really excited about this one.  We’ve never been, but everyone I talk to about it says, you must go on a cruise!  I won’t dispute that, I will just go! 🙂
  37. Ride a train.  Years ago, this was the way to travel somewhere.  Today, not so much.  Needless to say it would be an interesting and fun experience for the family.
  38. Create a list of things your family has done, or wants to do.  Reflecting, dreaming, planning, and goal setting are great ways to appreciate things and set a course for where you want to go as a family.  We all should do it.

No matter what you do, do something with your family.  Whether it is on this list or not.  Value your time with them, and don’t miss out on the opportunities you have been given today.

Question:  Do you have any fun or monumental things that you should do with your family before (or after) your next birthday?  Please share in the comment section below.

photo credit: Aih. via photopin cc

Jan 25, 2013