Working’ nine to five. What a way to … miss the children growing up? Those aren’t the lyrics to the famous song, but they’re more accurate than anything that does actually get sung in the 1980 Dolly Parton classic. Family time is precious. You spend all week working hard to get the money to pay your bills, and hopefully, with what’s left in your bank account, you can afford some family fun time. Otherwise, what’s the point? The problem is that we get so run down with our daily grind that we can sometimes overlook family time in favor of rest and relaxation.

What you need is a little inspiration. A handful of go-to ideas that can turn a spare few hours into something for the family photo album. Let’s take a look.

Toys to drive away a rainy day

Rain rain go away, come again some other… decade. Rained off weekends are a nuisance. That’s why it might be an idea to stash away some toys (check out what to buy a 2 year old girl, for example) that you can pull out to save the day. Kids love surprises, and toys that come out of nowhere can help them forget the pitter-patter of rain at the window. You don’t have to spend a fortune. A few well-chosen toys can be your savior – and if they don’t get used for rainy days, they can be wrapped up for birthdays!

Safari so goody

Show me a child who doesn’t love a safari park and I’ll show you a child who clearly doesn’t understand what a safari park is.

Lions? Zebras? Tree-hopping lemurs and rhinos? How about camels that come right up to the car, or baboons that sit on your bonnet and bend back the window wipers? Kids love that stuff. Typically, safari parks have indoor centres too, where children can get up close and personal with some well-attuned animals such as owls and snakes and spiders.

One of the best ways to enjoy the safari experience is to keep an eye out for entertainment that goes on into the evening in the winter … first the safari, then some on-site food, and then maybe a visit from a jolly bearded man in red, handing out gifts from his reindeer sled? Top fun that shouldn’t be missed.

Laser shooting 

This is very reliant on the children being old enough, but laser shooting is trigger happy fun that will bring out the competitive side in all your family. What’s more, it’s super safe. Unlike clay pigeon shooting – or even paintballing – the guns don’t actually discharge anything other than amplified light (so you’ll still need to wear safety goggles), meaning the risk of injury is basically reduced to how clumsy people can be while standing around with each other.

The instructor will set everything up and give you a demonstration. All you have to do is take aim and add up the points at the end!