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Having Family Fun While Sober - woman gardening with daughterAs recovery helps you live a healthier life, it may also spark new ways to enjoy your time with family.

To learn how to play with one another, take adventures, try new things, and make lasting memories often doesn’t require a lot of money. Each activity or excursion provides an opportunity to simply be fully present and reinvest in quality relationships.

Fun Sober Activities for People of All Ages

Many of these ideas are good for families with small or teenage children, as well as a group of adults.

Mystery Jar

Each person writes down several favorite things to do on small slips of paper. All the slips go into a jar. Each week, a new slip is drawn, with the understanding that all family members participate in that activity. The goal is to integrate everyone’s ideas so each member can contribute to the fun and everyone gets to do something they love at some point.

Board Game Night

Put away the digital devices and break out the board games! In addition to offering valuable educational aspects, Scholastic points out that playing board games with children prompts vital social skills such as verbal communication, understanding patience, sharing, and developing interaction with others—all essential techniques for adults to practice as well!

Park Events

Your local parks and recreation department provides numerous opportunities for free or low-cost fun. Outdoor movie nights, concerts, canoeing and other water activities, various sports, wildlife interactions, craft camps, and other programs help you make the most of this community resource.

Cultural and Seasonal Festivals

What foods haven’t you tried? What do you know about a particular culture? How many different musical acts can you see in one day? Use an events calendar for your region to learn about the food, culture, and entertainment festivals happening near you. You and your family or friends can make an entire day of fun by following your curiosity to discover new things.

Popular annual events in Georgia include:

  • Proud Peanut Festival
  • Irish Balloon Fest and Glow
  • Sheep to Shawl
  • National Black Arts Festival
  • Westobou Festival
  • Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Scavenger Hunt

The latest tourist craze to help people explore includes scavenger hunts in cities. These curated events often include hundreds of objects to find, as well as riddles, photo challenges, and roles for family members to play, all accessible through a smartphone app. Big City Hunt and Operation City Quest are just two of the companies that provide walking adventure games. Numerous cities in Georgia participate, including Augusta, Atlanta, Athens, and Sandy Springs.

You can also use other specialized curated routes for your local adventures. For example, Explore Georgia offers a detailed guide of Must See Stops Off I-75, featuring directions for everything from the Daniel Boone Trading Post and Sam’s Treehouse to The Rock Garden mini-city and Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.


Creating meaningful engagement centered on helping your community is a powerful way to spend time with people you love. Through sites such as VolunteerMatch, Create the Good, and Points of Light HandsOn Network, you can research different one-day, temporary, or more long-term volunteer opportunities. Simply use the sites to enter your location, and a variety of volunteer options will appear. Maybe you and your family operate a water station during an exciting 5K race, or perhaps you’ll help walk dogs at a local shelter.

Being of service for a cause you care about enhances your purpose, and helps your children see the importance of giving back while sparking important conversations.

Nature Excursions

Take advantage of your natural surroundings for fun activities such as geocaching, hiking, and camping. Have your kids make a “go bag” that includes items such as binoculars, a compass, a sketch pad with colored pencils, a Frisbee, a bird and/or wildlife book, a map of the destination (just in case there’s no cell reception!) a first aid kit, water bottles, and snack bars.

Add a level of heightened excitement by spontaneously telling them to “Grab the go bag!” and providing clues to guess the destination.

Music, Art, Theatre, and Literature Performances

You’ll likely find dozens of creative engagements throughout your community and within short travel distances for your family to enjoy. Some may have admission fees, such as a Shakespeare in the Park event or a weekend Renaissance festival. Others may be free, such as entertainment at farmers’ markets, theatre performances at the local high school or college, or poetry readings and musical acts at a downtown coffee shop.

Also consider what you can create as a family. Use household items to create a drum and percussion circle. Write songs together if family members play instruments. Try paint-by-numbers kits (yes, they’re still quite popular!) or molding clay that allows you to fire your sculptures in a microwave or conventional oven. Write a play about your family, allowing each person to have a viewpoint and a part. Anytime you engage in creative pursuits, you’ll learn more about each other and foster individual expression.


Garden writer and landscape architect Janet Kilburn Phillips says, “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” There’s something truly gratifying about helping little ones use a garden to understand nature and science; take pride in their application of effort; and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Maybe you start small with something like a “pizza garden”—tomatoes, basil, bell peppers, and oregano planted in a circle. Or maybe you create an interesting raised bed with flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

Tending a garden with your family teaches patience, perseverance, and sustainability—the very qualities that represent your continued journey of wellness.

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