It’s National Family Week! | Festiva Family Activities are Varied and Wonderful

While you may be gathered with family passing the gravy, turkey, and stuffing later this week, did you know that today marks the start of National Family Week, a joyous occasion started in Canada that’s meant to celebrate the family unit?

It’s great because it reminds us to be thankful and celebrate our family all week, not just on Thursday as we’re gathered around the dinner table. (And maybe it can remind us to celebrate family all year long.)

So, in honor of National Family Week, let’s talk about some great family activities you can do on your next Festiva vacation. These may be generic or location specific- let’s cast a wide net here and see what we can come up with.


Beachcombing, what Wikipedia defines as “an activity that consists of an individual ‘combing’ (or searching) the beach and the intertidal zone, looking for things of value, interest or utility,” is really a secondary activity, sort of a diversion while you’re walking a beautiful beach. It’s a great family activity because it’s slow paced, and walking around collecting shells sort of spurs conversation. There are neat finds, great beach scenery, birds flying around, maybe dolphins and boats cruising by. It’s a great way to slow down, have a chat and just enjoy your vacation. It’s exercise and fresh air suitable for the whole family. (Hey grandma, look what I found!)

For great beachcombing, I recommend the less visited beaches of the Grand Strand: Surfside Beach and Garden City Beach. I’ve also seen a lot of cool shells at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores, Alabama, but it’s a little more remote. Check it out.


Hiking is exploring the world around you. Again, like beachcombing, it’s slow paced, great exercise, and prompts conversation. You can either go for a casual jaunt, or choose a hike where you can get some real accomplishment under your belt at the end of the day. One of the best Festiva locations I’ve been to for hiking is Rangeley, Maine, which is an Appalachian Trail town. The hikes around Rangeley are endless, beautiful, and varied. Cape Cod is another place that has very cool hikes that circle through the woods and the seashore. And if you’re in Florida, the area in Canaveral National Seashore has some great secluded, sandy hikes that offer great sunsets and wildlife viewing.

Seeing a family show

Seeing a show, whether it’s a live outdoor play such as Shepherd of the Hills in Branson, or Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach, is a great family activity. The kids get to escape reality for a night, and it’s great vacation fun for everyone.

Pat Barcas

Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for Festiva, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family, and of course, traveling!

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