MAD (Mindie, Adam, Alex, David) Family Fun is the result of friends and family asking "How do you find so much fun stuff to do?" So, I decided to share with everyone! There are no BIG secrets involved, I promise. I just have a knack for finding fun and now I want to share it with you!

MAD Family Fun is a place to find activities, events and ideas to have more fun with your family. Enjoy!

Cruise Directing 101

As I said in my intro, I am the cruise director for my family. I am the one who seeks out the fun! Do you want to be your family’s cruise director? Of course you do! Trust me, it is not hard, and I will walk you through it.


For today’s lesson, we will focus on getting organized. The first thing you need is a calendar. Paper is fine, but I use my computer’s built in calendar program that way I always know where it is and it makes it easy to add things I find online. The second thing you will need are events to put on your calendar. But where do I find the fun events and activities to add?

There are a few sources to use to "find the fun." The first is friends and family. Get talking! The best way to find out what is going on is to talk to others. Word of mouth is wonderful. Second, check your local papers. You never know what you might find. The third is the Internet, it is also a great place to look. I know I could go on and on about sources of fun, but I don’t want to overwhelm you! Today is about getting organized!

Now for your homework. Oh yes, there is homework! Go get a calendar or set one up on your computer. Find 1 Family Fun thing to put on it! You are now on your way to being a cruise director!


Having a hard time knowing where to look for fun events? There are a few sources to find the fun. First is your local paper. Not the big USA Today paper but your local little paper. Penny Savers, Shoppers, Advisor type papers. The smaller community papers tend to cover more “human interest” stuff. I get up to 3 a week (and they are FREE) from various communities around us. I look for festivals, classes and the like. Just as an example, this week I found in my local papers:

Free art exhibit at a local college
Free day at an area children’s museum
$35 basketball program for 3-7 yr old at a rec. dept.
Free Good Life Nutrition Program with kid activities like a “veggie hunt”
Free PJ story time at a local library
Free Ice sculpting festival with kid activities
Free Beekeeping program at a local library
Free “Tip Up” festival with kid activities. (For those of you who don’t come from the frozen north, a tip up is a type of fishing equipment used to ice fish! LOL)

Now I will not be doing all of these, but I will be doing a few of them for sure. So get your hands on your local papers! You never know what you will find!


How many times have you seen a craft and thought “oh let’s do that” but then you realize you need to pick up a few supplies. How many times have you ACTUALLY gone out and got the supplies and done the craft? This is the reason every house should have a craft box. A box of supplies, on hand, so the next time you see a craft to do, you can! But what to put in it? Well here are the basics of my craft box….

1.) Glue - Stick AND Elmer’s type, because while glue sticks are great for less mess, they don’t always stick what you need!
2.) Paper - Both white and construction
3.) Tape
4.) Scissors
5.) Markers, crayons and paints (with brushes)
6.) Popsicle sticks
7.) Pipe cleaners
8.) Stapler
9.) Hole punch
10.) Paper clips
11.) Rubber bands
12.) Wiggles eyes
13.) Brown paper lunch sacks
14.) Stickers
15.) Yarn

I have added many other things to it over time, like cotton balls, ribbon, glitter, empty baby food jars, etc. But to get started I suggest the list above, after that, use you imagination! I have put in things like old Christmas cards we get to use the pictures off the fronts.

I know, now your saying, “but I don’t want to spend a ton of money!” Well then DON’T!!! I will share a secret with you, Dollar Tree is an awesome store for family fun. Everything is a dollar or less and you can find almost everything on the list there. Heck, you can even find a nice container there to store all the supplies in. So get that craft box together, because I am going to start posting some fun crafts to do!


One of the ways I find fun stuff to do is by simply keeping my eyes open. What I mean by that is being aware of what’s around me. An example: I was at a pet store and at the check out they had a stake of free Equine Times publications. Now I don’t have a horse, but I picked one up anyway. Why? Because it listed shows and expos. I figured there might be something interesting to check out.

Often I find out about events through free publications like these, signs on windows, and even billboards! I once saw a billboard for a “Dino Dash.“ I went to the web site and checked it out. My son age 4 participated in a run at a local university for very cheap. Not only did he get a medal and a shirt, but they had kid activities and we got to visit the museum there to see dinos!

So keep your eyes open!