Tricks to the trip to Grandma’s

Going over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house might be fun the first time. It might even be fun the second and third time. But after you’ve done it every year for the last umpteen years, it can get a little boring for everyone.

This year, try something new.

  1. Choose a new route. Turn off the GPS and blaze your own trail. Not only will it make the trip a new challenge (no more setting the car to autopilot and tuning out as the road stretches before you), but it can also be a great way to teach your kids how to use a map.
  2. Name that trip. “The Turkey Trot to Detroit” or “The Douglas Family’s December to Remember” sounds a lot more fun than “Going to Grandma’s…Again,” says Jeff Siegel, author of RelationTrips.
  3. See the journey through your kids’ eyes. Just because you’ve been making this same drive every year since you left home doesn’t mean you’ve seen everything there is to see. Challenge your kids (and yourself) to look for new landmarks along the way, take the time to stop and read that roadside marker you’ve always wondered about or eat at the little roadside restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
  4. Get creative with games. Give those classic car games and songs a holiday feel by playing “The ABC Hanukkah Game” (each person has to come up with a Hanukkah word that starts with that letter of the alphabet) or singing the “99 Presents in Santa’s Sack” song.
  5. Be your own DJ. Put together a playlist of your family’s favorite holiday tunes. If the relatives like music too, consider burning the songs onto a CD for a personalized “Jones Family Holiday Collection” that makes a great gift.
  6. Have fun with holiday food. While you are on the road, take a detour to a farm or market to gather ingredients for the holiday meal you’ll cook when you arrive. Or plan to stop along the way for a food-themed activity such as visiting a local orchard for a sleigh ride and hot apple cider.
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