Every Chol HaMoed, families start to ask each other “What are you doing for Chol HaMoed?” While some have the tradition to stay in their Sukkah as much as possible, the weather is sometimes prohibitive (whether it’s raining like in New York, or 100 degrees in LA). Others want to get out and enjoy the holiday, but this year, it can be a challenge to find activities where social distancing can be maintained. Not to worry, you won’t have to be bored at home! These five ideas for DIY Chol HaMoed fun can take a whole day each, or else mix and match with other activities you have in mind. With some forethought and creativity, your family can have a holiday to remember for a long time to come (in a good way!)
Museum at Home
Are you missing having an outing at the science museum, aquarium or seeing great works of art? You can create a museum at home to make learning into an immersive experience right in your own home. Set up your computers in different rooms to play National Geographic films. Have your kids divide up their stuffed animals into categories and make plaques to teach a piece of information about the item. Do you have a child interested in Geology, dinosaurs, Lego or experiments? Dedicate space to those topics with hands-on touch bins. For art, print out reproductions of your favorite works, and make your own to star alongside them (See Arts and Crafts Day idea below).
Escape the Room and Mystery Solving Activities
If your kids love spies and bad guys, are naturally curious or love taking an active part in figuring out life’s mysteries, this is your day. Many websites offer free escape-the-room and mystery-solving virtual activities, while others provide access to them for a small fee. While these activities are geared towards a range of ages, tweens and teens may have the most fun, as they put their skills to work to best mom and dad for who can solve the mystery the fastest! This phenomenon exploded in the spring, so there are adventures for everyone from fans of movies and books, to space-themed ones, to crime-solving. Look around to find one that meet’s your family’s needs and interests.
Arts and Crafts Day
Whether you’re going to display your work in your “Museum at Home” or simply make some projects you can display or use, having a day of Chol HaMoed dedicated to art is both therapeutic and a great bonding activity. Order supplies now online and treat your family to a day of immersive art you wouldn’t otherwise have time for. From Paint By Numbers and Paint Night (where everyone follows a step-by-step tutorial of the same painting with unique results) to sculpture that you can fire in your own oven, to origami, paper quilling and tie-dye, there is something for every artist, and every degree of messiness you want to have your house or sukkah in afterwards (until everyone cleans up and you can just enjoy the fruit of your artistic labors!)
Take it from our Kosher Chopped competition, you can make any ingredients into an entertaining and delicious time with the right plan. Kids of all ages will be thrilled to have their own ingredients to prep, leaving the chopping and fire-handling to those over bar mitzvah. Take turns as judges or designate the parents to be them while the kids compete for prizes (which could be as simple as choosing what’s on the menu for second days). Use this as an excuse to make something with the items in your pantry that are taking up space, or else create a theme around a favorite cuisine, dish or meal. This is a delicious option for Chol HaMoed, with the added bonus that you don’t have to cook dinner that night!
Obstacle Course and Scavenger Hunt
Calling all daredevils, active kids and parents! It’s time for a physical challenge with these versatile and customizable activity options. If your backyard is big enough, these can be done there, or else on a rainy day, clear out your living room or find a deserted public park. Even without a swingset or a basement, there is much you can do in your own space to create a challenge course that you and your kids will love. You can set up “lasers” with string, “floor is lava” obstacles, gymnastics equipment and more. You can theme the scavenger hunt to anything from Sukkos, or to things that are special about your family. Either way, your dear ones are sure to find ways to laugh, be physical and have a great time.