Get Your Kids off the Couch

Summer is fast approaching. Kids will soon be out of school, and chances are, spending more time in front of the TV, grunting the familiar phrase, “I’m bored.”

If trying to plan family time seems daunting – you’re not alone. Today’s modern family is over-scheduled, and often disconnected. A new Web site,, aims to get families out together by providing a full itinerary of family adventures through free weekly e-mails, where all the planning is done for you.

“Parents are exhausted,” co-creator and mom Diane Phillips Shakin explained. “This helps them get more connected with bite sized vacations every weekend.”

Popcorn Adventures:

Once a week parents receive a “popcorn adventure” via e-mail, which includes a movie families can watch together, paired with a family outing that relates to the theme of the film.

A brief description of the film is provided along with information on why it’s worth watching, any “red flags” and “conversation starters” or tips on how to start talking with your kids about a topic related to the movie.

“We’re working on providing guest experts that will occasionally write questions for parents as well,” co creator Sarah Bowman explained. “We currently have financial experts Eileen and Jon Gallo, and plan on having a school psychologist, environmental expert, art expert, and others.” The site also has a librarian who chooses books relevant to the film’s topic that can be purchased directly on Amazon.

So how does renting a movie get kids off the couch?

That’s where the adventure comes in. Bowman and Shakin plan an adventure (lasting at least one hour), where families get out and experience the story together. Because they have already done the adventure themselves, Bowman and Shakin share with parents what worked best for them, and highlight activities and outings that parents and kids will enjoy the most – maximizing your time together.

The site provides ideas for family adventures regardless of where you live, as well as more specific information for major cities including New York, Boston, Houston, and San Francisco. For example, with Ice Age: The Meltdown, adventures include everything from Boston’s Blue Hills’ Skyline Trail, to San Francisco Zoo’s Earth Day celebration. Other films, like A League of Their Own have families on the #1 train to 215th station watching a Columbia University Lions game.

“We’re finding ways to connect kids with culture through film,” Bowman explained. To start your adventure visit
posted by Tracy @ 5/03/2007 |


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