Maximize Family Fun Time

Animal experts, portrait painting, homemade drums, and more: Fresh ideas and awesome activities for your next kid-friendly gathering.

adult and teen smiling

Spend a little time making sure the youngest guests at your function have a blast. In this article, we’ll be covering advice from experts on how to wow the crowd at your next family-friendly event. 

Bring your next zoo trip to life

When was the last time you appreciated the wide world of animals? Animals can be a great source of joy and inspiration. For a fun and family-friendly outing, check out your local zoo or aquarium. Pro tip: Follow your local zoo or aquarium on social media for updates on special attractions, including performances, craft days, and more.

One of the most prolific scholars of the animal kingdom, Dr. Jane Goodall, has insights from her work with great apes that relate to the development of humans in her class on MasterClass. For example, both chimps and humans are extremely social animals. As Jane explains, the first years of development are some of the most foundational for chimps and humans alike.

For this reason, it’s important to bring your child along to social events and introduce them to new activities. Meeting new people at any age can help foster empathy and new ways of thinking. Also, exposing your child to new experiences can help them find out what they enjoy in life and learn to pursue their own interests. 

To spend more time with animals, check out Meetup groups like the Toronto Nature Lovers, or start your own.

Get excited about the wild, wonderful world of science

In his class on MasterClass, experienced professor and public intellectual Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson compares conducting scientific research to exploring a new continent. In both cases, one is standing on the frontier between what is known and unknown. 

As a prolific public speaker, Neil has had the opportunity to speak to a diverse range of audiences including college students, the press, politicians, and countless others. His advice for explaining new concepts to people without a scientific background can be useful for any parent tasked with explaining something complex to a child. His advice? Know your audience!
By “know your audience,” Neil means that speakers think about how their audience will receive what they’re explaining based on what they know about them. Speak to children in terms they understand. Think about reference points they may have: movies, books, experiences, and more than you can mention to explain a point. Learn more about science and science communication with MasterClass.

Turn any playdate into a home concert

Making music doesn’t require a special trip to the music store or years of lessons. Your next jam session could take place right in your kitchen. Famed drummer and singer Sheila E. explains how an impromptu performance can be an experience that is as social as it is musical. Share this magical experience with your children by carving out some time for making music at home. 

Follow Sheila’s tips for making a jam session a total hit from her class on MasterClass.  

  • Find your rhythm. Practice with grooves that feel good to you. When you’re ready, learn to play with other people. 
  • Keep time. Drumming is the backbone of the music. You’re the arbiter of time. Don’t rush, don’t drag. Keep it steady at the right tempo. 
  • Stay dynamic. Think about how playing louder or softer can affect the mood of the music. 
  • Know when not to play. Like any conversation, you have to know when the best contribution is staying silent. Hang back to create contrast and allow other players to shine. 

For opportunities to play music with locals, check out groups like NYC Jazz Musicians Hang, Salt Lake City Music Meetup Group, and Bluegrass Jams in and around NYC on Meetup!

Bring an art group to the next level (or organize your own!)

Construction paper, scissors, and watercolor sets are classroom staples in most elementary schools. Art has the potential to expand a child’s creativity and provide valuable practice for improved motor skills and attention spans. Consider planning arts and crafts activities at your next party. 

Step up your art skills with help from a professional. Devon Rodriguez (@devonrodriguezart) is one of the most viewed visual artists on TikTok, with more than 25 million followers. His series of portraits depicting passengers on the NYC subway has been described as traditional 19th-century European portraiture with a contemporary flair. In his class on MasterClass, Devon walks viewers through his technique for working with charcoal, oil paints, and more. 

One of Devon’s exercises is to paint a subject based on a reference photo. When using a photo as a reference for another type of artwork, Devon explains that choosing the right photo is key. You’ll want a photo with sharp contrasts between light and dark to make it easier to translate to another medium later on. 

Like any other talent, drawing and painting are skills that practice to improve over time. To get some more experience with visual arts, check out art groups near you like Central Park Sketching & Art Meetup Group, Art Circle- Delhi, or The Seattle International Figure Drawing Group. 

Meetup is excited to be partnering with MasterClass this summer to help you make this summer count! Go to to get up to 50% off your MasterClass subscription. Additional terms apply.

Last modified on September 12, 2023