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5 Great Things to do as a Family on the Long Weekend

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5 Great Things to do as a Family on the Long Weekend


The long weekend in February can be a tricky one. In many places, winter still holds us in its clutches, with the weather often remaining too cold to spend the entire time outside. On the other hand, cabin fever can quickly set in when the whole family is hanging around indoors.

To help keep you from getting restless, we’ve pulled together 5 great activities that are perfect for the whole family. Come rain or shine — or snow! — one of these great ideas is sure to keep you busy.

Make wintery window decorations

Get creative and keep your festive spirit alive in February by making your own wintery window art.

What you need:

Wax paper
White Glue
Glitter (optional)


How to make it:

1.     Draw a shape with white glue on wax paper. Don’t skimp on the glue or your decoration will be too fragile. Sprinkle with glitter, if you like. Let it dry.

2.     When the glue is fully dried, delicately remove the decoration from the wax paper. Apply to a window, lightly wetting if needed. The decoration is so light and smooth that it should stick to the glass.


Make fantastical fairy doors

A small mysterious door can be a safe solution for covering up outlets while also added a touch of magic to kid’s bedrooms.

What you need:

Foam core board (about the same thickness as the outlet)

A piece of thin cardboard



A piece of fabric

A small wooden fruit crate

A brass fastener

A drill with a small bit


Wood stain

Double-sided adhesive tape


How to make it:

1.     Cut out two door shapes from the foam core board and one from the thin cardboard.

2.     Make a hole that’s the same size as the wall outlet in one of the foam core board cutouts, and a hole the same size as the plug in the thin cardboard. Glue the thin cardboard onto the piece of foam core board that has been cut to fit the outlet.

3.     Join the two doors by glueing the piece of fabric to both doors to act as a hinge.

4.     Cut out small slats from the fruit crate with scissors. Glue them onto the cardboard and the remaining foam core board door.

5.     Make a small hole in the door and insert a brass fastener into it to create a door handle.

6.     Cut out small slats from the crate. Drill tiny holes into them and thread the string, knotting it under each step, to construct the ladder.

7.     Cut out a small landing the width of the door, drill some holes to attach the ladder and then glue it to the bottom of the doorframe.

8.     Stain the wood (you can also use diluted paint or shoe polish).

9.     Attach the door to the wall using pieces of double-sided adhesive tape.


Bake a cake

Get inspired by the mother/daughter team behind New French Table — Giselle and Emily Roux — and bake their delicious apple cake as a family. Enjoy it later with fresh whipped cream and a steaming hot drink.

What you need:

2¾ oz (80 g) unsalted butter; softened, plus extra for greasing

10½ oz (300 g) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 egg, beaten

5½ oz (150 g) superfine sugar

3 Cox or Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces

whipped cream, to serve (optional)


How to make it:

1.     Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Grease the inside of a deep 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pan with butter and dust the inside of the pan with a coating of flour.

2.     Whisk the egg and sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale, then add the butter and continue to whisk until fully incorporated. Sift the flour into the bowl, then add the chopped apples. Mix until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated and then pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

3.     Transfer to the over for 30 minutes, until the cake is well risen, golden and springy to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing the cake from its pan.


Make a hamster seesaw

Get the pets involved in your family fun weekend as well with this easy craft from Homemade for Hamsters.

What you need:

Toilet paper tube


Corrugated cardboard



Bamboo skewers

Strong, non-toxic glue

Nontoxic markers or paint (optional)


How to make it:

1.     Measure your toilet paper tube and then draw a rectangle on the corrugated cardboard that is the same length and twice as wide as this.

2.     Using scissors, cut out this rectangle, then trace and cut two more.

3.     On two of the rectangles, make a mark at the centre on one of the long sides. Using a ruler, draw a line from this mark to each of the opposite corners to make a triangle. Cut out these large triangles.

4.     Stand each triangle up on its longest side and glue onto the long sides of the rectangle.

5.     Use a bamboo skewer to poke a hole near the top of each triangle. Then remove the skewer.

6.     Use the skewer to poke two holes side by side, near the centre of the toilet paper tube. Remove the skewer.

7.     Hold the paper towel tube between the two triangle supports so that all four holes line up. Thread a skewer through the hole in one triangle, the two holes in the tube and then out through the other triangle. Use scissors to trim the end of the skewer.


Build a quinzee

According to Kevin Callan, aka The Happy Camper, a quinzee is simply a less complicated igloo. In Complete Guide to Winter Camping, Callan says the best temperature for building a quinzee is -25˚F (-10˚C) and that the steps for building one are simple.

What you need:

A snowy backyard or park


How to make it:

1.     Pile loose snow into a mound 10 feet (3 m) in diameter and 6.5 feet (2m) high, using a shovel or snowshoe. Let the snow settle for an hour or two.

2.     Start digging towards the centre, keeping the thickness consistent by poking pencil-thick sticks around 12 inches (30cm) in length into the walls and roof. Stop digging when you expose the ends of these sticks.

3.     Make a small hole in the ceiling for ventilation and place a plastic tarp on the floor. It should be about 10 degrees warmer in your quinzee than outside.


Have a great weekend, everyone!


Get the books:

 How to Amaze Your Daughter

 How to Amaze Your Son

 Homemade for Hamsters

 New French Table

 Complete Guide to Winter Camping

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