If you find Christmas family get-togethers fun rather than frantic, you might be interested to hear about National Family Week, starting today. Designed to bring families together for some "quality time" in a series of events being held around the country, it's really rather sweet.
The event has the backing of charities, sponsors, community groups, statutory bodies, schools, sporting and faith networks and Gordon Brown, no less. This new national occasion will encourage families to play, learn, eat, read, compete and - most importantly - spend quality time together.
There's a website with all the information you need about how to take part at www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk, and some you probably don't, like Gordon Brown, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families telling you how pleased they are that the event is going ahead. Scroll down that particular page a bit further and you'll find words of praise for the family dynamic from Richard & Judy, King of the Jungle Joe Swash and Terry Wogan, definitely worth a read!
The schedule looks pretty packed with hundreds of events, competitions and promotions to take part in. By far the best way to find out what's going on near you is to use the event search facility on the website here. I've just tried it and discovered that parents can swim for free at Fusion in Rotherhithe all week, while on Tuesday 26th May at The Old Operating Theatre Museum in Southwark families can take part in The Apothecary Shop experience, including grinding medicine and making magical snail water. That's me sold!
In addition to local events, here's a selection of nationwide activities you can take part in wherever you are:
Family Week Picnic
The UK is setting a Guinness World Record for the largest picnic ever, and we're all invited. It's today (Monday 25th May), so you'll need to get your skates on. Click here to find out how to take part at a park near you.
Family Week Sports Day
Local sporting clubs, associations and teams across the nation are hosting Sports Day events for your family to enjoy. Or you could challenge your extended family, friends or neighbours in a Sports Day of your own. Find out more about Family Week Sports Day here.
Family Week Feast
When I'm not eating, I'm thinking about eating right now, so it's not much of a stretch for me to take part in a Family Week feast on Sunday 31st May. Experts say that families that sit down together regularly to eat are healthier and happier, and have healthier, happier relationships. National Family Week is encouraging you to get you family together for a big nosh-up, knowing that families up and down the country are doing exactly the same.