A brand new year means a fresh new start, a clean slate, so to speak. This year, resolve to make more memories! You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a good time! There are thousands of memories ready to be made right at home. From games and gardening, to cooking and volunteering, the whole family will enjoy these exciting activities! Try out these fifteen ideas for some fantastic family fun, and get ready for gallons of giggles and magical memories!

1. Host a Backyard Carnival

While it may seem frigid now, summer will be here before we know it! Get ready for it by planning a backyard carnival! It's easy to do, have the kids help you choose what games everyone will play, what food and drinks will be served, what music will be played, etc. Plus, you can head over to your local dollar store to pick out small toys for prizes! Not only will it be a blast when the summer arrives, but planning it can be an activity the kids can do a little bit of each day! For example, one day they can plan the games they will play — think ring toss, coin flip and ball toss games, and the next day they can create a music playlist, and so on! When the time actually comes for the party to take place, everything will be all set and ready to go!

2. Get Campy

Nothing says that you have to wait until summer and travel thousands of miles away to go on a camping adventure! Build one in your living room! Set aside time, preferably on the weekend, when everyone can sleep in the next day, and have fun indoors! Pitch a play-tent in the living room for the kids to sleep in, and mom and dad can crash on the couches! The kids will love the pajama-party-esque feel of it! Kick the party up a notch by making tasty treats like indoor s'mores and hot cocoa! Make sure to grab your camera to capture candid shots of all the fun!

3. Volunteer Together

Nothing brings people together like doing good. Next time your children say they are bored, sit down with them and talk about possibly volunteering in their community. Share the different options with them, such as donating and organizing items at their local food bank, going to their local nursing home to visit with the elderly, or helping out at the local soup kitchen! Find out what they would like to do, and the whole family can do it together! If you have multiple children, do something different each week!

4. Make a Home Movie

This is one project that everyone in the family will surely treasure for generations to come. Grab your camera (or phone, or tablet) and have everyone sit down together and write a "script" for a home movie! The kids can be the "directors," and mom or dad can do the filming! It's definitely a fun activity for a rainy or snowy day, when everyone has to stay inside. Once the movie is finished, transfer the file to a DVD, and your little ones will be amazed at seeing their creation come to life on the big screen!

5. Build a Family Tree

Mom and dad, along with the kids, will both enjoy learning about their family history. Set aside a special day of each week for the first half of the year to work on mom's side of the family, and do the same thing for the second half of the year to learn about dad's side. Visit your local library for resources, use the internet for research, and try to find pictures! The entire family will enjoy learning about their ancestors and those that came before them.

6. Stargaze

There is truly nothing that can compare to the feeling of being outside on a late spring evening, laying upon a soft blanket, just gazing up at the immeasurable heavens above us as they twinkle. Star gazing is not only fun, but can be educational, too. You can find star charts online that will help you navigate the night sky. Set aside a little bit of time each night to go outside and look up to the sky to see how the stars change and move each night. The kids can even chart their findings by drawing them on paper! But the best part of this activity? The extra fresh air the kids get each night they are outside will help them sleep a lot easier! It's a win-win!

7. Get Green (Thumbs!)

Remember that feeling you would get when you bit into a slice of a ripe and juicy tomato freshly plucked from your garden? How about the pride you felt when you served up that delectable dish of vegetables that you grew yourself? Introducing children to gardening can be a great way to teach them responsibility. You can start them off small with a potted plant, or even a small patch of earth in your garden. Have them choose what they would like to grow, help them get the seeds or plants, and aid them in getting it into the ground. After that, they can take on the responsibility of remembering to water their plants, trimming them (with help from mom or dad, of course) and reaping the rewards of the tasty fruit or vegetables that it bears, when the time comes!

8. Family Dinner Nights

Children love to help out mom and dad, especially when it is time to cook dinner. Expand upon that with a family dinner night! For each member of the family, set aside a day each week where the meal is chosen and prepared by that week's respective family member! Parents can help to make sure that the meal chosen is balanced and nutritious, and the little ones will adore getting to work alongside mom and dad in the kitchen!

9. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Imagine the surprise on your children's faces when they wake up one morning and there are notes left around the house for them to follow clues! They will love channeling their inner pirate and searching high and low for the next clue, and parents can even slip in some educational material, too — think easy math problems, riddles, etc. Dad or mom can pick up some little favors or toys from the local dollar store to serve as the "treasure" that the children will find at the end of their scavenger hunt. Prepare a picnic lunch to enjoy in the backyard after the hunt to keep the fun going!

10. Plan a Nature Walk

This is another great activity that can be done in spring or summer, but you can preface the big nature walk by teaching the kids all about the flora and fauna that is local to the area that you live in. Then, when the time comes for the nature walk, have a little "field guide" ready — you can easily make one up on the computer at home and print it out, and then have the kids check off each item that they see along the way on their walk! They'll feel like real explorers, and they'll be learning and exercising at the same time — talk about multitasking!

11. Make a "Day Jar"

This is a year-long activity, less the time it takes to create your family's jar and decorate it the way you all want. The idea behind a 'day jar' is that at the end of each day, pause and take a few moments where each family member talks about something good that happened in their day. It engages families and gets everyone talking with one another. Once everyone settles on something good that happened, everyone writes theirs down on a piece of paper, and it goes into the jar. At the very end of the year, dump the jar out, and everyone can reminisce about what a great year they had!

12. Make a Family Yearbook

At the start of the new year, make a vow to snap more photos! Get them printed up, and when you are ready, let the kids help you choose which photos should go into a "family yearbook!" Make sure you have the candid shots, the portraits, and you can't forget the superlatives! Have fun with it!

13. Host a Glow Party

Simple pleasures in life are always the ones that make the most memorable times. Set aside a weekend day, once again, when everyone can sleep in the next day. Host a "glow party!" Head on over to your local dollar store and pick up a variety of different glow items — glowsticks, necklaces, bracelets, whatever they have available, and that is of course, age appropriate for your children - pick it up! Then brainstorm games and fun things that you can do with the glowy items! This is great to do in the summer time!

14. Family Game Show Night

Host a "family game show night!" Choose a night, after everyone has dinner, to convene in your living room and come up with fun and exciting "game show" ideas! A few examples would be "Minute To Win It" style games and "Jeopardy" style games! Use your imagination, the sky is the limit! See what everyone can come up with, and use one idea from each person. Giggles and fits of laughter will surely ensue!

15. Play in the Puddles

Ditch the old wive's tale that playing outside in the rain can cause a cold. It's actually viruses, which are spread quicker in dry air, that cause colds. If there is no thunder and lightning forecast, grab your galoshes and raincoats and head outside! Have the kids take a closer look at the world around them while it's raining. Does the air smell different? Why do worms come out? Ask them questions like these and see what they have to say! Find the biggest puddles and jump in them, laugh, have fun with it! When it's time to go back inside and get dry and warm, make hot cocoa for everyone and ask them what they thought of their rainy adventures!