Sally, Joey, Christa, Tom, Raleigh, Mary and Bella — and those are just the little ones. Sometimes all the members of one family can make your Christmas list grow by a mile, so why not simplify it with one really great gift? Let Santa take care of the rest, and use these suggestions to inspire you to go simpler this year.


Good for families of all sizes and ages, movies outings are a holiday tradition for many, especially since no one's required to talk much and theater food is calorie-laden enough to hold over even the most ravenous teenager. There's also usually enough variety to select a film everyone can enjoy. The locally owned Garland's discounted prices means everyone can come. There isn't much else that boasts family togetherness like sitting in a row and laughing at a screen for two and a half hours. $4.50 each • Garland Theater • 924 W. Garland


It's hard entertaining any number of kids during the long days of winter or summer break. Before letting the family you know plop their children in front of a television, consider buying them a Mobius Kids Children's Museum or Mobius Science Center membership. Both learning centers are right downtown and offer a full day's worth of fun and educational activities. $75-$150/year • Mobius Kids Children's Museum • 808 W. Main


This classic board game from the '60s can still be found today. It'll be sure to brighten up the faces of grandparents who remember playing it in their youth, and the younger generation should also take a liking to it as well. Matching outfits is great learning for little ones, and preteens are sure to get a kick out of what comprises an old-school date. The table isn't just for dinner — gather 'round with two to four family members to play. $25 • Whiz Kids • 808 W. Main


Give the gift of the outdoors with a rugged tent. The right-sized one can fit a number of family members and eventually will hold lots of memories. Your newly outdoorsy family can use it for all kinds of camping around the Pacific Northwest wilderness, or for a super-fun campout right in the backyard. A camo one would be perfect for the family's little hunters. Check out a dome style that's tall enough to stand in and features extras like a small canopy and tarp porch. Prices average $40 • White Elephant • 1730 N. Division

Red, Black & Brew Beer Festival @ Sutton Park

Sat., Oct. 8, 12-6 p.m.
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