Cash and Maria McHargue are excited to attend the THRIVE Conference with their young kids, Isabella age 7 and Hunter age 6. In this article they share a few tips on how to have a fun and amazing family weekend at the conference. Please note: While there will not be any child care or Kids Kingdom provided for young children during the conference weekend, there WILL be – all day Saturday at the Conference Center – a large dedicated Family Fellowship Room, a Toddler Quiet and Change Room as well as exciting activities and classes for all of the Preteens and Teenagers during the THRIVE Seminar Class Sessions (click here for the Conference Schedule).
Conferences are inspiring for all ages – including young kids. The worship, fellowship and adventure are all things that even the smallest child will remember for years to come! Here are 5 things you want to consider in order to make sure you get the most out of your conference experience:
- Go All-Proactive – Now’s the time to go through the ThriveNECC.com website and the THRIVE Conference Program Schedule to put together a hand-crafted plan that’s just right for your amazing family. Think through the rhythms (wake and sleep times, energy levels, activity and food needs, rest and naps, emotional cycles…etc.) of your gang. Then sit down and talk with them and other families about plans and expectations that you’re confident will lead your families (together) to victory. Also, for planning purposes please note that there WILL be – all day Saturday at the Conference Center – a large dedicated Family Fellowship Room, a Toddler Quiet and Change Room as well as exciting activities and classes for all of the Preteens and Teenagers during the THRIVE Seminar Class Sessions!
- Take Play Dates to a New Level – Plan something specific and fun for the kiddos – then talk to them about it to get them excited about what’s to come! There are many things to do in Providence for families that could take play dates to a whole new level. Perhaps plan some time with another family to go to a park, a hotel pool (they are free) or one of the many attractions in Providence (there’s a mall attached to the conference center). Here is a great link: GoProvidence website to get you started.
- Team-Up for Childcare – While there will not be child care provided during the conference, that doesn’t mean you are out of luck – if you plan well! Team up with other families and friends to share the child care duties. Be sure to bring plenty of quiet time books, toys and activities that will make the time fun and engaging. If you are staying at one of the hotels you could also use one of your rooms for child care. There is plenty of space in the lobbies and common areas to get some time-out if needed.
- Creatively Master Your Meal-times – Many families bring food in order to save money. There are also a lot of family friendly restaurants in the near by area. Don’t forget that the Conference Center is attached to a mall which has a large food court! Here is another helpful link: ProvidencePlace website for restaurants attached to the mall. There are many other restaurants in the nearby area. (Also, please note: You can bring snacks for the kids but you cannot bring meals or coolers of food into the convention center)
- Bring Your Kids to the General Sessions – The larger sessions are inspiring to bring kids to – especially if they like music! You can also bring quiet activities for them to do during the lessons.
The conference is going to be an experience of a lifetime. As families with young children, let’s plan and prepare – in attitude, action and in advance – to thrive at THRIVE!