There are few things as relaxing as spending the weekend, or week, in the comfort of a summer cabin. Getting away from work and your normal responsibilities every once in a while is a great way to restore energy and detach from your every-day worries and pressures. And there are few better states to get away from the day-to-day grind than in beautiful Minnesota.

As cathartic as it is to head out of town and unwind at a Minnesota cabin, sometimes having all that free time leaves you short on things to do. Common time-filling solutions for families spending a week or weekend at the cabin are to throw on a movie or to reach for the ipad to play a mind-numbing game for a few hours. While there’s nothing wrong with either of those two activities, neither jive with the traditional cabin experience and both can be enjoyed at home.

When you’re enjoying time a Minnesota cabin, why not try out some activities that you can’t, or normally wouldn’t, do at home?

Here are 7 electronic-free activities for you and your family to enjoy at the cabin.

1. Roast S’mores Over a Blazing Campfire

If you spend time at the cabin and you don’t enjoy a campfire-toasted s’more, you’re doing it wrong. Set up some chairs and gather the family around a blazing campfire the next time you head off to the cabin. Pack the car with plenty of graham crackers, chocolate, and gooey marshmallows as we all know it’s impossible to limit yourself to one s’more. While your marshmallows melt, see who in the group can tell the best spooky story.

Pro tip: bring some peanut butter cups as well. Throwing a peanut butter cup between the graham and the marshmallow is a flavor-rich twist on the classic s’more. Just be careful when roasting not to melt the cup too fast.

2. Fishing

During your stay at the cabin, you’re going to have to eat some food. Why not catch your dinner by casting some lines on the lake! Fishing is one of the more traditional cabin activities, but it’s a timeless classic. It’s a relaxing way to soak up some sun, and it’s offers a great lesson in patience for both yourself and the family. Find a good spot on the shore or rent a boat and head for an island on the lake, and fire up the grill at night and gobble up whatever you catch.

3. Go for a Hike

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors while also getting some healthy exercise. And it gives you an opportunity to scout for quality sticks for roasting s’mores. Minnesota offers a variety of hiking paths that allow hikers to chart a hike that is the appropriate length and terrain for the skill level of their group. Some trails to check out near Pelican Lake include Echo Lake Trail and Vermillion Falls and Vermillion Gorge trails.

4. Board Games

Sure, you can play board games in the comfort of your own home. But how many times do you decide against playing a board game because you don’t have enough time to finish it to its completion? With plenty of time to kill at the cabin, you can enjoy playing a board game no matter how long it takes. Before you take off to escape to the cabin, throw a few board games into the car that your group might enjoy. Especially the fun but time-consuming ones like Risk, Monopoly, and Scrabble.

5. Stargazing

When you’re out in the remote and open areas where cabins are typically located, you should take advantage of the stargazing opportunities. The bright lights and pollution of the city makes stargazing a challenge, but out at the cabin the solar system above is wide open and waiting for your gaze.

Not sure what you’re looking at? No worries, you don’t need an astronomy degree to enjoy star gazing. For some family-focused learning check out a constellation guide at your local library and pick out the various stars, planets, and other interstellar objects lighting up the night sky.

6. Lawn Games

There are a variety of fun lawn games that you can enjoy at the cabin. Bocce ball, horseshoes, ladder ball, and bean bag tossing are perfect outdoor activities to enjoy with your group. Each game is easy to set up and take down should a unexpecting rain make an appearance. Don’t have access to any of these games? No problem, bringing a football, soccer ball, frisbee, or kickball can do the trick as well.

7. Water Balloon Battle

Sure, swimming is the more traditional cabin activity for cooling down on a hot and humid day. But the competitive element of a water balloon battle is a unique way to cool off, that also provides you with a reason to run around and get some exercise. Water balloon battles can be family-oriented fun, but be careful with young kids who might be too small for the game. Whipping a water balloon at a four-year old isn’t a great idea. But catching your overly-confident teenage nephew square in the chest with a water balloon is quite enjoyable.

Book a Cabin at Birch Forest Lodge

Now that you’re armed with 7 electronic-free activities to enjoy at the cabin, all you need to do is select a cabin and a weekend to get away. At Birch Forest Lodge, we have a 11 cabins to choose from that offer something unique to every type of visitor. Located right on the shore of Pelican Lake, you’ll enjoy every minute of your relaxing stay with us.

Learn more about our selection of cabins and contact us today to check out our availability and to reserve your cabin.