In preparing and packing for our cabin trip my sister commented how much easier it might be if I didn't have to pack all the food.
I thought of this as I got ready and realized to me it is the activities for the kids that is a harder thing to plan then anything else.
Because we did play outside a lot when we were at the cabin but it was still winter temperatures, snowy and the kids - as well and Josh and I - do get tired from hike after hike. Time inside is necessary and in order for it to be fun thought had to be put into the planning.
The first time we went camping as a family last summer I didn't do enough of this planning and the kids ended up getting into stuff they should not have. At the end of the day nothing makes me more disappointed then having to scold my kids when we are all on vacation. A trip that is supposed to be fun for all.
And as a result of that experience, knowledge and a bunch of small activities we had a great time. Things the kids could do for 5 minutes or a hour. Items that could be used up and then tossed in the fire and not hauled home. A drop of food coloring in water and a paint brush, window clings, play dough, coloring books, highlight magazine full of stories to read and more. We had a great time but we were also reminded of how important these areas of "ok" activities are. Kids aren't adults and they are curious. Without a little direction they often go right to what a grown up knows not to do.
Plus in packing for the kids I did remember something for the evening. Good books to read with no chores or technology to distract is a lovely thing for an adult as well. Yes, time in a cabin in the woods provides outdoor exploration but also cabin fun as well.