Five Car Games NOT to Play on that Family Vacation

May 26, 2009
Does anyone really play License Plate Bingo anymore? Seriously, someone does. After reading this travel blog post on family vacation car games, I had to come up with my own list of games NOT to play in the car:

Name That Rhythm: Tapping out the rhythm to a song with the car lock, ash tray lid (if your car is old enough) or simply on the window with your knuckle. Most annoying when the song tapped out creates and earworm not curable because you forgot to pack your favorite music.

The Imaginary Line: After blurting out, "Stop touching each other!" about 50 times, this game involves separation and the daring ventures to see how close each person can get to the dividing line without getting busted.

Seventh Inning Stretch: Also known as, "I'm taller than you." Stretching to see how far each player can reach. This includes how far up the headliner, how far down the rear window, and, most annoying, how far under the driver's seat. Of course, this requires that annoying poke in the rear.

Toss Across: Any object can become a projectile for a couple of boys who want to play catch. A Stargate-style vaporizer would come in handy for any object that hits the driver. One can wish...

Are We There Yet? Ironically, this is mentioned in the bad travel blog post. This game is not allowed in my car, in any variation. Usually there are enough maps in the car so that any antsy passenger can simply wait 60 seconds for the next mile marker and calculate it himself. Or, if he's extremely lazy, simply look at the GPS.

2009 Chrysler Town & Country

2009 Chrysler Town & Country

Enlarge Photo
It's car games like these that made me a fan of the warming glow for car rides. Since I usually don't allow much time for video games or mindless TV, I figure this is a treat.

Sure, I'd like to think that the scenery would occupy my guys for hours on end, but then we usually end up driving through Ohio on I-75. Trust me, that huge church statue of Jesus popping up out of the water is really scary when lit from below at night. It's scarier than Monster House when you're 6 years old.

Of course, there are plenty of after-market DVD players and entertainment systems available. Either install one or buy a portable unit that you can move from vehicle to vehicle. Or, if you're in the market for a new vehicle, the entertainment systems in the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country makes a lot of sense...

Okay, let's have it. Do you have any better alternatives for those long car rides? I'd love to hear them. And, with Summer travel already here, I'm sure many other parents want your ideas, too!

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