Are you converting your attic into a hiding place for Muslims, illegal aliens or other “undesirables”? Don’t worry about them being bored stiff. There are dozens of fun activities that can keep your secret houseguests from going stir crazy for four years, eight years or even longer!
“This isn’t 1939. There’s no reason no reason why a stay in your safe house needs to be a depressing experience,” says Carla Ann Fubner, a cruise ship activities director. “A cheerful décor with bright lighting and colors, comfortable furniture, plus plenty of mentally stimulating activities can make this a relaxing, memorable break from the hustle and bustle of work and school for the folks you harbor. Once you’ve worked with your decorator to create a pleasant environment, set about stocking the hideout with loads of games, puzzles and other items.”
Here are 18 suggestions from Fubner and other experts:
- Board games. Supplement classics like Risk, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit with more recent games such as Scythe and Quadropolis – and the longer it takes to win, the better.
- Karaoke CDs. “Make sure you have a wide variety,” says Hubner. ‘Hearing ‘I’ve Got You, Babe’ sung off-key every day for four years would drive anyone insane.”
- Arts and crafts. Adult coloring books, ceramics, wood-carving tools and paint-by-the-number sets are a must. Include “how to” manuals for tricky crafts such as glass-blowing.
- Juggling balls. Within a few years, even a fairly clumsy person can master the skill.
- Party games. Download the rules for a variety of games, ranging from Charades to Sardines and Two Truths and a Lie.
- Books and movies, especially comedies such as light-hearted Kevin Hart films.
- Exercise equipment, such as a Stairmaster, jump rope, Pilates bands and free weights.
- Language CDs. “Learning a different foreign language each year is a very fulfilling way to kill time,” Fubner notes.
- Costumes, props and scripts for family plays. Also rules for improv games like those seen on TV’s “Who’s Line is it Anyway?”
- Science kits. Children can learn about basic chemistry and physics while having fun.
- Small pets such as gerbils and goldfish.
- Jigsaw puzzles – ideally, 1,000 pieces or more.
- Ventriloquist dummies and puppets.
- Scrapbooking materials. “Make sure your guests bring along lots of family photos and memorabilia such as theater tickets and award certificates,” Fubner advises.
- A PlayStation, Wii and computer games for PC. Games that require going on the Internet are a no-no, because players can be traced.
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
- Interpretive dance. Your visitors can express their emotions while building flexibility.
- Magic kits. Says Fubner, “Who knows, after eight years ducking the authorities, your guest may emerge from the hideaway as the next David Copperfield!”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth