Fun for Children at International Family-Friendly Events

PinataWhen corporate event guests are permitted to bring spouses and children on international incentive trips, it's a great opportunity to customize the experience.

Drawing from the local culture is the perfect way to create memorable experiences for the children in the group.

Here are a few examples:


Pinatas originated as part of the Christmas posadas in Acolman de Nezahualcoyotl, and can be a fun children's activity for parties and fiestas. Sometimes blindfolded (use your judgment), children try to break the pinata, taking turns swinging a bat at the pinata, which is suspended from a rope. As soon as the pinata is broken, toys and treats come tumbling out and the children have fun gathering them.

While the pinata is not expensive, the structure from which it is suspended can set you back US$600 - $800 if you wanted to do this on the beach, for example. When booking a group at a Mexican resort, ask if they already have a structure in place.


If children are part of the group for an incentive trip or corporate retreat in Jamaica, they can have a lot of fun at a pattie-cooking classes. Filled with delicious meat or vegetables, they are bound to be a hit. Grater cakes, made from coconut and sugar, are also fun to prepare. 

Traditional Jamaican yo-yos and gigs (tops) have entertained children for generations. 

While ring and clapping games have died out in North America, they are still popular in Jamaica. It's a great opportunity for children to interact with local children and learn some new games. Dominoes and card games are also very popular.

Teens can have fun learning to DJ Jamaican-style or trying new dancehall-style reggae moves.


Congkak is a popular marble game played in Malaysia. The goal is to move the marbles around the wooden board with scooped out holes to the large holes at either end of the board which represent home. A lot of strategy is needed to make sure the other player does not scoop your marbles.

This game is also played in South America where it is known as Mancala and in West Africa and St. Thomas, Jamaica where it is known as Wari or Awari. Sometimes seeds or stones are used instead of marbles.


CrepesIn Quebec, crepe or poutine making classes would keep children entertained. In the Maritimes, a clam bake or lobster boil would be fun. Pancake breakfasts with real Canadian Maple Syrup would please any crowd of children. Campfires and the opportunity to learn campfire songs and make S'mores would definitely end the day in a memorable fashion for children.


International companies often plan corporate events in the U.S. and bring children. Activities with an all-American flair include ice cream sundae contests, Monopoly, and hopscotch.

Let's not forget the teens. They would welcome the opportunity to create their own rap song, scratch like rap artists, or learn some hip hop moves to perform as a dance crew.

For more ideas also consult Balancing Team, Family and Free Time During Foreign Corporate Events, 40 Fantastic Family Activities for Conferences and Corporate Events, and Designing Family Friendly Conferences, Retreats and Incentive Trips

Photo Credits: Andy, Lane Forenerat

blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter
Receive updates on the latest trends, best practices, and strategies
to transform your meetings and events