Local Community Events as ‘Balance Leisure Activities’ – Creating and Enhancing Family Well-being

Raphaela Stadler, Allan Jepson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Attending community events as a family holds great potential to spend quality family time; foster bonding, belonging and happiness within the family; and therefore enhance the family’s quality of life (QOL) over time. Using the Core and Balance Model of Family Leisure Functioning, our chapter explores local community events as ‘Balance family leisure activities’ to determine the emotional attachment to the activity and its ability to create family well-being. Drawing on family focus groups as well as survey data from ten different events across Hertfordshire, UK we discuss how families use a range of stability (Core) leisure activities to strengthen the family unit. These smaller, more mundane leisure activities (going for a walk, watching a film, playing in the garden) should be engaged in on a regular basis in order for the family to spend quality time together, share values and build their relationships. Novelty (Balance) leisure activities, such as attending events or festivals, on the other hand, are out-of-the-ordinary, meaningful and memorable experiences for a family, which enhance not only their social but also their emotional well-being, and therefore their overall QOL in the long run. More specifically, our findings show that events and festivals, primarily through their uniqueness and attachment to one’s local community, provide great potential for families to engage in these Balance leisure activities and to socialise and bond. We present these findings using physical, emotional and social well-being as family QOL indicators. Practical implications and recommendations for event organisers are provided at the end of the chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFamily Events
Subtitle of host publicationPractices, Displays and Intimacies
EditorsThomas Fletcher
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003051190
ISBN (Print)9780367507725
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022


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