Computers, TVs, Phones, Tablets, Gaming consoles... It can be difficult to get away from the screens now-a-days, but this week is the perfect time to try as it's officially National Screen Free Week through Sunday, May 7th.

Credit: Getty Images /
Credit: Getty Images /

But what exactly is Screen Free Week and how can we make it work to our advantage? Glad you asked... Celebrated the first week of May, National Screen Free Week is a week-long challenge for families, schools, and communities to disconnect from digital entertainment screens. The goal here is to create or instill in ourselves a healthier relationship with the technologies of today.

Credit: warrengoldswain
Credit: warrengoldswain

Did you know that the average Amercian will spend 7 HOURS A DAY looking at screens!? That's according to DataReportal. I'm pretty sure when I consider my job, nighttime TV, and my smart phone use; I'm well above that stat...

Happy young couple relaxing and watching TV at home
Credit: FS-Stock

Screen-Free Week is an annual invitation to play, explore, and rediscover the joys of life beyond screens. Even though it’s about turning off screens, Screen-Free Week isn’t about going without. Rather, it’s about what you can get when you put down the electronics! An hour dedicated to YouTube becomes an hour outside. Ten minutes off social media turns into a chance to draw or do a puzzle. A movie on a rainy afternoon can be replaced by time spent reading, chatting with your kids, spouse, or friends, or even (gasp) playing make-believe with your kids.

Young Mother overwhelmed by her kids
Credit: Yobro10

You can celebrate Screen-Free Week anywhere. Just put down those entertainment screens and do literally anything else! You might be surprised at what you find. Plan a day, a few hours, or the whole week; however you participate is great and even better you can tune in to your local radio station (see what I did there) for news and your favorite tunes while you "do."

Credit: SerrNovik
Credit: SerrNovik

Honestly, it's all about the kids here. They get WAY too much screen time. It all started back in 1994 when Henry Labalme and Matt Pawa created TV Turnoff Week and through the years, millions of kids and families have joined in turning off their TVs and going outside, playing, and having screen-free fun. Then In 2010, TV Turnoff Week officially became Screen-Free Week.

A young caucasian fisherman proudly holds up his first walleye of the day
Credit: Getty Images

Looking for ways to enjoy life WITHOUT the screen? Here's a list to get you started:

  • Visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
  • Go hiking in one of the many area preserves, parks, and wildlife sanctuaries
  • Take a trip with friends to one of the many local breweries, wineries, or eateries
  • Visit the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
  • Get to Crystal Lake Cave
  • Stroll through the Dubuque Museum of Art
  • Pay your respects at Veterans Memorial Plaza
  • Take the family swimming (maybe indoors this week)
  • Check out Dubuque's now iconic street art while you take in a day of shopping downtown
  • Get jumping at Vertical in the Kennedy Mall
  • If you don't mind the chill, there's even some local ziplining to enjoy
  • Stare in wonder at the stained-glass windows of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
  • And the list goes on, and on...
Eagle 102.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

Looking for more ideas? Find loads of resources to plan the rest of this week here; and make sure to check out more local options for getting away from the screens below!

Hiking Trails and Nature near Dubuque, Iowa

Nature and hiking areas around the Dubuque, IA area.

The Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

A stroll through the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Early Spring

More From Eagle 102.3