I'm here to assure you that Shabbat is fun, peaceful, and can be filled with many activities! But as many people say, you can't understand the peace of Shabbat until you do it.
Here is a list of ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities of Shabbat! Please feel free to add more Shabbat-friendly activities in the comments section! (After all, I'm a pretty boring person, so I'm sure I don't know the full breadth of possibility!)
- Napping (my favorite!)
- Studying Torah subjects
- Reading to your kids (or other people's kids!)
- Walks outdoors (be careful of eruv, distance, and exercise issues)
- "Marital relations"
- Playing with your kids
- Socializing outdoors, in homes, or in the synagogue
- Snacking (Calories don't count on Shabbat, but my scale calls Shabbat's bluff)
- Card games
- Mah jong
- Bananagrams or Scrabble (check with your rabbi about specifics)
- Possibly baseball, basketball, or other outdoor games (check with your rabbi). I haven't inquired into this, but games like kickball and soccer seem like a bad idea if played on non-parking lot/driveway surfaces.
For games, remember that you can't write down scores or write as part of the game. However, there are other ways to keep score, such as a pile of jelly beans.
In short, it's amazing how fast Shabbat goes. It's over before you know it, and you didn't accomplish half the things you wanted to (usually reading-wise). You will never lack things to do on Shabbat, I assure you. Assuming you want to do anything at all! Some weeks, you just need to disengage from the entire world, and that's okay too.