9 Fun New Family Night Ideas
If you want to make some great memories with your kids, here are 9 fun family night ideas for you.
The same old evening routine can get boring, especially for kids. If you want to get some great "together time," ditch movie and game night. Instead, try one of these nine fun family night ideas for something new:
- Surprise Guest Night
Invite someone special, a friend you seldom see, a teacher or relative from far away for a visit. Tell your kids a VIP will be visiting, but don't tell them who. Offer clues, but save the big reveal for when the mystery guest walks through the door!
- Family Scrapbooking
"One of the most meaningful things we've done is to work on our family scrapbooks together," says Lain Ehmann, scrapbooker extraordinaire and mom of three at Layout a Day. "If I can make it simple for them to participate, they'll all pitch in, even the teenagers!"
Take this opportunity to revisit old memories. "I'll pull out our photos and memorabilia from our recent family vacation or other event, and ask questions we'll all take turns answering." Think of asking: What was the best part? What surprised you? What was the funniest part? Write down everyone's answers to paste into the books. Every now and then, take out old scrapbooks. "It helps us keep in touch with our past," says Ehmann, "and also reminds us of the special things that bring us together as a family."
- Leave the House
The best way to mix things up is to get out of the house. A newer concept, escape rooms offer your family a fun chance to play a real-world puzzle game. You get locked in a special room at the gaming facility and work together solving clues to crack the puzzle so you can break out. If there's not one in your area, consider spending an evening at laser tag or geocaching by flashlight.
- Books and Ice Cream
"We love a family night in with the latest animated movie rental and a giant bowl of popcorn, but we also like to shake things up a bit when we want a more quiet night," says Stephanie Precourt, mother of four and blogger at Adventures in Babywearing. "We head to the book store and everyone picks a book to read and browse. Maybe ice cream is involved afterward!"
- Old-School Rock 'n' Roll
Dust off your old turntable and introduce your kids to the wonders of vinyl! Play records from your youth (or your parents' era) and bust out the dance moves that were all the rage. Amaze them by explaining how music etched into grooves may be old-fashioned, but you don't even need electricity to play those tunes.
- A Very Merry Unbirthday
Throw someone in your family an unbirthday party, and you can even make it a surprise! Serve cake, play games and hand out party favors. You could have the event for that person's half birthday, to make up for a birthday missed due to illness or travel or for no reason at all.
- 100 Words
Have one child pick a letter, and everyone else take turns coming up with 100 words starting with that letter. (No proper nouns, and repeats don't count.) Apart from building vocabulary, it also helps with counting and memory skills. Best of all, everyone gets the chance to be clever.
- Camp at Home
You don't need to take a road trip to have a camp-out! Set up a tent in the family room or the backyard, make s'mores, put sleeping bags on the lawn and sleep under the stars. Another benefit of camping at home: the bathroom, food and real beds are a few steps away.
- Explore Your Neighborhood
Even if you drive through it daily, there are bound to be countless things in your neighborhood that can only be appreciated on foot. "We love to just take a walk -- it's a great way to get away from screens and see what you can discover," says Precourt. "For us, it's the beach, and there's always something new to explore!" Even if you don't live by the ocean, you and your kids can watch the sunset, admire gardens and listen to the wind in the trees at the park. If you like, make the expedition goal-oriented: find cool things, strange things or things you never noticed before.
There are countless great family night ideas, but the best part of all is having adventures and making memories together.
Want more fun family activities? Try these 7 Family Traditions to Make Your Own.
Nancy J Price is an Arizona-based mother of four, as well as a writer, editor and web developer. One of the original co-founders of SheKnows.com, she now writes for several websites, including Myria.com and ClickAmericana.com.