The Ultimate Guide to Family Night Ideas

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There’s something special about spending time as a family. Whether it’s cooking dinner together, watching TV on the couch, or playing outside in the backyard, there are so many great things you can do with your kids. But how do you figure out what to do? 

Before we began our debt free journey, our family nights often consisted of spending money! Whether it was a dinner out at a restaurant, an expensive trip to the movie theater, or dropping dollars at the video arcade…we were no stranger to overspending!

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2017 Family Photo

Now that we are on a budget, we are always looking for fun and frugal family activities to do at home. It’s actually easier to come up with ideas than you might think!

We’re here to help you plan cheap and easy family nights too! We have compiled a list of family night ideas that will work for any kind of family – from those who love staying at home to those who prefer going out and exploring new adventures!

What is Family Night?

Family night is a weekly tradition you can do with your family to strengthen connection and build memories. It’s the one time during the week where families set aside some time to bond, reconnect and have fun together as a family unit.

There are many different ways to have a family night. The best thing about it is that there’s no wrong way to spend time as a family! There are so many creative things that you can try out, from art projects to puzzles and games to cooking dinner together. You could even turn off all the lights and organize some glow-in-the-dark activities like playing board games by flashlight or having scavenger hunts around the house with flashlights in hand – these fun ways will help light up your night while making memories at home too!

What is the Benefit to Family Night?

Family night is a great way to strengthen family connection. It’s one time during the week when you can focus on what matters most, and that makes it so special!

Having regular family nights means your kids will have good memories of being with their parents – in addition to strengthening ties between siblings too! The more connected families feel, the more the family thrives.

Remember how much you always loved spending time with your parents when you were little? Well, it’s never too late for your kids to feel that same sense of joy and love – they will remember family nights as some of their best memories in life!

Family night is an important tradition to begin with your family because it:

  • Makes family time a priority,
  • Helps families connect with each other,
  • And creates precious memories.

How Can I Have Fun With My Family At Home?

The best part about family night is that there isn’t a wrong way to do it! Below you will find some tips on how to get started creating a Family Night Tradition with your family!

Pick One Night to Create a Weekly Tradition

Family night can be any night of the week – but some nights work better than others. For example, Friday nights are a great option if you want to end your week with family time before going out on Saturday or Sunday.

It’s important to choose one day that will always be designated as Family Night for your family and stick with it!

Set Aside All Distractions During Family Time

It’s important to fully immerse yourself in family time during this special night – so turn off all distractions.

Cellphones, tablets and other devices can take away from the experience of having a family night together by keeping you constantly connected with your friends or social media instead of spending quality time as a family unit. Limit screen usage outside of family night to make it the best family time ever.

Plan Ahead for Your Family Night!

It’s important to have a plan in place before you start your family night – otherwise, it can be easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of what you’re supposed to do with your kids.

You don’t want your special family time to turn into a battle of wills – so plan out what the night will look like beforehand and tell your family about it too!

Keep It Simple

Don’t overthink things – family night is supposed to be a refreshing break from the hectic outside world.

It’s important to keep it simple and have fun with your kids instead of focusing on elaborate plans that you don’t actually enjoy!

How Can I Make Family Night Fun?

There are so many different ways to make family night a fun time for your family – from cooking dinner together as a family, playing games and puzzles or creating art projects.

It’s important to try new things with your kids too! Create some memories that will last forever by trying out something you’re not used to doing like going on an adventure in the backyard, telling stories or singing songs together.

The possibilities are endless!

No matter what you do, it is important to build excitement before family night and make it fun!

One way to do this is by making a countdown until family night on the calendar each week – then, when it’s time for Family Night, let your kids know what they can expect to happen!

Get creative and have some surprises up your sleeve so they don’t know what they’re in for.

The anticipation will build up and your kids will be so excited to have family night!

What if it’s not fun?

It can be hard sometimes, especially when you are feeling tired or stressed out.

Don’t worry – this is natural too! The best thing that parents can do is try to have fun with their kids during family night and make it a priority.

If you feel like you’re not having as much fun, take a break for some fresh air or go ahead and end the night early so everyone gets some rest! 

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Family Night Ideas

No matter what your kids are into, you can find something for them and make family night fun! Below are just a few ideas on how to create an unforgettable Family Night Tradition with your family:

Cook dinner together as a family

Set aside one evening where everyone gets involved in the cooking process by following a recipe or making their own dish from scratch. This way, they will learn valuable skills like measuring ingredients and thinking creatively while also learning more about each other when they share stories of memories associated with food! 

Play a board games together

This is a timeless tradition that never gets old – and it’s great for developing skills like reading, math, strategic thinking and more! Choose games to play based on your child’s interests or what you’re in the mood for. From Monopoly to Guess Who? There are so many possibilities!

Need some inspiration? We have a list of our favorite board games for family night here!

Make art projects together 

If you’ve got little ones who love coloring books, then why not make time with them during family night by making an activity out of it? There are so many fun ways to get creative with art supplies: paint pottery at home; create different types of crafts from clay beads to yarn creations; or turn your kitchen into an art studio where they can mix up their own colors and create their own designs.

Read: Rock Painting Watermelon Craft

Tell stories together 

One of the best things about family night is that it’s a great opportunity to connect with your kids on an emotional level by telling them stories from when you were young or talking about what happened in the day – both big and small events! This will help build confidence, trust and more importantly: memories! You can also talk about different books that you’ve read with each other as well. No matter how old they are, children always love hearing new stories so go ahead and whip out some classics like The Three Little Pigs or Charlotte’s Web for a bedtime story before everyone goes to sleep after family night. 

Sing songs together

Singing has been shown to improve a person’s mood and confidence – so why not share that with your kids by singing together? You can take turns choosing songs to sing karaoke style or have an impromptu family talent show. 

Play outside as a family

It’s always a good idea to get outside and exercise – especially as the weather gets nicer. Find out if your kids would enjoy going on a walk, playing catch in the backyard, or jumping through the sprinkler!

Read: Outdoor Activities to do with Kids

Watch a movie together

A family night doesn’t have to include activities that are all perfectly planned out – sometimes it’s fun just to curl up on the couch, watch a good movie and munch on popcorn! If you’re not sure what your kids might like, try asking them what they would want to see.

Backyard camping

If you’re up for a family night adventure, why not go back to basics and enjoy camping? It’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about outdoor survival skills like starting a fire or how to set up their own tent.

Read: 8 Simple and Fun Ways to Make S’Mores at Home

Host a scavenger hunt

Another fun family night tradition is to have a scavenger hunt! This will not only be great for physical activity, but it’s also a way of getting your kids thinking creatively.

Create a family video

Another fun way to connect with your family is by documenting their lives through creating a video. Whether it’s silly clips or telling an important story, this will be something that they can cherish for years and you’ll never forget!

Build a fort together

This might just turn into hours of fun –  who doesn’t love a fort? 

Make your own pizzas

A family night isn’t complete without food – so why not make some together? You can customize your own pizza crusts, sauces and toppings to see what everyone likes best.

Create a family time capsule

Whether it’s a physical one or digital, this will be something that your family will love to create with each other and remember for years to come.

Family photoshoot

Another fun activity for family night is to take photos of yourselves and make them as silly or serious as you want. You can print the pictures out afterward and put them up on your fridge!

Read: How to Take Gorgeous Family Photos on a Budget

Family interviews

A great way to get family time in is by doing interviews with each other. You can grab our family interview sheet by filling out the form below!


Free Printable: Family Interview

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Want more ideas to kick start your family night?

Find 100 ideas for creating memories with your kids here! You can easily take each one of these memory making ideas and turn them into a fun family night!

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hi! I'm shannon

I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.