40 Family fun night ideas for kids and families to try. The best ideas to help you have fun together as a family, and the importance of regular family connection. Be sure to grab your printable list at the end of the article.
Ultimate List of 40 Best Family Night Ideas to Try with Kids
I don’t think there’s an easier way to raise a happy family, and build a positive home environment for your kids, than to regularly spend quality time together.
We all live busy lives, but being intentional with your family’s time and obligations, will always ensure you are able to connect as a family.
It’s not always easy, but putting it on the calendar is the first step to ensuring you have fun as a family on a regular basis.
This is an easy habit to create, and I’ll show you how to do this and then try some of the 50+ fun family night ideas. I guarantee once you get into the routine of having regular family nights, you’ll notice the amount of joy in your home increases exponentially, and consistently better behavior will also start to happen.
After all, children who feel connected to their parents are less likely to act out in challenging ways so you may see a downturn in tantrums, backtalk and meltdowns.. Family night is a win-win for parents and children who have a basic need for love and connection.
Be sure to grab your printable list of Family Fun Night Ideas at the end of this article
How can I have Fun with my Family at Home?
The short answer?
Heck yes, you can have fun with your family at home.
If you want to have a fun family night with your kids and spouse, you have to set some ground rules to ensure your home and headspace aren’t keeping you from staying connected and focused on the ones you love the most.
Here’s what our family does to ensure family night is a success. It’s little things throughout the week and day leading up to family night that help set the tone.
1. Pick One Night a Week to Have Family Night
My husband travels a lot during the week but he’s always home on Sundays, so that’s the day of the week that works best for our family to come together and connect.
How often do you get to Friday or the weekend ends and you wonder where the week went? For many people, if you don’t plan ahead and block out time to spend together, then you can easily spend that time doing other things that are likely less important or simply, busy-work.
Having family time together means putting it on the calendar and planning for it.
Think of your family like your doctor’s appointment. You wouldn’t miss your appointment, so don’t miss family time.
What day of the week can you commit to an hour or two together without distractions or home/work obligations?
Pick at least one day a week and put it everyone’s calendars and don’t delay or miss it.
2. Set the Mood for Family Fun
I don’t know about you, but I can’t have fun if I’m looking around at laundry on the couch and dishes in the sink that still need loaded into the dishwasher.
When you’re preparing for family night, have everyone pitch in to clean up and tidy the house so that your home environment gives off calm, soothing and comfortable vibes. You don’t want it screaming “clean me up” or “look at the mess waiting for you!”
Your home is your refuge, and should reflect the kind of life you want to have with your family. Clean up, put things away, turn down the lights, even turn on some calm music and get ready for family fun together.
3. Put Aside Distractions and Things That Can Pull You Away from your Family
This includes putting away cell phones, computers, screens, and toys before you even start. Turn off notifications and ringers so if you hear a ping or beep, you aren’t tempted to check in. On Sunday, we have a rule in our house – no phones, tv or device use so when we have family night on Sundays, devices are already out of sight… out of mind.
You may consider keeping an “electronics basket” in another room to help you remember to put your phone and devices aside.
How Does a Family Have Fun Together?
Picking fun ideas to do together, doesn’t have to be up to just Mom or Dad. Allow your kids to take turn picking what activity you’ll be doing for family fun night.
If you have multiple children, give them several choices (3-4) to choose from so the options aren’t too vast and make them indecisive, and allow each child a turn at selecting a fun family night option.
This is a great way to get everyone involved and excited about family fun night. Getting a mix of activities helps ensure everyone has options they’ll enjoy, which means less conflicts and tantrums.
If You’re Curious or Looking for a Screen-Free Activity Plan…
How Can I make Family Time Fun?
The key to making family time more fun and feel more special than an average day or night at home, is to do something that you don’t regularly do.
This doesn’t mean spending a lot of money or taking a trip, but veering away from a typical day is what adds the “extra” to family night.
Many of the 50+ Family Night Ideas are based on typical activities you’d do with your children, but include a fun and special twist.
When you’re planning a fun night at home (or out of your house), get creative and come up with little ways to sprinkle in something special to it.
For example, if your family night is centered on playing board games… maybe you can add a special dessert to the night or allow your kids to stay up 30-minutes later than their normal bedtime.
40 Best Family Night Ideas to Try for Family Fun
- Make it a movie night with popcorn, a special movie, and set your living room up with pillows and blankets for a cozy atmosphere.
- Cook a special meal together as a family. Choose a new menu item, shop for the supplies together, and let your kids be involved in preparation and cooking the meal.
- Play a sport together. Pick an activity your family likes, whether it’s basketball, soccer, baseball, going swimming, or simply playing catch together.
- Have a family picnic. Take your meal outdoors with a blanket and warm clothing if you need. Don’t forget bug spray if it’s bug season.
- Have a family board game night. Kids who are familiar with devices and electronics, will appreciate slowing down with their family to play board games. Here’s a list of great board games for preschoolers and elementary aged children.
- Go for a bike ride together. Buckle your helmets, pump up your tires, and hit the roads/trails together for a family bike ride.
- Bake a new dessert. Look through your cook books, research recipes on Pinterest and online, and choose a dessert that kids can help bake for family fun night.
- Go Bowling together. Bowling is never NOT fun. Lace up those brown bowling shoes and roll away.
- Have a family card game night. My family loves to play UNO, but you can also teach your kids how to play other games such as Gin Rummy, Speed or Poker (depending on their age.)
- Go for a nighttime stroll. If you’re up for an adventure, throw on headlamps and head outside for a night walk. Be sure to wear light colored clothes and reflective pieces if you have them.
- Make Tie Dye t-shirts together for family fun night. Round up old white t-shirts or snag a few inexpensive ones at a local craft store and have a tie dye party with a tie dye kit.
- Go Camping together. If you’re ready to head for an overnight in the woods, be sure to check out these camping hacks and camping games to play at your campsite.
- Play a game of truth or dare. It gives families a fun way to ask questions, get insight into their family members, and have a little fun with g-rated dares.
- Have an ice cream sundae bar where everyone gets to dress up their ice cream with yummy (and healthy, too) options.
- Stargazing. Check your calendars for nights where shooting stars are more likely to be seen, then bundle up and hang outdoors for a stargazing session with the family.
- Go watch a free outdoor concert. Check your city for free outdoor concerts (Spring and Summer seasons). Bring lawn chairs, blankets, dinner and drinks. Enjoy the live music together, and even getting a dance or two!
- Campout in the backyard. Time to unpack a tent, sleeping bags and blankets for a campout in the backyard most any time of the year.
- Have a Spa Night In. Load up on homemade face masks using supplies you have in your pantry, paint nails, soak your toes in an epsom salt bath and relaxxxxxxx.
- Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows.
- Have fun with a family Top Chef competition. Boys versus girls, or pick teams to prepare meals and then blind-taste-test the results.
- Make your own pizza night makes everyone happy. Let everyone build and bake their own personal pizza with the sauce and topics of their choice.
- Dance Party! Whether you turn up the music before dinner or before bed, have a little dance session where everyone gets in on shaking it!
- Reminisce. My kids love when I tell stories about them as babies and toddlers. Pull out the picture books, old videos and look at not only their early years, but family history and stories too.
- Build a giant fort for reading, games or simply cuddling together.
- Have a fondue night at home. Cut up vegetables, meats, fruit, and stock up on crackers and have fun dipping into your cheesy mixture in your fondue kit.
- Craft night. Find a craft, or go to a craft business where everyone has their own project (they can all be the same) and can do some arts and crafts together. Painting the same picture, doing nail art or throwing pottery at a studio are fun ideas.
- Create a family video. Ask everyone the same 5 or 10 questions or to tell a story, rehash a memory from the past year, etc.
- Pick your own fruit. Find a local orchard, or berry farm and bring home some fresh, and delicious local produce to enjoy for the next week. Want to take it a step further? Make your own jam and can it to preserve it for later.
- Put together a puzzle as family. Sit down around the table and build a puzzle together.
- Make a bird feeder together to put in your yard. There are many bird feeder kits you can use to build the foundation, and then decorate how you wish. Fill with bird seed and watch the birds flock to their new feeding spot. Just be sure to hang it out of reach of neighborhood cats.
- Have a cardboard crafting night. Make a fort, dollhouse (this one is really easy & good), boat, or airplane. Look up cardboard crafts on Pinterest for ideas.
- Create kindness bags together for others in need. Keep them in your car so they’re always ready to be handed out.
- Dress up for dinner. Throw on your wedding dress, a suit, and dress to the nines for dinner and dessert whether it’s at home or to somewhere fun.
- Have a nerf war. Set up ground rules of you game, off limits restrictions and create teams for a fun family game of nerf war.
- Go to a Museum. Visit a local or nearby museum for a special time with your entire family. Check evening hours to make sure they’re open in the night.
- Volunteer Together. It always feel good to help others and doing it together as a family can be very impressionable on kids. Collect donations, volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter. Serve dinner at a homeless shelter, or hold a lemonade stand or ice cream stand to raise funds for a non-profit or someone in need.
- Go to a drive in movie. Snuggle up in blankets, bring snacks and water, and stay up a little late to watch a movie at your local drive-in movie theatre.
- Find an outdoor activity to do together. Depending on the season, you could go sledding, ice skating, hiking, to the beach, paint balling, dog sledding, horseback riding, kayaking, paddle boarding or boating.
- Go to your favorite restaurant for dinner. Head out to your family’s, or the child who gets to pick, favorite restaurant for a tasty meal out.
- Make pasta from scratch. Nothing tastes better than homemade and fresh pasta made at home. This may take some extra planning and more hours, but your taste buds will thank you for this delicious family meal you prepare together.
- Go night swimming. Check the local pools for special nights they allow night swimming. Some locations even play movies during these night swimming hours.
Get Your Printable – 40 Fun Family Night Ideas
Here is what the printable looks like (below). You can download your fun family night idea printable by clicking on this link.
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