25 Fun Ideas For A Family Night InPopular on CamTrader
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Staying in has definitely become the new going out. For most of us, Saturday evenings at the movies, pizza parlor, or arcade are much more memories of a strangely distant past than a feature of our current reality.
Instead of getting sad about the things we may have lost or put on pause, let’s focus on the positive. Now we have more reasons than ever to stay in and spend quality time with our families!
However, as you’ve probably figured out, just having all this time together is not always enough to make it quality. Having to spend so much time with the same people can create friction, detracting from the fun you could be having. Yet if you put a little effort into keeping things exciting and varied, it becomes a lot easier to see how all this time together really is a blessing.
Every family has different interests, but we’ve compiled a list of more than 20 ways you can spend a night in with your family. Try them out, and we bet you’ll have so much fun that these nights in become a key part of your family life moving forward.
1. Movie Night
Nothing says fun with the family like a movie night. While this may have meant getting out and spending the evening at the theater, you can still have a lot of fun with this at home, so much so that this may become the preferred way to watch movies together moving forward.
To make this special, consider going all out with it. Maybe look into getting or renting a projector screen, or consider trying to turn one room in the house into a home theater by hooking up good speakers and making the space extra dark.
What to Watch?
One of the big challenges that stand in the way of family movie night is figuring out what to watch. How many times have you said, “let’s watch a movie,” only never to watch one because you couldn’t agree on a title that worked for everyone.
Well, skipping over this step will help make the evening a lot more fun, so we recommend coming up with a system first.
One idea is to have everyone make a list of movies they want to watch, write them on a piece of paper, and then choose them from a hat. Make sure everyone has agreed beforehand to watch whatever movie comes out. If you have younger kids, make sure they know that not watching their choice first doesn’t mean anything. They’ll get their turn eventually.
Another option is to rotate who gets to choose the movie. This way, everyone gets the opportunity to pick what you’re watching, and no one feels left out. If you do this, consider an unofficial deadline, so the person isn’t still deciding in the hour leading up to when the show is set to begin.
Luckily, there are now so many different ways to watch movies that it’s easy to find inspiration. If you subscribe to a few streaming services, then most of the movies you want to watch will never be more than a few clicks away.
Tips for Extra Fun
To help make movie night extra fun, consider doing some of the following things:
In the end, anything you can do to make the evening a bit more special than just “watching a movie” is a great idea. This helps turn the night into more than just “any old” night, which will get everyone a bit more excited and get them looking forward to a fun night in.
2. Cooking Class
Cooking is an excellent activity to do as a family. It’s a great opportunity to make something that’s a bit more involved and then make sure everyone plays a role in creating the meal.
So, to have a fun night, think up a more elaborate meal and then spend the evening cooking it. If you want to make things more fun, perhaps you could take a trip together to the store first to get all the ingredients.
Don’t be afraid to cook something you don’t know how to cook. Watching YouTube videos together and making messy mistakes can make the evening all that much more special and will also increase buy-in from the kids since it’s an activity where “everyone’s learning.”
3. Individual Dinner
Choosing what to cook together can be difficult, especially if you have a larger family. One way to work around this is to rotate who gets to choose the meal, giving everyone the chance to pick the menu and share something they like to eat with the rest of the family.
Of course, this can be challenging if your family has dramatically different tastes, but this can also be an opportunity to encourage trying new things.
You can do this whether you want to cook as a family or not. If cooking together isn’t your thing, then make the evening all about letting one person choose what everyone eats. You could even open this up to takeout.
It’s not quite the “event” that cooking together is, but it’s still something special that can turn a regular evening into one that’s a bit more special.
4. Make Your Own Pizza
One fun thing to cook as a family is pizza. Pretty much everyone loves pizza, but we typically get it from a restaurant. So, why not try making it yourself?
This works so well as there are quite a few steps, meaning everyone can get involved. You’ve got to make the dough and the sauce and then prepare the toppings. This is a great chance to get creative.
Maybe everyone gets their own mini-pizza and can put on it whatever they want? You don’t always get this type of freedom when ordering from a restaurant, so make the most of it and put something wacky on your pie. Anchovies and pineapple, anyone?
5. Make Your Own Sundae
Don’t forget about dessert! Of course, you could have ice cream sandwiches, but why not go all out and have a sundae night? Heat some hot fudge, make your own whipped cream, get some nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, or whatever else you want and lay it all out so that each person can make their sundae exactly how they want.
This could be the event on its own, or you could incorporate it into a grander cooking night. Either way, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to turn an evening into something exceptional and memorable.
6. S’Mores Night
Another fun dessert option is to make S’Mores, that warm gooey combination of marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers that we all love. We tend to associate these tasty snacks with barbecues and camping, but who says you can’t have them whenever you want?!
Of course, it’s fun to keep this as a special treat, but having a random s’mores night can be a lot of fun. You don’t even need to build a fire for it (if you don’t want to). You can toast the marshmallows over a gas grill, or you can even make them in the microwave. Though building a fire is a great way to make this night even more fun!
7. Board Games
The classic game night activity, board games are a lot of fun, and there are so many different types out there that you are sure to find one for everyone.
Some board games take a lot of time (Monopoly, Risk, Dungeons, and Dragons), which might be a good thing for your family. It will give you the chance to extend family game night to more than one evening, roping everyone into more quality time together.
8. Card Games
Card games are a bit of a lost art, but they are fun and pretty low maintenance. Usually, all you need is a deck of cards.
Poker is a fun one to play as a family since you can find ways to gamble for fun (candies, potato chips, quarters, etc.). Other games such as Rummy, Setback/Pitch, Hearts, Cribbage, etc., are underrated games that can make a regular evening exciting if everyone gets involved.
Plus, the beauty of card games is that you can play them pretty much anywhere, meaning a fun night in can be had no matter where you might find yourself at that moment.
Jigsaw puzzles are another underrated classic. They take time, but what’s more rewarding than slowly putting together a fun picture.
The benefit of doing a puzzle as a family is that you can tackle more challenging designs. This could be the perfect moment for that 5,000-piece beauty that’s been sitting in the closet for a long time.
Of course, you’ll have to be on the lookout for someone hiding a piece so that they can put it in last. If you can keep this from happening, doing a puzzle together can be a lot of fun.