Building connection and happy family relationships happens in the minutes and hours of your day. Happy families spend regular time together. Of course, it’s not always easy to feel like you are getting a lot of quality family time. Life has a way of pulling us in different directions. Which is why I love family night. Spending intentional time with your family on a weekly basis has the power to change your family. These family night ideas can help you to get started.
Benefits of family night
These are just some of the ways that family night can benefit your family:
When you schedule family time, it happens
No matter how much you love your family, work, activities, and chores can all pull you away from family time. Let me tell you, there is something magical about scheduling family time. IT HAPPENS! When you pencil family night into your calendar, you make space for your family. You prioritize being together. Having a few family night ideas up your sleeve helps too! Grab our free checklist below:
Being better connected
If you want to feel connected to someone, you spend time with them. That works in adult relationships, but it also works for our kids. Your kids will be more resilient, have a greater sense of belonging and identity, and feel more connected to every member of your family when you hold regular family night.
Your kid’s childhood will be over before you know it. Everyone says it, we all know that it’s happening, and yet sometimes we forget. Now is the time for you to make memories. This is your chance to do the fun things. Make each other laugh. Family time gives your kids more than just an hour of your time today. It gives them memories for the rest of their lives.
Having fun with your family at home
You don’t need to wait for that expensive family vacation to spend time together. You can (and should) spend time with your family every week. Even when you can’t afford expensive activities or vacations. In fact, for most of us, family time mostly happens at home. It’s an occasional treat to get out for family night. But that doesn’t mean family night at home is boring! You can make family night special, whether you are at home or not.
Tips for successful family night ideas
There are a million “right” ways to do family night. That being said, the tips below can help you hold successful family time each week.
Pick a night
As you decide on a schedule for family night, it can be helpful to pick a night each week. For example, our family night is on Fridays. We know that we’ll be doing something fun together every Friday night. That helps us to plan our activities and stick to our goal of holding time together each week. For some families, you may need to choose a different night, or even alternating nights. Just remember, consistency will help you keep it a habit.
Put away distractions
Don’t let yourself get distracted when you are spending time with the people you love most. Put up your phone. Turn off the screens. Stop doing dishes. Put away anything that might distract you or your family.
Make it special
Family night is the perfect time to do the things you don’t normally do. Let the kids stay up a few minutes late. Have dessert. Allow the kids to have a sibling sleepover. Let them get loud or crazy. It’s a great way to embrace the chaos while still setting limits (it’s just once a week!) Those little things will make memories.
50 Family Night Ideas
- Go for a bike ride. Strap on your helmets and get ready to bike around your neighborhood (or another favorite trail).
- Baking night. Have you taught your kids about your nana’s favorite cookie recipe? Does your family know how to bake bread? This is the perfect chance to turn on the oven and get baking together.
- Dance party. Get ready to move and groove. Turn up the music and show your kids just how awesome (or embarrassing) you dance.
- Pizza night. Make personal pizzas with your favorite toppings. See if your family can clean up while they bake.
- Backyard campout. Eat smores, pitch a tent, and sleep outdoors (with the option to go back inside if you aren’t sleeping well).
- Movie night. Snuggle up with your favorite family movie, popcorn, and the people you love most.
- Stargazing. How often do your kids get to stay up and watch the night sky with you? Stargazing can be a brand new experience for many kids. Your family will love cuddling as you find constellations together.
- Nature walk. Whether you walk through your neighborhood or find a nature walk nearby, a family walk together is a great chance to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Art night. Get creative with your family. Get out the watercolors, crayons, or you can even attempt to make a craft if you are feeling ambitious.
- Play truth or dare. Do you remember the game “truth or dare” from when you were a kid? Play it with your family. Your kids will love watching you squirm as you tell the truth about embarrassing things, or even follow through with a dare you’d never do otherwise.
- Learn about your ancestors. Do a little digging as a family to learn more about your ancestors. Look at old photographs and talk to older family members about their ancestors. You’ll be surprised what you find out about the people who came before you.
- Have a karaoke night. Sing your heart out! It doesn’t matter if you are the best or worst singer out there, karaoke is fun for all ages. Sing or lip synch to your favorite songs.
- Create a family time capsule. It’s easy to think that you’ll always remember what your family was like at a certain stage. But, we forget. Take a snapshot of your family as it is today by creating a time capsule. Include pictures, letters to yourself, and lists of favorites from all of your family members.
- Play charades. Charades is one of the classic “family fun” games. You get the chance to act your heart out. Purchase cards, or create your own idea cards.
- Family talent show. Let each of your family members perform a talent in a non-stress environment (surrounded by people that love them).
- Puzzle night. Put out plenty of non-messy treats and a puzzle that will take your family a while to complete. Then sit back and watch as your family works together.
- Game night. Pull out those board games that are collecting dust! Play your favorites, or borrow a few from a neighbor to try something new.
- Ice cream sundaes. It’s time for a sugar rush! Put out toppings and let each person create their best version of an ice cream sundae.
- Comedy night. Put on your very own comedy show! Have each family member tell their favorite joke.
- Indoor bowling. Create your own bowling lane at home. Use items from around the house to put together a fun bowling game.
- Learn something new. Does someone in your family know a unique skill? Let them teach the whole family that skill.
- Family picnic. Pack a meal and take it on a picnic. Let the whole family have a say in what you pack and where you go.
- Sport night. Play a sport like tennis, basketball, or baseball together as a family. Don’t worry about having everything perfect, even just throwing a ball together can be fun.
- Spa night. Create your own spa experience at home. Give a manicure or foot soak and pamper one another.
- Home movie night. Get out the home movies that are just sitting on your computer and watch them as a family.
- Fondue night. Everyone loves fondue! Cut up your favorite fruits, veggies, or even chunks of bread and dip it into cheese or chocolate fondue.
- Go to a museum. Choose a museum that your family would find interesting and explore it!
- Picture night. Take family pictures, or put together silly pictures with photo props.
- Fancy dinner. Hold a formal dinner for your family. Pull out the fancy plates. Have more than one course, and teach your kids about etiquette.
- Play dough night. Use playdough to create masterpieces as a family. Playdough is great for all ages. Younger kids will just love squishing it while older kids and adults might want to create something specific.
- Water balloon fight. Fill up those water balloons and get ready for a fight. Take out family squabbles and frustrations with a good whack of a water balloon!
- International dinner night. Try foods from around the world with an international dinner night. This is a fun way to try new things and learn about other cultures.
- Bucket lists. Have you ever used a bucket list to plan activities for your family? Set aside a night to make a to-do bucket list for the year (or a specific season such as winter or summer).
- Paper airplane contest. Fold your favorite paper airplane and host a family contest to see who can throw their plane the furthest.
- Fitness night. Build those muscles as a family with a fitness night. Practice your favorite workout, or try something new.
- Book club. Read a book together as a family and finish with a book club discussion about the book.
- Family vacation planning. Plan your perfect vacation. Have each family member plan what their perfect family vacation would look like, then let every person share.
- Appreciation night. Tell your family how much you love them. Find ways to show appreciation to each family member.
- Family Olympics. Host your very own family Olympics. Create events, offer prizes, and have fun trying new things.
- Random Acts of Kindness. Spread kindness with those around you. Have a night where your whole family spreads kindess to neighbors and friends.
- Family hike. Get and climb a mountain. Explore a local hike with your family.
- Plant a garden. Learn more about seeds and planting a garden. Whether you plant a flower, vegetable or herb garden, your family will love seeing plants grow.
- Building challenge. Build something fun with Lego’s or another building toy. Work together to create something fun, or host a challenge where you compete.
- Minute to win it games. Pretend you are on the game show and play Minute to Win it Games.
- Family trivia. How much do your kids know about family members? Gather questions from cousins, grandparents, and other family members. Host a trivia tournament where you answer the questions and learn more about your family.
- Create a family video. Make your own movie, or simply do interviews with each family member to capture them as they are today.
- Build a fort. Pull out the blankets and cushions to build a fort. See how big you can make it without having it fall down.
- Scavenger hunt. Plan a scavenger hunt that will take you throughout your home or neighborhood. Gather the most items to win.
- Volunteer. Help your family experience the satisfaction that comes from helping someone. Volunteer for a cause that resonates with your family and will be a meaningful experience.
- Play hide and seek in the dark. Turn out the lights and play hide and seek. Give out flashlights for glowsticks for an added element of fun!
You can create meaningful time with your family by using the family night ideas above. Just remember, the more face time with your family, the more connection you’ll experience.
If you want a handy reference sheet that will help with family night ideas, get our Family Time Activities Checklist below: