11 low key family night ideas

family night ideas

11 low key family night ideas

As my older one turns 6 in a month, I have noticed a change in him. It may be a phase he is going through but all of a sudden he really wants to have a lot of family time. Normally he loves having people over and I do too, but every so often I catch him asking for a family night.

I never thought much of how important it was until he started asking for it. I guess when we are in our busy day to day lives and we book our weekends a month ahead because of parties, guests and adult night outs, you forget that it’s OK to just chill and DO NOTHING once in a while.

I see the look on his face when I tell him, “it’s just us tonight bud, you, me, daddy and your brother.” It’s feels so warm to know how much he loves his family and the excitement that he is going to get our full attention for those 5 or 6 hours. It amazes me how they get it. They know during the weeks it’s non stop work and school, the homework then dinner then bed and so to get our undivided attention for a few hours a week feels like a full day of togetherness for him.

I hadn’t thought about it before in that much detail, but the time that we spend together as a family can significantly improve the relationships we have with each other. Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that mean the most, like sitting with them when they’re reading a book or watching the TV, for example. I think that we need to make it a priority to enjoy more quality family time as often as we can, as this is what they will remember when they grow up. And nothing beats seeing the smiles on their faces, so I will do anything just to see that.

Family nights don’t have to be complicated or involve a lot of planning. In fact I suggest family nights be more laid back. Here are some things we have done for family night that our kids love:

  1. Pizza move night: Order a pizza and watch a movie…it’s that simple.
  2. Board game night: Take out some snacks and play a game. There are board games for all ages out there.
  3. Appetizer night: We take out a bunch of apps, the boys make their own trail mixes, we put picnic blankets in the living room, watch TV shows and eat that for dinner. We make fruit platters, cheese platters, veggie platters, pretty much whatever we have in the house and the kids love it! It’s a new “eat what you want” dinner for them.
  4. Dinner at the park: Pack sandwiches and some wine and go watch the sunset at a park with the kids while eating dinner. You don’t have to worry about them not sitting through dinner since the playground is right there.
  5. Pitch a tent in the living room: This is one of their favorites. Put up a tent and turn on a movie with popcorn. They get so excited!
  6. Breakfast for dinner: Get the kids into PJ’s, turn on a fun movie and have breakfast for dinner! Pancakes, eggs, whatever your family likes.
  7. Go to a local sporting event: We recently took the boys to a local soccer game and they had a blast. It’s free, they are outside and it’s only about 2 hours so they can stay somewhat focused.
  8. Surprise night: Every so often we surprise the boys. Sometimes they get in their PJs then we say “let’s go for ice cream.” The look on their face is priceless.
  9. Movie in the park: On summer nights, pack food and go watch a movie at your local park.
  10. Scavenger Hunt in the house: This takes a little prep of hiding things in the house but the kids love it. Make up clues based on their age and let them go at it!
  11. Family cook night: Pick an easy dinner and the whole family cooks dinner together. We have done tacos, pasta, turkey burgers with sides or even make your own burritos.

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