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Ideas for Family Night

Updated on November 29, 2009

Assuming you only have one evening to conduct your activities, family night can be a blast if you plan it right. I have listed some ideas below and would love to hear other ideas for families or couples.

Tasty Treats

Choose a dessert recipe and collect the ingredients. Make the treat from scratch. Similarly, you could build a pizza from nothing but authentic ingredients. Many stores have the bread dough, sauces, and toppings already prepackaged.

Movie Night

Select a movie appropriate for everyone. Have some one 'sell' tickets for the price of a movie quote, skit, or song. Make lots of popcorn, turn out the lights and enjoy.

Miniature Golf

Putting your way around the green can be an entertaining challenge for most novice players. It's about having fun, not getting the best score. After all, what could be funnier than landing a ball in the water and still getting a hole in one?


From cards, to board games, to croquet, there is a wide variety of games available for indoor and outdoor fun. Make sure it is age appropriate so everyone can enjoy. If you have enough people you may want to play "Red Rover" or "Ghost in the Graveyard" for old times sake. How about a rousing game of "Capture the Flag?"


You don't have to be a pro-bowler to get a strike. Perhaps a game of bumper bowling or dancing your way down the lane will get a quick smile on your face.

Write a Thank You

Take time to write a quick letter to a friend, neighbor, servicman or coworker and share your feelings of appreciation for how they impact your life.


Included here would be the 'ding dong ditch' where you leave a bag of canned foods on a porch. You could contact a local nursing home and visit with the residents. I have never met one who was upset because I visited. Give everyone garbage bags and walk the neighborhood picking up trash. The team or individual with the most wins a prize.

Roller/Ice Skate/Sledding/Fly a Kite

Every major town has a local rink somewhere. Grab your skates or rent some for a minimal fee and play tag with each other. Go to a nearby hill and sled in the winter or buy a kite at a local dollarstore to fly in the park.


Look up a local museum, historical site, factory, or zoo. They often have tours available for free or admittance for really cheap. Visit a local book store or library, everyone spends 10 minutes finding a book, and then reunite in the kids section to share what they have found.

Walk and Talk

Find a local park to take a walk in together. Close your eyes and try to guess the smells or take pictures of each other doing funny poses and faces. Enjoy nature as a family. Similarly, you could have a close candy or ice cream shop in mind and walk there as a group.


Frisbee, four square and catch are not out of style yet.


Obtain supplies for and put together a bird house. Work on the family garden, paint a room, or make a blanket/cushion fort. In the winter you could build snow forts or snowmen.


Spend 10 minutes at the begining and give everyone a paper and pen. Everyone will write down ten things you would see at the store, one by one rotating the paper so everybody gets a random list. Go to the mall, and walk around as a family looking for the objects on your list. The first one to finish their scavenger hunt wins.

The list is endless, but with a little forethought and planning it can be an exciting and memorable experience. It always seems to help when dessert is involved. Bringing back the importance of family and true friendship has never been more important than it is now. Plan something tonight so your next family night will be one they talk about for years to come.

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    • philipandrews188 profile image

      philipandrews188 6 years ago

      Great advises here. This is great which tightens family ties even more.

    • profile image

      kims3003 6 years ago

      Best hub I have ever seen about this subject! Very nice work!

    • JBatt profile image

      JBatt 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Demon, you might put together a FIRST AID KIT or start FOOD STORAGE. Not only will it be helpful in the future, but you might actually enjoy it.

      Try using some old cereal boxes, a few rubber bands and some paper clips to MAKE A VENDING MACHINE. When I was younger I made a baseball card dispenser.

      You could have a video game championship. Play one round of five games. Whoever wins the most gets a prize.

    • profile image

      demon189 7 years ago

      im 10 and we are just stuck in the house baby is asleep and we dont know what to do any ideas? Plus me and my mom are lazy and we have a ton of game systems but we barely ever play them. we play like half the games we actually have. plz reply :)

    • profile image

      lillyface 7 years ago

      Hee hee u guys areawesome parents

    • talisa2699 profile image

      talisa2699 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      Great hub! I love game night.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      These are great tips. I actually forgot about the request. :-\

    • JBatt profile image

      JBatt 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Tranndee, that sounds like so much fun, just driving, observing and talking. You're right though about gas, but sometimes getting away and seeing the world can be a great learning experience. Thanks for your comment!

    • tranndee profile image

      tranndee 9 years ago

      I love these ideas. I am always looking for things to do on our family day. chantelg4 is right, you don't always please everyone, but they might learn something new anyway.

      One thing our family loves to do is just take a drive. I KNOW with gas the way it is going, this is not necessarily the best suggestion. But we pick a street, heading in town or out, and drive for 40 minutes and see what you see. We always seem to find something interesting and have a good conversation. (But I guess we may have to turn this to bike riding.)

      Great job!

    • JBatt profile image

      JBatt 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Great idea 2patricias. It makes for a more enjoyable time when the odds are not all in one persons lap, share the talent. Thanks.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      If you have a wide age range, board games and card games can be fun if you group family members into teams, so spread the 'abilities' more evenly. Let the little ones handle the cards/ board markers, encourage them to develop counting skills, etc. Let the older ones deal with the competitive element. It is also a good idea to have Intermission on games night, with food.

      Good hub.

    • elisabeth reid profile image

      elisabeth reid 9 years ago from Colorado

      Some really excellent suggestions. We try to do a family night every week but the older the kids get, the harder it seems to be to pull together. Without resorting to duct tape, that is.

      Great hub!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Family night is an excellent idea and I love the suggestions. Movies and dinner is one of our favorites.

    • inkcarts profile image

      inkcarts 9 years ago from Louisiana

      Great Hub JBatt! We love mini golf and my wife and I walk while my son rides his bike. Thanks for the other tips!

    • JBatt profile image

      JBatt 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Great idea Jim. You can also use the features offered at redbox for a cheap film every now and then. They often have free codes available.

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 9 years ago from ma

      May I add that for movie night in the past we have signed up for free trials through both Blockbuster online and Netflix. The trials are great and sometimes you can find coupon codes to extend them. Just make sure you cancel before times is up if you don't want to start paying.

    • chantelg4 profile image

      chantelg4 9 years ago from Northern Ontario

      I have a big family, at least in today's world (4 kids), so i't hard to please them all at times. These ideas are great, thanks for sharing. I will be trying some of them.

    • JBatt profile image

      JBatt 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for your spontanaity Hope, I know I've come home in the hot summer and busted out the squirt guns to an all out water war between my wife and I. It just goes to show you can have fun anytime, anywhere.

      I appreciate your comment dobsc400. When I wrote the article I thought the same thing, and decided not to include it in my text as it was presented in picture form. I remember biking a lot to go and get ice cream or other goodies as a family. Good thought.

    • dobsc400 profile image

      dobsc400 9 years ago from Wellington

      Where is the family bike ride? I was rather expectant after viewing the photo that you would describe the simple pleasures of a family bike ride, but perhaps you are saving that for another hub.

    • Hope Wilbanks profile image

      Hope Wilbanks 9 years ago from Louisiana

      Great tips! My family did something really fun the other day, and it was sort of by accident. I bought some cheap water guns at the store. When we got home, my daughter filled them up with water and both kids went outside to play. In just a couple of minutes, I could hear one of them yelling for me.

      I ran to the screen door (front door was open) and just about that time my husband squirting me through the screen door with the water gun! The little squirts conspired against me. LOL! I grabbed another water gun and took off outside to chase my husband down and get him back.

      The kids thought that was hilarious because they'd never seen my husband and I do anything like that. I think it's important to show your children that you're just "big kids" too and that you can have fun with them doing ANYTHING. :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Some super ideas! We do some of these, but others we will try out!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Love your ideas! We do movie night and my girls make tickets, decorate and fill paper lunch bags with popcorn and take tickets at the door to our family room. They came up with this on their own :)

      Welcome to hubpages! :)

    • profile image

      RUTHIE17 9 years ago

      Good Hub! Sounds like you're family oriented kind of guy!

      Reading as a family is another good way to get together. Pick a story or book and read a few pages or a chapter in round-robin fashion. Of course, got to have snacks handy too!

      Keep up the good work!