12 Family Fun Night Ideas

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12 family fun night ideas

One thing that has pulled my family together is having a regular family fun night.

To tell you the truth, it is not as regular as I want it to be (every week), but having the intention of dedicating one night a week to a family fun night, means it happens more often than it would otherwise.

A family fun night does not have to be complicated or expensive. Spending time together can be easy and frugal.

Below are a list of family fun ideas to set your mind turning. I hope this list can be a place of reference for you to enjoy your own family fun nights. And even more than a place of reference, I hope it will be a springboard for you to think up many more ideas uniquely suited to your own family.

This list is meant to offer simple ideas. If it gets too complicated, the chances of the family night happening dwindle significantly.

Many of these ideas can be used alone, but it's also fun to combine a few. Often we will do a short family devotional, followed by a board game.

Have a Family Devotional

Simply reading and discussing a bible story is enough. When our kids were younger, we would read from a Bible story book and then have the kids act out the story. It was a fun way for them to connect with the story, Acting it out seemed to help them remember it too.

Other books such as Our 24 Family Ways or Picking Melons and Mates, might be helpful to rotate in.

Play a Board Game (or card game or dominoes, or . . .)

Some of our favorites:

Games for kids under 5 years old:

(Some of these games have small parts and are not intended for children under 3 years of age. Check appropriately).


Camp Out in the Living Room

You might not get much sleep, but you'll make a lot of memories. Drag out the sleeping bags and set them up in the living room. Have some snacks, tell stories, play a few card games, and call it a night.

Camp in the Backyard

Want to go one step further than a camp out in the living room? Head to the backyard! Set up the tent, roast marshmallows (if possible) and generally have a good time pretending you are n the wilderness.

Listen to an Audio Book Together

My family has enjoyed listening to a few awesome audio books together. The kids usually get out some paper and draw pictures while they listen. Sometimes my husband throws a ball back and forth with the youngest one while the book plays.

This is a great alternative to watching movies and is an excellent way to use your imagination.

Select a book, pop some popcorn, and you're all set. You can find lots of great audio books at the library.

Have a Family Draw

A family draw is a great way to get creative together as a family. You can draw individually (but together) or work on a family project. I share all the details for how to have a family draw in this post: How to Have a Family Draw

family draw night

Read a Book Together

Reading together is a bonding experience for families. It can be challenging when you have little ones, but it doesn't hurt to try. Select books you think the kids will enjoy.

The Chronicles of Narnia are always exciting.

If the kids are old enough, try passing the book around and letting each person read a few pages. Make it more exciting by turning off the lights and use candles and flashlights to add atmosphere!

Here's a great example of how one family enjoys reading as part of a Family fun Night – they read the Ransom of Red Chief every year.

Have a Cooking Night

This one is pretty simple: get in the kitchen together.

Have a pizza making party, where all the ingredients are on the tables and everyone gets to create their own pizza. Decorate cupcakes,  or try creating an international dish, or perhaps bake up something you've read about in one of the stories you've been reading (For example, if you've been reading Paddington Bear, learn how to make scones and marmalade!).

kids cooking sucanat

Have a Movie night

This is straight forward, I know. BUT, how often do you actually sit down and watch a movie WITH your kids? I know I often use the time they are watching a movie to get things down. But, wow, do they ever love it when I snuggle up with them and actually pay attention (and not mess around on my phone or the computer).

Outreach Night

Spend a night working on ways to reach out to your community or the world at-large.

Some ideas:

  • create a care package to send to a missionary
  • make care packages for the homeless
  • write letters to those in the military
  • write letters to people who need encouragement
  • visit a nursing home
  • make blankets for critically ill children (see Project Linus)

Hang Out around the Fire Pit

Fire pits have a tendency to add a happy atmosphere and fun to any gathering (and a little stress if you are the mother of young children – just being honest here!).

Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, sing songs, tell stories, have a discussion, plan a trip.  Anything goes.

Have a Craft Night

Similar to the family draw, a craft night is a great way to get creative together.

To make it easy, go to the craft store and buy some packages of craft kits, that way the crafts are ready to go (like this tile art kit or fashion headbands.

I personally enjoy making things that are useful, rather than stuff that creates more clutter. If you like that too, then you might like to check out my tutorial for how to paint mugs.

Keepsake crafts, like this canvas handprint wall set are fun too. Scrapbooking might be fun as well. If you want to go simple with scrapbooking, try Project Life.


Family Fun Night Idea Sheet

Click here to download a family night idea sheet. Print it out and keep it in your homemaking binder or wherever is convenient for easy reference.

The Family Fun Night Idea Sheet is a one page list of all the ideas in this blog post and 24 more found in Family Fun Nights: Part 2. It is intended as a way to give you quick ideas or get you thinking about what is possible for family night.

family fun cheat sheet

Want more ideas?

Check out Part 2 here: 24 More Family Fun Night Ideas!

 I'd love to hear what you do for family fun night. Let me know in the comments below!


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  1. This is such a great list that I honestly cannot think of much to add to it, except maybe to go for a family walk or have a scavenger hunt. I just wanted to encourage you that I feel the same way about watching a movie with the kids. Mine love it when I sit and actually pay attention – without falling asleep. Thanks for the post – I’m enjoying your blog.

  2. These are fantastic, thanks. I found your site through Money Saving Mom and am keen to explore further!

  3. I know this is an old post. We have been doing family night every Friday night (with many exceptions) for the last 7 years. I now have 17 and 13 year old boys who still love it.

    Our trick is that EVERYONE gets a turn at it being “their” night. They get to choose the dinner and the activity and everyone has to participate in it (including mom and dad, which is now hard as the 17 year old prefers video games that we are too old to get the hang of LOL).

    But we have done all of your suggestions–cooking, movies, board games, video games, Role playing games, “camping out” in the living room, fires outside, geocaching, legos. It is still considered a sacred time by both boys and they even schedule around it still!

    I am glad to see the idea is out there!