Family nights are a great way to stay connected to your family. Luckily, there are dozens of ways to create a memorable night with the people that matter most. In this article, we'll explore my favorite family night ideas! But first, let's start with why family nights are so important.
Importance of having family nights
Before we dive in, I want to take a moment to highlight why having regular family nights is a good idea. In our constantly busy world, it can be difficult to stay connected to your family. But family nights provide the right avenue to stay close to your family by connecting on a regular basis. They can also be a great budget-friendly treat for everyone.
The priority of any family night is to simply spend time with your family. But it can also present a great opportunity to pass along lessons that matter to your kids.
49 family night ideas on a budget
We have no shortage of budget-friendly family night ideas to share with you. As you peruse the options, pick a day of the week to have a regular family gathering. When the time arrives, try to minimize the involvement of devices throughout the evening. If possible, make sure that all cellphones are safely out of sight.
You can certainly find family night ideas for your whole family to enjoy together without breaking the bank even if you are paying off debt or focused on your financial goals. The only rule to remember is that any family night should be full of fun.
1. Take a walk nearby
A walk around the neighborhood or in a nearby park can be a great activity. You can explore a new area as a family. Plus, enjoy a bit of exercise.
2. Make a family video
Everyone loves popping in old videos of family footage. But without taking the time to make those videos now, you won’t have that opportunity in the future. Take a night to create a fun family video that everyone helps to create.
3. Have a sock puppet play
Younger children could be easily entertained with a night of sock puppet plays. You could create the puppets and lay out a play together for the whole family to enjoy.
4. Create popsicle stick houses
Popsicle stick houses are a fun activity to try. With extremely affordable building material to be found, you can each create your own houses. Or work together to create a bigger stick home.
5. Build clay sculptures
Playdough and clay can lead to entertaining outcomes. You could even create contests for the most creative design.
6. Go tubing
Depending on where you live, going tubing can mean very different things. Whether you go snow tubing or water tubing, the whole family will enjoy the day out.
7. Try kiting
Flying a kite is a classic activity that very few have the chance to try. Although it is not expensive, many don’t take the time to give it a try. Save this one for a windy day!
Find a dark area and layout under the stars with the whole family. You might be surprised by what you find. Not sure which stars create a constellation? Bring along SkyView Lite as a free guide. It's a great home learning resource too!
9. Go for a bike ride
If you already have bikes, a bike ride is a very affordable family activity. Why not take everyone for a spin around the park?
10. Have a silly spray fight
A silly spray fight can be the best kind of fun. But you could go with water guns, or even shaving cream if you are feeling really adventurous. Make sure to take this one outside!
11. Plant a garden
Teaching your children how to garden can be a valuable life skill for them. Plus, they may learn to appreciate the value of food more as they understand how much work goes into growing a meal.
12. Have a dress-up fashion show
Let your kids be in charge of a dress-up fashion show. Whether you have costumes or clothes from another era, this can be a hilarious night.
13. Make slime
Making slime is actually a fairly easy process. And many kids absolutely love this activity. Plus you can involve them in the clean up too!
14. Find a drive-in movie
A drive-in movie can feel like a blast from the past that creates a fun memory for your kids.
15. Play laser tag
Laser tag can be an eventful and incredibly fun night out with your family. You can purchase your own laser tag set or visit an arcade space that offers it.
16. Start a puzzle
Although most puzzles take a relatively long time, starting a puzzle together can be a cozy way to spend time together.
17. Host a talent show
Are there any hidden talents in your family? Host a talent show for everyone to showcase their abilities.
18. Plan your next trip together
Part of the fun of going on a trip is mapping out what you want to do. Turn this into a family activity so that everyone can get excited about an upcoming trip.
19. Go to the library
A library is a wealth of free entertainment. Beyond books and movies that you can rent, many libraries also host different events that could be interesting for your family. Check out what yours has to offer.
20. Go on an overnight trip
An overnight trip to anywhere nearby can be a major event for your kids. Even if you are staying just up the road, it can be exciting to mix things up.
21. Pick fruit
Fruit picking can be a popular activity in certain seasons. Why not treat your kids to an afternoon of picking their favorite fruit? Determine where your local farms are that are open to the public and make it a date!
22. Watch a game
Although tickets to a professional game can be expensive, watching a game together can be enjoyable. Look at local college games for potentially more affordable options.
23. Volunteer together
Volunteering can build a spirit of community involvement among your family. Find a charity to volunteer for that you can all support.
24. Bake cookies
Baking can be a tasty treat. Experimenting with the decorations can add another layer of fun to the evening. YouTube has a ton of easy to follow baking channels for kids.
25. Eat dinner out
A classic family night idea is eating dinner out together. If you’d prefer to minimize the costs, try taking your family out for just dessert.
26. Plan a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts can be a good way to encourage teamwork among your family. Seek out local scavenger hunt clues to create a mysterious evening.
27. Go bowling
Bowling can be a classic way to spend the night. Plus it's a ton of fun as a group.
28. Go fishing
Depending on your interests, fishing can be a fun way to spend the afternoon. Plus, you might catch dinner for the whole family!
29. Go skating
A night at the local skating rink could make you feel nostalgic. But your kids will love it.
30. Do a $10 shopping challenge
Head to your favorite store with $10 for each family member. The person who finds the best item under $10 wins!
31. Make a time capsule
A time capsule can be an amazing find in the future. Why not make one with your family for your future selves?
32. Have a game night
Game night is the perfect family night idea. You can stick to fun games like Charades or try a financial themed board game to help your kids learn more about money while having fun.
33. Craft night
Crafting can be an affordable way to get creative and learn new skills. Try something new as a family!
34. Build a fort
A fort building night can fuel your child’s imagination while laughing together all night.
35. Have a movie night
A movie night is a relaxing option. There are tons of options on the various streaming services, you are bound to find a movie or ten that your family will enjoy!
36. Build a lego empire
Gather all of the legos in the house and build an empire of legos together.
37. Paint kindness rocks
Kindness rocks are small rocks with encouraging messages that you can place around town. Painting the rocks and hiding the rocks for someone to find can instill a positive lesson.
38. Have a dance party
Dance the night away with a rotation of everyone’s favorite songs! Plus you'll get some good exercise while you are at it too!
39. Go on a nature walk
Learning about the world around us as a family is always a great option. Look for local nature walks with guides to help you learn more.
40. Take a cooking class
Cooking is an important life skill. Taking a class as a family can make the process of cooking feel more fun.
41. Go camping in the backyard
A night of backyard camping can be the perfect affordable getaway you’ve been waiting for. Simply leave your devices inside for a relaxing evening.
42. Make pizza
Everyone loves pizza! Building out everyone’s favorite pizza can be a tasty evening.
43. Make chalk art in the driveway
With one bucket of chalk, you can draw all night long. Everyone can have their own drawing zone or you can make a joint masterpiece!
44. Look through old family albums
Sharing old family stories and looking through albums of pictures can help everyone enjoy the moments we have together. This can be one of the best family night ideas!
45. Have a theme night
Theme nights are never a bad idea. Whether you go with superheroes or princesses, this can make for an adorable evening.
46. Play card games
What card games do you know? Don’t be afraid to learn a new one as a family. Here's a list of twelve classic card games that kids will love as well.
47. Interview each other
Have any important questions to ask? Create a mock interview scenario. With this, your kids can ask you anything.
48. Museum night
Many museums offer affordable nights of the week for families with unique events. Check out what is available in your area.
49. Have a family barbeque
Dust off the grill and have a family barbeque for some quality time and fun. Add in some outdoor games and make even a hot dog eating competition and watch the laughs commence!
The bottom line
Family night can be fun and frugal. As you explore these family night ideas, remember the most important part is to enjoy the time together. Looking for some fun date night ideas? We've got you covered too!