spending lots of time at home in the next weeks and months? These 100 family fun night ideas are cheap ways to enjoy family date night in.
Soooo…it’s family date night IN (again) and you want something new and FUN to do together that’s cheap, too?
You’re in the right place with these 100 family fun night ideas I’m about to share.
Get ready to change your at-home family date nights into epic memories your kids will look back on for the rest of their lives.
Fun Things to Do as a Family at Home
Check out these fun ideas for family night in.
Engage in Car Graffiti
You might officially go down as the coolest Mom and Dad on the planets for this one.
Because what kid, tween, or teen wouldn’t love to graffiti the family car?
Not to worry, Mama. Not only will this keep your kiddos highly entertained, but it will completely wash off (and you can include the bathing of the car as part of your activity) if you use these washable auto markers.
Take the 10X10 Family Gaming Challenge
You likely have a horde of board games you might break out a few times a year.
What I love about the 10 X 10 Family Gaming Challenge is you get to really put all those board games to use. Since you’re keeping score? The kids (and adults) will be more interested in a weekly board game night. Because who doesn’t love a little competition?
Be sure to print out this free score sheet, and keep it posted in a family-centric location to keep everyone excited.
Host a Family Carnival
Task each of your family members to either pair up or work alone (with adults helping each of the kids to develop their ideas) with coming up with ONE carnival game.
Give them some creative limits, such as they have to use materials that are at home, OR, they get a $5 budget to spend at the Dollar Store (a family trip there adds to the activity!), etc.
Ideas to get your kiddos started:
- Mini-bowling game with used 2-liter soda bottles and a ball
- Water gun squirting to get a golf ball from one end of a box to another
- Anything your kiddo’s mind can think up!
Surprise everyone with cotton candy you buy from the candy section of your grocery store (or order online, here).
Set Up a Slime-Building Station
I just love getting gooey with my little guy, and if you do, too, then why not set up a slime-building station the whole family can enjoy?
Print out several slime recipes, and put all the ingredients on the coffee table or dining room table that you need (you can put them in containers, within baking sheets).
Work together as a group, or pair off, and build different types of slimes.
Recipes to get you started:
Family Volunteer Night (Yes – You Can Volunteer At Home)
I wrote an entire article on 27 volunteer-from-home activities available. Pick and choose something you want your family to work on, pop some popcorn, and have a family volunteer night.
Paint Pudding Portraits
Write each family member’s name down on a piece of paper, and have each person draw a name. Keep the name secret! This is who you’re responsible for drawing.
Make big bowls of chocolate pudding, and get a canvas for each person. Fingers only!
Then at the end (give it a deadline, like 30 minutes), take turns guessing whose portrait each person was supposed to be painting.
Create a Giant, Family, Marble Run
Save all of your toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes for 6-8 months, grab a thing of marbles, and create a huge marble run in your home for a family fun night idea.
Get creative – get out the step ladders and see how high you can go with the tubes!
Here are 15 marble run ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Give Cookies a Manicure
Kids love to customize things, amiright?
Use The Pioneer Woman’s idea to bake cookies in the shape of your family’s hands, and then have each person give their “hands” a manicure!
Your manicure station can edible ingredients like:
Cash Envelopes Decorating Event
I talk a lot about kid allowances on my other blog, MoneyProdigy.com.
One of the things I love about adult finances that can easily translate to kid finances is budgeting with cash envelopes.
It’d be a fun night helping your kids decorate and create their own cash envelopes (and you can make some for you guys, too!).
Here are some free printables you can use, or you can simply get out a bunch of envelopes, craft supplies, and help you and your kids create fun cash envelopes to use over the coming months.
Eat Dinner with Chopsticks
My sister, brother, and I used to lovvvveeee trying to use chopsticks. It was one of those unique things we got to do every so often, and it made the whole dinner experience so much fun.
And if you’re worried your kids won’t be able to eat anything? You can get a trainer-set of chopsticks with cute designs on top. I own two of these, myself!
Make a Zoo of Animal Balloons
To make this even more fun, set up a pen of some sort to store your animals – use your old baby gates, a big cardboard box, etc.
By the end of the evening, you’ll have created a family zoo you guys can snap a photo of and share with friends and family!
Create a Giant Family Mural
Get this set of non-bleeding markers, turn on some tunes, and let your whole family gets to create a family mural together.
Create Family Dinner Doodles
Let your kids doodle to their hearts’ content while eating your meal, or during an evening snack.
Do Backyard Paintball
Purchase a water gun for each family member (here’s a six-pack), and designate a color for them (using food color and water). Have everyone wear a white tee-shirt or light-colored tee-shirt.
Fill up the water guns, put on old clothing, and play a game of “paintball” in your backyard.
Create Vision Boards Together
I’ve got a whole tutorial on vision boards for kids as a way to help them set up their first savings goal.
Collect magazines, get some poster boards from the store, and just have fun learning about each other’s dreams and desires.
Hint: you’ll also need scissors, and glue.
Make Family Snow Angels
If it’s winter time and you’re lucky enough to have some snow on the ground, then get out there as a family and create a family set of snow angels.
After you get the angels’ bodies done? Let the kids dye their angels with food dye mixed with water and squeezed out of a water bottle.
Set Up a Non-Easter, Easter Egg Hunt
Who says Easter egg hunts are only for one day in April?
Set up an Easter egg hunt for the family in July. Or September…or any time of the year.
Complete a Family Escape Room
Did you know you can create your own escape room at home? In fact, everyone can be surprised with the outcome if you purchase an escape room kit ahead of time.
Here are some options for you:
Decorate Piggy Banks
Have each member of the family decorate one of these piggy banks, and then designate it for something they want to save for.
If you want, you can do this together with creating a family savings goal.
Create a Family Story Using Dice
Have you ever heard of story dice? I got a set a few years ago, and really like them.
Super fun to take turns with rolling these dice, and then coming up with the next part of the story your family makes up as the night goes on.
Play Air Pictionary Game
Pictionary has been upgraded to a whole new level, and it should make your little ones super excited to play the game.
You actually draw your object/item/animal/etc. in the air using a special pen, and then the drawing comes out on the TV set! Pretty cool.
Eat a Meal from Another Country
A few days ahead of time, give your kids the option to vote on which country they’d like Friday night’s meal to be from (hand pick a list ahead of time).
They could choose food from Mexico, food from Austria, food from Japan, etc.
Then, plan a menu around this country’s foods.
For example, if you’re cooking Austrian food, then you’d like cook some wienerschnitzel. You could make guacamole and fish tacos for Mexican food. And for Japan? Well, my personal favorite is Katsudon.
Family Album Night
Break out all the old photos – whether they’re in albums, boxes, or a little of both – and have fun going through them as a family.
Bonus: if your kids are pretty old? Then break out a baby photo of each member of your family and take turns guessing which baby is which person.
Create a Pool Noodle Building
Either in the backyard or in the living room, come together as a family to create a pool noodle building!
Grab a bunch of pool noodles from the dollar store, or get a pack here. Cut the pieces as you need to make them fit, like slicing them in half (parents might want to do this), cutting one noodle into many, etc.
Do a Kid’s Special Recipe Night
Let your kids be in charge of figuring out what your family date night’s meal is going to be.
Help them go online and find recipes. Print them out, make ingredient lists, and take them to the store for what they need. Then, prepare everything as a family!
Create a Family Time Capsule
I did a time capsule with my childhood friend, and we vowed to open it when we were 25. Well…that lasted about 6 years. It was a lot of fun to open it up together as teens, still.
You can get a popcorn tin or something that will hold up over the years, and create a whole family fun night around making a time capsule.
French Fry Dip Night
You know how kids LOVE to create new things, right?
Let your kids get creative in the kitchen by tasking each member of the family with creating a batch of French fry dip.
Here’s some ideas for French fry dips to get you started.
Then fry or bake a bunch of French fries, and take turns taste-testing all of the different dips from both kids and parents.
Marshmallow Slingshot Tournament
Gather everyone this family fun night to create their own marshmallow shooters (they’re really simple). Buy some small marshmallows, and have a tournament to see whose marshmallow shooter performs the best.
Share Your Last 5 Pics
Everyone opens up their phones, and takes turns sharing their last 5 pictures with the family! This should spark some fun conversation about each other’s days/lives.
Make-Your-Own Pizza Station
Set up a pizza-making station for your family at your dinner table or breakfast bar. Make the dough ahead of time, and set out lots of different types of ingredients (pineapples, ham, pepperonis, cheese, oregano, etc.).
Let each child complete their own mini-personal pizza. Help them bake it, and then everyone gets to eat together.
Play Easter Egg Conversation Prompts
Pick one of these conversation starter PDFs, print it out, and cut it up. Put one prompt into each Easter egg, and hide all your Easter eggs. For family fun night, set a timer for 5 minutes or so and let everyone hunt for Easter eggs.
Sit back down in your gathering place (or around dinner – great activity for right before eating together!) and take turns going around the table one-by-one to open up an Easter egg and answer the question.
Get your kids to help you create a homemade Plinko board during the day, and then use it in the evening for family fun night!
Plant Seedlings for a Family Garden
Gather your soil, dirt, and seeds (kiddos can come with you to the store to pick seeds out, if you’re looking for an activity during the day to get them excited!).
As a family, sit down and plant lots of seedlings. Water them. Stick them in a good place for sun, and watch them grow each day.
Bonus: Follow-up family date night to this is actually transplanting your seedlings into your garden outside!
Have a “Kids Cook Dinner” Night
Help your kids come up with recipes they want to create, an ingredients list, and then take them to the store to prep for their big dinner.
Let them take the lead in the kitchen (and elsewhere), and be their “sous chef” for the night. Then, eat the dinner as a family!
Make a Set of Family Stress Balls
Stress balls are SO much fun to squish throughout the day!
You can gather all the ingredients, sit down as a family, and each make your own.
Write a Family Mission Statement
Mission statements can be very powerful. This includes for families, especially when you have everyone IN the family be part of it. Here’s how to get started writing your family mission statement.
Kick-Off a Family Savings Goal
I have an entire article written on how to create a family savings goal. It can really add to your family culture, can be a lot of fun to work on together, and in the end, everyone gets to do something or to have something together that will be memorable.
Did I mention it’s awesome way to model good savings and goal-setting behaviors to your kids?
Flashlight Scavenger Hunt
If your family fun night is in the dark…then equip everyone with a headlamp or a flashlight and have them complete a scavenger hunt. Here’s free printables for a glow-in-the-dark scavenger hunt!
Fun Things to Do as a Family at Home
Here you'll find even MORE fun ideas for things to do as a family at home.
Piñata Family Fun Night
Buy a Piñata that’s already pre-filled, or fill it with some fun things.
Make a Family Service Bucket List
Have you wanted to show your kids acts of kindness and how to be of service to others? Print out this free service bucket list, and create it together during family fun night.
Set Up a Fun Family Service Project
Your family can “egg” your neighbors in the nicest way possible. Seriously – you want to check out this “You’ve Been Egged” free printables and consider doing it your next family night in.
Create + Test Out Rubber Balls
Did you know you can create your own rubber bouncy balls?
Have everyone in your family create one, and then host a family fun night where you test out how they work, which ones go highest, etc.
Break Out the Sparklers
Who cares if it’s not July 4th? Break out a box of sparklers and let your kids stay up past bedtime so that they can use them in the dark.
Play Giant Yahtzee in the Living Room
Do you have a decent-sized room with carpet? Move the furniture back, and use a giant-sized pair of dice plus a clean trash can to play some Yahtzee together.
Do a Family Talent Show
In one of my favorite movies, Dan in Real Life, the family gets together every Thanksgiving for a long weekend. One of the highlights that they do? Is a family talent show. Nothing fancy – just showing off a talent (however small) from each person.
Eat Dinner by Candlelight
Super simple, and probably out-of-the-ordinary for a Friday night, family dinner.
Hold Slinky Races
Let each of your kids (plus the parents!) pick out a slinky from the store or on Amazon.
Then, hold a slinky tournament on the stairs!
Was the more expensive or cheapest slinky the winner? Did the material of slinky make a difference (say, metal versus plastic)? Ask your kids questions about their decision on slinky purchase.
Paper Airplane Construction + Races
Set up a paper-airplane station at your dining room table, kitchen table, or coffee table. Help the kids design and create their own paper airplanes, and then hold a race to see whose airplane goes furthest.
You can use different types of paper, pens and pencils so that they can draw up blueprints if they’d like, rulers, scissors, and some markers and stickers for design purposes.
Play “Keep it Off the Floor”
Use an inflatable beach ball and a timer. Start the game – the objective is simply to see how long you can possibly all keep the ball off of the floor.
Psst: have a larger family, or older kids and you need a bigger challenge? Get TWO balls going at once.
Create the Longest Straw You Can
Work as a family to create the longest straw you can…and then test it. Does it work?
Then, let your kids create the craziest looking straw they can by putting several together and shaping them. Bendable straws work best for this.
Formal Dining Night
Invite everyone in the family to a formal dining night, and ask them to dress up formally for the occasion. Light candles, serve whatever it is you were going to make that night, anyway, use the glass dishes (if you normally don’t) and silver, and have a lovely dinner together!
Play Family Bingo
Get some bingo cards and play several rounds of Bingo. You can include prizes like couples to get out of certain chores for a week!
Play Dice Games
Grab the dice from your board games, and play a family-friendly dice game for free.
Play Hacky Sack
Do your kids even know what hacky sack is (you can never be sure what trends come back!).
Play Mad Libs
Mad Libs is one of my favorite games…even as an adult! Plus, it reinforces learning from school (like nouns, adjectives, and new vocabulary!).
Word Search Races
You might giggle, but I used to do word search races with my grandmother! For the record, she won every. single. time.
We both had our own word search books (you can just get one word search book and rip out a page for each person who is racing to save on costs), and whoever got done first, won!
Create Abstract Watercolor Paintings
Introduce your kids to the concept of abstract art, then let everyone use dollar-store watercolor sets and construction paper to create some.
Here’s a complete set for six people (if you put the paints in the middle of the table) that’s really reasonably priced!
Play the White Elephant Chore Game
I created this thing called the White Elephant Chore Game, which gives kids the chance to have FUN with the chore process. You’ll definitely want to check it out that and other free chore games here (free printables).
Play Photograph Captions
Go through your old photos to find ones that are just begging for a funny caption to be added. Pick 5-10, and you each take turns writing a caption for your “meme” on slips of paper. Then, put them in a basket and take turns reading them out loud.
Set Up Guessing Jars
Take several mason jars or old spaghetti sauce jars of various sizes, and fill them each with different candies (you’ll need to count how many pieces you put in each – or look on the bag you buy at the store for a piece count before filling the jar with it).
Let each of your family members make a guess on a piece of paper with their names before dinner. Then after dinner, reveal who wins!
Pssst: not into using candy? You can fill it with pieces of gravel, pebbles, marbles, or really anything small-ish that you already own.
Jumping Frog Origami Races
Create jumping frog origami as a family, and then have a frog race to see who wins!
Create Invisible Ink Messages
Let each person create their own letter or drawing or whatever else they’d like using homemade invisible ink.
Host Car Races
I don’t know about you, but we’ve got several race cars floating around our home. Some are mechanical (where you pull them back and they zip on through), and others are manual. Have each person pick their own, and host different types of car races.
Host a Feeling Party
Stick various textured foods into brown paper bags (or any container where you can’t see what’s in there). Then, pass them around the room for people to feel while blindfolded.
You can get fun with this like we did in Girl Scouts by saying that each bag holds a witch’s body part (like a bag of peeled grapes you would say “those are witch’s eyes”, or a bag of cooked spaghetti is something else!).
Hold a Family Awards Ceremony
After dinner, you can gather everyone and give out funny and cute awards for each person in the family. Trophies are optional!
- Good kitchen helper
- Best at telling a joke
- Helpful in a pinch
Charades is such a wonderful tradition to pass onto the kids! Here are some free printables to play.
Let the Kids Grab Something from the Gift Closet
My sister-in-law, Jen, shared this tip with me and I thought it was brilliant – her girls were getting so many gifts at Christmas and birthdays when they were young that they could never focus on playing with them all. SO, she would keep a few out, then put the rest in a closet. Throughout the year, she would break out a “new” gift here and there.
You can do the same – and then for a family fun night, let your kids each pick one of their “new” gifts from a closet to play with!
Have a Wildlife Viewing Night
While I’m not gung ho on-screen activities for family night in ideas, I do think this one could be cool.
You can set up your laptop or a phone (or set it up to show over your television) to show one of these cool, live, wildlife cams!
Psst: could be a really fun thing to add to a special dinner one night – having a laptop off to the side with a live cam. Who can spot the first bit of movement?
Have an Improv Finger Puppet Show
Bust out some finger puppets, and have each member of the family take turns creating a play without any rehearsing. Just go with it!
Do a Kazoo Music Session
Give everyone a kazoo, then go through trying to play different songs everyone knows. This has the potential for fits of giggles!
Play Spin-Top Tic-Tac-Toe
Make a Tic-Tac-Toe board on a sheet of paper, and then put that paper into a shoebox lid (or container where you can reach into).
Take turns spinning a top. Wherever the top lands, that’s where your ‘X’ or ‘O’ goes.
Treasure Chest from Another Era
Do you have a “treasure chest” or group of items from your childhood that’s in a bin in the attic or basement? What a fun thing to drag it out and go through it with your kids. Memories for you, giggles for them!
Slingshot Water Balloon Target Practice
Fill up water balloons, mark a target in the backyard for everyone to hit, and take turns trying to hit it.
Do Pillow Sumo Wrestling
How fun is this sumo wrestling idea? And completely free!
Play the Heads Up! Forehead Game
Do you have a family full of iPhones? Download this app ($0.99), and you guys can play Ellen DeGeneres’ highly-rated forehead game.
Play “The Taste” with Ice Cream Sundae Bites
Do you remember that show The Taste? My husband and I loved it. You can do something similar at home by having your kids make different types of bite-sized ice-cream sundaes on a spoon for people to taste. Like, vanilla ice-cream, strawberries, and crumbled granola on one. And vanilla ice-cream, peanut butter, and crème de menthe on another.
Small bites, lots of different flavor combos to try!
Witness a Sky Show Together
Let the kids stay up past their bedtimes for the next meteor or other “sky show”. If you have an Android phone, then you’ll definitely want to download the free Google SkyMap app to use on this night as well.
Build Jell-O Sandcastles
Make some Jell-O in various colors ahead of time and fill molds with it. For family fun night, pop the Jell-O out of the molds, and work on creating a “sand” castle together by building the Jell-O blocks as high as you can go.
Play a Round of Live Meme
Each person takes a turn standing up in front of the room and putting on a face. They can have whatever look they want. You freeze that look, while everyone fills out a caption to your face. Then, read then out loud and have a few laughs!
Play the Clothespin Game
You know that popular (and pretty fun) clothespin game at Baby Showers where you aren’t allowed to say a certain word (and if someone catches you saying it, they call you out and get your clothespin)?
Play that game by giving each of your family members 3 or so clothespins. Choose a word that’ll be difficult for them not to use this family fun night. Explain the rules, and have fun with it!
Do Group Yoga
Try out a free online yoga video suitable for beginners. If you all don’t have yoga mats? Just use towels.
Wow…did you make it all the way to the end of these 100 family fun night ideas? I hope I’ve inspired you to have all kinds of fun with your kids the next time you’re looking for things to do on a Friday night with family.