Fun Family Nights In

Sometimes, going out for an evening with the whole family just isn’t in the cards—but you still want to get everyone together. What to do? Try these ideas for some inspiration!

Stargaze. If the night sky is clear in your area, bundle up and go out to look at the stars! Use your computer to print out a sheet with sections of the night sky relative to your area and see if you can identify any of the major stars, clusters, or planets. Start here to see which stars are visible in your area.

Make a mural. You don’t need a huge canvas for this project. Instead, use a sheet or two of posterboard, bring out the paints, and invite everyone to paint together! This works best on a round or square table where everyone can draw at the same time. Start by drawing your family name in broad, bold brushstrokes across the top, then have everyone work together to fill in every bit of white space with doodles, drawings, colors, and whatever your imaginations can think of. When done, keep an eye on the thrift stores for an inexpensive frame you could easily spray-paint to match.

Build a bonfire. Check out this article for a nifty way to get together in the cold outdoors! You could make marshmallows, roast hot dogs, or just pull up a few chairs around the fire while you sit and talk, or stargaze.

Make ice cream. Making ice cream from your own ingredients is an easy, fun way to pass the time. Plus, you can customize flavors! Check out this article for some tips on how to get started, then customize with cocoa powder, cut fruit, chocolate chips, or even a swirl of caramel sauce. See what delicious combinations you can make!

Have an etiquette night. This is especially fun for younger kids. Ask your librarian for a fun, kid-friendly book on some old (we mean early-1900s-old) etiquette for kids and practice the techniques over dinner or throughout the evening. Go over the book together—do kids have to politely ask for every single item on the table? Are the “courses” served in a certain order? Do they actually need several utensils instead of the usual two or three? See how many of the rules you can apply over a dinner or evening.

Build a tent fort. Click here for our ultimate guide to the ultimate indoor fort, from which you can participate in all kinds of fun activities.

We’re also huge fans of playing multiplayer video games all together, playing board games or making your own, or cooking some simple recipes in which the kids can contribute. What are your best ideas for some inexpensive family nights at home?

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