Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 {Free or Cheap} Family Night Ideas

Ever since we have implemented a family night in our house, we've tried to mix it up so that we aren't just going to the park week after week. Not that there's anything wrong with the park, but these nights are a great opportunity to do more than just eat at a restaurant. Sometimes it can be hard to think of something to do with two little toddlers, though. Since it is summer right now, it is easier to come up with fun things to do since we have the beautiful weather outdoors, so there's that. The hard thing can be coming up with ideas that don't cost a pretty penny. Have you been to the movies lately?! It could easily cost our family $50 to see a movie in the theaters, with tickets and a small snack.
Here are 10 of our favorite things to do for family night: 
::One:: Find a body of water
Go to a lake or a pond and try to skip rocks, feed the ducks or just explore. Isn't there just something about water that everyone loves?! Sure it's fun to go boating or do some bigger water activity, but just being at the water is great too. If it's a beach, even better!
::Two:: Pack a picnic
Sometimes we drive through Chick-Fil-A and get dinner to go, take it to a park, eat at a bench and then play and go on a walk around the trial. It's just more fun than eating dinner at the kitchen table! We like to pack picnics from home as well.
::Three:: Ride the carousel
Kids of ALL ages (including the adult kind...) love carousels. My kids would ride them 25 times if we would let them. We like to go on free family night at the mall so they can ride as many times as they want, and as our stomachs can allow, without breaking the bank! 

::Four:: Spend the night at a cheap motel
This is one that we haven't done yet, but is on my list! My husband's parents used to do this when he was a kid and he has such fond memories. They would go just down the street to get an inexpensive motel room for the night, order take out, swim in the pool and have a slumber party. What kid wouldn't love that?! 
::Five:: Children's museum
We love the children's museum! It is so much fun for our kids, and for us. They get to learn and to explore a bunch of new, cool things each time! We could easily spend a whole weekend at ours, but usually only have a few hours. There are always coupons around for our local children's museum, so be sure to search around first!

::Six:: Make treats for family and friends
Kids love to be helpers in the kitchen. And let's be honest...they love being batter tasters. Making and delivering treats together is such a fun way to spend time together doing something you don't do every day, and brighten up someone else's day.

::Seven:: Go to a sporting event
There are always tons of baseball, tee ball, soccer, and volleyball games going on at parks and rec centers. In high school, my friends and I would go to the baseball fields and watch random community teams play, just for something to do, and it was so fun! Kids love sports, and young ones are really intrigued by the game and the crowds!
::Eight:: Go on a scavenger hunt
Either make up your own, or search online. It doesn't have to be complicated. You could even just give your kids things to look for around the house! 
::Nine:: Get in a fight
A pillow fight, a water fight, whatever other kind of fun fight you can think of. 
::Ten:: Go to the zoo/museum/pool/etc
On free day. They all have them at least once a year. Check their websites and mark your calendars. Plan some family fun nights around these free events! 
What other fun family night ideas do you have that are free or cheap?! 

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