A friend of mine has a fun family tradition. Every year, he spends one night with his children where there are no rules. I repeat, no rules. This night is crazy! Each No Rules Night is different than the last. The kids can do whatever they want (within reason) and it has created so many memories for his family. His kids talk about it all year and constantly ask when the next one will be. It’s definitely their favorite family fun night. Nights like these are what kids remember about their childhood.
Do you ever find yourself running out of ideas for fun family activities? Here is how to do a No Rule Night and 19 other ideas for your future family nights.
1. American Idol Night.
Have two people in your family be the judges and the rest can be contestants. If you have a smaller family (and you don’t mind embarrassing yourself), invite some neighbors over to join in the fun. A karaoke machine is a fun way to spice this night up as well.
2. Guest of Honor Night.
Have this night be focused on one person in your family or outside your family. Create a unique list of questions to ask this person during dinner that highlights things about their personality unbeknownst to the rest of the family. Another option is to invite a willing guest to share in their area of expertise. Leave time for your kids to ask them questions.
3. Home Video Night.
All kids love to see themselves when they were younger. Break out videos of their younger days or create a slideshow using pictures of them growing up. Kids are also fascinated by their parents’ wedding tapes. Just make sure to fast forward if your video is 6 hours long. The point is not to bore them to death.
4. Volunteer Night.
Sign up to volunteer at a local place that needs help. Specifying your volunteer work to something your child is interested in is a great way to start. If your child loves animals, volunteer at the humane society. For other ideas, here are more ideas for how to teach your kids to help others.
5. Individual Dinner Night.
Having a family with multiple children can often make it hard to spend one-on-one time together. Have a night where you and your spouse take your children out individually and let them be the center of attention for the night. Try one of these 8 date ideas for mom and kids.
6. Backyard Campout Night.
Camping doesn’t have to take place in the forest. Popping up the tent in the backyard is a great way to have a convenient vacation. Remember to include all the things that you normally would at a campsite: S’mores, flashlights, sleeping bags, etc. Be sure to play some fun camping games too!
7. Family Website/Blog Night.
We’ve all heard of family newsletters, but join the age of technology and create a family website. Have your kids help you pick out the layout, colors, and design. Gather together around the computer and decide what information to include on the site. If you decide to do a blog, gather around the computer on a specific night of the week and have the kids tell you what they think should be included.
8. Museum Night.
You may be laughing right now when you think of your kids in a museum, but hear us out! Making a scavenger hunt within the museum is a great way for kids to interact with the exhibits. Another activity in an art museum could include talking about each person’s favorite piece. With some modern art, your family could try to guess what the artist was thinking when they created their work.
9. No Rules Night.
This night is pretty self-explanatory; however, there are two rules. The activities still need to be safe and you still need to consider other people. If your kids want to play outside at 3 a.m, they can do it but silently so as not to disturb the neighbors. For a more in-depth description of what to do on this night, the All Pro Dad Director explains how he does it here.
10. Concert or Comedy Night.
Taking your kids to a concert exposes them to music/culture that they might not hear otherwise. Outdoor concerts in the summer are great because they are more relaxed. In the winter, take your kids to a symphony. Sometimes orchestras customize their concerts to put a twist on some songs that your kids might know! If you don’t have singers, you could also share a laugh with the kids by attending a family-friendly comedy night. Afterward, at home, have the kids put on their own comedy/talent show where they give stand-up with their own jokes or riddles.
11. Dessert Out Night.
Surprise your kids by eating dinner at home and announcing that you’re taking them out for dessert! If it’s warm, head to an outdoor ice cream parlor and if it’s colder, go out for warm apple pie.
12. $5 Dollar Shopping Night.
Take your kids to a store such as Target, Wal-Mart, or Dollar Tree and give them each $5. Make it a contest to see who can buy the best item for the family just using that amount. Let them know that they can buy numerous items and combine them to make their final purchase. (e.g., buying letter stickers and spelling out your family’s name on a small scrapbook).
13. Costume Night.
Go to a consignment shop or Goodwill and have them pick out a funny outfit. Then, go for a picnic in the park as a group of random personalities. Make sure to take pictures of this night!
14. History Night.
This night has a lot of possibilities: Invite a grandparent over to tell stories of their life when they were young or tell your kid’s stories about you and your siblings when you were growing up. You can even set up a family history interview with the use of these questions. Another option is to invite a friend over who is a war veteran over to share their experiences with your kids.
15. Formal Etiquette Night.
Have your kids dress in their best and get out the good china! Take this opportunity to teach your kids some lessons at the table. This will also be a great time of laughing while your kids try to play grown up. Talking in British accents and pretending you’re having afternoon tea is fun as well.
16. Twisted Bowling/Miniature Golf Night.
Sometimes these activities can get old after a while, so add a little twist. Have specific instructions for each hole or frame. For instance, “At this hole, you have to swing the putter behind your back.” Or, “During this frame, try to only knock down the two pins on the end.”
17. Picture Night.
Have a fun photo shoot with your kids by inviting a friend over who does photography as a hobby. Don’t just stick to classic poses and matching outfits. Make sure you allow your kids’ goofy personalities to shine through. Take them to the store and let them pick their favorites to print off.
18. Scavenger Hunt Night.
Split your family up or compete against another family who wants to have a family night. Give each team a digital camera to document their findings. Examples of fun things to add to the scavenger hunt search list include a wacky hairstyle (can you say mullet?) or a member of the group climbing a tree.
19. Interactive Movie Night.
Watch a movie together as a family. Some ways to keep this family-friendly and interactive include watching a film with a controversial message and discussing it afterward or hanging a sheet on a wall outside of your house and having your own drive-in type show.
20. A How-To Night.
Learn something together! Some ideas could be how to cook a certain kind of food, change a tire/the oil in a car, plant a garden (the kids can pick out the seeds), start a campfire, create a budget (save money) or play a sport (golf).
Tell us! What is your favorite family activity?