All month long here at Being Confident of This, we’ve been addressing the need for strong families, the kind that stick together for life, the kind that leave legacies for future generations. If you missed the first few articles, I suggest that you check the schedule at the bottom to catch up.
As I mentioned in previous posts, family bonding should happen often and in a variety of ways!
One way that our family creates memories and solidifies bonds is through what we call Family Fun Day, an entire day devoted to quality time together as a family. No joke – the fun must last until bedtime or the most literal-minded of the bunch will call the parents out. 😉
However, if you can’t fit in a whole day of family fun, try starting later in the day and carrying on the family fun until bedtime. Something about going to bed with an emotional tank full of happy makes family fun day stick in the minds of your children.
Here’s some help planning out your family fun days!
25 Ideas for Family Fun Day
Free (or nearly free) options for Family Fun Day:
1. Bonfire and games in the dark
If you don’t have a fire pit, you can build one yourself (make that part of the family fun) or you can buy a portable one. Be sure to have supplies for s’mores on hand and check out my Family Fun pinterest board for some glow in the dark games!
2. Fishing trip
It’s just my opinion that every kid should go fishing at least once in a lifetime. 🙂 But seriously, the quiet togetherness of fishing allows for some great conversation!
3. Family camping
Our kids love to camp! We don’t even have to travel far to do it because they most enjoy the experience of being together day and night, sleeping in tents, and cooking over the fire – simple and inexpensive family fun.
4. Outdoor fun at a State Park
Pack up a picnic lunch or dinner and head to your favorite state park or nature preserve. Choose a few trails to hike or go on a nature scavenger hunt. You can easily spend a day at a large state park!
5. Family Game Night
If family game night is new to you, then you should read about our favorite games (categorized by age and group size) and how to host a game night with other families when you have young ones at home! Our four children ask for family game night again and again – it never gets old for them. 🙂 I love the ideas on this pinterest board for creating a trophy for winners!
6.Winter outdoor fun
Sledding, fort-building, snowball fighting – you catch the drift (hee hee). If your family enjoys competition, then add some challenges to this family fun day – who can create the most unique snow creature or the best snow obstacle course?
7. Active family fun
Bike riding, trail hiking or walking, family sports (soccer, kickball, whiffle ball, etc.) – any of these work for getting your family active together. Be sure to choose something all family members can participate in and enjoy. You can take turns choosing the next activity.
If you happen to be stuck indoors due to the weather, try something from this list!
8. Wii night (0r other gaming system)
Find several multi-player games to challenge each other on, such as Super Mario Bros. (Coin battle or free-f0r-all mode add a fun twist), Mario Kart, Wario Smooth Moves, Super Smash Bros., Wii Sports mini-games, etc. If your family really enjoys competition, draw up a leader board and keep track of points to declare a Family Fun Day Champion!
9. Performance Night
This family fun night may take a little more planning or it may just evolve spontaneously. Most kids love to perform, especially to a captive audience. When Dad and Mom join in on the fun, the night gets even better. Schedule a line-up of group and solo acts – singing, plays, skits, puppet shows, anything that only requires a little creativity and leads to lots of giggles.
10. Beach Day/Swimming
Load up all of the necessities and head to a nearby beach or pool. We usually pack a lunch and plan to spend a good portion of the day enjoying the sun, the sand, and the water. Be sure to build some sandcastles together and play some water games as a family.
11. Lego Challenge
12. Playground Hopping
In the summer, this one’s easy. Pack a picnic and scout out several playgrounds to visit. Perhaps you can even take a day trip to a city with a well-known or unique play area? Playground hop until everyone is worn-out, then return home for family movie night! Inclement weather pops up? No worries! Just find some nearby indoor play places at restaurants or in malls.
Low-cost options for Family Fun Day:
13. Crazy Pinz/Bowling
In a bigger town near us, we have this place called Crazy Pinz, which often hosts family nights or cosmic bowling (gl0w-in-the-dark bowling). But it’s not your average bowling alley. They also have indoor bumper cars, a huge arcade, and something called Ball-O-City – like big playground with these foam balls shooting everywhere!
Look for something similar in your area. Or, if you all enjoy the simple pleasure of bowling a strike, then stick to a regular bowling alley. 🙂
14. Mini Golf
Most mini golf places also house arcades and some even boast of go-karts, climbing walls, and other fun options. Nothing is quite as much fun as seeing one of the family members putt a hole-in-one, though! And little ones make the day even more entertaining with their interesting putting techniques.
15. Laser Tag
Our family loves laser tag, probably because we tend to be slightly competitive. This active family fun day can be both competitive and team-oriented, however, since you usually compete against another group, but still receive individual scoresheets.
Similar to laser tag except it takes place outdoors (not for young children) and is a little more painful. We have not yet tried this as a family, but would like to!
17. Zoo Day
Large families should pay attention to membership prices because often a single visit for the entire family is close in price to buying a year membership! Pack your own lunch and skip the souvenir shop to save more money!
18. Inflatable Fun
Find an indoor bouncy house attraction. Most of these bouncy attractions offer inflatables for all sizes, so the whole family can enjoy time together.
If your family really likes to bounce, check for a trampoline attraction in your area. Most of these offer a block of bounce time on various trampoline attractions – regular trampoline bouncing, trampoline basketball dunk, trampoline dodgeball, trampoline jump into foam pit, and so on.
20. Creation Museum (or another Children’s Museum)
Our four kiddos still talk about the time we went to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. We spent the entire day learning about God’s wonderful creation, and for our older sons, the experience was a real faith booster. They still retain facts from the displays on Creation and use them to defend their faith. If you have a large family, be aware that food items can be costly, but you can always pack your own!
We also enjoy the Indianapolis Children’s museum that isn’t too far from us. Even our teenage son doesn’t mind going along. This museum (and many others) offers several free days each year, so be sure to check before you make plans to go.
21. Family Olympics
Here’s another idea I found on pinterest for a family fun day that involves lots of fun and games. Choose the games most appropriate for your ages and enjoy some backyard fun as a family!
Plan and save options for Family Fun Day:
22. Day trip to nearby attractions
Think amusement parks, dinner theaters, etc. Look for savings on Groupon or Living Social!
Not everyone enjoys classical music, but if your children are older and can handle sitting, you might find a themed night they would enjoy – like Star Wars or Disney. Attending the symphony isn’t just good for family fun day, but is also a good cultural experience for kids!
24. Unique Restaurant
A restaurant with themed decor is extra fun for kiddos – think Rainforest Cafe or something similar. Since it’s not a restaurant you would normally go to, the day will automatically have a “special” air to it. Be prepared, however, as these themed restaurants are usually more costly than typical family dining.
25. Any Themed Day
This one doesn’t necessarily need to involve a lot of cost, but does require planning, especially if you need special decorations. Have a pirate day and search for hidden treasure in the backyard (scavenger hunt), or plan a family movie night around a specific theme.
The key is to incorporate as much of the theme as possible to make it a memorable night (pinterest is invaluable for planning these).
Now that you’re armed with a list of ideas, all you need to do is put a day or night on the calendar and stick with it!
Other articles in this series: