13 Practically Free Family Night Ideas

Grab some family-fun inspiration and share some of your own on today’s Frugal Friday. This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.

Practically Free Family Night Ideas | Life as MOM

After spending many, many hours preparing for and attending multiple hockey games on Saturday night, I realized that summer is over. With our regular school schedule, earlier bedtimes, science class, and hockey practices, many of our evenings are taken up with “stuff”. The carefree summer evenings we’ve enjoyed are coming to a close

That prompts me to be a little more intentional about how we spend our precious free time, namely Friday nights. I decided to jot down a list of FREE things — or almost free things — that we could do together as a family.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Make indoor smores — we’re looking for a deal on a fire pit, but in the meantime, the toaster oven will suffice.
  2. Pop some corn and watch a movie from Redbox or Amazon Prime Instant Video.
  3. Make cards to send to family or friends.
  4. Play a game — FishChick5’s current fave is The Ladybug Game.
  5. Pull out the playdough — even big kids can get into this if everyone does it and there are enough supplies.
  6. Look through scrapbooks or home movies together.
  7. Take an evening walk and look at the stars.
  8. Go on a jammie run — after the kids are in jammies, load them in the car for a trip for ice cream or donuts.
  9. Read a story together — we’re currently rereading The Wingfeather Saga.
  10. Play animal charades — our kids have always LOVED this, particularly the littles.
  11. Make a tent in the living room and camp out.
  12. Set up a tent in the backyard and really camp out.
  13. Play video games together — my littles still doubt that I was once a high scorer on Mario Kart. It may be time to set the record straight.

What’s your favorite thing to do together as a family?


This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

Disclosure: This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.

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  1. Tonight after dinner we’re making brownies, and while they’re in the oven we’ll take turns reading aloud to one another. A fun activity for kids could be cutting up old magazines (if not some of your own, they’re easy to come by at local businesses) and make collages. Maybe pick a theme, like next family vacation or new school year?

  2. The kids and I love making slushy and a redbox runs. Less than half a mile from us is a corner store that has both so we walk there and pick up a movie and a round of slushies for under $5. When they were younger touring the parks was fun and free.

  3. I love being outside, but it’s getting colder and darker, so we’ll be doing more movies and games again.

    However, this week Venus and Saturn are visible at dusk, and that’s worth checking out:

  4. I love your ideas. We really like watching family movies on Friday nights too. Especially since I work late on Fridays and when I get home sitting on the couch cuddling my children and watching a movie is a wonderful thing 🙂

  5. We also like to watch a movie or play a board game – Bird Bingo has become a favorite for us. I like your idea for a pajama run. We will have to try that!

  6. I love the idea of making cards and sending them to family members…we could even recycle old artwork into cards and the send ’em out. I also like the idea of a jammie run. I think one of these ideas will be occurring in the two kids house hold soon!

  7. We play the word game at dinner. We start with the letter A and go around the table. Everyone has to say a word that starts with the letter. Ex. Alligator, Apple, achieve, etc. It is a great way to learn new words. My kids have taught other families when they have playdates or sleepovers at friend’s homes. We do this every night at dinner. On Friday night’s, we have homemade or $5 little Caesar’s pizza and watch Redbox movie.

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