Staying in? Ideas for some great family nights in.

Here are some ideas to get you through the long autumn and winter nights

With kids it isn’t possible (or afforable) to go out every weekend so it's up to us to make our own fun! Family nights at home don’t have to be a bore and there are many things you can do to enjoy the many Saturday nights staying in. Here are some ideas to get you through the long autumn and winter nights. It's more suited to kids who are a little older, but you decide!
  • Movie/Games night- Most families have movie nights and games nights at home to fill in the boring dark evenings. Picking a certain genre of movies is a good way to start or beginning the first movie in a trilogy so you can have a marathon movie night. Board games are not as popular as they used to be but make it interesting by creating family teams and use sweets or treats as rewards for winning. You can be really bold and suggest dares for the losers which must be hard and somewhat disgusting!
  • Pick a country evening- Each member of your family should pick a country anywhere in the world and research it before telling all the family members about it. Look at their tourism, their cool facts, learn about their traditions. While this is obviously for older children this will create discussions and make it interesting by the end of the evening everyone must pick the place they would most like to visit and once voted on prepare a plan on how you could go there and when. Dreaming is believing after all!
  • Camping night- Grab your tents and sleeping bags and head out to the back garden leaving the technology devices indoors and have a BBQ no matter how cold it may be. Roast some marshmallows and wrap up warm with hot chocolates before telling scary stories while looking up at the moon and stars. You may not like lying on the grass all night but it is great to get in touch with nature when we live in such a driven world reliant on technology. Wrap up warm with lots of blankets - it's brrrrrrr out there!
  • Favourite music evening- The kids will hate this but once you start there will be no stopping you all, let each member choose a favourite piece of music and play it on YouTube. You can ask your family to guess the year or the songs and you will all find you will giggle at the alternating choices and the many embarrassing songs that you and your partner will inevitably pick! 
  • Themed food night- This is one that you can run for a few weeks along the lines of “Come Dine with me” and let each member of your family pick a country in advance and set about preparing and cooking a traditional meal inspired by this country. It may take some preparation so get everyone on board helping and you could all go as far as playing the national songs while you eat or even wearing something that represents that country. Don’t forget dessert as if the rest of the meal is crap the dessert is usually a winner!
Enjoy the Autumn nights and enjoy your family x
Written by Emma. Emma writes with Family Friendly HQ and also pens her own parenting musings over at


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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