Family date night hasn’t always been a thing. In fact, sometimes I miss smokey weekends at the bar, drinking Bud Light until my head spun and the toilet was a place to put my face, but most weekends I’m completely satisfied with a movie, some salty food and cuddles with my little family. Over the last year we have pondered what to do as a family on the weekends and have struggled to make our time together worthwhile, and still stay within budget.
In the last few months, however, we have come up with some family friendly activities that don’t break the bank and keep everyone entertained day and night. Most activities cost $10 or less. No alcohol required.
Family Movie Night and Sleepover
Almost every Friday night we have a family sleepover in the living room and watch a movie from Redbox ($1.56). We put my hoard of blankets to good use and spread them across the floor along with pillows and necessary stuffed animals. This has been a wonderful thing for our daughter, and she looks forward to it each week, because she gets to stay up a little later and eat popcorn to her hearts content. We usually make Homemade Kettle Corn, which you can find the recipe to HERE. Then, despite mom and dad’s old age, we all fall asleep on the floor and wake up Saturday for pancakes and coffee.
This is a new and challenging activity for our family. Sydnee is an abstract artist who prefers paint over drawing or coloring, so we bought some cheap bottles of acrylic paint at Walmart ($0.50 each), a pack of construction paper ($4), and a pack of paintbrushes (I think they were around $3). While it’s not necessary, I bought a pack of two canvases from Walmart for Chris and I. We cover our dining room table in newspaper, add some paint to a plate and let Sydnee go town. As a bit of a couples’ duel, Chris and I pick a similar theme, paint our canvases and then have Sydnee judge them. We have also made paper snowflakes from printer paper, paper Christmas lights from different colored construction paper, and Christmas Wine Bottle Decorations with an old wine bottle and acrylic paint.
My latest family craft day project was this Christmas Wreath (instructions HERE) made from items found at the dollar store. Total price = $6. Update: Forgot that I got the smaller ornaments from Walmart for $3.84. Oops.
Board Games with Small Children
The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game. Photo from Amazon.com
Every time we travel to see my mom we end up playing Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition with my family. Over the years we have collected a few too many board games that have collected dust since having Sydnee. So, why not bring her in on the fun? My personal favorite is The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game. It’s a strategy game that little children/toddlers can play, and it’s still great fun for adults. You spin the spinner and have to be the first to fill your log with colorful acorns. But, you can land on “steal an acorn”, “pick and acorn”, or “lose an acorn.” Kids have a blast and think it’s funny as heck to steal acorns. Be careful though, they aren’t such fans of having their own acorns stolen. This is a wonderful addition to any family date night.
We live in a tiny community and therefore have less events and activities as other places, but nonetheless we try to attend most of them. We are part of a Facebook Group for community events in our area, and with me working at the school I have a pretty good in. Ask around, pay attention to flyers at the grocery store and gas station. You will likely find a lot of cheap or free events in your area that are kid friendly.
What are some family friendly activities you like to do on the weekends? Let me know in the comments so I can integrate it into our weekends. Also, share this with your friends; I’m sure you know someone who needs some family fun.
Erin is a lover of all thinks pink, stand-up comedy, hip-hop music, and food. She writes and develops simple recipes, talks about the comical trials and tribulations of parenting, and shares health and fitness tips. Read More…
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