Entertaining a family for an evening can be an expensive endeavor if you choose to go out. Even taking in a movie complete with snacks and drinks can cost a family of four around $100 for just 2 hours of entertainment. Plan some frugal family fun nights you can do without putting a major dent in the budget.
It sounds cliché but a family movie night can be a lot of fun. Plan them around holidays, special events or the release of a long-awaited movie on DVD. Create a theme to go with the movie. If you’re watching the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, have the kids wear homemade eye patches. Make some “Bleeding Grog” punch out of fruit punch and 7-Up or Sprite. Serve popcorn in containers matched to your movie theme. If you spread out the frequency of movie night and add a few touches to make it unique, each one will be memorable.
Turn off the television and video games. Yes, that’s right. Get out the board games and card games. Invite another family or two and make it a monthly event with each family hosting. Make up a silly trophy that can be awarded to the winner. Snacks and refreshments can top off the evening. You can let one member of the family choose the games or put the names of available games in a hat and draw them out to see what will be played. Go for variety by switching things often. One night focus on card games. Another time play strategy games and the next time play games of chance like Yahtzee or Sorry.
Make a Scrap Book
Gather up the family photos, craft supplies and a scrap book. Sort the pictures into meaningful groups: all about one member of the family, photos from different vacations, annual Christmas celebration pictures. Let each member design a page and embellish according to their imagination. They can sign and date the bottom of the page and you’ll have a treasured family keepsake for years to come.
If you have a tent, pitch it. If not, gather up some old blankets and pillows and head out to the back yard. Plan a campfire, under adult supervision of course. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks. Make S’mores. Do some star gazing and weave in a little Greek mythology to go along with it. If the kids are old enough, wrap up the evening with some good old fashioned ghost stories before turning in for the night.