Every parent knows the struggle of trying to get your whole family together for family date night. You as parents are busy with the kids, your jobs, your commitments to community organizations, and if you’re lucky, your hobbies. Your kids are busy with homework, sports, clubs, and their friends.
Getting everyone in the same place at the same time for anything, even dinner seems impossible. But having a night set aside for family time is important to family bonding.
To hold everyone’s interest, the activity you choose to do needs to be really awesome, not just your generic game night. If you’re searching for some new and interesting ideas for family date night, check out these suggestions!
1. Try an Escape Room
If your family hasn’t tried out an escape room yet, you’re missing out on an exciting bonding opportunity.
An escape room is basically an interactive, room-sized puzzle for your family to solve. Each room is built around a theme or story and you have to “solve” the room in order to get out. The room is packed with clues and puzzles and your family will need to work together in order to “escape.”
Escape rooms are not only a ton of fun, but they’re also a great way for your family to appreciate each other’s strengths. Each family member can use their individual skills to help solve the puzzles and interpret the clues.
Escape rooms are also a great way for families to practice communication since you all need to pool your information and work together to solve the room.
2. Go Late-Night Bowling
If your kids are old enough to stay out late, a family date night at the bowling alley for their late-night special is a perfect idea. Many bowling alleys have special events on Saturday night after 11 pm where the lanes are discounted. Many bowling alleys also play loud music and turn on the laser light show for these late-night sessions.
The fun atmosphere and the late hour is a draw for teens who may not be as interested in family time anymore.
Bowling is a great activity because it allows the family to be competitive in a fun way rather than a serious way. Most people embrace the silliness that comes with being bad at bowling.
3. See an Outdoor Movie
Your kids may not remember drive-in movies because there are only a few drive-in theaters left in the U.S. But you probably remember how much fun it was to pack a car full of people and watch a movie on a giant screen in the great outdoors.
If you’re not lucky enough to have a drive-in movie theater near you, don’t despair. Instead, create your own drive-in experience by renting an outdoor movie screen!
You can set the screen up wherever you’d like. For a private family date night, you could host a screening in your backyard. If you’re looking for a bigger event, say for a family reunion or a birthday party, you could set up the screen at a local recreation park with a big “view here” sign!
4. Do a Ninja Warrior Course
Your family might love gathering around the TV to watch American Ninja Warrior, but have you ever considered actually doing a Ninja Warrior course?
Gyms are popping up all over the country with their own Ninja Warrior courses. Some gyms have a single course and other gyms have multiple courses that are of all different difficulty levels. Some gyms even have side by side courses so your family can race each other.
Ninja Warrior courses are awesome because they encourage the family to cheer each other on. And they allow each member to test their bodies and their skills, which is fun for everyone.
Ninja Warrior courses also allow family members to learn about trying again after failure. The courses are usually difficult enough that most people won’t make it through on their first try. Your family can encourage each other to try until they succeed.
This kind of support builds tight family bonds, which is exactly what family night is for!
5. Give Laser Tag a Shot
Is there a kid in the world who doesn’t love laser tag? If there is, you probably haven’t met them. And most likely they’re not your kid.
Since laser tag is so popular with kids, it won’t take much convincing to get your family to participate in family night. You as parents may be less enthusiastic about this one, but remember that the goal isn’t to win, it’s just to have fun.
If your family likes to compete with each other and the competition doesn’t get divisive, you could try a laser tag game where each person is out for themselves. This allows family members to compete with each other in a fun way rather than a detrimental way.
If you’d rather your family focus on cooperation, you could sign up for a game as a team against another group. Then your family members can focus on helping each other out to achieve a common goal.
Making Family Date Night Fun
Family date night can be difficult to organize and prioritize, but it’s definitely worth the time. In the modern world where we’re all rushing around attached to our phones, prioritizing face to face, fun family bonding is essential.
These family date night ideas are sure to get your family psyched to get together and have some fun. For more ideas about how to bring your family together, check out the Parenting section of our website.