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Family Date Night Ideas (That Are Inexpensive And Easy To Do)

One of the things that we have recently started doing is having a family date night every week. My kids had gotten really bad with the “I want this” and “I wanna go there” and “I wanna do that” that my husband and I decided to get back to the basics. Our kids have to understand that we can have fun without always going out and spending money.

You might want to set some ground rules like the TV is off (unless you are watching a movie!), no iPads, computers or phones, each family member must participate, and arguing/fighting are not allowed.

Here are a few of my family’s favorite date night ideas.

Make Your Own Individual Pizzas

This one is one of my kids’ favorite date nights. I buy pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough (individual size) and put the sauce on each one. Then I set out a variety of different toppings and let the kids all make their own pizzas: Ethan goes heavy on black olives, Lila goes for extra cheese, and Mia eats the Chiquita pineapple slices instead of putting them on her pizza.

But here’s the cool part: I realized that when I set out a variety of veggies, they would eat things that they normally wouldn’t eat! They wanted to try everything before putting it on their pizza and they wanted to load their pizza up as much as possible. If I set out a plate of bell peppers for a snack, there’s no way they’d eat them. But as a topping for pizza? They loved them.

Besides the fact that the kids have a blast, making pizza at home is much less expensive than eating out or ordering pizza in…and healthier, too.

Movie Night

We let the kids take turns picking a movie, spread blankets across the carpet, grab some pillows, set out a few healthy snacks and popcorn, and have movie night. The kids love snuggling up with all the lights off, and eating in the living room is a treat. Who knew something so simple could make them so happy!

Or check your city’s local goings-on for movie night in the park. Many cities do this during the summer months, and all movies are family friendly.

Battle of the Board Games

My kids play games on our computer, game consoles, and iPads, but rarely on a good old board game. Although my kids are young, there are some games out there perfect for their age group (like Richard Scarry’s Busytown and Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat Card Game). I like the Richard Scarry board game because there are no losers – it’s a team effort and the team can’t finish until all players are together.

We usually play a few games with snacks and the kids love it. During the summer, we’ll play outside which is also considered a treat.


Get out the sleeping bags and tents and camp right in your own backyard! You can roast marshmallows over a real campfire, fire pit, or the barbeque. Hunt for bugs to see what comes out at night. Tell ghost stories. Look at the stars…just enjoy each other’s company.

I’ll admit that we never actually make it all night – the fun wears off and the kids want to sleep inside. But it’s still fun!

Does your family have a date night? What are some of the things your family enjoys doing to celebrate date night?

Natalie is a SAHM of three children: her 5-year-old son and 3-year-old twin girls. She's also proud to call herself a Charter Chiquita Mom. She writes Mommy of a Monster and Twins, which is all about the day-to-day chaos that comes with chasing three kids in three different directions, usually all at the same time. In her free time, which she rarely has anymore, she reads, writes, cooks, gardens, drinks wine, and works as a freelance writer.
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  1. Avatar of donna

    donna says:
    March 07th at 9:01 am

    Our family has family home evening once a week. We do all sorts of things, but include a gospel lesson as part of our time together as well. There are lots of things we might do:
    1. Visit an elderly or sick person
    2. Create an art project or the home
    3. Drive around to look at Christmas lights
    4. Go to a pumpkin patch and corn maze
    5. Look at beautiful plants at the local conservatory (free)
    6. Attend the children’s art museum on free days
    7. Go to the zoo or aquarium on half price (or free) days
    8. Go watch a puppet show at the Mad Cap Puppet theater
    9. Attend story or craft time at the library (free)
    10. Go to a children’s event at the local bookstore
    11. Work on a project around the house
    12. Decorate for the season or holiday
    13. Movie and homemade pizza night
    14. Make and decorate cookies
    15. Create freezer meals from Some of them we will take to people, like new mothers, those who have lost a loved one, those are sick, etc.
    16. We like to sew, and my little girl (3) likes to help me “measure.” Papa likes to help pick out fabrics and patterns. We sew for ourselves and as gifts.

  2. Great family date night ideas!! Our library has “culture passes” available to check out and we can visit the zoo, museums, etc. for free. We try to do something fun a couple times a month, this weekend we’re headed to the children’s museum :)

  3. Great ideas guys! I’ve totally got to try some of these ideas soon!

  4. Avatar of donna

    donna says:
    March 10th at 8:38 pm

    I forgot going to the park or hiking. Bird watching can also be fun with children, picnics, building snow forts (and making snow cream). Movie nights at the park.