There is just something wonderful about the summer time! I have such wonderful memories of chasing the ice cream truck, visiting with relatives and sitting out on their front porch while we all got flavored snow cones or having our family vacation on the beach. The familiar smells, the warm weather, and even the music that played all bring back wonderful memories. I want to create those times for my kids and having family nights is a wonderful way to do that.
We usually spend Saturday’s doing family things, sometimes it is work and sometimes it’s play. However at least once a month (usually on a Friday night) we have a special family night where mom and dad spend quality time with the kids doing something fun! We don’t have a lot of money so it is usually a frugal thing. I thought I would share some our favorite summer family nights, maybe you could get an idea for your family time.
1. Watching Airplanes– If you live near an airport many areas have special places where you can watch airplanes take off and land. We have one of these not too far away since 9/11 you can’t get as close as you used to be able to but there is usually some spot you can watch from. Take a carry out dinner and watch the planes, in our area, you can even take lawn chairs to sit outside your car.
2. Park-Almost everyone has a park near and if you can go to one that has trails or game places (like basketball), sandboxes, etc even better. You can watch your kids play and then go for a nature walk (we have a beautiful lake at one of our parks) Just recently my daughter and hubby built a great sandcastle together (was so disappointed we forgot the camera)
3. Pool party – if you are blessed to have a pool, even a kiddie pool can be fun. You can do so many things around a pool theme, grill out hot dogs, smores and have a blast swimming into the evening together. You can also get together with a friend who has a pool and both of you have family nights together. Water balloons, squirt guns, and slip n slides can be great too! Where there is water there is fun with kids for sure!
4. Nature Walks – -you can do this around your neighborhood or like I said above, at a park or anywhere you can watch nature. My kids love to see how many insects, and animals we see. We just talked about the beauty of a honeysuckle recently. Kids love to learn about nature.
5. Local events, check out the newspaper and local news website to find great events happening around your area. There are hot air balloon events, festivals, and many other things (many are free) to take your family to, these make GREAT family nights!
6. Your local carnival-these can be SO much fun. My daughter wanted to go to a local carnival last year in a shopping center, honestly, I thought it would be hokie and not really for us, I was WRONG! We had such a great time, just keep in mind they can get expensive. I put a limit on the kids right off, a few rides, they may get to pick 1 or 2 games each and then one snack. If you don’t place a limit, it will be expensive!
7. City Fair-Does your city have a fair? There is so many things to see there, animals, ribbon events, and crafts.
8. Car shows-We have one son who LOVES cars so it is fun to take him to car shows, our city has a hot rod night every Thursday in our shopping center. Totally free!
9. Fishing (we have not done this enough) but this can be a lot of fun, just sitting around enjoying each other’s company and fishing. It is a great way to have great quality time with your kids with conversations and if you’re not into eating the fish you can throw them back.
10. Camping- Camping is not only for long weekends away from home (although it can be fun) You can set up a tent right in your back yard. Watch the stars together and have a blast!
We try to let each child take turns so even though one child may not like every family night as much as some everyone gets a turn for their interest. I do find that even if it is not an interest my kids always have fun when mom and dad unplug from the computer and work and housework and just spend quality time with them!
A family night doesn’t have to be expensive, even if you only do one a month your kids will have incredible memories of them! Kids don’t care about how much money you have to spend, they just love spending quality time with mom and dad!
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