Our house loves Family Fun Night, but after so many weeks we run out of ideas to make it special. Recently we fell into a serious movie-and-pizza routine and decided it was time to mix it up.
Just because it may still be cold outside doesn’t mean you have to plan the same boring inside activities. Here are three great ideas to enjoy this spring with your family.
1. Be a tourist in your own town
Seeing the sights isn’t an activity that should be done only on vacation. Yakima is a beautiful city, and I think people who live here sometimes forget how much we have to offer. On a warm afternoon, arm yourself with Yakima brochures and set out to explore. Take nature in at Yakima Area Arboretum, feed the ducks at Randall Park and explore the downtown sculptures that showcase what is so special about our community.
2. Pizza contest
Cooking is one of my family’s favorite things to do together. My son is always more excited to eat the food if he had a hand in making it. Instead of just making dinner together, have a pizza-making contest. Set out a variety of ingredients and take turns making your own mini pizzas. After baking them have a taste test and pick the best pizza. The winner gets to pick a movie to watch after dinner.
3. Camp out in the living room
It’s too cold outside to camp with young children, but that doesn’t have to stop you from having all the fun that camping brings. Have a picnic in your living room using a blanket and serve barbecue food like hamburgers and hot dogs. You can even make s’mores by layering the graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows on a cookie sheet and baking for five minutes or until gooey. After a campfire dinner you can build a blanket fort or even set up your tent in the living room. Fill it with comfy blankets and spend the night playing board games and telling stories in your pajamas.
PLUS: Cheap Date Night!
Family budgets are not the only thing suffering from the recent recession. After having a baby recently, my husband and I found that all we had time for usually was dinner. Yet — with rising food costs — finding extra money for a night out seems impossible. Making time together as a couple is very important to the two of us, so we accepted the challenge of finding ways to save on our monthly dinner date.
What we found was surprising. After visiting our favorite restaurants’ websites, we noticed many offer free meals just for signing up for their rewards program. With just a little extra planning, we were able to go out for a three-course dinner and not spend a dime.
Since you usually have to let a rewards account activate over a 24-hour period, it’s a good idea to plan out your date the night before. To make your date night even more fun, do a progressive dinner. Have each course at a different restaurant and take advantage of all the different places that offer free food. First, visit each restaurant’s website and sign up for an account. After validating your account, find the free meal coupons, print them out or have your phone number ready for the server. Make sure that you do this for both you and your spouse, so that you both get the free offer. Some of the offers might be redeemable for only one person on the tab.
For your appetizer, Pizza Hut (pizzahut.com) offers free stuffed “pizza rollers” when you sign up to receive the company’s emails. For the main course, Red Robin (redrobin.com) serves a free burger and Black Angus (blackangus.com) offers a free steak dinner. Also, remember to save some room for dessert. Shari’s (sharis.com) offers a free slice of pie, and Black Angus also serves a free dessert.