Family Date Night Ideas

Family dates are a great way to show your kids that they are special. The events don’t have to be costly or elaborate, and kids love to get involved in the planning. The point is to set aside time to really listen and be present with your kids. Here are ideas for inexpensive and fun Chicago Family Date Nights (and Days).

dad daughter breakfast date

Start the Day Right Date

Make breakfast a big deal by setting the table with candles and the “good dishes” and serving a four-course meal. Serve fruit juice, oatmeal, eggs with sausage and toast. For “dessert,” how about a sweet ending like cinnamon applesauce or jello.


Treasure Hunt Date

What toys, books, or clothing are your kids craving? Make a list and see what substitutes they can find at the local second-hand resale store. Set a budget and make it a scavenger hunt. You’ll be amazed at some of the fun clothes, toys, games and puzzles that you can find.


Sports for Everyone Date

Put down the electronics, turn off the video and get up and move. Talk a walk. Kick a ball. Build a snowman. Or turn on the music and do silly dances. It doesn’t matter what you do, just moving will keep your hearts pumping and help you sleep better, keeping you healthier and happier.


Movie Marathon Date

When it’s cold and wintry outside, it’s great to snuggle up inside and watch movies all day. Pick out your favorite shows at the library and pop lots of popcorn, then pile up the comfy pillows and watch until your eyes close.

Chicago family painting together date

Tool Time Date

See what you can build together. The local hardware or craft store has inexpensive birdhouse or bughouse kits with pre-cut wood that are easy to assemble and fun to paint. Pull out your hammers and glue, and try your hand at a small project. Who knows, next you might be building your own treehouse!


Cooking Experiments Date

Cooking is a great way to use math skills and learn about chemistry, with measuring and pouring and mixing. You can make cookies or homemade playdough or pancakes, and see how basic ingredients come together to make something completely different. Don’t worry about creating messes, that’s half the fun!

Chicago family crafts

All About Me Date

Looking at pictures of the family is so much fun. Kids love to see how much they’ve grown, and see what other family members have been doing. Find the baby photos or family pictures and put together a collage or album, or make cards to send to other family members. Use old holiday cards or colored napkins to create cut-outs for decorations. All you need is scissors, glue and crayons to make your masterpieces.


Power Outage Date Night

Put away the electronics, grab the flashlights and get creative. How about a game of hide-and-seek in the dark? Turn a bedroom into a fort with blankets and take turns telling ghost stories or your favorite family vacation memories. Create shadow puppets on the walls. See how much fun you can have when you un-plug.


Vicarious Vacations Date

Which places have you always wanted to visit? Take a trip to the library and take a vacation without leaving your home town. Start in the travel section with a picture book to see the tourist spots, then head to the cookbook section to learn about the country’s favorite foods. Next, go to the foreign language section to learn some local vocabulary. You’ll feel like a world traveler in no time.