Create a Frugal, Fun Family Night in Only 6 Steps

Are you searching for ways to have fun family nights without spending a fortune or even leaving the house?

I get it. This year’s pandemic has made it tough for my husband and I to keep our kids entertained. Let alone doing it while sticking to our yearly goals (which include sticking to our budget.)

However, we’ve gotten creative and designed fun family nights at home that our kids are totally loving. They’re asking for fun family nights every weekend.

Here’s what we do to have a frugal and fun family night in:

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1. Cook Outside

I’ll tell you upfront, our ideas did require a little bit of investment. However, we thought it wise to make these initial investments because we can use them time and again.

To begin our fun family night, we cook outside. We do this over our DIY fire pit.

If you aren’t super crafty, you can purchase a fire pit. But if you’re good with your hands, you can use our tutorial to build one.

Either way, it’s a wonderful investment that has given us fun times. During our fun family nights, we cook hot dogs over the fire and make s’mores.

We’ve also discovered some fun camping recipes. It’s a fun night and our kids love all the delicious food!

2. Camping in Our Yard

The next step to our fun and frugal family night is camping. We purchased a tent, some sleeping bags, and an air mattress (because my husband and I aren’t as spry as we once were.) 😉

Once we get our tent all set-up, the kids bring games outside and play in and around the tent.

Camping at home is great because even our family pet can be included. It’s a fun night for everyone and is exciting because it’s something different. Yet, it doesn’t cost much money after the initial investment in camping equipment.

3. Outdoor Movie

This part is simple but so fun! We bought a projector (which I use when teaching my co-op classes, too!), hooked it up to our laptop, found a movie on Netflix, we purchased a Bluetooth speaker, and projected the movie on a DIY screen we made.

Check out this bluetooth speaker and projector combo!

The screen is constructed from PVC pipes, zip ties, and a shower curtain. It works great, and the kids pull up their camping chairs to watch the movie outdoors.

For an added bit of fun, we pop popcorn over the fire. It’s a super fun night and costs us virtually nothing.

4. Making Homemade Ice Cream

My kids love homemade ice cream! Our family fun night usually starts in the late afternoon. Ice cream is one of the things we do while it’s still hot outside.

I make ice cream while the kids play. We usually eat dinner later, on these nights, so I let the kids have ice cream early enough that it won’t mess with their dinner.

We choose a delicious ice cream recipe, and they love this special treat on our fun family night!

5. Water Fun

If you have a pool, incorporate it into your family fun nights. We don’t have a pool…yet. We’ve been looking for one, but they seem to be sold out everywhere we look.

This is why my husband has decided to build an inexpensive DIY pool. (Yes, a tutorial will come as soon as we get it built.)

In the meantime, we’ve hooked up sprinklers around our trampoline. It’s a fun way for the kids to stay cool.

If you don’t have a trampoline, hook up the sprinklers and let your kids run through them. You could order a slip and slide as well.

You could even make a slip and slide with a tarp, the water hose, and some dish liquid. Water balloons are another fun way to let your kids have fun outside while staying cool.

6. Outdoor Games

The last thing we do on our fun family night is play outdoor games. This can be as simple as bringing board games or a game of Twister outside.

Or you can fancy things up a bit and create fun DIY outdoor games such as horseshoes, cornhole, or even play with bubbles.

I’ll give you a heads up, you’re going to be tired by the end of this night, but it’s worth it to see your kids have a great time at home with the family.

Even better, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make it happen. I hope you all enjoy this fun and frugal family night idea as much as we do.

Now, start planning your own frugal fun family night and enjoy spending time with your family. 

Need more family fun ideas to do at home? Check out these 32 fun summer activities!

Or if you simply must get away, learn how to take a family vacation without busting your budget!