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Family Fun Night Goes Frugal

Our local school system implemented a “Family Fun Night” throughout the city schools!

No homework was to be assigned from any of the teachers, and the kids were encouraged to do something with the entire family.

So at first, my wife suggested going to eat and then doing something.  Next, I said “well how about going out to a movie”. 


Then we asked our kids what they wanted to do.  

My son wanted us all to do to the park and build a fort in the woods.  By “build a fort” he means a spot in the woods that would be cleared and a few pieces of dead wood be leaned against smaller trees.  So we wouldn’t be building with a hammer and nails per say…  Since it was cooler out by that point in the day, my wife wasn’t so keen on this idea.

My daughter didn’t want to go out at all, she had started playing the WII Petshop video game.


Family Plan

So I suggested sitting down and playing Yahtzee (I knew my wife would like that, besides my kids are too young to play Texas hold-em poker).

In the end, my son convinced everyone to go down in the basement and play a quick game of darts, followed by a crazy game of ping-pong.  We started playing a regular game, but then we started hitting 2 balls at the same time.  It was plain crazy!  There were some hilarious moments where both my son and daughter would end up on the floor crying because they were laughing so hard.

My wife and I had our share of chuckles too.  So I can honestly say that it was a great experience for the entire family.

As the kids went to bed, my son mentioned a few times that this was one of the best Family Fun Nights ever…

The real beauty, was the fact that we all derived value out of the experience and the entire experience was totally free! 

Another win-win!


18 Responses to Family Fun Night Goes Frugal

  1. I love family nights. Quite often we pull out the board games on a Friday night and we have a great time. (Of course, I make sure there is plenty of food available too.)

    Sounds like you had a great night, and what a fantastic idea that the school district had!

    • Yeah, we tried this in the past, but if fell apart on use because my daughter was too little. But now, she’s sharp as a tack, so we’re going to re-evaluate implementing a weekly family game night again 🙂


  2. Awww. That sounds sweet.

    Our kid is just starting to get into board games. We’ve got some very cute ones for preschoolers– much cooler than snakes and ladders.

    • Playing ping-pong was great. It’s what really had everyone rolling. Especially when we had 2 ball going on the table at once!

      Great times, great memories!

  3. That does sound like the best of both worlds. It’s good that your family can have fun without feeling compelled to spend much. I think there is much value in playing games, but I haven’t always felt this way. Thanks for sharing!

    • The funny thing is that both the wife and I were thinking of spending money. But it was the kids that wanted to do the free stuff.

      I guess we (my wife and I) are starting to lose our frugal edge 🙂

    • Hmmm, that’s a pretty good idea. Now that my daughter is 6 and can spell, perhaps our family will do the same at our next family game night meeting. I think we are shooting for mid-week though…

  4. One frugal night for family join a club etc that might charge you fee for the whole yr but you would get many weekends and holidays to spend with a good circle of like minded people.

  5. I don’t think I ever played yahtzee.

    We love building forts in the living room. My kids are 2 and 5, so just about their most favorite thing in the world is the 15 minutes of “naked time” they get at night. I run around and try to put their PJ’s on and they giggle and have safe spots where I can’t get at them like under the dining room table.

    Good Times. I like board games so I look forward to those days.

    • Hehe, I remember the kids creating those forts, and them jumping on couches with the pads off…

      Yahtzee is fun, quick but fun. My son likes physical games more at this age… My daughter holds her own though too. In fact, my daughter won the dart game we created yesterday!

  6. I loved reading this post. It really brought back a lot of good memories, since my parents always found ways of “no-spending” fun for all of us. I hope to keep the tradition alive with my own kids as well.

    • We had just as much fun as if we went somewhere and paid money. My son still says it was the best family night ever…

      It’s good to hear you are doing the same with your kids!