After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy for the winter blues to quickly set in. Spring break is all too far away and it gets dark so early. I find that taking time to unwind and connect with those around you is the best way to kick start 2012. Turning your focus to doing something together as a family and with friends is a great way to add a modern twist to the classic family night in.
If you ask me, a party is any get-together that’s filled with food, drink, and lots of fun — and these ideas certainly qualify. Plus, planning one of these parties is a whole lot more enjoyable than planning, say, that kids birthday party or a dinner party for couples. You don’t have to spend time on invitations, costly decorations, or put on your heels.
To get you started, we’ve shared seven of our favorite ways to shake up an ordinary night at home with family. Movie night is an old favorite, but add new flavor to a night on the couch by issuing tickets whenever the kids complete their chores on time and setting up a concession stand with delicious popcorn and a candy “shop” where kids can choose what they want in their bags. Or invite over close family friends for a competition of sports — paddle, bowling, ping pong, even Twister — before sitting down to a spread of chili and cornbread. One of my children’s favorites? The night when they cook for my husband and I. The menu isn’t fancy (we’re talking grilled cheese or spaghetti and meatballs), but they love being in charge of setting the menu and cooking while my husband and I lounge on the couch, cocktails in hand. Here are some more ideas friendly for families of all ages and sizes.