5 Ways to Make Family Game Night More Fun

Family Game Night

Is your Family Game Night feeling a little stale? The kids aren’t that excited about it anymore? Or, do you have a hard time convincing the family to even have a Game Night? Here are 5 ideas to inject a little more fun and creativity into your family’s special evening.

1. Put on a Costume.

Why just play a game when you can play the game in a silly way? For example, if you are playing a pirate game, have everyone wear pirate hats or eye patches. If playing the Snorta animal game, wear an animal mask. Make them out of paper plates before the game begins.

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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Fun Ideas · Family Game Night · Friday Night Fun · Games

5 Easy Family Party Ideas for Labor Day Weekend

We’ve got a long weekend coming up and I’m in the mood to party. Summer always seems to fly by so quick and I feel like we should do one last fun activity to usher Summer out and welcome Fall in! If you feel the same way, here are 5 easy party themes to help you have some fun with friends, family or neighbors this Labor Day weekend.

1. Beach Party – Didn’t get a chance to go to the beach this summer? No problem. Bring the beach to your backyard with this easy party idea.

2. Football Party - While this is more of a fall theme, college football starts this weekend. Invite some friends over for an impromptu kick-off to the season.

3. Neighborhood Firepit Party – Keep it super simple! Set up a firepit on your driveway and invite the neighbors to bring a dish, some drinks, and chairs for some family-friendly fun.

4. Back-to-School Themed Bash – Celebrate the fact that school is back in session. Mari over at Inspiredbyfamilymag.com created a super cute Back-to-School dessert social party. Grab all of her ideas on her site.

5. Pretzel and Beer (or Rootbeer) Party – This party is one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen for a party theme from Deanna and Deanna Moore Designs. It’s sure to be a big hit with both kids and adults.

Have fun this Labor Day weekend! If you aren’t going to throw a casual party, what are your plans for some fun?

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5 Fun, Easy Ways to Entertain Friends, Even if You Hate Entertaining

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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Party Ideas

5 Fun, Easy Ways to Entertain Friends, Even If You Hate Entertaining

My husband and I love to entertain. We enjoying cooking, throwing parties, and spending time with our friends … both with and without kids. Entertaining gives us the motivation to clean up the house once in a blue moon, as well. But, every now and then we get frustrated because it seems like we never get invited to anyone else’s house. We finally asked some of our friends about it. Are we bad guests? Do we smell weird? Do we plug the toilet? Do we bring bad wine?

The majority of them told us, no (phew!), it was because they are intimidated about entertaining people at their house. They want to be hospitable and see friends more often, but they are afraid to invite anyone over. It means they have to clean and they don’t know how to cook a big, fancy meal. While we understand and emphathize with the sentiment, my husband and I need to get out of our house every now and then! We want to socialize with friends … in a different setting. I read all of the time that cocktail parties are popular again, people are coccooning and staying in more, and that intimate gatherings are all the social rage. Really? I also heard a comedian one time do a bit about how Americans spend an obscene amount of money on our houses and then never let anyone see them.

So, I have put together 5 fun and easy ideas on ways to entertain friends (ie. invite us over) at your house, without a lot of hassle. Before we get into the ideas, though, get over the fear of cleaning up your house. As long as there isn’t mold growing out of your guest bathroom toilet, your friends won’t judge you. They just want to spend time with you. Your other parent friends are incredibly forgiving. We have piles of toys, papers and other gear laying around our house just like you do. We are also sleep deprived so we don’t even notice what we are sitting on most days.

1. Soup Recipe Party - Make a soup. Your favorite, fail proof soup recipe. Or your Mom’s recipe. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Then, ask your friends to bring their favorite soup and to bring a copy of the recipe to share. Buy some French bread or corn bread as a side. Buy a ready made salad and some bottles of salad dressing. Throw it in a large bowl. Buy some styrofoam cups. Everyone can then use the styrofoam cups as their soup bowls to take a sample serving of each soup at the party. The styrofoam cups sit on a strong paper plate fairly nicely. Pass out the recipes to all guests. Viola! You have dinner served and you only had to make one soup. (You can also do this with chili. Everyone makes chili differently.)

2. Burger Bar - We have these burger bar parties all summer with our neighbors, friends, and family because it is easy. Get some ready made burger patties and buns. Then, buy some wild toppings and set them out on the counter so people can build their own burger. Pepper jack cheese, white cheddar, blue cheese, and smoked provolone are all good. Add bacon (buy ready made), grilled or raw onions, and even avocado slices. Then add sauces – BBQ, chipotle mayo, steak sauce, and salsa. See what you can find at your grocery store. The only cooking you’ll do is throwing the burgers on the grill. Buy some prepared cole slaw, chips, and brownies. You’re done. Low fuss but maximum impact. You’ll seem like a gourmet cook, when all you did was not burn the burgers.

3. Order In - When we have invited friends over and then were too tired to pull off cooking a big meal, we order in from a favorite restaurant. We usually provide the appetizer and dessert ourselves. You can buy some great prepared ones at Costco. Then, we order in the main meal. It’s less expensive than meeting friends at the restaurant because you’ll save money on the drinks, appetizers, and dessert. Nobody cares whether you cooked the meal or not. It’s all about the getting together.

4. Cocktail or Dessert Party – It’s easier to host a cocktail party or dessert party than to plan and cook a full dinner. So, invite people over after 7:30 p.m. for drinks and/or dessert. Bake a cake or a few different cookies, add coffee, and you’re done. Make or buy 3 or 4 different appetizers, whip up a pitcher of cosmos, and you have a cocktail party. Put out some small napkins and you’ll look like a pro. Prep time and clean-up for these parties is a lot easier than full dinners. It’s also easy to buy great tasting appetizers and desserts, if you don’t want to cook.

5. Parties. They’re not just for dinner anymore – - Host an afternoon tea party or cookie exchange. No dinner necessary, just some light snacks. Have a wine tasting party in the late evening and just provide cheese and crackers. Host a card party and provide nuts, pretzels, chex mix, and brownies on the tables. Invite another family over on Sunday afternoon for an ice cream sundae. Entertaining doesn’t always mean dinner, so be creative with your time and theme.

I hope these ideas have given you the confidence to go pick up the phone and invite someone over. Don’t forget about us. Have any other ideas on simple ways to entertain? We’d love to hear it.

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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Party Ideas

A Most Unique Easter Centerpiece – A Cupcake Topiary

I have been collecting what I think are the best of the best Easter craft and recipe ideas to delight and have fun with your kids. I’ll kick things off with this Easter Cupcake Topiary created by Christy from the Girl Who Ate Everything blog.

Is it a recipe or is it a craft? It’s both! I just loved the idea for showing off your cupcakes in such a unique way. It’s THE perfect centerpiece for Easter or for an upcoming baby shower.

Angry Birds Cake Pops
While I was checking out the recipes on her site, I found this recipe for Angry Bird Cake Pops. Now you can literally feed your obsession. I LOVE it! My kids were so psyched to see this! As she says in the post, it’s a little complicated to make so I’m just going to look at the picture and drool.

If you have a kid-friendly recipe or craft idea for Easter that you’d like us to share, please send it in! We’d love to feature your creativity and if you have a blog site, we’re happy to give a link back.

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Tags: Cooking with the Kids · Entertaining at Home · Family Celebrations · Holiday Celebrations

Throw a Post Spring Break Kids Party

MemorableEntertaining.com logo

Now that Spring Break is over, are you feeling a little down in the dumps? Looking for a reason to organize a little family fun? Here’s a unique party idea that will be a big hit with adults and kids alike. Host a Post Spring Break Party. Invite family and friends over to see pictures and learn about everyone’s Spring Break travel fun. Or, if guests didn’t travel for Spring Break, this is the perfect opportunity to host a “Wish I Went on Spring Break” theme party. This party theme is a great way to entertain the kids and let the adults have some fun sharing or pretending, as well.

Get all of my ideas for food, decorations, games, and even goodie bag gifts in the Post Spring Break Family Party Plan I wrote for my friends at MemorableEntertaining.com. This is a free site, but you do need to register to access the party plans. While you are there, check out all of the kids’ party ideas I have contributed to this wonderful site with recipes, decorating and ideas to make your entertaining memorable. My friend Debra, the site founder, is THE Hostess with the Mostest!

Have fun!

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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Fun Ideas · Family Party Ideas · Kids Parties

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