50 Family Activities That Don't Involve Screens

Published: January 11, 2018

For many of us, back to school means back to the after-school rush—getting off work, making sure homework is done, running around to after school activities. Many parents are often rushing off to another job or a late shift. Somewhere in the middle of it all you try to fit in dinner. When you actually get some down time, you just want to curl up on the couch with Netflix or YouTube, and everyone else in the family has their own screens to curl up with. Does this sound like a familiar evening at home?

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some free time on your screens, but it doesn’t exactly encourage family bonding. One way to overcome the screen habit is to set aside family time without screens, at least once a week, like Sunday afternoons.

We’ve put together this list of 50 family activities that don’t involve screens to get you inspired!

  1. Throw a family dance party
  2. Make a piñata and fill it with candy and prizes
  3. Take a family bike ride (or rollerblade, scooters, skate boards, etc)
  4. Walk the dog
  5. Plan a family garden
  6. Invite friends for a dress-up dinner party
  7. Board game night
  8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  9. Craft & DIY night
  10. Make (and fly) a kite on a windy day
  11. Pack a picnic to take to the park
  12. Sunday drive to watch a sunset
  13. Visit a museum (look for free days)
  14. Cooking class in the kitchen! Teach kids how to make their favorite dish
  15. Make a bunch of friendship bracelets for gifts
  16. Take the whole family to play mini golf
  17. Plan a dream vacation, even if you don’t think you could afford it
  18. Make a family budget for the dream vacation
  19. Check out graphic novels from the library to read together
  20. Stage a backyard play with neighborhood kids
  21. Host a children’s storytime for your neighborhood, bust open the pinata at the end
  22. Make different kinds of Slime!
  23. Volunteer at the animal shelter to walk or pet dogs
  24. Listen to an audiobook together as part of bedtime
  25. Try a new restaurant in town
  26. Make Christmas gifts or cards
  27. Create your Family Tree or a family photo album
  28. Bake cookies or a fancy cake
  29. Play a card game or make your own Memory game
  30. Make sidewalk chalk portraits of the family
  31. Get friends together to play kickball or frisbee at the park
  32. Budget class! Teach kids how to grocery shop on a budget
  33. Make your own personal pizza night
  34. Make your own fidget spinners out of paper
  35. Visit a nearby attraction that you’ve never been to before
  36. Clean out your closets and donate clothes/toys
  37. Ask a photographer friend to do a silly family photo shoot
  38. Have a water balloon fight on a hot day
  39. Make a fancy breakfast on the weekend
  40. Visit one of Indianapolis' best farmer’s markets
  41. Make rock candy and package them as gifts for friends
  42. Create a nature scavenger hunt in your backyard
  43. Get your favorite book/magazine to read together in the same room
  44. Cook ahead for the week! Everyone gets a job and meals are ready for the week
  45. Have a family meeting: update family rules, chores, allowance, and responsibilities
  46. Play 20 questions or one of these silly group games
  47. Redecorate or rearrange a room in the house
  48. Music night: play instruments, write songs, use noisemakers, play your favorite songs
  49. Duckpin bowling night!
  50. Organize a family game of basketball at the park or gym

We hope these ideas inspire you to try something new and enjoy the moments you have with your children! Making new, healthy habits can be difficult as a parent. If you feel like you could use extra support, let us know! We have parenting education classes to help.