Creative Dining Experiences

Family nights are opportunities for families to put all other commitments aside and have some light-hearted fun. Start with the meal. Turn off all technology, phones, and TV so that there are no interruptions.

Here are some ideas. Try one a month.

  1. Reverse night: Start with dessert. You can even wear your clothes backwards to the table.
  2. Power Outage Dinner: After getting dinner ready, turn out all the lights (or better yet, flip the breaker), set out candles and have a candlelight dinner.
  3. Cooperative Meal: Everyone plans, shops for and prepares this meal together. Even little ones can help by grating the cheese, stirring the pot, etc.
  4. Favourite Food Night: Everyone chooses his/her favourite food to eat and even help prepare– a real smorgasbord.
  5. Pajama Dinner night: Everyone wears his/her PJs to dinner.
  6. Progressive Dinner: This dinner moves from room to room. Start with salad in the kitchen, main course in front of the fireplace and dessert?????
  7. Travel Around the World: Introduce young children to a new culture by serving the food from that culture followed by a story, game or movie from that culture.
  8. Indoor Picnic: Spread the picnic blanket in the family room or living room.
  9. *Nacho Pull: Make up a big tray of nachos loaded with yummy (and yes, some healthy) toppings. Put the tray in the centre of the table and enjoy. Sometimes your nacho ends up connected to someone else’s and you have a cheese tug and laughter!
  10. Colour Theme Dinner: Green Pea Soup on St. Patricks’s Day, Tomato Soup for Valentine’s Day, Strawberry Shortcake for Canada Day but it doesn’t have to be for an occasion. Any night can be a colour night. Clothes can be matched to the colour of the meal.
  11. Construct a fort together with pillows and blankets and have your meal in there.
  12. Pitch the tent in the family room for a camp-style meal in the tent. These themes can be expanded or condensed depending on the ages of your children. Have fun with it and if you have any other creative ideas feel free to share them with Johanna.


* For a healthier version, you can use Multigrain tortilla chips. Mozzarella cheese is a lower fat cheese that can be mixed with the cheddar.