Five Family Get Togethers That Break the Silence Not the Bank

Get the family away from electronic seclusion with fun, easy and inexpensive activities. Create memories together that will last a lifetime. 

In today’s electronic filled world, often family get-togethers aren’t so much about togetherness. Physically togethermaybe. But as you scan around a room most everyone is secluded in their own little cyber world. Adults and teens staring at their phones while the younger kids are on some sort of electronic tablet. No interaction. No memories being made. It’s really quite sad that precious family time will become nothing but a blur. Aside from removing the batteries and chargers...there are ways to regain interaction and learn how to laugh together again! 


A few short decades ago many families would get together for supper and the kids actually got excited about it. Families that had a freezer made their favorite flavor of homemade ice cream for a special night. Those without a freezer brought a homemade cake. Everything must be homemade with no sparkle stealing store bought exceptions.

This fun event can be done on a smaller scale depending on the size of your family. If it’s just mom, dad and the a mini version. Whether it consists of grown-up kids with their own families or a full-blown family reunion...this is an amazing and delicious memory maker! And best of all, inexpensive! Gather together at a local park for lots of free entertainment for the kids as well. 


A Japanese experience combined with family interaction is summed up in one word...yakitori. All you need is a grill, (charcoal preferred) thinly sliced chicken and wooden skewers. If you’re not a chicken fan you can go with beef instead. Putting the meats on the skewers ahead of time and boiling them in a large pot of water makes the grilling easier.

Brush with Soy Vay teriyaki sauce and let your grill master oversee the hot coals. There’s nothing like the smell coming from a grill while hanging out with family. Everyone can eat at their own pace. If you're outside, there are no worries of spills. Have a trash bag handy for the used sticks and an easy cleanup. Throw in a game of corn hole and enjoy the laughs with a simple, low stress/ low-cost time together. 


Exchange boring for realistic when it comes to movie nights. First, take a vote to find out what everyone would like to watch. You can even watch several films to make it a movie marathon.

Many stores such as Walmart, The Dollar Tree and most major grocery stores have traditional boxes of movie candy to make your own mini concession stand. Nostalgic popcorn boxes are also available to add to the theater feel. In the comfort of your home, you can have several movies, unlimited admissions, candy and popcorn for less than two tickets cost at the theater. 


Almost anyone will break away from bench warming boredom when you throw in a little friendly competition. A $2.00-$3.00 investment for a couple of plastic bats and balls make for a great game of whiffle ball. Cut a cardboard box into squares for bases and you’re ready to hit the field.

Most communities have free baseball fields open to the public! All ages will be safe with the soft plastic gear. Take them out to the ball game with an inexpensive Styrofoam cooler of cold bottled waters. Buy some peanuts and cracker jacks and they won’t ever want to go the non-interaction games! 

Campfires and S’more 

Are you ready for s’more? An escape from the usual hypnotic seclusion and a time of laid-back relaxation is good for mind, body and communication. A simple campfire is a cozy and great way to unwind. Clear a spot and surround it with some old bricks or rocks. Throw some wood in and you have an instant atmosphere. Save old wood scraps or use leftover winter firewood.

While you’re gazing into the eyes of your loved ones by the glow of the fire, make it even better with the nostalgia of s’mores. A less messy method is to assemble them first. For each, use two graham crackers, a piece of chocolate and a big marshmallow. Next, wrap them in foil. Finally, place them over the fire on an inexpensive grill grate for a minute or so to melt the chocolate and make the marshmallow nice and gooey. Now just sit back and enjoy making real memories instead of virtual ones. 

Related Story: 10 Free Things to Do With Your Kids

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