Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

When you have young children, it’s not always easy to organize nights out so that you can take off your ‘mom’ hat and be your own person for a few hours. If you’re lucky to have grandparents nearby, you may be more flexible in the number of evenings you can go out. If it is tough to get away, you can still muster up some ideas for a night in with your friends by getting them to come over to you now and then.

If you have a group of girlfriends who all like to get together you could even have a rotating system, where you each play host for a ‘girls’ night in.’ Let the kids come and play on their own, or ask spouses to watch the kids, to save money and the hassle of hiring a babysitter.

As for how you all spend the evening, there are plenty of different ways to have fun. Here are just a few ideas for a night in:

Ideas For A Night In

Plan a games night- online bingo anyone?

You may decide to play an easy and fun game such as online bingo, where each of you signs into the same bingo site so that you can all join in the same games. Most bingo sites such as 32red and 123 Bingo offer a 24/7 schedule, so you can start playing at any time. Visit 32redbingo.com and you’ll see that the games cost very little to play, so even if you play for the whole evening, you won’t have to spend much at all. And who knows, you may get a win and end up with more than you started in your account.

On the other hand you might decide to go traditional and get out some favorite board games such as Balderdash or
Pictionary. With a few glasses of wine, these games can offer plenty of laughs for a group of friends.

Try DIY Karaoke

You don’t need to go to the bother and expense of hiring a karaoke machine – all you need is YouTube, where you’ll
find plenty of songs in instrumental version with the lyrics printed along the bottom. Pick your favorite artist and have a sing-a-long with your friends. If anyone wants to sit out the singing, she can always be the judge to your at-home talent contest!

Re-live your youth with some teen movies

Remember when you were swooning over Tom Cruise, River Phoenix, Christian Slater or Heath Ledger? Take a trip down memory lane and stream the movies you all loved as teens, before you grew up, got married and had kids.
You’ll have a good time reminiscing while you watch all those coming-of-age movies second time around.

Host a potluck.

Everyone loves to eat, but not everyone would like to take on the responsibility for cooking for a big group of people. Instead of hosting a dinner party, host a potluck where everyone brings a dish or two and you all dig in. Not only will it make life easy for the hostess; you’ll probably all want to do some recipe swaps at the end of the night too.

Of course, these are just a few ways you could enjoy a cheap and cheerful night in. The important thing isn’t what you do, it’s that you all make time to spend with each other now and then – friendships matter and they need a little nurturing to keep them strong!

Julie Harrison is a freelance writer and mum of two from the UK . She’s always looking for ways to find a little ‘me time’ (which isn’t always easy with two kids in tow!) When she has a few minutes to herself she loves getting stuck into a good book or relaxing with a couple of glasses of wine.

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Category: Family Free Time

Tags: free time