National Day of Unplugging Family Fun Ideas

Sundown to sundown on March 6-7 marks 2015’s National Day of Unplugging. With technology readily available to us 24/7, we’re constantly checking in and disconnecting from the people we’re actually with in real time. Sometimes we just need to hit the pause button on all that and focus on reconnecting with the real world. (And, hey, I’m just as guilty as the next girl – or guy, as the case may be). So, in honor of this National Day of Unplugging, we’ve compiled a list of family fun ideas for the whole family to enjoy.

Family Fun: Unplugged

Nerf-Gun Wars/Hide-and-Seek - Earlier this year my family discovered the hilarity that Nerf Guns can add to our evenings/days. Playing an adapted version of hide-and-seek is probably our favorite choice.

  • Declare a specific place/space as the home base
  • We play with most of the lights out
  • The person who is "it" counts to 20 while everyone hides - regular ol' hide-and-seek rules
  • Then, while "it" tries to track down the hiders (with the Nerf gun), the hiders bide their time until just the right moment to make a mad dash to home base
  • If you make it to home base without getting hit by a Nerf dart, you're safe; if not, then you're it

Indoor Campout – Whether it's in the form of building forts, actually setting up a little tent, or scattering sleeping bags around the family room. Add blankets, pillows, flashlights, and a joke book (what can I saw, I don’t do scary stories) to your forts and you’re all set.

But if you’re going to have an indoor campout, you still need S’mores, right??

Indoor S’Mores Recipe


  • Box of Graham Crackers
  • Milk Chocolate Bars
  • Bag of Marshmallows


  1. Place four graham squares on a microwavable plate
  2. Top with chocolate and marshmallows
  3. Microwave on high for 15-20 seconds (or until marshmallows puff)
  4. Cover with the other half of your graham squares, pressing lightly together to secure your smooshy goodness
  5. Enjoy!!

Bust out the Board Game – There are few things in life that can beat family game night. A few ideas to get you started…

  • Monopoly is always a solid choice (but it has the potential to suck the entire night away, so if you want a variety pack, maybe go a different direction like…)
  • Board Games: Parcheesi, Sequence (part board game, part card game), LIFE, Trivial Pursuit
  • Dice Games: Yahtzee! (With a stipulation that one must be big and bold whenever a Yahtzee is rolled), Farkle, BIG Trouble (dice/cards)
  • Card Games: UNO (UNO Attack is always a fun option), Skip Bo, Speed, Spoons, Go Fish!, Phase 10
  • Word Games: Scattergories, Scrabble, Boggle, Mad Gab, Catch Phrase (warning: things tend to get loud. The faster the beep, the louder things get.)
  • Unleash your inner artist: Win, Lose, or Draw; Pictionary
  • If you’ve got littles: Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, the Ladybug Game, Operation, Memory, Hungry, Hungry Hippo

To add an element of extra fun (and to cut down on arguments and indecision), have everyone write 1-2 different games on a slip of paper, then put those slips into a jar and everyone gets a turn to draw. Decision making made easy!

Get Outside – If we’re to believe the forecast, we’ve got a beautiful weekend ahead of us; whether you’re heading out and about or you’re keeping things close to home, let’s get outside!

  • Go the park
  • Your Weekend in Billings March 6-8, 2015: Unplugged
  • Go for a walk as a family
  • Shoot some hoops – H-O-R-S-E/P-I-G, Around the World, 1-on-1, 2-on-2, kids vs parents, boys vs girls…
  • Play catch (ooh, Pickle!!!), kick the soccer ball around, wiffle ball game
  • Go old school: Simon Says, Red Light-Green Light, Tag/Freeze Tag, Duck-Duck-Goose
  • Create a Scavenger Hunt

Read-a-Thon – Have your family dig out their favorite books (or head to the library for something new to read) and settle in with some good books. Whether you’re snuggled in and reading to yourselves or reading aloud; get lost in a good book.

  • Fun option: Pull out your favorite Shel Silverstein books of poems, and take turns reciting your favorites aloud. (My personal fave: “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too”).

No matter what you end up doing, what ultimately matters is that you’re spending time reconnecting as a family – leaving the virtual world behind for a time. Have fun!

P.S. This might be the time to get reacquainted with your actual camera…