Weekends matter to me a lot (I wrote a whole post here with tips for having better weekends) and I want to make the most of that time with my family.
I like the weekends to feel special, relaxed, and delightful.
And one of my favorite ways to do that is to kick off the weekend on Friday so that we go into the weekend strong.
It’s also nice to have something that helps you make the transition from weekday life to weekend life, in the same way you might have an evening routine to help you wind down for the night or a morning routine to help you prepare for the day ahead.
Our girls have an early-release day every Friday, so we generally start the weekend a little earlier than we might otherwise.
In the winter, we like to get a few hours of skiing in on Friday afternoons and when the weather is nicer, I like to take the girls on a Friday adventure. That helps me disconnect from work and move into weekend mode (if we stay home, it’s so tempting to go do just ONE more thing on my laptop or be glued to my phone finishing things up) and gives us great connection time going into the weekend.
And then we almost always have homemade pizza and movie night on Friday night.
I asked on Instagram about other fun ways to kick off a fun Friday afternoon or evening, and there were so many great suggestions!
25+ Ways to Kick Off a Fun Friday
- Get a treat or snack after school on Friday. I loved hearing from families that stopped at 7-Eleven to get a slurpee every Friday after school or made a big bowl of popcorn. This is such an easy way to make Friday fun!
- Have a family game night. This was one of the most popular suggestions. Whether you play the same games each week or try out new games, this is a simple at-home kick off to the weekend! (Some of our favorite games the whole family can play here).
- Host Cookie Fridays for neighborhood kids. I LOVE this idea and plan to steal it in the spring once ski season is over! What a simple fun way to get to know your kids’ friends and make your house a gathering spot. And invite the parents to join too if you want more adult interaction in your life. (Don’t want the house a mess? Keep it outside in the front or backyard).
- Have a fun “happy hour” with special drinks. My girls would LOVE this. Pinterest is full of kid-friendly drinks.
- Have a weekend cheer to kick off Friday. Someone said their family always shouts “It’s the Freaking Weekend” when dad walks in the door after work on Friday evening. How fun is that?
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour! You know I’m ALL ABOUT this way of kicking off the weekend – you’ll be well-rested and ready to roll on Saturday morning, instead of feeling exhausted. I always say to myself “going to bed early on the weekend is a special treat.”
- Normal bedtime goes out the window and let everyone stay up late. On the flip side, it might feel extra special to let everyone stay up late (one IG reader said, “We did this growing up and it was my favorite thing!”).
- Go to the gym. I loved this idea – she said, “Our kids love the play area and we get a little time just the two of us.” What a great way to make Friday fun for the whole family.
- Drive Thru Friday Dinners. This was another popular suggestion. Some families rotate who picks the fast food restaurant each week while others are willing to hit up several fast food joints so everyone gets exactly what they want.
- Friday Tea Time. I love this idea of setting a special table and having a Friday afternoon snack together while you read books.
- Take a Friday Deep Breath. One mom said, “when I get home on Fridays my 16yo daughter and I look at each other and inhale and exhale.” So simple and such a nice way to ring in the weekend together.
- Get chores and house cleaning done on Friday so the rest of the weekend is free. This might not exactly count as kicking off the weekend in a FUN way, but it’s a great way to make sure your Saturdays and Sundays stay free for the things you really want to be doing.
- Friday Date Night. There were lots of votes for this one. Some families have cousins get together to play while the adults go out for a date night and other families have their kids eat something simple that they love at home like ramen or mac and cheese!
- Set up play dates. Friday afternoons can be a great time for friends to come over and play (and as a parent, I love play dates because my kids are entertained and I can sit down with a book or do my own things!).
- Themed dinner and movie night. Several people suggested this one, including a family that is going through Disney moves chronologically.
- Clean up your space. One mom said, “I clean my own room so I can have a peaceful place to hide on Saturday.”
- Friday Afternoon Alone Time. I love this suggestion: “during the summer Dad takes littles (1&4) on a short hike and mom has alone time.” Sign me up for that, plus they’ll come home nice and worn out!
- Family night at home on Fridays. One parent said, “We say no to all invites so we can protect that time.”
- Family Dance Party. Crank up that music and get dancing. Bonus points if you make a Friday Dance Party playlist – your kids will associate those songs with Friday nights all their life!
- Friday swimming. If you have a pool available to you, this is a great way to burn off some Friday energy (and then come home and get right into pjs!).
- Frozen Fridays. If you want to make dinner easy on Friday, I love this mom’s suggestion to try out different fun freezer meals like the ones from Trader Joe’s!
- Mario Party Family Time. Lots of families said they don’t play video games during the week so breaking them out on Friday afternoon or evening is really special and exciting.
- Go for a hike. Whether it’s a full-on mountain hike or a little wander outside, that fresh air is a great way to disconnect from your devices and reconnect as a family.
- Put away all the school & work things. It’s a good feeling on Friday afternoon to know you won’t need your backpack or laptop or whatever for the next few days. Putting them away is a great signal that the weekend is HERE!
- Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Talk about kicking off Friday fun early! A special breakfast on Friday morning really sets the tone in a fun way!
- Friday reading time. This is one of our family favorites – I pull out a big blanket, everyone gets pillows and blankets and a stack of books and we eat snacks and each read alone. . .together. (I wrote a whole post about it here!).
- Spend Friday afternoon at a playground. I love this one and the first couple of years we lived in Utah, we tried to visit different playgrounds in our area, sometimes on our own and sometimes with friends!
- Breakfast for dinner. This is a simple win for the dinner-making parent and usually a huge win for kids who probably will love pancakes or oatmeal or scrambled eggs and toast for dinner.
Any other fun Friday suggestions? I’d love to hear!
I just made a Friday specific song playlist thanks to these ideas! So fun! Who knew so many songs talked about fridays? Look out weekend, Friday I’m in love, Friday is forever, Friday…. Super fun. Thanks for the ideas.
Janssen Bradshaw says
Ooh, I love this!
Magdalena Vinson says
Where I went to college, tea was served in each house/dorm living room at 4pm on Fridays. The kitchen staff bake special treats and as many of the residents of each house as possible gather together for tea, snacks, and conversation together. Professors make sure Friday classes and labs end before 4 if at all possible. It was always a lovely way to unwind and start off the weekend.
Janssen Bradshaw says
Whoa, this is amazing!