When you are a parent, the term "TGIF" takes on a whole new meaning. In your pre-kid days, Friday nights were likely spent out on the town with friends. After all, back then you could sleep in on Saturday mornings.
Once kids enter the picture, Friday nights are less about late-night parties and more about end-of-the-week exhaustion. By the time Friday evening rolls around, most families are ready for a break from the busy weekday routine.
Jen Dixon, a Chicago mom of two, instituted "family nights" on Friday evenings and it has become a treasured weekly ritual.
"When we announced that we were going to be devoting Friday nights to family time, my girls were thrilled," Dixon says.
Family Friday Nights aren't just a good idea for kids-all members of the family will have fun.
"This time allows me to be 100 percent present for my girls," Dixon says. "I love the funny stories they tell about their week and I've also re-learned how to play many of the childhood games I loved. I look forward to it as much as they do."
Sometimes take-out pizza and any old movie will do when it comes to Family Friday Nights. However, if you are in the mood to create a themed night of food and activities, click through the recipe and activity suggestions below to inspire your planning.
Instill some hometown pride in your little Chicagoans by
devoting family night to our great city.
What to eat: Deep dish pizza is obviously an iconic Chicago dish-but it is also packed with fat and calories. Introduce your family to this healthy take on a local favorite.
What to do: The options for Chicago-related board games are endless. Try Chicago-opoly or Chicago Bears Yahtzee. Check out Look Out Chicago: Here I Come on DVD (store.lookoutworldhereicome.com) for a local tour that little ones will appreciate. If you haven't introduced your older kids to the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (and the best city tour ever), now is the time.