10 must-have items for a cozy fall family night

Make the most of the cooler temperatures.

Family watching movie Credit: Getty Images / Geber86

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It’s fair to say that being in quarantine has forced a lot of parents to be more creative than they normally would. Whether you have teens, babies, or anyone in-between, finding ways to keep them entertained has become a bigger and exhausting task. While summer may have brought a short reprieve to indoor activities, fall is just around the corner, and cooler temperatures mean more time inside. Make your time at home more fun by planning some family nights—and investing in these 10 items to take them to the next level.

1. Get a smart hub

Nest hub
Credit: Nest

A Google Nest helps keep track of everything.

The Nest Hub, powered by Google, is a smart device all families can use. Whether you are looking to make recipes, craft projects, shopping lists, or control your lights and devices, the Nest Hub will make your life much easier at home. You’ll spend less time chasing your kids for the remotes or looking in-between the couches and more time enjoying family time.

Get the Nest Hub at Target for $89.99

2. Get cozy with a weighted blanket

Gravity blanket
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Cuddle up with a book under a cozy blanket.

Our favorite weighted blanket is perfect for cooler nights and brisk fall days. It comes in a variety of colors and fabric assortments so you can personalize your blanket to fit your home décor or your personal style. The weighted blanket is suitable for one, a couple, and now there's even a version made just for kids.

3. Have a movie night

Credit: Cinemood / Disney

Bring the movies home with a portable projector.

If movie theaters are still closed in your area, bring the cinema home with a portable projector. This pocket-sized portable theater can be used inside, outside, and while traveling—when we get to do that again. Not only does it make for an enjoyable theater on the wall or ceiling but it also comes pre-packaged with entertainment bundles and apps. Don't worry if you are somewhere where there is no internet—you can upload a few shows and store them to watch later.

Get a Cinemood Projector on Amazon for $349.95

4. Make it a dance party

dance party
Credit: Getty Images / RainStar

Turn your living room into a dance club with a portable speaker.

If a family dance party is on your social calendar, make it a true experience with a portable speaker with DJ-quality sound. The JBL Flip 5 is Bluetooth-compatible, has a long battery life, and can fill your entire room with quality sound. It’s also conveniently designed to place anywhere in your home without taking up too much space.

Get the JBL Flip 5 speaker on Amazon for $119.95

5. Cook up family fun

Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Let the kids do the cooking.

Shorter days and cooler nights are a great reason to get back to the kitchen. Make it a fun activity for the whole family with a cooking kit designed just for kids. Eat2explore kits deliver delicious international recipes right to your door—and teaches kids valuable kitchen lessons, too.

Sign up for eat2explore

6. Encourage reading

Owl Crate Jr.
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Why not plan a night for reading?

If you're in need of a quiet, less chaotic evening activity, start a tradition of reading night. Sign every family member up for an appropriate book subscription service, and dedicate a night to everyone indulging in their new books. Kids who are too young to read independently may enjoy listening to audiobooks through Audible.

7. Make your own ice cream

ice cream maker
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Everyone will love making their own ice cream.

Nothing beats making your own ice cream and yogurt—especially if you use our favorite ice cream maker. Kids will love inventing their own wacky flavors, and parents will love how easy it is to use. This ice cream maker comes with a simple recipe book, and you'll love having the ability to make your own ice cream and yogurt whenever you feel like it.

Get the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker on Amazon for $69.95

8. Have a game night

Credit: Getty Images / fizkes

Game night goes digital with Jackbox.

Sure, board games are always fun, but if you're looking to try something different, go digital with Jackbox Games. The best thing about Jackbox—other than the fact that they're available for almost any device—is that you can allow other friends and family to play remotely. This is also a good social activity for any family members who miss being able to hang out with their friends in person.

Get Jackbox Games

9. Go old-school

Family game night
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Board games are always a good idea.

If you want to less screen time and more face-to-face interaction, board games are the way to go. Ravensburger recently launched its Back to the Future: Dice Through Time board games but they have games for all ages as well. Not really into board games? That’s OK, too as Ravensburger has a number of puzzles, science kits and arts and crafts to make your movie night filled with fun.

Get Back to the Future: Dice Through Time at Target for $29.99

10. Get crafty

Scratch art
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Get crafty with an art kit.

For a fall activity that's out of the ordinary, plan a craft night. If you've got a Cricut machine, why not make the family some specialized designs for a future movie night? You can create small knick-knacks like popcorn boxes, coasters and your own family movie tickets on Cricut Design Space—and they are beginner-friendly.

If you prefer crafting with less commitment, sign up for a craft box that the whole family can enjoy. Paletteful Packs sends age-appropriate art supplies and projects right to your door so kids—and their parents—can learn new techniques and create beautiful keepsakes.

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