I don’t know about you, but growing up in my house “Family Fun Night” consisted of card and board games, and usually ended with “Family Fight Night.”
I probably have (know I have) an unhealthy amount of competitiveness. I LOVE TO WIN! Now, put my six family members in a room with a game of monopoly and we end the night with threats of divorce, screams of “you cheated” and only the winner feeling good at the end.
With my own children, I see my most undesirable characteristics rubbing off on them. We’ve tried family fun night with games, but it always ended with someone in tears. As I tried to use the life lessons of “we can’t always win,” and “we need to be happy for our winner,” I really wanted to find something we could all enjoy, and where we all felt like winners.
That is when I came up with Family Mystery Dinner Night.
This idea started with my in-laws doing a Mystery Dinner while on a family vacation. We were given a sheet that said first course, second course, and third course with only numbers 1-12 listed, not food items. Only my mother-in-law knew which food item went with each number.
We, at random, had to choose 4 numbers for each course. This had the entire family (all 20 of us) having a different plate of food for our first, second, and third courses meals. Some had ice cream with a side of mostaccioli, or a bread stick with a piece of apple pie. It was an extremely fun night with tons of laughter and giggles.
When we got home from that vacation, my kids were begging for another Family Mystery Dinner Night.
Wanting to be intentional with family time and trying to create moments my kids would remember, I changed up our family mystery dinner. Instead of prepping and cooking a three-course meal, which sounds exhausting, I blinded folded the kids and had them try different foods.
There is seriously nothing better than watching your kids try something thinking it’s one thing, but really another! We found out that when you blindfold kids, THEY WILL TRY ANYTHING!
We’ve had so much fun trying new and different things over the years. Here are some of our favorite Family Mystery Dinners. . .
Different lunch meat
Do our kids really like turkey the best? All lunch meat feels the same, so this was fun having them guess which was which. We also added a condiment dip test with Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo.
I went to Mariano’s and bought a variety dessert tray. Of course, the kids loved everything that was on there.
Your kids might say they hate shrimp or fish without even trying it first. This gives them the chance to try something before saying they hate it. The key to this is cooking it without showing them the boxes!
cheese curds/fried pickles/mushrooms/cheese sticks/french fries/pizza bites
If you are feeling adventures and frying food on your own, then the possibilities are endless! We’ve tried Oreos vs Kit Kats, two day old frozen pizza and mac and cheese.
This took us two months to complete! Each Sunday night we would have battle of the frozen pizza. I would buy two different brands of pizza and we had to vote on our favorite. My family has decided that Home Run Inn pizza is the winner.
This is a dangerous one! First, my kids found out they love dragon fruit, but it’s so expensive! Second, we also found out that my son is allergic to papaya. It wasn’t anything serious, but he did get hives all over his body.
If you want a good laugh stick to the basics. Lemons/Grapefruits/Limes/Oranges
Remember the Pepsi challenge? Try it with your kids. If you are like me and rarely have pop in the house, this will be a special treat. We added root beer, cream soda, and Dr. Pepper.
There is an unlimited number of food items you can get your children to try! Plus, for a family fun night, you just took care of dinner and your game!
I hope you enjoy these suggestions as much as my family has over the years!