Dining in (in style)
Since dining out is out right now, turn your home dining area into a fancy restaurant. Get out the nice dishes and glassware and dig out that tablecloth. Add flowers and candles to the table and everyone can get dressed in actual clothing — as opposed to pandemic sweats or jammies.
Decide as a family what kind of “restaurant” you want. A Mexican cantina, a fancy French bistro, an Italian trattoria — pick your favorite. Next, decide who does the cooking. If you have older children, they can prepare a simple meal; check out some great, kid-friendly recipes at Pint-Sized Treasures.
Or, try a role reversal. If Dad usually serves as head chef, let Mom cook, or vice versa. If no one wants to cook, bring in take out, but serve it on your fancy dishes instead of using the to-go containers.
Kids might enjoy playing the role of server by donning an apron and writing down orders on a pad of paper. Younger kiddos can add their touch by coloring place cards or menus, or by helping to decorate the table.
Try cute DIY place cards from Oh Happy Day and free printable menus from Melissa and Doug to make your dining table look even more inviting. Computer-savvy kids can print up a fancy menu or crafty kids and parents can create their own with markers.
Finally, play the same style of pleasant music you'd hear at a French bistro (or whatever theme you choose), and for heaven’s sake, don’t forget the fancy dessert!