July 14

Summer Nights For the Family in Plano, TX

Summer is a great time to add some extra fun to your routine. Gather everybody and try something different out on the town or relax from the comfort of your own home. We’ve compiled a fun list of summer night ideas for families in Plano, Texas. 

Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Backyard Movie Night | Summer Night Ideas in Plano, TX

Chairs and Screen for Movie Night by Nan Palmero is licensed with CC BY 2.0

Borrow or buy an outdoor projector and screen to watch movies under the big open sky. Or make your own screen with a drop cloth and PVC pipe. Pick a family favorite, then invite neighbors and friends to bring their blankets and relax in your backyard. Pop popcorn and pour fizzy sodas over a scoop of vanilla ice cream as you sit back and enjoy the film. 

Consider giving your legs and back a break with an intermission. Dial the fun up a notch with movie trivia with prizes, like boxes of movie candy, as you take a break from the screen. Offer snacks throughout the viewing at a refreshment stand like a folding table or a big plastic bin.

Swim Across the Texas Pool

Cool off from a long hot day in a twilight swim at the Texas Pool, a 168,000-gallon swimming destination in the shape of the Lone Star State. Open since 1961, this historic landmark is now maintained as a non-profit organization with generous support from Plano residents and volunteers. Bring the family to this slice of Plano history to paddle around and feel the water. The pool stays open until 8:00 every night of the week, except Sundays, throughout the summer months. Purchase a membership for the family for $225 or daily passes for $10 per swimmer. 

Enjoy Bowling and More at Pinstack

Families with older kids can enjoy a night out at Pinstack. Activities here include bowling, video games, two-level laser tag, bumper cars, and giant foosball tables. Take a snack break with a shareable 32-ounce stacked shake. Taste fun flavors like the Majestic Unicorn topped with a puff of cotton candy and a rainbow lollipop stick. We also recommend the Death by Chocolate, complete with a chunk of brownie emerging from a swath of whipped cream. 

Reserve one of Pinstact’s modern lanes before you go on Friday through Sunday nights. Alternatively, you could visit during a non-peak time Monday through Thursday for a discounted fee. All lanes offer food service, so you can order meals and drinks as you play. 

Do a Donut and Board Game Night

Pick your favorite donut shop and take a drive to grab one (or two) for everybody in the family. This is a special night, so treat yourself to the best flavors topped with sprinkles, icing, or a dusting of powdered sugar. Once you have your box of sweet treasures, head home for a game night. Enjoy your donuts as you play board games. Give every family member a chance to choose a game or put ideas into a cup and pull out slips of paper to decide what to play until it’s time for bed. 

Plan a Backyard Carnival

A carnival you design in your own backyard is a great way to have fun in the summer. Grill hot dogs and break out the cotton candy. Create your own backyard games, like ring toss with hula hoops and giant tic-tac-toe with foam pool noodles and bean bags. Plan silly fun like bobbing for donuts on a string or racing to see who can roll an orange across the yard first with their nose. String up lights to make your backyard festive, and light a fire in the firepit so you can roast s’mores after playing games together. 

Make an Ice Cream Buffet

Treat your family to a night of sweet indulgence with a make-your-own ice cream buffet. Grab a few tubs of your favorite flavors and scoop it up. Don’t forget to put out the toppings so the kids can help themselves. Try sprinkles, whipped cream, cherries, chocolate chips, nuts, and sauces like chocolate and caramel. Pair it with a movie, game, or even a look back through old photo books. 

Go on a Scavenger Hunt 

Scavenger hunts are a great way to get the family working together while having fun. Go on an adventure with a list of things to see as you take a road trip around town, or make a nature-themed hunt for walking around your neighborhood or a local park. 

Another fun idea is to hide glowsticks inside and outside of your house. Have the kids wait in their rooms for a few minutes, then crack and hide the glowsticks in your backyard or throughout your home. Turn off the lights and let the family loose. Make a game out of it by assigning everyone a color. Whoever finds all their colored glowsticks first wins. Maybe they can eat first in the ice cream buffet.

Gaze at the Stars

You don’t have to go far to view the galaxy. Just head outside, roll out a blanket and look up. Download an app that identifies the constellations to learn a little about the skies above your backyard. If you have a telescope, research when you can view certain celestial events, like planets orbiting closer to the earth, or determine the moon’s current phase. 

Investigate when meteor showers appear in your area so you can plan your night around the shower. You may even need to roll out of bed in the middle of the night to catch the best viewing time with the family.

Try an Escape Room

Test your family’s endurance and teamwork with a visit to an escape room, like Red Door or North Texas Escape Rooms Plano. Family-friendly themed rooms offer you the chance to uncover clues and work together to escape your environment. You may surprise each other with your crafty ideas and learn more about how each family member thinks as you investigate and scrutinize even the most minor details in the room. Whether you make it in the 60 minutes or are still looking for that last clue, you’ll leave with memories and a story to tell. 

We hope you make some memories with your family this summer using some of the suggestions on our list. Contact us if you have a great idea that didn’t make the blog. We’d love to hear from you. 


Family Activities, PLano, Summer Nights

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