Themed Family Dinner Ideas will help you spice up your evening meal and create new memories along the way. There are 15 different dinner theme nights to pick from, so you have a lot of ideas.
Every night we sit down and spend time with our favorite people in the world. Adding themes for family dinners to the nightly routine will give lasting memories that your children can hand down through the generations.
I was watching a YouTube interview with a famous chef and restaurant owner. In the interview, she discussed how important family meals have been throughout history.
Most of our lives are running at full-speed, so she feels that sitting down together as a family and giving the care to create memorable meals through the food and setting is paramount to living a happy life.
I think she had the right idea. Family meals are important, but sometimes their importance becomes lost in our everyday routines.
So I decided to put together some Themed Family Dinner Night Ideas, with a few dinner conversation starters in case you need them.
You can add one or several of these ideas to create a little variety to your evenings.
“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”Ronald Reagan
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Here are the Themed Family Dinner Night Ideas:
1. Around the World Family Dinner Idea
Why settle with the same type of food every night when you can savor the dishes from around the world?
If you decide to make this a themed family dinner weekly tradition, you can feature dishes from one country every week.
You can have some of the ingredients in the recipes as a show-and-tell.
A mini-globe can be the centerpiece of your themed evening. You can show your family where the country is on the map.
Some ideas for Around the World Family Dinner Themes:
An Evening in Paris
Take me to the Caribbean
Flavors of India
A night of Hungary food
Dinner conversation ideas for Around the World:
The themed family dinner conversation can be around the country that your recipes came from.
Discuss what holidays they celebrate, what a day in the life of someone that lives there is like, and things they traditionally do together as a family.
2. Welcome to the 1950’s Dinner Theme Ideas
Take your family back in time to a different era. You can feature a different decade for each themed family dinner night.
Look on the internet for recipes that were served during that period of time and encourage your family members to dress appropriately. You can help the small children pick out their outfits.
If you have any family heirlooms from the decade your featuring, you can bring them to the table as decor.
Dinner conversation ideas for Welcome to the 1950s themed family dinner night:
Talk about how some of the more unusual food dishes that were popular in that era, what different clothing items were popular, and how kids entertained themselves during that decade.
You can also get a list of the top names given to children during that decade and unusual phrases that were popular.
How about playing some music from the era you’re showcasing?
After dinner, you can play games that were favorites during that decade.
3. Mexican Fiesta Night Family Dinner Idea
You might already have Taco Tuesday as a rotating theme for your family dinners, but why not take it up a notch and create a themed family dinner night that everyone will love?
How about wearing a sombrero when you put together your meal and play festive traditional Mexican music in the background?
Each Mexican Fiesta night can feature a different dishes like fajitas, enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, quesadillas, and burritos.
Traditional desserts like flan and deep-fried ice cream would top the evening off in style.
You can go a step further and make homemade salsa, taco seasoning mix, and fajita seasoning mix.
How about teaching the kids how to make tortillas?
For a craft project before the dinner, the kids can help you make a piñata to use as a table centerpiece.
Dinner conversation ideas for Mexican Fiesta themed dinner nights:
Find out how to say all the things on your dinner menu in Spanish and have everyone memorize the words.
Talk about the customs and traditions in Mexico.
4. Chopped – a Spin Off Family Dinner Idea
For this themed dinner night, have each family member go into the pantry or refrigerator and secretly pick out an ingredient.
Everyone reveals their chosen ingredient simultaneously, and the head chef of the night gets to come up with a culinary masterpiece using those ingredients.
This idea will help stretch your creative juices and produce memorable meals that no one will soon forget!
Dinner conversation ideas for Chopped – a Spin-Off themed family dinner:
You can talk about all the ingredients used for the meal.
How the produce is grown, how wheat becomes flour, what it takes to raise healthy chickens for eggs, and how factories can, bottle, and package items at a brisk pace.
Bonus: Set up a factory tour if there’s one available in your area. I’ve been on a soup-making factory tour, chocolate-making tour, and I’ve been at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream facility sampling their flavors.
5. All Our Favorites Family Dinner Idea
This themed family dinner night features nothing but your family’s favorite recipes. From appetizer to dessert, each dish is the best of the best.
You can make this a weekly meal and switch off between family members who pick their favorite items to serve.
My favorite recipe on my blog is the Best Meatloaf Recipe You’ll Ever Have. You can find it here.
How about adding Grandma’s favorite cake or Uncle Jim’s favorite salad to your meal as a reminder of family members unable to be there?
Dinner conversation ideas for All Our Favorites family dinner theme nights:
Have several prompters to ask everyone what their favorite things are. For instance:
What is your favorite family activity?
What is your favorite time of the day? Day of the week?
What was your favorite toy when you were little, and why was it so special?
What’s been your favorite gift so far?
Why do you like winter?
6. Fondue Night Family Dinner Idea
If you’re looking for a cozy themed family dinner night idea, this one is perfect. Fondue dinners were common in 18th century Switzerland.
Winters were harsh, and food was hard to come by. Farmers used what little they had to make meals, and that’s how cheese fondue was born.
The family gathered around the fireplace to share a warm meal. They dipped pieces of bread, meat, and vegetables into a mixture of cheese, garlic, and a little wine to make their small portions go further.
Here’s my recipe for cheese fondue. If you’re looking for creative things to dip in cheese fondue, here’s a list for you to pick from.
Dinner conversation ideas for Fondue themed family dinner night:
You can talk about 18th century Switzerland and its traditions and lifestyle.
Discuss life on the farm and what type of chores the family would partake in, how families would spend their evenings during the harsh winters, and what places you would visit if your family went on a trip to Switzerland.
7. Farmers Market Dinner Theme Ideas
Buying local food is good for your family, right for the community, and good for the farmers who practice sustainability.
Creating a Farmers Market dinner night regularly will not only benefit your family, but it also helps all those lives you touch by spending your money to help support local food suppliers.
Make your meal out of the ingredients you bought from local farms.
A fun idea would be to make a centerpiece made of fresh fruits and vegetables that you will use later in another meal.
Dinner conversation ideas for Farmers Market fun dinner themes:
Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a fun conversation for family members. You can discuss how long it takes for each item to grow until it’s ready to be picked.
You could also talk about how many varieties there are of each item, information about local farms and their practices, and how taking care of our land is important to the environment.
Dinner time would be the perfect time to bring up ideas on what to grow at your home for future meals.
Alice Waters (the chef of Chez Panisse and founder of the Slow Food Movement) talks about how since the beginning of time, we have been eating what’s locally available and what’s in season, taking care of the land, eating around the table with family and friends, and celebrating the harvest.
She went to France when she was 19, and she learned the value of slow food culture.
You always set the table and took pride in making a beautiful place to gather together and share a meal.
One of my favorite things I’ve bought for myself is a Masterclass membership. I primarily bought it for the Alice Waters classes because I’m pretty obsessed with her style of cooking.
What surprised me was how much I’ve gotten from the access to all the other classes. Plus, you’re entire family can learn from their favorite teachers. You can find Alice Waters Masterclass here.
I love the idea of bringing that way of living back. It’s essential to foster gratefulness in our homes for the food we eat, the farmers that grow it, and the nutrition we receive by eating fresh-picked produce.
A farmers market themed family dinner night is good for the body and soul.
9. Under the Sea Theme Dinner Night Ideas
Pick one night of the week to feature seafood. There are so many different ideas for meals that your whole family will love.
Fish and chips, shrimp pasta, clam chowder, miso-glazed salmon, fish tacos, seafood bisque, and crab cakes are just some of the ideas to pick from.
A clear glass bowl filled with shells would make a simple and beautiful table centerpiece for this themed family dinner night. You could also take Mason jars and add some sand and a tealight.
Dinner conversation ideas for Under the Sea dinner night:
It’s amazing that under the water that surrounds our countries is an entirely different world.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to see incredible things under the water in my lifetime.
Learning about this beautiful world as a family is a perfect way to spend an evening.
You can focus on the type of seafood you use in your meal or expand your conversation to the ecosystem that lies below the blue sea.
9. Fireside Supper Themed Dinner Ideas
When I was in my 20’s, I went to my cousin’s house for dinner. It was one of the most amazing dinners of my life that I still remember.
Our food was placed in foil packs and was cooking in the fireplace. My cousin’s wife was busy making homemade pasta as we talked to her, and beautiful music played in the background.
To say they were ahead of their time would be an understatement.
No one I had ever met before knew how to create such a cozy environment around a meal like they did that night.
Even now, 30 years later, you don’t really hear of anyone cooking dinner in their fireplace.
I’ve been watching interviews lately on YouTube with Alice Waters, as I mentioned earlier. She loves to cook her meals in her fireplace.
When someone who was interviewing her came over for breakfast, she prepared an egg in a cast-iron ladle with a little olive oil.
Rustically simple but magical at the same time.
Another fireplace themed family dinner idea is to cook Hobo packs of food in the fireplace.
If you don’t have a wood-burning fireplace at home, you can cook your fireside suppers outdoors in a fire pit for the same type of experience for this themed family dinner night.
Dinner conversation ideas for Fireside Suppers:
There is a product on Amazon that I love. It is a deck of cards with questions to ask your family as a conversation starter. It’s the perfect way to create a lively conversation on a cozy evening at home.
10. Breakfast for Dinner Food Themes
Every once in a while, there’s something wonderful about having breakfast for dinner.
Everyone can come to the dinner table, already dressed in their pajamas, for ultimate comfort.
Pancakes, eggs and bacon, and French toast are just some tasty dishes to serve for this themed family dinner night.
Dinner conversation ideas for Breakfast for Dinner:
You can discuss breakfast choices from around the world.
Children will be amazed to learn that not everyone has the same sense of what the perfect breakfast looks like.
11. Soup and Salad Theme Dinner Night Ideas
I love soup and salad. Put them together, and you have a little slice of heaven, in my opinion.
Winter is the perfect time to dedicate one themed family dinner night a week to a soup and salad meal. You can expand this idea by adding chili and stews to the rotation.
Here’s the recipe for my favorite soup: Rustic Hungarian Mushroom Soup. So yummy!
Small dishes filled with soup toppings to add to your bowls are fun to add to the table. Sour cream, chives, and homemade croutons are just some ideas.
Dinner conversation ideas for Soup and Salad Nights:
You can talk about some of the ingredients in the soup and salad and how they help your body perform at it’s best.
12. A Night of Appetizers Family Dinner Ideas
There’s something about appetizers that makes everything better. Creating a themed family dinner night composed of nothing but appetizers would make your taste buds sing.
Bruschetta, deviled eggs, won tons, egg rolls, grilled vegetable kabobs with dip, chicken wings, onion rings, potato skins, and popcorn shrimp are just some of the ideas to pick from.
Dinner Conversation Ideas for A Night of Appetizers dinner menu themes:
Ask family members to describe wacky appetizer ingredient combinations. The most creative appetizer idea wins a prize.
13. Italian Night Family Dinner Idea
I’m a little obsessed with all things Italian. Why not celebrate the Italian way of life by scheduling an Italian themed family dinner night on your meal rotations?
There’s so many different dishes to pick from that your entire family will love for your themed family dinner night.
A red and white checkered tablecloth will set the stage for your theme. A clear glass jar filled with colored pasta would make an eye-catching centerpiece.
How about hanging an Italian flag before your evening starts? And what would Italian dinner be without That’s Amore playing in the background?
Some ideas for food on your Italian Themed Family Dinner Night are:
Pasta night – spaghetti, fettuccini alfredo, pasta carbonara, pesto pasta, baked ziti, stuffed pasta shells, ravioli,
Italian pot roast
Italian beef sandwiches
Skewers with grape tomatoes, chunks of cheese, and fresh basil. Drizzle a little olive oil and Italian seasoning on the skewers once they are assembled.
Italian sausage and peppers
Italian wedding soup
Dinner Conversation Ideas for Italian Night:
What type of adventures would you like to experience?
14. Flavors of the United States Family Dinner Ideas
Another idea is to have an evening that features the recipes that each state in the United States is famous for because of the ingredients produced there.
Picking one state to feature as your fun dinner ideas for family night will become a learning experience for the entire family.
An example of the state themed dinner nights is picking Vermont as your state for the evening.
Vermont is known for its cheese, maple syrup, and cider donuts.
Your meal could be broccoli cheese soup, side salad with a maple syrup dressing, and cider donuts for dessert.
Dinner Conversation Ideas for Flavors of the United States Night
Do you know Vermont’s state bird? Flower? Animal? Tree?
What are some famous attractions in Vermont? (Here’s a hint…a famous ice cream factory is based there and gives tours!) Yum.
15. Days of the Week Dinner Ideas
Here’s the list for Food Themes for Days of the Week
If you’re looking for theme day menus to try – here are some fun ideas to try.
Monday Dinner Theme Ideas
Mediterranean Monday Themed Dinner Night
The possibilities are endless with this wonderful theme. Mediterranean food is not only tasty, but it’s healthy too!
Greek salads, spanakopita, Baba Ganoush (one of my favorites!), hummus, ratatouille, gyros, Tuscan chicken, falafel, paella, and baklava are all delicious choices.
To learn how to make your own Tzatziki sauce at home, here’s a yummy recipe to try.
Meatless Monday Family Dinner
Monday is the perfect day to try a new vegetarian dish. Beans, grains, rice, and vegetable dishes provide a lot of different ideas for your themed food days.
Movie Monday Family Dinner Night
Pick a movie to watch every Monday night and create a themed meal around the film.
For example, you could pick The Princess Bride, which was set in Ireland. You could research the type of food eaten in the era depicted.
Tuesday Dinner Themed Dinner Night
Taco Tuesday Family Dinner
I love tacos. I bet you do too! I once went to this small Mexican restaurant with an insane amount of tacos to pick from.
Who knew there were so many different ways to make tacos? Every week on Tuesday, why not try a different recipe.
You can even make quick pickled red onions to top your tacos. You can find that recipe here.
Take-Out Tuesday Theme Dinner Night
On Tuesday, mom gets a break and orders take-out. Throw your favorite take-out restaurants in a jar and let the kids pick the lucky winner.
This themed dinner night showcases casseroles or any other dish mixed together and then cooked.
“Tour Du Fridge Tuesday” Night Dinner Theme
One of our Cozy Living Group members coined “tour du fridge Tuesday” and made Tuesday leftover night.
The family pulls out all the leftovers and gobbles them up, so no food items go to waste.
Wednesday Dinner Theme Ideas
It’s the middle of the week and time to add some spice into your meal rotation. Wednesday Family Dinner Night will give everyone something to look forward to eating at home.
Wacky Wednesday Family Dinner
The wackier the meal, the better your children’s memories will take with them into adulthood.
Whether wacky means the type of food or shape the food to resemble things or a combination of food that does not belong together, wacky Wednesday will bring laughter to your family dinner table.
Wildcard Wednesday Family Dinner Idea
Throw different dinner ideas in a jar and leave it up to chance.
Let your kids take turns picking the weekly dinner idea.
Waffle Wednesday Dinner Theme Idea
Whether you make sweet or savory waffles, they are bound to make everyone look forward to this themed dinner night.
Thursday Dinner Themed Dinner Night
Throwback Thursday Family Dinner
Revisit recipes you’ve made in the past that your family loved for your Thursday food theme.
Turkey Thursday Family Dinner
You can substitute your favorite ground beef recipe with ground turkey for this Thursday’s family meal.
Turkey sandwiches and roasted turkey breast would also be a hit.
Tapas Thursday Themed Dinner Nights
Tapas are small plates that would make a perfect themed dinner idea when you’re in the mood to try new recipes.
Friday Dinner Theme Ideas
Fish fry Friday Themed Family Dinner
Who doesn’t love a good fish fry with chips? I know I do.
How about finding the perfect recipe for a batter that your entire family will love. Don’t forget the dipping sauces. Tartar sauce and malt vinegar are just some ideas.
Fork-Free Friday Family Dinner
On this dinner night, everyone has ideas for meals you can eat with your hands or a spoon. No fork needed!
Fair Food Friday Theme Dinner Idea
Every fair has its own specialty foods. Think of food ideas that are on sticks. The possibilities are endless on this dinner theme idea.
Fun Friday Themed Dinner Menu
Friday’s can be the meal that the kids love.
Macaroni and cheese, pizza, calzones, nachos, and chicken fingers are all food choices most kids look forward to at meal time.
Fancy Friday Dinner Theme
In the Creating a Cozy Life group, one of the members has her family make a nice meal together on Friday and even uses the good dishes.
You could also dine by candlelight to be even fancier.
Saturday Dinner Themed Dinner Night
Sandwich Saturday Dinner Theme Menu
Saturday nights are perfect for sandwiches. You can make a couple of foot-long subs, cut them up and serve with chips and dip.
Cold cuts, meatballs, French dips, chicken salad, sloppy joes, and veggie sandwiches are delicious choices.
Sizzlin’ Saturday Family Dinner Night
Grilled cheese sandwiches, steak, bacon, and fajitas are just some of the foods that sizzle.
Add sizzle to your Sundays with this theme.
Soul Food Saturday Night Dinner Theme
Fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, grits, candied yams, stewed greens, cornbread, fried fish, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato pie are just some of the options for this themed dinner menu.
Sunday Dinner Theme Ideas
Stir-Fry Sunday Family Dinner Night
Along the same line as sizzlin’ Sunday, stir-fry Sunday is a fun way to make a balanced meal in a wok.
Slow Cooker Sunday Family Dinner Night
Throwing all the ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning and turn it on. You’ll have a tasty meal by the end of the day. There’s nothing easier than this theme.
Sunday Suppers Themed Dinner Night
Slow roasted food that takes some time to make is the focus of this weekly dinner theme menu. Roasted chicken and pot roast are just a couple of ideas.
Everyone in the family helps prepare the feast to end the week with full bellies and plenty of leftovers for Monday.
Sheet Pan Sunday Dinner Theme Night
Sheet pan dinners have become quite popular. They make getting dinner on the table a whole lot easier.
Explore Pinterest for some yummy ideas.
We’ve reached the end of Themed Family Dinner Night Ideas. I hope you enjoyed it.
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