This holiday season, give the parents in your ministry the best gift ever: a night out without the kids. Host a Parents’ Night Out (PNO) where you have youth or empty nesters watch the children while their parents enjoy 4 hours of children-free time. You basically throw one big party for the kids, use youth as your volunteers, and the parents have a night out for dinner and a movie, Christmas shopping, or just relaxing at home with no kids!

I don’t normally like hosting events in December (it was a month my families blacked out on my calendar planning checklist), but they LOVED having a PNO in December. It gave them a well-deserved break or the chance to get some Christmas shopping/wrapping done.

Because of the season, we could also have some really fun, themed games and activities:

  • Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? (pictured above)
  • Snowflake Scavenger Hunt (printable coming Friday)
  • Service Project of stuffing goody bags for the Foster Kids Christmas Party (pictured below)

We always offered the event for free, but we encouraged donations and gave all the donations to the youth’s summer mission trips. The money collected was divided evenly among all of the students who served and was placed as a donation in their specific mission trip accounts with the church. Each time I’ve hosted a PNO, students received at least $50 (often more) for just 4 hours of fun!

This is also a great first experience event for new families. I liked to encourage our ministry parents to invite some of their unchurched friends out on a double date and recommend their children join us for the night too.

As parents picked up their kids at the end of the night, the most common question I had was: “When is the next one?” So we made PNO’s a seasonal event and planned them for Valentine’s Day, the summer, and Mother’s Day too! Overall, it’s a win-win-win-win event. 

Ready to host your own PNO this winter/Christmas season? Make your life easier by downloading PNO (Winter Edition): Let It Snow! It’s a snowflake-themed 4-hour PNO event complete with all of the materials you need to host the best gift ever for the parents in your ministry. 

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