How to liven up dinnertime

April 1, 2020

If you’re also suddenly spending a lot of time at home, you may find it harder and harder to break up the day. Dinnertime can quickly become quite the chore, especially if you’re the one cooking — but these tips can help you make dinnertime a fun treat for everyone in the house.

Have a picnic inside

Break up the monotony of sitting around the dinner table by having a picnic in your own home. Lay out a blanket in the living room (or the backyard, provided the weather is nice!) and enjoy the company of your loved ones. Small, portable foods are best here: cheese, meats, sandwiches, and fruit, for example. 

Bright idea: Bring the outside in with light! If you can’t have your picnic outside, choose a light scene in the Hue app that mimics nature, such as Spring blossom, Sunday morning, or Ruby glow. Create a more dynamic experience with the Hue Labs Sunset simulation scene, which mimics your choice of sunset with light.

Create light scenes for different nights

Use your lights to transform the dinner table, making it a different destination each night. Create scenes to match the meal of the day — or the mood you want to create — such as red and orange for pasta, green and teal for burger night, or warm golden glows to imitate a French bistro.  

Bright idea: Set up a timer that counts down to dinnertime in the Hue app using the “Blink lights” option. The lights will flash when the timer runs out, alerting the whole house that it’s time to eat.

Couple eating dinner with Philips Hue Go

Have a romantic dinner by “candlelight”

Recreate the romance of going out to eat with your special someone with the Hue Labs Candlelight romance formula, which lets you transform your lights into gently flickering candles. If you have a Hue Go, place this portable lamp in the center of the table while the lights around you cast off a warm, golden glow.

Open an in-house restaurant

Keeping the kids occupied while at home all day can be a challenge, so make dinner a game: open a “restaurant” inside your home. Create a simple menu that’s easy to customize, such as tacos or personal pizzas. Let your kids play host, waiter, or assistant chef, bringing other family members to their seats, taking orders, or helping to make the food. 

Rotate each week who gets to be the host, waiter, or chef, and let the “patrons” leave reviews (and maybe a tip in the form of candy).

Go on a dinner-and-a-movie date

Who says you can’t go on a date at home? You can, even if it’s just in your living room! Before prepping the food, select the movie or TV show you’ll watch. Once dinner is ready, you can settle in, dim the lights (or use the Hue Labs Cinema scene formula), and dig in.

Bright idea: Use the Hue Sync desktop app — or the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box and the Hue Sync mobile app — to make movie night come to life with light. With either app, you can pair your lights to the content on your screen and watch as your lights brighten, dim, and change color in sync with your media.

Mom en kid doing the dishes

Cook together

Let the kids help out for dinner, including picking out what they’ll make. Have them browse the pantry and refrigerator, helping them figure out what you could make with the ingredients on hand. Once you’ve decided — depending on their ages — you can let them take the reins or act as your assistant.

If you have more than one child, give each a chance in the spotlight and be your personal helper for that evening. That way, everyone gets to pick the meal and make it proudly for the rest of the family — making dinnertime a truly memorable occasion.