Today I am sharing a really easy and quick idea that made a big impression on the family. If you’re anything like me, when you attend sporting events or any event at an arena, the overpriced and unhealthy food is a bit of a turn off. It’s not that I don’t love a yummy dish of nachos, but feeding my family junk food that costs a small fortune just doesn’t sit well with me. The other night we surprised the kids with tickets to a hockey game. We had to leave the house during rush hour and I knew it would take us an a while to get there. So in lieu of having a starving family ready to pounce on a $100 worth of junk food, I created fun to-go boxes for the car ride. They ended up being a huge hit.
When the kids came home from their softball/baseball practices these were sitting on the counter. Everyone took a quick shower and we hopped in the car to drive up to the hockey game. I told them they couldn’t open them until we were in the car. You would have thought it was Christmas morning! I found the boxes, ribbon and name cards all at Michaels. The boxes come in a flat package and can be found in the baking aisle. I lined them with black tissue paper so they couldn’t see inside.
HINT: Don’t throw away the boxes! They can be reused anytime. I kept the tags and the boxes for the next time I am wanting to serve dinner in the car.
hockey game with the family
What Made These Special?
I have never been a short order cook. I always make one meal and the family eats it (well at least I hope they do each night!). For these boxes, I completely tailored them to each person and that made it so much fun for everyone. My husband and I had a healthy salad we both love as well as a few sushi rolls. The kids had croissant sandwiches paired with each of their favorite fruits and snacks. I tossed in their favorite sweet treat and water and we were good to go. My daughter said, “Mom. You made this so good I couldn’t decide what to eat first!” It just made it really fun to see them excited and surprised and it didn’t cost me a ton of money. Most of it I already hand and it was fun doing a quick grocery run to make each box special.
For very little effort I had a happy and well fed family for far less than I would have spent at the sports arena. Of course we still let them have popcorn during the game but everyone was full and didn’t need a ton of junk food. It worked out well and helped to pass the time during the drive. Just wanted to share since my family was pretty darn excited about these simple to-go dinner boxes.
Let me know if you try something similar. Enjoy your day.
My kids are grown now, . . . finally! But they still enjoy (love) little surprises. They love their Easter baskets, Christmas stocking treats, and they really love their picnic to-go baskets I pack for their drive back home after the holidays. My youngest (30 year old son) always says, “Mom, your still the ‘funnest’ mom”. Makes me puddle up just thinking about it. Boy, those kids turned out really good. 😉
Marty Oravetz says
What a fun idea, i love it. This would be fun for hubby and I when we are on the road.
Lisseth Orozco says
Such a fun, healthy and creative idea. Love it!
Thanks for sharing
Bryn Mathison says
BRILLIANT!!! If only this post came yesterday. We went to the Ducks game last night and I was forced to eat overpriced food since traffic ate up all our extra time. I’ll tuck this idea away for our next car ride.
Love this idea, Courtney. Will be doing something similar next week for the son who is coming to PA to hunt – will send him off with lots of pocket treats for the long trek in the woods while hunting for a bear!!
Sandra P says
What a simple, cute and smart idea!!!
So clever!! 🙂 will definitely be trying this! Yum!! Love these kind of posts…simple, doable ideas to try in everyday life!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you for sharing this fun dinner time idea ???? I love it & it would be a huge it in my family too. We are already big fans of several meals you have shared ???? My husband especially loves the honey sesame chicken recipe.
I have done something similar but would never have thought of the cute box presentation (but honestly, my people are MESSY there is no way we could reuse them). Such a fun idea for a special night out.
LOVE this idea!! My kids would be so excited. I’m going to use this when we take long road trips as well as the sporting events/concerts. I’m with you, spending a small fortune on unhealthy junk food is a big turnoff. Thanks for the great idea, Courtney!
Might be fun to line the boxes with tissue in their favorite team colors or let them decorate their boxes with stickers, etc. I’ve been a mom (of 8!) for almost 45 years, and believe me, it’s the little touches and attention to sweet details that they remember. But you already know that. Such a good mom!
This is really a genius idea!! As my kids get older, their sports schedules get busier. So this would help out so much! I have to try this. Thank you!!
We have 5 kids, and this would be so fun for Christmas light night!!! Have the kids get in their PJs and give them their box in the car while we drive around looking at Christmas lights. Can’t wait!! Thank you for sharing.
What kind of boxes did you use?
Love this idea! I try to convince my hubby all the time that we should just pack a meal for those kinds of occasions, and he is usually just all about the ease of buying something there.
One thing I used to do with my daughter… when my son had an early (like 7 AM early) sports practice, the way to get her out of bed was to pack a “breakfast picnic.” I would just grab a yogurt, granola, and fruit (or some other breakfast-y foods), and some milk, and throw it in a brown paper lunch sack, I always included a little note on her napkin. She loved her little “breakfast picnics.”
What a great idea! My two are grown now as well, but I am thinking this idea might come in handy for the cheerleaders/coaches next year.