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8 Themed Dinner Ideas for Any Night of the Week

Planning a dinner menu that's affordable and pleases everyone in the family can be a challenge. Make it fun, filling and pleasurable with these themed suggestions.

View of seafood themed dishes including shrimp, salmon, clams.

1. Maritime Munchy

Pretend you're pirates or ocean adventurers on seafood night. As you talk like a pirate or eat by the pool, you can enjoy shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls, tuna salad, or fish tacos. Don't forget some unique starfish cookies for dessert!

2. Time Travel

Choose a decade or time period that allows you to travel back in time. For example, wear fancy clothes and serve deviled eggs, finger sandwiches and fruit cocktail for a Roaring '20s dinner or dress in neutral colors and dine on fish, nuts and seeds for a prehistoric dinner.

3. Picnic Night

Spread a blanket in the backyard or on the living room floor, and dine on picnic foods. The menu could include sandwiches, salads, fried chicken, fresh fruit, and lemonade. With nature sounds for accompaniment, you can enjoy a unique dining experience that's also fun.

4. Bite-sized Madness

Finger foods are easy to prepare. Plus it's fun to try foods in a variety of different textures, shapes and flavors. Some ideas include meat or veggie roll-ups, fruit and cheese kabobs, vegetable canapes, and finger jello.

5. High Tea

Dress to the nines and dine in style. A high tea menu can include finger sandwiches, scones and cream, petite desserts, and, of course, hot or iced tea. Teach your kids how to set a formal table and practice dining etiquette to add education to this entertaining meal.

6. Breakfast for Dinner

Prepare a breakfast feast while wearing your pajamas. The menu can include waffles, omelets, muffins, fruit, and orange juice. Or serve an egg casserole with a side of stuffed French toast.

7. Costume or Masquerade Night

Add a bit of fun to dinner when you dress up in costumes. Let everyone choose their favorite characters, such as an alien, prince or superhero. No matter what foods you plan, the fun is in creating costumes and getting into character for the meal.

8. Dinner Theater Night

Serve foods featured in your favorite movies. Or ask your family members to pretend they're a favorite movie character complete with costumes, accent and body language. You could even serve dinner on TV trays, pop in a movie, and share an evening in the den.

Family in the kitchen.

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