Stranger Things is Netflix’s buzziest new television sensation… and now that season 2 has released the fandom has gotten HUGE!! Have you caught the frenzy for this show?! Well I have and will probably be finishing the last of season 2 by the time you read this post. A magnificent homage to the 80s it takes ALL the best stories and wads them up and spits out something even BETTER!

One of the big things to remember about the 80s is its focus on the family… When I went to write this post I KNEW I had to include Stranger Things as one of my inspirations… then I started to realize that the show could inspire ALL of my ideas for family activities! So if you haven’t caught the show yet… be prepared to want to dive right in!

#5 - Doing Something Nice for a Neighbor

When the boys learn that their friend Will is missing they don’t let anything keep them from going out and doing something about it. They figure out the best time and sacrifice to go out into the woods. Even Mike’s mother won’t stay still and brings Joyce, Will’s mom, some food while she waits to hear word about her son…

There is something bonding about putting your heads together to see a need and make and execute a plan to take care of that need. Families that come together to do service for a neighbor will look back on that memory fondly because it just feels good to do something nice.

#4 - Eating Dinner Together

Mike and Nancy are expected to be at home for dinner each night to eat together as a family. They both have a lot on their mind but under better circumstances the dinner table is a great place to foster family unity as each member shares a little about their day.

Families that make an effort to sit down together and take a break from activities that take them away from each other will be more interested and concerned with their family members’ lives. There can be no communication during tough times if there is no communication during easy ones.

#3 - Getting a Family Pet

(Mild Spoiler…) Dustin finds a pollywog and makes it his new pet! Mike, Will and Lucas come together, with newcomer Max, to find the little guy when Dart goes missing. Their concern for the animal becomes united in that moment as they spread out to find him.

Tasks like walking a dog and playing ball with him and chores like feeding and giving a bath can bring family members together in united concern for an animal. Dogs aren’t the only pets that inspire this kind of devotion… pick one that suits your family dynamics. (Maybe NOT a pollywog…)

#2 - Bike Rides Around the Park

Mike, Will and Lucas all jet around to one another’s houses on their bikes! It doesn’t have to be just the kids that take to wheeled transportation like in the 80s. Parents can also join in the fun and better yet take to bicycle paths in a local park.

Exercising together with a bike ride, or simply walking a trail can be fun and bonding as endorphins are released and loosens muscles and dispels stress. Even a game of Wii tennis can do the job in a pinch!

#1 - Game Night

Okay one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE parts of this show is the dungeons and dragons references! I played this with my brothers and yes, to this day we remember the bonding times. A friendly place to let good natured rivalry have its head can be a safe way to dispel negative feelings while promoting the group.

It doesn’t have to be the time intensive D&D though… it can just as easily be touch football in the yard or a nice board game that take an hour and has been played a million times before. The point is to have fun and not take who wins too seriously.

Now you know you WANT to dive right into the newest television sensation, Stranger Things… And who better to do so with than your family!? It has something for everyone… even teenagers will find themselves connecting with Nancy and Jonathan (and secretly admiring El!) And if you’ve already become a fan then I bet you’re dying for season 3!? Am I right, or am I right?!