160+ Dinner Conversation Starters for Families: Family Dinner Topics And Questions (From School to Family History)

Life just seems to get busier and busier. It’s easy to let work, school, and life get in the way of your relationships. Dinner is a perfect time for everyone to set aside technology and enjoy each other’s company. But here’s the tricky part: How do you start the fun family bonding?

You always want to ensure you’re having fun with your family. It’s even more critical as parents because you want to create memories that last a lifetime. Conversations can be a fun and engaging way to make those memories.

This guide will help you find excellent dinner conversation starters for families. We’ll cover everything from simple questions to deep philosophical discussions. And we’ll also share our top tips for making dinner conversations memorable.

Once you learn these top family dinner topics, you’ll never run out of ideas again. I’ve created a list of over 100 dinner conversation starter ideas to make your family dinners more enjoyable and strengthen your family bonds.

You’ll also learn how to get started with these topics and how to expand your repertoire. If you are ready to enjoy talking with your family, even more, grab a pen and paper and read on. We’ll dive deep into the topic of family dinner conversation starters.

How To Frame Your Family Dinner Conversation Questions

Before we get to the questions, I wanted to provide a few tips when choosing questions or thinking of your own. These tips are pretty simple but critical to your success.

Ask Only Relevant Questions

This might seem apparent initially, but remember that what you think happens in someone’s life and what is happening can be very different. For example, asking your kid about a class they aren’t taking will make you look disengaged in their life.

Frame Questions In A Positive Way

Positivity gets people to open up. Negativity makes people uncomfortable and shy. Instead of asking questions like “are you failing in any of your classes” ask questions like “which subject is your absolute favorite” or “if you had the power to get rid of any class, which class would it be?” It will make your family feel like you’re interested in them rather than interrogating them.

Throughout these questions, I’ve tried to frame all questions positively except for a few negative questions that won’t make someone defensive (like “which movie do you like least?”).

20 Conversation Starters About School

School is an excellent topic for conversation starters with your kids because everyone goes through school at some point. While some things might be different, many of the challenges of going through school are similar.

This common ground provides a natural place to bond with your family around the dinner table. You can offer informed advice and relate to stories from your own experience. This creates a safe environment for your kids to open up to you.

The critical thing you need to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be too general. If you ask, “how was your day at school?” You’ll receive a simple “fine,” and that will be the end of the conversation. Here are some questions you can use to get some real conversation happening.

  1. “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned in the last few days at school?”
  2. “Did any of your friends do anything funny recently?”
  3. “Tell me what a ride on the school bus is like. It’s been a while since I’ve been on one.”
  4. “Who is your favorite teacher right now?”
  5. “Which school subject are you doing the best in?”
  6. “What is your favorite memory about being in school?”
  7. “If you could make the school offer anything as a class, what class would you have them offer?”
  8. “What have you found is the best way to get along with other kids at school?”
  9. “How did you feel when you were told you had passed a test you thought you didn’t do well on?”
  10. “What is the hardest part of getting back into school after summer break?”
  11. “What is something you wish you knew before starting school?”
  12. “Describe to me what you think it was like to go to school when I was a kid?”
  13. “What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year at school?”
  14. “What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far at school?”
  15. “What do you think is your greatest strength at school?”
  16. “If there was one thing you could tell yourself before starting school, what would it be?”
  17. “What is an example of a time where you made a mistake but handled it well?”
  18. “What is the most challenging thing about school?”
  19. “What is the funniest thing you’ve seen happen at school?”
  20. “If you could get rid of one food in the school cafeteria forever, which one would it be?”

21 Conversation Starters About Future Plans

With life being so busy with deadlines, projects, and chores, it’s easy to forget that there is more to life than the “present.” We are all on journeys through life, and it’s good to think about where our destinations are.

Here are some questions to help your family start thinking about the future, not just for themselves, but for the family as a whole!

  1. “What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?”
  2. “Are there any places you want our family to visit in the future?”
  3. “What are three landmarks you would love to see?”
  4. “If you could own any business, which one would it be?”
  5. “What do we need to work on right now to ensure we have a happy, healthy, successful family in the future?”
  6. “How can I make this year better than last year?”
  7. “What will we do when we retire? Where will we live?”
  8. “What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?”
  9. “Who do you want to spend more time with?”
  10. “What does God want us to learn from this season of life?”
  11. “What are some things that you would like me to teach you in the future?”
  12. “What kind of jobs would you like to do?”
  13. “What would your dream job be if you could do anything?”
  14. “What things could you start doing today to get where you hope to be in the future?”
  15. “What are your friends’ hopes, dreams, and aspirations?”
  16. “If you could have three wishes or prayers granted, but they would only come true ten years from now, what would they be?”
  17. “50 years ago, the world was very different. How do you think the world will change 50 years from now?”
  18. “What changes do you think will happen in your lifetime?”
  19. “What would you like to see changed in the world?”
  20. “What is a task we have to do now that we will no longer need to do in the future?”
  21. “What do you think will be the coolest technological advancement ten years from now?”

14 Conversation Starters About Upcoming Events

It’s good to talk about upcoming events at dinner because it helps get your family excited about the event! Additionally, you can get everyone’s feedback about what they think should happen at the event. Quality conversations lead to even better quality time! That’s a win-win!

What kind of food do they want at the upcoming 4th of July party? Where do they want to go for winter vacation? Lots of good information can be had, and you get to enjoy the excitement of upcoming events before they even happen!

  1. “What are you looking forward to most about the 4th of July?”
  2. “What are three fun activities you’d like to do together this summer?”
  3. “Where should we celebrate the next birthday?”
  4. “What Christmas movies do you want to watch as Christmas approaches?”
  5. “What food should we have on the 4th of July?”
  6. “Where would you most like to go for your birthday dinner?”
  7. “What two things would you like to try this holiday season?”
  8. “What should we do on Mother’s Day?”
  9. “Which holiday are you looking forward to most?”
  10. “What are your top 3 favorite Thanksgiving desserts?”
  11. “If you could see a New Year’s Eve firework display anywhere in the world, where would it be?”
  12. “National Hot Dog Day is next Wednesday. What toppings would you have on your perfect hot dog?”
  13. “On the last day of school, what special things would you want to do?”
  14. “Who are you most excited to see at the upcoming family reunion?”

18 Conversation Starters About Traveling As A Family

Have you ever wanted to travel somewhere new but didn’t know where? Or maybe you just don’t know what places your family would enjoy visiting. Well, now is the chance to find out!

Travel planning is a fun activity for families to engage in together. It allows them to share their interests and desires while learning about each other’s interests and desires.

Here are some conversation starters about traveling:

  1. “What countries do you want to visit someday?”
  2. “Would you rather camp at the base of a snowy mountain or on the banks of a huge lake?”
  3. “What are some places you’ve always wanted to visit?”
  4. “What are five places you’d like to visit in the near future?”
  5. “Would you rather stay in a hotel or rent a house when traveling?”
  6. “What are five things you’ll never leave home without?”
  7. “Would you rather fly, drive, or rent an RV when traveling?”
  8. “Would you rather stay at a fancy hotel, rent an RV, or camp using tents?”
  9. “Would you rather relax on the beaches of Costa Rica or ski in the Swiss Alps?”
  10. “If you could go on a road trip anywhere, what would the destination be, and where would you want to stop along the way?”
  11. “Would you rather stay at an all-inclusive resort or go on a cruise?”
  12. “If you were going on a cruise, would you rather cruise through the arctic or tropical islands?
  13. “Would you rather spend time with friends or family when traveling?”
  14. “Are there any destinations that you’re not interested in visiting?”
  15. “If you were going on a cruise, what three things would you need to bring, besides clothes or toiletries?”
  16. “If you could only take one picture on our upcoming trip, what picture would you take?”
  17. “Would you prefer taking lots of pictures for the memories or just being in the moment, even if it means having no pictures of the trip?”
  18. “What is one food you would like to try in a different country?”

15 Conversation Starters About Family History

Family history is a fun activity for families to engage in together. It allows them to share their interests and desires while learning about each other’s interests and desires.

Here are some conversation starters about family history:

  1. “What is one piece of our family history you’re not sure about?”
  2. “Do you have any photos from our family’s past?”
  3. “What are five things you would like to learn more about your family’s history?”
  4. “What is the most interesting family heirloom that we own?”
  5. “What is one family tradition that you would like to start?”
  6. “What is your earliest memory?”
  7. You can discuss any exciting discoveries about your family’s genealogy.
  8. Discuss a specific member of your family’s lineage.
  9. Discuss information about different countries your family originates from, including what the country was like when your ancestor lived there.
  10. Talk about laws during the time your ancestors were alive and how those laws might have impacted them and your family tree.
  11. What are some of the customs and holidays that your ancestors might have done or celebrated?
  12. What civic groups did your ancestors participate in, and what were their goals?
  13. Share newspaper clippings you can find about your family members.
  14. Did your ancestors start any kind of charity or volunteer to make the world a better place? You can discuss their story to help inspire selflessness in your family.
  15. Do you have any authors in your family tree? Perhaps obtain their book and read some of it at dinner if you can.

17 Conversation Starters About Your Family Pets

Pets are a constant source of fun and affection. They’re also a perfect topic to add some light-hearted fun to a family dinner conversation.

Here are some conversation starters about pets:

  1. “What is the silliest thing you’ve seen our pet do?”
  2. “Would you rather have a cat, dog, or a bird? Why?”
  3. “If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, which animal would you choose?”
  4. “If you had a pet tiger, what would you name it, and what tricks would you want to teach it?”
  5. “What is the best thing about having a pet?”
  6. “What is the worst thing about having a pet?”
  7. “What is the best pet trick that you have ever seen?”
  8. “If you could dress your pet up as any celebrity, which celebrity would that be?”
  9. “If your pet were in a movie, which movie do you think they’d fit best in?”
  10. “What song describes your pet best?”
  11. “What is the silliest pet costume that you have ever seen?”
  12. “What is the best way to show your love for your pet?”
  13. “What is the funniest pet video you’ve ever seen?”
  14. “Which do you think is smarter, a dog or a cat?”
  15. “Which breed of dog do you think is the cutest?”
  16. “Which breed of dog do you think is the most intimidating?”
  17. “What kind of pets will you want when you’re older?”

15 Conversation Starters About Your Family’s Favorite Things

This section is all about finding out all of your family’s favorite things. This is a great way to get to know your family members. This will also give you ideas for arranging more quality time opportunities. Knowing favorites will help you plan holiday meals, birthday parties, and other important events and celebrations.

  1. “What is your favorite family tradition that we do?”
  2. “What is your favorite holiday?”
  3. What are your top favorite foods?”
  4. “What is your favorite song?
  5. “What is your favorite music genre?”
  6. “What is your favorite family memory?
  7. “What is your favorite season and why?”
  8. “What is (or would be) your favorite family vacation destination?”
  9. “What is your favorite family activity to do together?”
  10. “What is your favorite movie of all time?”
  11. “Who is your favorite movie character?”
  12. “Who is your favorite cartoon character?”
  13. “Who is your favorite book character?”
  14. “Who is your favorite biblical figure?”
  15. “What is your favorite time period?”

13 Conversation Starters About Games

Games are not only great for entertaining your family, but they’re also a source of conversation that people are enthusiastic to talk about. They can be something that you all share in common or something that is specific to one member of the family.

Here are some conversation starters about games:

  1. “What is the best game that you have ever played?”
  2. “What is the worst game that you have ever played?”
  3. “Which is better, Rock, Paper, Scissors, or Tic Tac Toe?” Afterward, you can challenge the whole family to a game.
  4. “Do you prefer playing games or watching people play games?”
  5. “Do you have any favorite games you want to share with us?”
  6. “Which games would make for a great family game night?”
  7. “What is your best memory of playing your favorite game?”
  8. “Do you get to play your favorite games with your friends, or are they more 1-player games?”
  9. “Do you prefer board games, word games, or video games?”
  10. “If you could make any game into a movie, which game would you pick, and what would the movie plot be?”
  11. “If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, which game would it be?”
  12. “What is better, word searches or crosswords?”
  13. “What book or movie should be turned into a game?”

16 Conversation Starters About Movies

Movies are a thread that ties together many generations. While you may not be up-to-date on the latest actors, the stories in modern movies are often very similar to movies you enjoyed as a kid. Another great thing about movies is that people tend to be passionate about their favorites.

Here are some conversation starters about movies:

  1. “What is your favorite movie?”
  2. “What is the worst movie that you have ever seen?”
  3. “What is the best movie that you have ever seen?”
  4. “What is the most popular movie that you know of?”
  5. Which movie do you think would make for a great family movie night?
  6. “What is your favorite scene from a movie?”
  7. “If you could be any character in any movie, which character would you want to be?”
  8. “Which character in a movie do you think is most like you?”
  9. “Which two heroes from any movies do you think would make excellent partners in a new movie?”
  10. “Have you ever wanted to make a movie? If so, what would it be about?”
  11. “If you could replace the actor/actress in any movie, which actor/actress would you replace and why?”
  12. “If you could change any movie plot, which movie plot would you change and why?”
  13. “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever noticed in a movie?”
  14. “If you could remake any movie using animals, which movie would you remake and which animals would you use?”
  15. “What is your favorite movie about animals?”
  16. If any book could be turned into a movie, which book would you choose?”

12 Silly Conversation Starters

A family meal wouldn’t be complete without some laughs and silliness. Here are some silly and funny conversation starters to bring out the laughs in your family.

  1. “If you could have any superpower that isn’t useful, what superpower would you choose?”
  2. “If you could use a time machine to go back in time and blow people’s minds with something, what time period would you travel to, and what would you show or tell them?”
  3. “What three foods should you never bring to a family picnic?”
  4. “You are mistaken as a tour guide for the Statue of Liberty. Do your best to make up facts and give a fake tour.”
  5. “Make up the grossest meal you can think of.”
  6. “The police pull you over for speeding; what’s the worst excuse you can think of?”
  7. “You are judging the ‘worst talent show on earth.’ What is the winner’s talent?”
  8. “You are traveling back to the 1700s; what three items would you bring?”
  9. “Starting with the first letter of your first name, what words describe your mom?”
  10. “If you turned on the faucet and could have anything come out, what would it be?”
  11. “You’re the king or queen of a castle being invaded; you only have children’s toys to defend it. Which toys do you use, and how do you use them?”
  12. “You must invent a potato chip flavor that doesn’t taste like another food. What is the flavor you think of?”

Final Thoughts

Conversation starters are a fantastic way to start a lively discussion with your family at dinner time. By sharing topics you are passionate about, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for talking about anything and everything.

When gathering around the family dinner table, it’s critical to make the most of it. The time goes by so quickly, and it’s so special. Today is the day when you promise yourself: “no more quiet dinners.” I know you won’t regret it.

I hope this list of questions helps your family enjoy their time together more. I hope it helps bring a deeper level of connection to your family.

Jennifer Taylor brings a vibrant flair for storytelling to the Gathered Again team, having joined us in 2023. With a profound love for writing and a knack for capturing the essence of family moments, Jennifer crafts content that inspires and connects, making every reader feel right at home.

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