When we do an HFPE, we usually came up with a theme or title and then would use that throughout our "advertising" for the event. As an example, we did one called "The Ties that Bind" and this is what we discussed:
1) Staying close to family even when they are far away--We talked about family newsletters, family blogs, doing family history. We talked about rotating newsletters among family members and keeping in touch. We gave ideas for ways to blog with your family, you can ask questions for people to answer along with just updating people on your day to day activities. For instance, my family has a blog and we keep up with everything going on in all the families lives by blogging. We tell of our day to day dilemmas and victories but we also ask questions of each other. We might ask "describe your home when you were growing up?". It was fun to see how everyone described it and what the differences where. We have also talked about our favorite restaurants, foods, memories of certain places, etc. This is our way of doing some personal family history while keeping in touch with family.
2) Family traditions-We talked about different family traditions people in the ward and our families have. We talked about passing traditions down and starting new ones. I believe we even had the sisters fill out forms with info on their family traditions and we sent that out to people who wanted to start some of their own family traditions. One of my family's traditions is to get together every summer, usually around the 4th of July, and have a remote control car race. This is usually geared more toward the males in the family but anyone is invited to participate. Its big fun and the cars usually leave the final race with wheels missing and various other things broken as they all go for broke and bragging rights. The, we set the date for next year and a few days before they race again, they are all in their garages trying to put back together their cars from the previous year that were destroyed during the race. The family members who are not "driving" the cars are the pit crews and we run around like banshees turning over the upside down cars and un-sticking the ones that are stuck in the mud or trying to run up a tree. Its a fun time for all!
3) Being a good Friend--We talk about ways to be a good friend and watch out for the sisters in the ward. We all need friends, and sometimes it is hard to get to know people in the few short minutes between Sunday School and Relief Society.
For our 4 HFPE nights a year, we generally try to have a dinner and start at 6:30pm and then have the activity after wards. In this case, we asked sisters to present the three topics listed about and everyone stayed in the gym where we ate and listened and then once it was over we chatted and had dessert. The dinner doesn't have to be anything fancy, we joked that we should do Thai food and make it "The Thai's that Bind" but we didn't, although we may have done Chinese food that night, now that I think about it!
Whenever we do a dinner, we try to make it something different, not just the typical lasagna and bread sticks or whatever. We have done 1) Asian Salad, Orange Chicken or Sweet and Sour chicken and fried rice. 2) Pizza and salads 3)Soups and Salads or Soups and breads....just to name a few. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to be good! We have also done things to make ordinary dishes fancy, for instance instead of serving fruit salad, we served fruit kebabs or made a fruit kebab arrangements on the table. It looks lovely and inviting and isn't just a hum drum old salad.