When I was younger, game night meant sitting around the table or in a circle on the living room floor and playing board games. My family would gather together every so often to play games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Yahtzee, Taboo, and more. Now, most game nights might include video games, VR experiences, or games played through apps on cell phones. Those are all really fun things to do, but if you want to experience a traditional family game night then consider the tips I’m sharing below.
Tip #1: Date, Time, Location
Choose a date, time, and location that is convenient for everyone. Matching schedules can be hard, but it is important to a successful game night. When people are distracted, late, or needing to leave early then game night is really more of an afterthought than the main event. It helps to host game nights on the weekend, Friday or Saturday night, because it does not usually interfere with work obligations for the next day. In addition, it is called game night, so consider the time when choosing when to host game night. Usually any time after dinner/work is convenient. Starting anytime after 6:30 can be ideal for most people. Finally, take into consideration that when you are the host, typically game night will be held at your house. Discuss the details with those involved.
Tip #2: Food and Beverages
It is important to have snacks and drinks at game night. Do Not let your game night be dry without giving people some things to snack on throughout the night. You don’t need to provide full meals, not unless you absolutely want to. However, hand-held snacks or finger foods, water, soda, etc. are great items to have at game night. Common snacks include chips and popcorn, but you can take into consideration the dietary needs of your family members.
Tip #3: Games, Games, and more Games
The most important part of game night is the games! You can go the classic route and play Monopoly, Uno, Connect 4, Life, Checkers/Chess, Chinese Checkers, etc. These classic games never get old. No matter what age you are or what your game skill set is, these classic games are always enjoyable. If you want to forgo classic games you can change things up and pick up some of the lesser-known games, such as 5 Second Rule or Lights, Camera, Action (pictured below). You can even find literal desktop games on Amazon, such as mini golf. I have a mini golf set, pictured below, which is actually a pen set and case.
You want to make sure that you have many options for game night. Think about the people that will be in attendance and choose something that everyone will be able to enjoy. If you have a lot of young people in your family, then provide some simple board games like Sorry!, Operation, Chutes and Ladders (Snakes and Ladders), or Trouble. You can also provide some more challenging games for the adults, such as Apples to Apples, Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, Cards Against Humanity, and more. I suggest that you provide some games that are simple and silly and other games that are challenging and slightly competitive. It’s good to have a mixture of all types.
Tip #4: Game House Suggestion
I absolutely like playing games, and game night is an excellent form of entertainment. However, I understand that there are some drawbacks to acquiring a nice sized game collection. First, it can be very expensive to buy a lot of games. Even purchasing game tables, such as the Infinity Game Table, can be expensive. Second, games take up space, and if you don’t use them often then it might feel like a waste of space. Third, you just might not like having physical games in the house because you prefer to play on the phone, computer, etc., and that is okay. However, if you like to play board games, I do suggest that you buy a mini game house. A game house, game gallery or set, is a collection of board games all housed in one box. It’s like a small game bookcase, and the shelves are removable, double-sided game boards. You can find game houses with 10 – 12 different game combinations, usually under $25. These game houses are compact and space-saving, as well as cost effective!
Finally, if you don’t want to or cannot buy games, whether physical board/card games or electronic games, you can still host family game nights. All you need are pens, paper, and your hands to play games like Charades or Pictionary. You always have options.
I hope you’ve liked my tips for a traditional family game night. If you’ve ever had game night with your family, let me know all about it in the comments below.