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How to Plan and Host a Fun Family Game Night

Whether everyone is gathering at your house or family members are joining remotely, game night is a fun way to get everyone to connect. When you sit down together over a game, you're strengthening relationships and making special memories. A decade from now, no one may remember who won the family Scrabble tournament, but everyone will remember how much fun they had together.

Family in the living room playing a board game.

  1. Make it a date: pick a recurring time that works for everyone. Aligning schedules with extended family can be tricky, so consider the best day and time of the week so its not rushed or easy to cancel due to other obligations.

  2. Go virtual. Can't bring the family together in person? You can still host a fun virtual game night. Many popular board games now offer low-cost virtual options. There are also virtual game packs available for a low price. Jackbox Games, for example, requires someone to purchase a streaming option and then invite players to join via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, PlayStation, via Smartphone, or via the computer. Another popular option is the app Houseparty, which lets users virtually play classic games like Pictionary or Trivia with one another via a smartphone app. If most family members are gathering in person, you could also use Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facetime to have one family member join the fun virtually.

  3. Choose games with broad appeal. Consider the age distribution for your family game night. Will there be a combination of adults and children? If so, will everyone try to participate in the same game, or is it better to choose different games that the younger children can play while adults play their own game? Finally, consider whether competitive or cooperative games are a better fit for your family. If heated arguments tend to break out over Monopoly, a group cooperative game may be more fun.

  4. Get everyone moving. As an alternative to traditional board games, consider games like charades or Twister that will get everyone moving out of their seat. These games can be great choices for playing with children, who might otherwise struggle to sit still through a full board game.

  5. Test your knowledge. Trivia junkies, unite: from Trivial Pursuit to pop-culture trivia games like "Hella 90s," trivia games can be a fun trip down memory lane. If younger family members or children are playing, choose a game that's appropriate for their knowledge level so everyone can feel included.

  6. Don't forget the snacks. Pop some popcorn, bring out the chips and dips, and offer up some fun beverages. Or, make it a snack buffet night with a variety of different appetizers.


Family in the kitchen.

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