Aug 17, 2019
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This is the ultimate list of captivating, fun, and mentally stimulating family games that will keep everyone looking forward to game-nights!
The Importance of Family Game Night
If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to spend time with family, establishing a family game night is an excellent start.
Way back in time (pre-iPhone years) board and card game were a popular way to entertain at parties, with friends or after dinner. Hands up for everyone who remembers Yahtzee and Monopoly tournaments!
And there’s a reason we enjoyed them, interactive games create stronger bonds within the participants (family/friends) and provoke lots of laughter. Even better, kids who play interactive board games develop strong motor skills, are more successful in problem-solving and benefit in academic performance, and that’s research!
Don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered with over 30 games to appeal to all ages and interest. So clear off that dining room table and make room for lots of fun!
Classic Family Games
It’s only appropriate we start with the classics! You’ll recognize these from your younger years, and I promise they are still just as fun.
The game of Life is a simplified version of adulthood but a fun way to give kids a preview of the real thing. Let them enjoy it while it lasts.
An interactive “battle” that appeals to both kids and adults for its strategic thinking and competitive energy. In addition to the classic battleships, this version ups the ante with additional aircraft carrier pieces.
For ages 6 and up but it never gets old. Set the trap, and catch the mouse. Mouse Trap is that easy…and that hard!
The Codemaker sets a secret code that the codebreaker (you) is responsible for uncovering with logic and deduction. If you like puzzles, Mastermind is perfect for you.
Best Family Board Games
From medieval fortress building to top-secret spy skills there’s something for everyone in this collection of family board games.
Good for 2-5 players, ages 7 and up Carcassone is a game inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France. Followers can take on the roles of knights, monks, farmers, and thieves to score points and lay cities, roads, monasteries, and fields around Carcassone.
Or My First Carcassone for younger kids. The original remade for ages 2-4, so no one misses out on the fun.
At the start of the game, each person will become a leader of one of the seven great cities in the ancient world. From there, you must carefully gather resources, affirm your military supremacy, and build an architectural wonder that will stand for ages. 7 Wonders is an epic game that your family will want to play again and again.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride provides a fun option for kids to play and get schooled in American geography. Players must collect train cards to claim railroad territory and win points for connecting major cities and building railways across America. And when you’re done with the States, there’s a European version too!
Each participant will utilize different rolls- mayor, captain, settler, trader, craftsman, or builder to score points and build their colony on the island of Puerto Rico.
Cooperative Family Games
Best way to build strong teamwork skills and have a blast? Any of these family games! Unlike regular competitive games, cooperative games require the participants to play as a whole and share the outcome, whether it’s a win or loss.
For all your adventure-loving kids, the Forbidden games will give them a thrilling fix. Your fearless team will embark on a mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of a forbidden island.
A flying machine buried deep in an ancient forbidden desert, and your team must coordinate and find it. You’ll need problem-solving skills, teamwork, and sunscreen- just kidding.
Work together as a team to map out defense tactics, slay monsters, and protect your castle. Castle Panic be played with up to 6 people or solo if someone wants to sneak in some extra practice.
Interactive Family Games
While some games have your working on your own, these games keep everyone talking, playing and laughing together all night long! You’ll solve puzzles, give clues and race one another in these amazing interactive family games.
This word game involves two spymasters who know the secret identity of 25 agents; the rest of the team must compete to see who can discover all of their agents first using their Codenames. You’ll give cryptic but sometimes hilarious clues to one another to see who can discover their whole spy team first!
This game is perfect for older kids and larger parties. To play Taboo, players form two teams in which players must guess the hidden term on a card. If the guesser uses a forbidden word, they lose a turn. Players keep the cards that they guessed correctly and the team with the most cards wins the game.
Can’t draw to save your life? Perfect! Pictionary will be even more fun as participants will have to draw their clues while the competitions try to guess what they are.
Watch Ya’ Mouth
Players will wear a mouth guard while speaking phrases and their teammates must guess what they’re saying. Make sure your phones’ charged so you can get all the footage while you play Watch Ya’ Mouth!
Loaded Questions Jr.
If your kids like asking questions, this one’s for them! No trivia or right or wrong answers only 200 hilarious questions and good times.
This one’s super fun and fast-paced! All players are given seconds to rack their brain for items that fit the given category. Scattergories is perfect for anyone who loves a good challenge and hates slow-paced board games.
The traditional game of scrabble gets an upgrade with Bananagrams! You’ll race against one another to make your own crossword grids in this fast-paced word game.
Card Games for Families
We know of Go Fish, Spades, and Spoons but these aren’t your ordinary card games. Any of these decks promise a good time.
Uno Minecraft Edition
Two beloved games made into one fun and addictive activity for kids and adults. It works just like UNO but with Minecraft characters, images.
Fast-paced and energetic, PIT isn’t for the faint of heart, as players openly bid for commodities or raw materials. There are no turns in this game so it can get loud, but it’s lots of fun and keeps everyone thinking fast.
If you have experience playing rummy, you’ll find Phase 10 to be similar; however, the object of the game changes with each round. To be the winner, you’ll have to complete all 10 challenges (phases) before the other players. These challenges could be collecting multiple cards of the same value, cards of one color, or a combination.
The Game of Things
Read a topic then write down a response. Once the responses are shuffled players must guess who wrote what! The Game of Things is ideal for large groups and ages 14+.
Does your family have a favorite game to play together? Share in the comments so we can keep our list of the BEST board games ever, going!!!
Don’t forget about The Oregon Trail Card game; super fun!!
That’s a great list! We play a lot of these. One that we were introduced to a few months ago that we’ve played over and over is Mexican train game.
We love Mexican Train Game and also Connect 4. We have a very large version for the floor and have some face paced tournaments. Also, we play a mini version of cornhole inside with extra bean bags in 4 colors to differentiate players.
I’m a huge connect 4 fan too! Will have to look into the Mexican Train game. Thank you for the suggestion.
Love this list! We are a big game family and have many of the games on your list. Monopoly and Risk do take a long time to play and have ended up with many arguments between my competitive kids. 😉 A new one we got this year for Christmas was The Bears and the Bees. It’s a super fun card game that our youngest to oldest can play together and the bonus is, it doesn’t take forever. We also like Telestrations, Wackee Six, and Sorry.
We played Bears and the Bees with our neighbors and had a blast! I’ll look into the others. Thank you!
Hi Laura, You indicated that Monopoly was not for week nights. I’d rethink that feeling. When I was considerably younger and in elementary school, when summer vacation started my Mom set up a card table in the corner of the living room. On the first day of vacation we’d start playing a game on Monopoly. She’d set a kitchen timer, when it went off, that was the end of playing for the day. Sometimes it was as little as 15 minutes, and sometimes as long as two hours. It all depended on what else was planned for the day. Also on the first day of vacation we would start an on going game of 500 Rummy. We ignored the rule of when someone reached 500 points the game was over. We’d usually play a hand or two right after lunch. Last game was on the last day of vacation. Mom had two great reasons for playing. #1. We were having fun. #2. She kept my mind going on math while on vacation. I was the score keeper.
I mean, given that we set at timer we can totally play monopoly at night. But… my kids like to see who “wins” and this takes a while on a school night 😉