How to Make Family Game Night Actually Fun

The words Family Game Night have never been followed by any kind of applause, but today we’re setting out to change that. This may seem like an impossible task but keep an open mind as we explore all the ways to revolutionize this somewhat dated pastime.   


The issue with Family Game Night really comes down to branding. After a long day, everyone may be tired or ready to unwind and the sound of a Game Night seems more like a task than a good time. To make sure it’s a success, make sure everyone’s free and in the right mood to sit down and kick back together. The best way to get this step right is to start off with some upbeat or energetic music in the background and some undeniably delicious snacks. Once everyone is in the right headspace, it’s time to spice things up.   

Depending on everyone's interests, the actual games can go in any direction you can think of. If you have some amateur chefs in the family, a mini cooking competition show is a great time for the competing chefs and the excited judges alike, and you might just come out of it with a new family recipe. For a more traditional night, board games might be the way to go, if you add the right twists. Add some incentives or punishments for certain stages of the game and everyone suddenly feels a lot more invested in the outcome. Obviously, the best way to go is to make up your own games, since you know your family best, and tailor it to everyone's interests or even theme it after a show you all watch together.   

The key to making this night a new family tradition is to adapt to it as you go. See how everyone’s feeling and don’t be afraid to shake things up whenever you feel like it makes sense. A safe backup plan is some (non-monetary) poker, since it involves a little something for everyone. Of course, you’ll have to add some stakes without using money of any kind, so you can go with the classic betting Oreos or Chocolate chips route for a casual, fun-filled game. But if you want to make things a bit more interesting, make the chips into each person's least favorite food, with the first one out having to eat a couple of them. This somewhat evil strategy makes the games sometimes even more intense than if you were playing with cash, without making the loser feel the pain the next day.   

As a final tip, make sure you change the name of the night to something that will get your family excited, something like the best son/daughter tournament or a knockoff of your favorite reality/cooking show. Trust me, this will make a huge difference and you’ll end up with a simple way to bring everyone together in a fun and wholesome way. Nowadays, we need to remember to keep our family and friends close, so take the time, invest the energy, and make the effort to improve everyone’s lives just a little bit more. 

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Mar 6