5 Steps To Hosting A Successful Game Night

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game pieces

Hosting a game might is a fantastic way to get your friends, family, and neighbors together for a lot of fun! Read on for a few tips for planning your own.


Recently I attended a game night at a friend’s house – there were about 10 of us and we had an absolute blast! I highly recommend this type of evening to anyone who wants to have a lot of fun with a group of friends. Here’s how to plan your own:

1. Pick the gang

Decide on the group of people you would like to have over – maybe your 6 closest friends, a few neighbors, 3 other couples, or people you work with. You may choose to make it an adult night only, or you can include the kids.

The game night I went to was just a group of Mom’s who had left our kids at home with their Dad’s for the evening so we could have a much needed break!
You actually don’t want to have too many people so while you may be tempted to make it a ‘the more the merrier’ night – games can get awkward, and long, if you have too many players.

2. Pick the games

I am shocked to walk into a toy store and see how many games they have these days! Plus that doesn’t even include the specialty games that are popular these days which are typically only available from special games stores or online.

Go through the games you own keeping the group of people you are inviting in mind. You may prefer to stick with more mind-challenging, yet fun, games to stretch your mind like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit, or you could decide to have a lot of laughs with a game like Pictionary. At our last game night we played Cranium and Taboo.

girl playing board game

Playing games which require teams can add a fun competitive edge to a group of friends. Winners can get a small prize – or at least bragging rights!
Keep in mind if you have children, or even teenagers, coming to keep the games appropriate for their age level. It is also a whole lot easier if you chose a game that most or all people are familiar with, or at least pick a game with simple rules, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time explaining how to play.

Murder mystery game kits are available in some specialty game stores and are a popular pick for a full evening of fun – you should even ask your guests to come in costume!
If you do not own any games and don’t wish to buy any you can ask your guests to bring a few, or prepare a ‘free’ game such as Charades.

3. Pick the night

Since you are the host you get to pick the date, but it’s usually a good idea to pick a few dates and have your guests vote on which one works best for them.

4. Pick the food

You could make this into a potluck so everyone contributes, you could host a small dinner before the games begin, or you could instruct everyone to come after dinner and just provide a few snacks.

If you are feeling particularly ambitious you can make food to match the game you are playing – or at least into something game related like icing brownies or cakes to resemble dominos or a deck of cards.

Any snacks that are out during game play should be easy, bite-sized, and non-sticky as you don’t want your guests struggling with their food while playing a game.

5. Pick the invites

You could keep it simple and invite people through email, Facebook, or Evite, or you may want to make up fun cards to send or give to people. I’ve even seen game party invites written on the backs of large playing cards. Don’t forget to include if you would like your guests to come in costume and if they should contribute any food.

Are you game?

Have you hosted or attended a game night? Does this inspire you to have one? Tell us your favorite game in the comments.

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Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer is a Mom and freelance writer located in Beautiful British Columbia. She is currently working hard to create a home for her new family and is stumbling hilariously down the road to becoming a domestic goddess. In addition to her love of family, and reading and writing, she enjoys exploring new interests with friends, shopping for just about anything, and cuddling up with a great cup of tea and some sort of chocolate treat.