I love game night! You can have a small game night for just the family, or a larger game night with a group of friends. Our kids are now all in their 20’s, so a family game night now looks different than it used to, but it’s still so much fun. When the boys were little, we’d try to have game nights on Fridays and have pizza and play board games on the family room floor. These days, our family game nights include my daughter-in-law and we usually play games on Jackbox, a game using the web browser, where you all use your own smart phone and play around the tv. It’s a great opportunity for us all to hang out together and laugh a lot, so I love that we can still have a family game night regardless of how old our kids get.
PLANNING & PREPARATION
Inviting a group of friends over for game night is a great time to get old friends together to catch up or to have some new friends over and get to know each other better. You should give guests about two weeks notice before your party so they have time to plan. It’s such an informal gathering so you can send a cute evite or something from Paperless Post. Or, obviously, a phone call or invite via text message are perfectly acceptable, as well.
When setting up the area you are going to play the games in, try to arrange furniture in somewhat of a circle or semi-circle and place some big pillows and/or cushions on the floor so guests can get comfy wherever they are sitting. And if it’s during a cooler time of year, have some throw blankets around as well so your friends can grab one if they get a little chilly.
FOOD & DRINKS
The best way to do food at a game night is to keep it simple and serve things that can be eaten without having to sit at a table, and food that can be eaten with just your hands is actually the best idea. To make things easier for yourself, it’s a great idea to have everyone bring a sweet treat to share for dessert.
I’m including two yummy recipes for some munchables, a delicious corn salsa that you literally can’t stop eating and some sugar coated pecans are delicious and easy to make. You can have some food and drinks out when guests arrive, so they can move around and chat with each other, and then have some other snacks in bowls that you can bring out once the games start so that people can munch as they are playing.
For drinks, you want to have things easy to reach and readily available during the games so that you don’t have to stop the games when someone gets thirsty. You can have a table with some buckets of ice and tongs, sodas, waters, and, if you are having alcohol, have your beer and wine out and available. It’s fun to have a game night cocktail or punch so that your guests can just serve themselves from a punch bowl or pitcher.
Decorations aren’t really necessary for a game night party, but I think it shows your guests that you spent a little extra time and effort to make things special. You don’t have to spend much money to make things look festive. One idea is to use Scrabble letters and trays to spell out and label some of your food or drinks. You can also take a deck of cards, dominoes or some dice to place around your food table. Another cute idea is to put some dice at the bottom of a vase and then add some flowers. I’ve included a free Printable for a DIY banner that says “Game Night”, spelled out with giant scrabble-like tiles. I would recommend printing them out on card stock, so they lay flat when you hang them.
There are so many options for games (links for games are below), and it really will depend on the number of people you have in your group when deciding what to play. It also depends on the type of group you are playing with. For instance, “Cards Against Humanity” is one of the most popular games for a game night, however, I definitely wouldn’t recommend playing this game with your church pastor or somebody’s grandma or your 14 year old son (although that last one happened to me, but please don’t judge!). It’s a hilarious game, but it’s definitely adult-themed and slightly offensive, so just know your audience on this one!
“What Do You Meme?” is another fun game for a group of friends. If you think memes are funny, this game will make you laugh.
“Cranium” is a great game to play for teams, and it’s approved for all audiences! It’s a fun game where the teams try to complete tasks by doing all kinds of things like acting out a scene or molding something out of clay or solving puzzles.
“Catch Phrase” is a favorite, where you try to get your team to guess a word or phrase that it gives you by describing it without saying any of the words on the screen. Trust me, this one is completely stressful because you’re under time pressure, but it’s also a lot of fun.
I could go on and on about different games you could play, but you probably already have some fun ones of your own. The point of my post is to help you add some special touches to your ordinary game night, and make it all the more personal for your guests. I hope you’ll have a game night of your own and add a few of my suggestions!
HALLOWEEN PARTY PREPPING – Part 1
Countdown to A Halloween Party
It might seem early, but if we want to have a great Halloween party this year, we first need to figure out the game plan. I want to give you some ideas to help get you started and help you stay organized. This is the time to decide your approximate number of guests, what type of Halloween party you want to have and when you want to have it.
This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday, so if you’d like to have your party on Halloween or Halloween weekend, I suggest you get invites out a little earlier than you normally would. I’m going to have our party two weeks before Halloween so that I can have some pictures and tips ahead of time for you!
Whether you have your party large or small, you need to make the following decisions very soon:
- Maximum number of guests
- Do you want to serve dinner and drinks or drinks and appetizers or desserts?
- Is this a costume party?
- If yes on the costume party, will you have prizes for best costume, funniest costume, scariest costume, etc?
- Are you having the party indoors or outside?
- Will you be playing any kind of games or having more of a party where you are just socializing?
Start thinking about the answers to the above questions. On my next blog post, I will continue to give you some guidance on hosting a fun Halloween party!
- 1 can black-eyed peas, drained
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 4-oz can chopped green chilies (mild), drained
- 1 lg red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- few dashes of tobasco sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients, except avocado. Leave for at least one hour, for full flavor. When ready to serve, drain and add avocado.
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbls water
- 1 lb. pecan halves
- 1 cp white sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy.
- In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon.
- Add pecans to egg whites; stir to coat nuts evenly.
- Remove nuts and toss them in sugar mixture until coated.
- Spread on baking sheet.
- Bake at 250 degrees F, for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes