Combining games night with a family meal is one way to have a lot of fun. You can get dressed up, divide family members into who is responsible for each course, and plan an activity or two inbetween.
Make a plan
- What are the ages and stages represented by your family group?
- What sort of games could be enjoyed by all? Keep in mind you don’t have to go out and buy a game, plenty of games can be downloaded from online sources – or utilise games you already have stored away.
- Could everyone invite a friend to make the party even more fun?
- How can you divide the game up to incorporate different courses of a meal? Starter, Main, Dessert, Drinks?
- Can each member of the family be paired with an older member or a friend who can be responsible for presenting a course to eat at stages during the game? Or is it something special mum and dad could pull together for a family event such as a birthday?
- Do you have two areas suitable for using – one for setting up the game(s), one for setting up the meal? Or how can you best utilise your one space?
- Can you set a theme? Send out invitations? Ask for people to dress to the theme? Or would you prefer to keep it really simple?
Build your theme
Pick anything at all – a holiday coming up on the calendar, a celebration in the family or use some of the following ideas for inspiration. Then you can keep building around your theme – food, dress ups, decorations – or keep it very simple and laid back if you prefer.
- From the very young to very old, most will get the hang of playing edible pick up sticks. Make or buy some breadsticks or pretzel sticks and have fun!
- If your family has a games device such as a PlayStation, check out these ideas for a Family Game Night Showdown
- Check out the card games, cheap games and free games listed here
- As the weather warms up, consider a BBQ and outside games or activities, campfire cooking and games or take dinner to the park and plot a treasure hunt.
Murder Mystery nights
If you’ve got some teens in the house, they might be into playing roles in a murder mystery. There are lots of free options online – check them out and make sure they’re suitable for your family to play.
Inspiration for family games night food
- Gamers need food! For a gaming party, check out the inspiration found here
- Here is game-themed food, like Trivial Pursuit cheesecake
- Finger foods are especially great if your table space is otherwise-occupied on games night. Check this Pinterest board for ideas
- Who doesn’t love pizza? Give pizza fondue a try or check our pizza party ideas
- Domino cookies are fun for little fingers to help you make
- A make your own ice cream sundae bar is a fun and easy, quick dessert to enjoy together.
Inspiration for crafty families
- Make a games night trophy so everyone knows who the current champion is – and the inspiration remains for future events
- Check out these craft ideas for table settings
- Cute DIY popcorn cones make a fun addition on the snack menu.
Making the effort to transform a usual family meal into a games night funfest is more work than just putting the usual fare on the table. But I sincerely hope it’s more fun too!