Trivia question: what has a fun group of friends, exciting competition, and a room full of laughter? Your next game night, of course!
It’s no wonder why game night has been such a popular get-together idea for so long. As much fun as it is for friends to gather, sometimes the conversation reaches a lull if you don’t have something else going on. Games will add that spark any party needs.
Whether you’re planning your first game night or your hundredth, you want it to be a great time for all your guests. Try these game night ideas and tips.
1. Create a Multi-Event Tournament
During most game nights, you either play one long game or you play several smaller games.
Going with several games gives you more variety, and your guests are less likely to get bored. At the same time, you want the night to feel connected an continuous. Each game should feel like another chapter in the same book, rather than separate stories altogether.
One fun way to do this is to turn the night into a competition with an ultimate winner.
Consider setting up a bracket system that takes all your games into account, or a point system. Whatever you choose, make sure everyone can still play every game, regardless of how often they lose. You don’t want to exclude anyone.
2. Have a Central Theme
Speaking of making your game night feel like a continuous event, another way to do this is with a theme.
For example, your theme could be “A Night at the Round Table.” Choose games that have medieval themes.
Don’t forget to carry through that theme in your decor and refreshments too. Serve up drinks like “Maiden Martinis” and snacks like “Knightly Nachos.”
3. Take the Game Into Account While Planning Your Food
When you’re planning the food for your game night, the theme isn’t the only factor you need to think about. On top of knowing any food restrictions and allergies your guests have, don’t forget to think about how your food interacts with the games.
For example, let’s say one of your games is a murder mystery game. Guests will be up and moving around throughout the room. Chili may not work well in this case unless you’re planning on eating before you start playing.
In most cases, finger foods are best. Try to avoid anything that makes guests’ fingers greasy or sticky, especially if they’re handling cards.
4. Know Your Seating Limits in Advance
The last thing any host wants is to plan an amazing game night but when the guests arrive, you realize you don’t have anywhere in your home that seats that many people.
Think about the game you’re playing and the best place for guests to sit while playing. Is it a game that requires everyone to be around the same table, like euchre? Or is it a game like Pictionary that lets guests spread out more.
Keep in mind that it’s okay for some guests to sit on cushions on the floor. Just make sure you have enough space for everyone to have an equal chance to play the game.
Figure this out before you start inviting people so you don’t get into a bind.
5. Turn Your Home into a Casino
Who said your game night has to include board games alone? Think outside the box and make things a bit more interesting.
You can play your own casino-like games, like poker and blackjack. You could also take advantage of technology and add an online casino bonus game.
Before you do this, make sure you know your guests well enough to know if this is okay. Find out if anyone has objections to gambling or may have a tendency to game excessively.
6. Choose Games Based on Your Guests
Speaking of knowing your guests, this will come in handy as you choose the games for your game night.
Different types of games appeal to different personalities. You want everyone to have fun, so think about what types of games all your guests will enjoy.
Are they the type who enjoy loud, fast-paced games? Do they enjoy an intellectual challenge like trivia games?
It’s also a good idea to think about how complicated a game is. If there is a complex game that your guests don’t already know, do you think they’ll have the patience and focus to learn the game on the spot?
While it isn’t mandatory, it’s a good idea to tell your guests in advance what games you’ll be playing. This lets them judge if it’s something they want to play and it lets them get into the right mindset when they come.
That’s especially important if you’re playing a game that you think some people may not enjoy, like a raunchy game that could offend some guests.
7. Have a Back-Up or Two
No matter how well you plan, events have a way of throwing curveballs in your direction.
It’s always wise to have a back-up game or two waiting in the wings. You never know when a guest will change their RSVP at the last minute so that your numbers no longer work with the game you planned to play. You may even open a game and discover that you don’t have all the pieces you need to play it.
If you prefer, you could even have several games available and ask guests which ones they want to play. Make sure you know each game’s requirements so you know which ones you can and can’t play with the number of guests you have.
Game Night Ideas for a Party to Remember
A game night is a great way to get your friends together for a night of fun, laughter, and friendly competition. The game night ideas above can make for a more memorable, inclusive party.
If you want more fun ideas for your next event, check out more articles on our blog.