Be it a formal board game, a classic party game using just the people in the room, or a card game brought back from your college days, having a game to play around the coffee or dinner table can break the ice within a group of new acquaintances or it can be a bonding element between the oldest friends and family.
Here are some of our favorite party games for grown-ups. Some require a board, others just a pen and paper, and some require nothing but a batch of willing participants.
Apples to Apples became an instant party classic, and there’s good reason why. If you and your friends have filthy minds, you can play it filthy. If you’re a wholesome bunch, you can keep it clean. Regardless of how you tackle the adjectives and nouns of Apples to Apples, laughs are guaranteed.
A mix between the dirtiest game of Apples to Apples you’d ever play and a raunchy game of Mad Libs, Cards Against Humanity is billed as “a party game for horrible people.” We’re not sure if it’s for horrible people or awesome people, but this game and a six-pack of beer cannot be beat for after-dinner entertainment.
If you can talk fast, this is a game for you. The player with the card gives as many clues as they can to aid their teammates as they try to figure out the word. Just try not to stumble over your own words!
Everybody does a good pantomime after a drink or two — or at least they think they do. This old-school party game is perfect for any crowd and requires just a group of willing participants to play.
With a board based on the classic game Ludo, Cranium tests players’ abilities at spelling, drawing, knowledge of facts, and acting out, like in charades. It’s like a workout for your brain — but fun!
This mobile game can be downloaded in an instant, so it’s great for playing in a pinch! One player chooses a “deck” such as name that tune, movies, or baseball trivia. Then they hold up the phone to their forehead and have guests try to describe the nouns on their forehead. It can easily bond together guests who hadn’t known each other before as they team up to help get as many items answered as possible.
You can easily turn Jenga into a fun drinking game for after-dinner fun. Take an old Jenga set, and write a different drinking game command — chug for five seconds, take a shot, ladies/men drink, pick a partner, etc. — on each block. Then pull out blocks one by one and build the tower taller and taller. When you successfully pull out a block, follow whatever action is on your block.
Bring back this favorite college drinking game; it's just as fun as you remember. Assign each card a different meaning or mini-drinking game — ace equals waterfall, two means you drink, three means me, four is for “floor” (whoever points to the floor last drinks), and so on. In the center, place a can of beer, which is known as the “king’s cup.” After each card is drawn and played, stick it underneath the tab of the beer can. Keep playing and stacking cards under the tab until the can tab “pops.” Whoever is responsible for breaking the deal has to chug the beer.
Who doesn’t love a good trip down memory lane? Play 15-second snippets of old-school music and see which of your guests can name the tune the quickest. If you’re in to the song and the mood strikes you, turn the game in to a mini dance party.
Take “Never Have I Ever” and twist it up. Have each guest secretly write down an act they have never committed in the past, beginning the confession with “I never...” Put the secrets in a bowl and then let everyone take turns reading one secret aloud. After each secret is read, try to guess whose secret it is. If you don’t already know your dining companions, you’ll know one another by the end of the night!
Another classic, this game is fun for all. Players frantically sketch out a word, be it a person, animal, action, place, or one of their “difficult” words, while teammates scream out words that come to mind, all within 60 seconds. It’s a great team-building exercise.
This fun word game is fast paced and can really get your motor running. After dinner and cocktails, trying to think of a unique animal that starts with the letter R can become a difficult and riotous task.
This word guessing game is a riot, especially after a few drinks. Trying not to say “woof” when the mystery word is a dog is pretty difficult and can lead to lots of laughs.
Get a fun, modern version, or one you know your particular group will love. Did you know there are more than 80 different versions of the game, ranging from sports to the silver screen? There’s even a “girls vs. guys” edition.
Write the name of a different famous person, from history or pop culture, on a Post-It, one for each guest, and place one on each guest’s forehead. Using the "20 Questions" format, each person then asks fellow dining companions questions as they try to figure out their celebrity identity. The person who guesses their identity in the fewest questions wins.