After a busy work week, nothing is more appealing to some than starting a fire in the fireplace and inviting friends over for a night of fun in your own home. For an evening of guaranteed fun that is also low-key and budget-friendly, bring out the board games. From young professionals in the big city, moms and dads raising kids in the suburbs, to a group of grandparents, playing board games brings out the best in everyone, with lots of laughter and smiles. It is also a great way to break the ice amongst a group of new friends.
Hosting your own board game night is also quite easy (on the mind and wallet!). Keeping in mind the size of your home, invite enough people to play the games, but make sure there is room for everyone to sit. I like working with a group of six people, enough to seat around the dinner table while remaining intimate. And sometimes, who you invite is important. Leave out uptight prima donnas who can't laugh at themselves. You want to have people who can relax, laugh at themselves, and just have fun at your party.
Depending on how long you want the party to run (maybe it is a cold and rainy afternoon, and you want to play games all night; it could also be a short evening activity for after dinner), make sure you have enough games to choose from. When choosing a game to play, also keep in mind how long, on average, the game takes to play. For example, Monopoly can be never-ending.
Most importantly, make sure you have enough food and drink on hand. We've put together a list of some of our favorite board games, and paired each game with an easy and delicious finger food that is perfect for a party. Provide an array of beverages, or have your friends BYOB, and you're set. For easy clean-up, you might want to opt for disposable plates or napkins, but with a smaller group, using real plates is more homey (and eco-friendly).
1. Play Monopoly
Serve with Pigs in a Blanket
A party favorite. Serve these warm with a couple of flavorful dipping sauces.
2. Play Candy Land
Serve with Flank Steak Pinwheels
From Eating Well
These meaty bites are filled with a savory combination of spinach, sundried tomato and Boursin cheese. Almost like savory lollipops!
3. Play Apples to Apples
Serve with Baked Brie and Apples
Easy to make, and easier to eat! Serve this warm appetizer with candied nuts, apple slices, crackers and slices of baguette.
4. Play Scrabble
Serve with a Ranch Crispix Mix
A crunchy snack mix is perfect for a game night. Add honey roasted or salted nuts to the mix for a heartier blend, and look for the Cheez-Its with Scrabble letters for more fun.
5. Play Jenga
From Sunset Magazine and Home Cook Kirsten
Creamy and crunchy polenta sticks are like french fries, but better. Stack them like Jenga, then serve with a garlicky aioli instead of ketchup for more flavor.
6. Play The Game of Life
Serve with Choc full o’ Life Bars
Made with Life cereal, these sweet bars are a cross between crispy rice treats and S’Mores.
7. Play Taboo
Serve with Chocolate Glob Brownies
From This Dame Cooks
Gooey and rich brownies so good, they should be taboo.
8. Play Balderdash
From Cooking with Elise
We'd be bluffing if we called these Asian-inspired chicken tenders "fingers."
9. Play Cranium
Serve with Black Bean Snack Bites
From Simple Daily Recipes
Like nachos, but better as each little "tart" is filled with cheesy, black bean goodness. Even better for your brain when served with salsa and guacamole.