Whether you’ve been stuck inside due to COVID-19, or you’re just looking for something fun and safe to do with friends and family, a game night is a perfect solution. There is no limit to the creativity you can incorporate when it comes to hosting a game night at home.
What’s even better is hosting a night of games and laughs without having to get out of your comfy clothes! From the guest list to decor and everything in between, we’re breaking down some of our favorite tips to help you prepare for your very own game night at home. Keep reading to learn more about the ways you can win when it comes to a game night!
The Planning Basics
Determine game night participants
First things first: Who are you inviting? Friends, family, or both? No matter who joins in on the fun, a lot goes into planning a party. And whether it’s a virtual party or a small gathering with family or your close circle at home, planning with the size of your group in mind is key.
If you’re going virtual, make a game plan (no pun intended) for sending out your invitations and instructions on how to join your at-home game night. Virtual parties make it easy to get much-needed face time with the people you love the most, so be sure to provide all the details to make it easy for everyone to come.
Set date, time & virtual platform
Virtual or not, setting a date and time for your party is a must. Consider your attendees and pick the best option for everyone. Whether you choose a weeknight or opt for a Saturday evening, if people outside your household are joining virtually, you’ll also need to decide which online platform to use for hosting the fun.
Stock up on supplies
Your list of must-have supplies might look different depending on the guests that are attending. For example, if you’re catching up with work friends after hours or hosting an adults-only game night, you might want to celebrate recent accomplishments with a champagne toast or other alcoholic beverages. Either way, you can use an app to get the perfect bottle of alcohol delivered right to your door so you are ready to go once the game begins. Or, if you want to be the virtual “hostess with the mostest,” consider sending liquor and mixers to your close friends or family joining game night—just be sure to send it ahead of time!
On the flip side, if your at-home game night is more kid-friendly or family-focused, consider making it extra special by baking your favorite desserts or other treats the day before. Not in the mood to bake or short on time? Support your local bakery by ordering contactless delivery or curbside pick-up. Many places offer these services now, so rest assured, you and your loved ones can look forward to cake, cookies, or other sweet treats while playing games.
At Home Game Night Ideas
Lean on a classic game of charades for some fun and laughter. For families playing under one roof, there isn’t much to explain other than the typical rules of the game. Get your acting hats on and challenge family near and far to guess the word or phrase you are acting out. The first person to guess the correct answer gets one point. If you’re hosting charades with a larger group over zoom or another virtual platform, consider choosing teams to allow people to connect more as you would in person!
Who doesn’t love a good game of trivia? Even if you don’t know all the answers, participating and laughing together can be a ton of fun. Trivia is well-suited for virtual and at-home game nights and allows players of all ages to participate in the excitement. There are many varieties of trivia on the market. For example, if you and your crew are big movie buffs, test your skills at a cinema-themed trivia. Maybe sports is more your thing, or even history. Regardless of your interest, it’s almost guaranteed there is a trivia game out there to tickle your fancy.
Whether board games or more interactive games are more of your thing, the game selection opportunities are endless. Check out this list of some of the internet’s favorites.
It’s Game Night!
Prepare the area
The area or space you’ll use will be dependent on the type of game you’re playing. For example, if your goal is to remain socially distant and the weather permits, set your game night up outdoors. Lawn games like corn hole and Kan Jam require little assembly and are fun for all age groups. The rules of these games also require opposing teams to stand at a distance from each other, making it easier to stay spread out if this makes your guests feel more at ease. Hosting your next game night outdoors also provides you the ability to get creative with decor. Simple touches like twinkle lights or tiki torches not only make for a festive setting but allow your guests to enjoy themselves long after the sun goes down.
If you’d prefer to be indoors, you’ll want to designate a specific area in your home as the “game zone.” This could be a family room or a finished basement. You want your guests to feel comfy and welcome in this space, so be sure to choose a room or area with plenty of seating. Feel free to decorate this space as well. If you’re hosting a thematic game night, head to your local party supply store to grab some fun decor, or surf the web for some DIY ideas. Either way, your guests will appreciate the effort you put in to make this experience fun and enjoyable. Sometimes it’s the smallest details that make the most significant impact.
Remember to have fun
While you may be in it to win it, keep in mind that the whole point of game night is to relax and have fun. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. Consider upping the ante a bit by providing prizes for those who come out on top. Getting creative with prizes adds an extra element of fun, and even humor, to your game night. Check out this article for some adult prize inspiration, and head here if you’re looking for kid-friendly prizes. Regardless of your prize selection, your guests will appreciate spending quality time with you and leaving the game night with a little something extra to remember the fun!
Plan for future game nights
There’s no doubt you’ve completely wowed your guests with all the hard work you put into making this a game night for the books. After you’ve all played your hearts out, it’s time to schedule another night of fun for the future. If you want to continue hosting, you can always volunteer; otherwise, consider passing the torch on to someone else. Game nights are fun and for the most part, an easy way to get everyone together to let go of their worries and focus on spending quality time together. Keeping this game night tradition going among your family or friend group will give you all something to look forward to for many years to come.
A game night at home is an excellent way to reconnect through laughter with friends and family. The planning and preparation that go into your game night are totally dependent on what type of experience you want your guests to have. Combining the tips we shared above, along with your own personal touches, is sure to equal the perfect game night in your home and will leave your guests looking forward to the next one!