It's time to find out who plays well with others.

Break out the board games and gather the gang for an evening of friendly competition.

The Menu

Keep the food simple so people can focus on playtime. If you have room, set up a self-serve area for snacks and drinks so players can come and go with the flow of the games. Doesn't have to be fancy!

Are you thinking potluck? A big pot of chili is a fuss-free option for feeding a crowd.

Share the Pot

Simple Turkey Chili
Photo by Paula

A buffet of dips also works great. But since no one wants greasy playing pieces, your best bet is to skip the chips and scoop up the good stuff with pita bread, crackers, or veggie sticks instead.

Dip In

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip II
Photo by Rae

Go Nuts

Dawn's Candied Walnuts
Photo by Charlotte Curry-Fulmis

For desserts, try something you don't have to slice and serve (fewer dishes to do later!). Cookies are perfect--just try to stay away from chocolate chips. It's that messy fingers thing again.

Just Desserts

Chocolate Pinwheels
Photo by blandselvslik

Party Tips & Tricks

Game night could roll any number of ways depending on how many folks come to play. A small group needs one or two games, while a large group can split up for several different activities. You'll want to invite friends who love to laugh and mingle: gracious winners and good losers are a must!

Mix it Up

Offer variety, such as games that move quickly (Pictionary) and games that take time (Monopoly). Does someone have a favorite game to share? Bring it!

Rules of the Game

Nothing puts the brakes on a good time like having to stop to ask for directions. Easy-to-learn games such as charades or Life are great for first-time players. With more complicated games, it helps to have someone there who can explain the rules and keep the action moving.

Play Areas

You might have quiet games and noisy games, small groups and large groups all going at once, so set up separate zones for each. Maybe your couch and TV will be taken over by the video gamers while your kitchen table holds a big board game.

Kid Stuff

Hosting an all-ages party? Set aside a space for the little ones and have an older kid or two to supervise age-appropriate games like Candy Land, Mouse Trap, or Chutes and Ladders.

What Else

  • Have plenty of paper and pencils on hand
  • Tell guests ahead of time if the house allows smoking and/or drinking
  • Relax and get your game on

Games People Play

A partial list of party faves:

  • Apples to Apples
  • Balderdash
  • Battleship
  • The Beatle's Rock Band
  • Boggle
  • Charades
  • Checkers
  • Clue
  • Cranium
  • Dominoes
  • Guitar Hero
  • Life
  • Monopoly
  • Outburst
  • Pictionary
  • Risk
  • Scattergories
  • Scene It
  • Scrabble
  • Sorry!
  • Taboo
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Trouble
  • Twister
  • Yahtzee
  • 20 Questions