Having friends over for a game night is a fun way to connect and relax on the weekend. You don’t need much to have a great time, but a little planning can go a long way toward making the evening a hit. Here are four areas to focus on when planning your next game night with friends.
1. Food and Drink
There’s no need to serve dinner during your game night, but you will want to offer snacks throughout the evening. Stick to finger foods that your friends can eat without having to leave their games, and be sure to offer plenty of napkins to keep your game pieces and cards clean. Of course, everyone will need some beverages to wash down those snacks. You can ask friends to BYOB, offer a selection of drinks, or both. You’ll make everyone happy if you grab your best vodka for Moscow mule and mix up a mule for everyone. Offering a special dessert partway through the evening can be a nice way to make things feel a little more special. Take a break before your last round of games to gather around the dining table for a sweet treat.
The size of the space you have to host friends will limit how many people you can include in your game night, and that will determine which games are best. If you are keeping the evening intimate and just involving two couples, consider the many classic games that work great with four players. Scrabble, euchre, and Yahtzee are fun for a group that size. If you have more people at your party, plan accordingly. Games like Pictionary are fun for large groups, as you can divide into two or more teams to play. Clue and Sushi Go Party are also fun with more players. To mix things up, you can ask friends to bring different games every time you play. Some libraries also offer games to borrow, which is a great way to try new games without committing to purchasing them. When you find a new game you love, you can buy it and have it on hand for future game nights.
It probably goes without saying, but be sure that you’re inviting friends who actually enjoy playing the types of games you’ve chosen. Some people simply don’t like games, so find other activities to do with them and bring in your game-loving pals. A game night is a pretty casual get-together, so it could be an opportunity to invite two couples who are your friends but who don’t know each other. Just be sure you gauge everyone’s level of competitiveness before bringing new friends together. You wouldn’t want to color their first meeting if one person flies off the handle when they lose. On second thought, maybe skip inviting the sore losers in the first place.
Make sure you have plenty of room wherever you set up your games to play. Many games require space in front of each player for cards or money, for instance. A dining room table works great for most games, but if your coffee table is large enough, that might work as well. Of course, if your crowd is comfortable sitting on the floor, just be sure you give it a good vacuuming, and you’ll have more than enough room for everyone to spread out. You might want to provide side tables to keep drinks from being kicked over during exciting game moments.
Next time you want to get together with a few friends for a fun-filled evening, consider planning a game night. The built-in entertainment makes it easy to pass a few hours with almost anyone.