The Holidays are here and you may need to entertain family. Some of your family may not think they're into board games, but we like to think they haven't found the right game yet. We wanted to share some ideas for games that meet some of our criteria: easy to teach, allow many players, or be quick to play.
10 Board Games to Play at Family Holidays
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These family-friendly board games are perfect to play during Christmas or any other family get-togethers. These games are a good way to get family to play who are not normally into gaming and find out what style of game they enjoy.
Kingdomino (Blue Orange Games)
We love suggesting Kingdomino because it's so easy to teach and fun. It has some strategy, but it is simple enough for anyone to pick up. It's a great option for introducing people to strategic-style games who may not normally play those types. The base game is 2-4 players, though with the Age of Giants expansion you can add a fifth player.
Not Parent Approved
Not Parent Approved is definitely a favorite of our daughter. The best way we've come to describe it is a family-friendly Cards Against Humanity, similar also to Apples To Apples. It's very easy to play with a larger group of people. We usually find it more fun with more people.
It's also a nice, small size for traveling. We've had our copy for a few years now and it has received a lot of play time. It's also a good way to get kids to work on their reading without knowing it.
Ancestree (Calliope Games)
Ancestree is a board game for 2 to 6 players. It's a great option to introduce family to card-drafting games without them feeling overwhelmed. We also thought the theme of building generations of a family tree was nice when getting together with family.
You do need to make sure you have a good amount of table space as the trees can get large depending on how they're connected.
Unstable Unicorns is for 2-8 players. We find it the most enjoyable at 3+ players. Though, some people may not like the style of game where you need to attack other players. Everyone that we've introduced it to, adults and children alike, have really enjoyed it and the artwork is great.
It's very easy to jump into the game and play, but it takes some work to completely master. Game time can sometimes be long, depending on how the game is going. They describe it as “a strategic card game that will destroy your friendships… but in a good way.”
It says the recommended age is 14+; however, we regularly play this with our daughter who learned to play it when she was 7 years old.
Hive Mind (Calliope Games)
The Hive Mind box on says 3 to 12 players, but honestly you can play with as many people as you want. It only caps it at 12 due to the number of Bee Meeples (Beeples) and pencils in the box. You play it similar to a trivia game, but there are no wrong answers.
The object is to try to come up with the same answer as the other players. There are hundreds of questions to pick from, all family-friendly, that will sometimes get people remembering past memories and have everyone talking and laughing.
Zombie Dice (Steve Jackson Games)
Zombie Dice may have a player limit on the box, but you can really just play with as many people as you can fit around the table. It's super easy to play and teach and it comes in a nice, small package. It's usually pretty quick to play, but obviously it may be longer with more players. Turns go really fast.
Speechless (Arcane Wonders)
Speechless is a bit of a twist on charades. Each person takes a turn to silently act out a word or phrase (Easy, Medium or Hard) and the other players write down their answers.
Dungeon Mayhem (Dungeons & Dragons)
Dungeon Mayhem is relatively new. We received a copy to review. The game is very small so it's very easy to take along while travelling. It's also a very fast game that is easy to teach and have someone jump into. It's a great intro for non-gamer family to these types of games.
Young children can also easily play as there really is no reading, besides the descriptions of some of the characters special powers. Though, depending on the child, some may not like to get attacked or lose so quickly, so keep that in mind. But, the game is so fast, they'll be back up and running very quickly.
Circus Puppy (Renegade Games)
Circus Puppy is a dexterity game mainly targeted towards the younger family, but anyone can have fun with it. The art is adorable and it's small and easy to travel with. If you act now, you can get this along with another game in our Stay-At-Home Gamers Little Gamers Family Game Box.
ROBiTs (Quick Simple Fun Games)
ROBiTs is very easy to teach to anyone. It starts and finishes quickly. The box says 10 plus, but younger kinds should have no problems playing it. All of the cards have pictures and no words and the object of the game is simple to grasp. They recommend 2 to 7 players, but you can have more up to the limit of the deck of cards needed.
Here are some honorable mentions that we didn't get a chance to talk more about, but can also be fun to bring to the family get-togethers.
Yogi. Yogi will be great fun for the whole family as everyone needs to do what their card says, adding onto all of the other cards they grabbed. How long can you hold out your left pinkie while keeping a card under your chin.
Balderdash. This would be more for the older family, but the game itself is family-friendly. You'll all laugh hysterically at the false information created by the other players.
Happy Salmon. This one is fun for everyone and it requires some physical movement. The quick overview is “There are no turns. Players call out the action shown on their cards as fast as they can. When two players have a match, they celebrate by performing the action.”
We hope this list of games to play at family holidays helps you connect and create memories. You never know, you may discover a few new gamers in the family!
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