Staying home can be much more appealing when you want to spend time with friends. No matter the season, here’s how to host a fun grown up game night that guarantees you’ll get past the small talk and work woes and have more time for play.
How To Host a Fun Grown Up Game Night
First start with the guest list. Any good game night should have at least 5-8 people to guarantee a lively and exciting evening. And depending on the game it can be quite an eye-opener learning new details about your friends.
Games To Play
Skip the old board games you grew up with and look for games that involve being creative and clever. Here are some of my favorites:
Hot Seat is described as the adult party game that’s all about you. What’s your spirit animal? What’s your safe word? What do you refuse to do unless you’re drunk? Even more importantly – what do your friends think? Find out who thinks your spirit animal is a drunk alpaca… and who thinks it’s an accountant.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Cards Against Humanity. Well, Never Have I Ever game is the next step. What started as a drinking game in college is now a card game about some of your life decisions – sometimes poor ones, sometimes funny and many times naughty.
For Wits and Wagers game you don’t even need to know the answers to win. You bet on the best guess. For example, everyone writes down a guess to a fun question like “What percent of bank robberies are committed by women?” Then players bet on which guess is closest to the right answer. All the games can be found at Amazon.com
While Say Anything game is more of a light-hearted conversation about what you and your friends think. Debate questions like, “What is the most overrated band of all time?” or “Who would be the best celebrity to hang out with all day?”
Catch Phrase takes the classic password game and brings it into the digital age. This game has been a mainstay at holiday gatherings in my family.
Other clever games include Werewolf game which can take care of a large party of 16 or more with players taking on characters of villagers, a doctor, a seer and, of course “killer” werewolves. It’s a game that’s run with the help of one player being a moderator and filled with lies, deceit and accusations all in good fun.
When All Else Fails, Go Back to Basics
Games like Charades, Celebrity and Two Truths and a Lie sometimes make for the most memorable evenings.
And there’s the classic, but updated way to play Pictionary. There’s no need to have paper and pen. Instead set up a large easel with a dry erase board and dry erase markers which you can easily pick up at office supply stores like Staples. Now you can have two teams and everyone gets to play. You can easily generate new words just by using websites on your phone like The Game Gal and use the word generator for Pictionary. While the other team uses the timer on their phone to give each round one minute.
What to Serve
My favorite new party food is a mac and cheese bar (photo courtesy of The Girl on Bloor). I prepare a large bowl of mac and cheese and set out smaller bowls or a lazy susan from Bed, Bath and Beyond filled with all kinds of additional toppings like bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, crumbled chips and truffle oil so guests can do a little DIY with their dish. I’m able to stock up on all kinds of serving dishes from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I also skip bowls and have jumbo mugs from World Market so it’s easier for guests to handle the dish while we play games. Also, set out large napkins or even a stack of dish towels to minimize any spills.
You’ve got the mac and cheese self serve station so why not add a similar snack bar with chips, salsa and Simply Avocado combinations like garlic herb or roasted red pepper.
The ingredients are simple like hands scooped Hass avocados and sea salt or avocado and roasted red pepper. This party is about saving you time and keeping you out of the kitchen. Other than making the mac and cheese and perhaps baking a dessert, the rest can be store bought or ordered. You can find Simply Avocado in the produce section of Walmart and Mexgrocer.com.
Dessert is a Must at Any Party
Keep your desserts handy; as in sweets that you can hold in your hand rather then needing a plate, fork or spoon. Stick to cookies, brownies, and dessert bars and be sure to have a few options that satiate those looking for yummy healthy options or those with allergies. I recently discovered delicious Made Good foods with an array of granola bars, squares and even minis in the shape of balls. I’m particularly fond of the vanilla squares. They’re gluten free, organic, non-GMO and free of eight common allergens like peanuts, wheat, dairy and soy.
For those guests that can eat anything, I bake up a batch of my yummy 7 layer magic bars. If you haven’t learned about these delicious dessert bars then you can read the 7 layer bars recipe and watch the super easy how to video.
What to Imbibe
Again, this is about saving you time so you actually play games with your guests. It’s not about being an amateur mixologist so mix up one large batch of a special drink in advance so you’re not having to get up multiple times which will only break up the flow of the game. Or just have wine and craft beers on hand. It’s so simple!
Set The Scene and Fix Up Your Space
Clear your dining table to be the center of attention for food and clear your coffee table to be game central for cards, drinks and more. For a dining table that clearly defines game night, create a table runner by using a deck of playing cards. Tape the back of playing cards setting three or four across in a random assortment. You can use a whole deck, but if you wish to save the cards for future games, create a template to photo copy on your printer multiple times, Then just tape those papers together and display on the table.
Since the party’s not a sit down affair and you want to get right to the game play stick with foods that are easy to eat and prepare. I like having several tray tables handy so guests don’t have to have bowls and plates on their laps. Keep the menu to food that will feed many and let guest serve themselves.
Don’t Forget the Winners for Grown Up Game Night
It’s all about the fun, but with any games there are winners and losers. Create a few goodie bags for the winners filled with treats and little games. I created these gift bags from an array of items at World Market.