Last updated on March 4th, 2022

Need something to do inside this fall? Family games are a great way to bring everyone together. The best part is that the kids and the adults will have fun! Wendy Dessler put together this awesome list of fun board games and family game night ideas to play together so you can get started.

Family Game Night Ideas: texr overlaid two images of a family of three playing chess

With the Covid-19 pandemic still affecting many countries across the world, families have enjoyed a lot of nights at home together. With the summer weather quickly fading, we can expect to spend a lot more nights indoors with our families this fall. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on your kids’ screen time, check out these fun board games to play on your own game night? 

Dad and son playing a board game together for family fun

The size of the board game and puzzle industry is expected to rise to almost $30 billion by 2025. There are thousands of different board games out there, each with different themes, rules, and gameplay mechanics. There is something for everyone, no matter your interests. Unfortunately, with so many options, how are you supposed to choose to play with your family members?

With that in mind, let’s go over a couple of incredibly fun board games to play with the whole family. Get ready for some family fun this fall!

Six Fun Family Game Night Ideas

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons family game idea

While not a traditional board game, playing a family game of Dungeons & Dragons is a good way to spend the night together. This tabletop fantasy RPG has been around for decades and has millions of players all over the world. The game allows for a ton of creativity and is perfect for those with active imaginations. It can have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get it, there’s a fun night to be had. It’s also a great date night idea to have with your spouse!

Players create their own characters, have their own adventures and there is an endless amount of different directions the game can go. The game can be played with several players, as well as a Dungeon Master (DM) who essentially sets the stage, the rules and Games can last a single night, or multiple different sessions, it’s all up to you. Of course, make sure to visit D20 Collective or another retailer to ensure you have the dice, game mats, and any other accessories that you may require.

Pictionary

Pictionary is a classic fast-paced board game that is all about drawing and word-guessing. Teams work together to guess what the word that one of their members is drawing. All different types of words can be drawn, and the game can get pretty intense as teams try to guess the drawings before the timer runs out.

Also, the game can be played with any number of people, which is great for family fun. Plus those of all ages can play it, understand it, and have a good time. The game also offers near-endless replayability, even with the same group. Whether you are a great artist or struggle in the area, the game is still a blast to play.

Monopoly Ultimate Banking

Monopoly game for family game night

While Monopoly is one of the most classic board games out there, it is notorious for taking forever and leading to more than a couple of family disagreements. However, there is now a more modern version of the game that is much quicker and makes several exciting and unique changes. It is called Monopoly Ultimate Banking. Instead of using cash, the game uses a completely electronic banking system.

Some of the other changes include new cards, changing property values, and many others. Despite these changes, it is still true to the game of Monopoly as you know it. This version of the game is a great idea that provides a ton of fun, all without many of the frustrations that existed with the original game of Monopoly.

The two dice system in Monopoly is also great for working on math skills! No matter which version you play, Monopoly will always be one of the classic fun family games to play.

Codenames

Codenames is a game that can be a great time for people of all ages, and groups of all sizes. The game is all about two teams competing with another to crack the code. A “spymaster” on each team will give out one-word clues that correspond with their teams’ cards on the table. The rest of the team attempts to guess which cards the clue is describing, without accidentally choosing the cards of the other team.

The first team to correctly guess all of their cards on the table wins. The game can be challenging, but also can be made quite easy so it is great for anyone. It allows for a lot of creativity and involves a lot of working together for a team. In addition to being a great game to play with your family members, this game is also great for breaking out at parties.

Spontuneous

People singing for Spontuneous game

Another great option for game night ideas is to consider is Spontuneous. This game is great for music lovers or those who love to sing. Whether you are a great singer or your talent could use some work, this game is for you. To play the game, each player has a list of words and once it is their turn, they will say a word.

Then, it is up to the rest of the players to sing a song that contains that word. The first to successfully sing five words of the song wins that round. It is your goal as a player to try and stump the other players with your words. There are also challenge cards that introduce some unique, silly, and fun dynamics to the game that, of course, involve singing.

It’s not only a a fun night; this game also is a great way for children and teens to be more expressive, build confidence, and be creative.

Ticket to Ride

Kids playing Ticket to Ride together as a family

Ticket to Ride is a board game all about scoring more points than your opponent. You gain points by placing train cars and connecting them in long chains. Each player will also have ticket cards that show a specific route a player needs to try and connect to get more points. Each player is trying to place cars and complete their route, while also stopping other players in their tracks.

Not only is the game a lot of fun and quite addicting, but it can also teach you a lot about geography. And with various editions of the game, there is a lot to learn. Also, the game forces you to think on your feet and solve problems such as how to reach your destination if a certain path is blocked.

Spending a night in with the family playing a board game can be an incredible time. Whether you are playing Dungeons & Dragons, Pictionary or Monopoly or any of the other listed options, these family game night ideas will ensure your fun family board game night is a success.

Charades

If your family has a dramatic flair, then a classic game of charades may be the right fit for your next family game night. In case you’ve never played this one, it’s a pretty simple concept.

You will split into two teams and then a player from each team will take a turn acting something out. Whether you buy the board game or you just come up with ideas yourself, the items you’ll be acting out can range from something as simple as an animal to things as complex as a book or movie title.

Apples to Apples

This game is a personal favorite and It’s a perfect family game because it works best when you know the personality of the people you are playing with.

The game has two sets of card, red and green. The red cards have a noun. Sometimes it’s as simple as cake and at other times it may be very specific like a celebrity. The green cards have an adjective. At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt a hand of red cards.

Each round, one player is the judge and reads the adjective on the green card. Then, the other players choose a noun from their hand that they think fits the adjective. The judge will decide who’s card was the best fit and that person gets to keep the green card.

First player with 4 green cards wins! This game is a lot of fun with older kids but if you have little kids, you can also grab the junior version which has simpler and more age appropriate nouns and adjectives. 

Minute of fun

This Minute to Win it style game is definitely a crowd pleaser and if your family enjoys skill-based games, this may be the one for you. In this game you will face off against a family member to complete a task in less than one minute. 

The challenges are usually skill based and often require the player to do things without using their hands. In some challenges you may even have to wear a blindfold to compete.

Cranium

Cranium is the best way for families with a wide range of skills and interests to take part in a fun family game night tradition. The four different colors of the board represent four very different types of challenges.

Basically, the challenges are either trivia-based, word-based, drama-based, or art-based. This means that every family member will find some categories fun and exciting while they find others more challenging.

Best Card Games for family night

Uno

Uno is another classic game that’s still fun today. The best part about uno is that it’s so simple that it can be played with very young children. It only requires the ability to recognize letters, numbers and colors. If your child isn’t great at recognition yet, this game may also be the fun way to help them practice.

This popular game also comes in a wide variety of options that can make it more challenging and fun for an older age group. Uno triple play is particularly challenging with its fast pace and sneak attacks.

Monopoly Deal

Monopoly deal is a faster, card-based version of monopoly. Although the game officially states that it’s for ages 8+, it’s really more appropriate for children who can understand complex concepts. This one can be played with as little as 2 people but up to 5. Keep in mind, the more people playing, the longer the game becomes. However, even a five person game typically takes less than an hour.

So, if you like monopoly but you prefer a much faster version, this 

Spoons

This one is a great family game that tends to get a little crazy. All it requires is a deck of playing cards and some spoons. Everyone playing receives 4 cards and then the remaining pile is sat next to the dealer. In the center of the table, you should place a spoon for each player in the game, minus 1. (If you have 4 players, you will need 3 spoons.)

The goal of the game is to get four cards of one kind and then grab a spoon from the center. All other players will then need to grab a spoon as well. The player who does not get a spoon is out of the game. If you want the game to last longer, you could have each player loose a coin when they don’t get a spoon. When they loose 3 coins, they are out of the game.

When play begins, the dealer will pick a card from the pile and decide whether to keep it or pass it to the player on their left. The last player in the circle will make a pile with cards that are being discarded so that the dealer may use that pile when all cards in their pile have been passed. The cards continue to be passed around the table until someone gets four of a kind and grabs their spoon. 

99

This game is both fun and fantastically educational. It’s a simple game that requires only a deck of cards. To start the game, you’ll deal the entire deck of cards to the players at the table. Then, the player to the left of the dealer will play a card in the center.

Play continues around the table with each player adding a card to the pile. When the player lays down their card, they must add the face value of their card to the running total and say it out loud. The goal is to be the first person to play all the cards in your hand. But you must avoid being the player who causes the card total in the center to go over 99. If, on your turn, you cause the total to exceed 99, you must take all the cards in the pile. Play then begins again, starting over with zero for the running total.

As for card values, I’ve seen people set all different values for the cards and even using some cards as a skip. But we’ve found that the simplest way to play is to have all number cards to be taken at face value and face cards be worth 10. The one exception is an Ace which is worth either 1 or 11 depending on the player’s choice. 


Virtual game night games

If you’re looking for a last-minute game night idea and the game closet has gotten kind of stale, there are plenty of virtual and online games out there that can provide everything you need for a family virtual game night. Although we’ve only listed a few here, nearly every classic party game has a virtual version and their are many new games available as well.

Heads up

Heads up is a fast-paced game that pretty much always provides a fun time. The app is available on mobile devices and it basically changes your phone into a virtual deck of cards. The cards contain words and names that your team must get you to guess by giving you verbal clues. There are three rounds for each team and each round is timed. You must guess as many words as possible within the round. The team with the most points at the end of round 3 wins.

The app for this game is not free but it comes with several different decks of cards. You can also buy additional “decks” for the game within the app so that you can work with categories that your family particularly enjoys.

Among Us

Among us is an online multiplayer game that can be played with a group of people you choose or with a bunch of strangers. Using a local or private game will allow you to play with family and friends only. It can be played on a computer or a mobile device but each player needs their own device with the app installed.
The idea of the game is quite similar to a game of clue.The goal is for one player to eliminate all other players (by killing them) without getting caught, before they can complete all of their tasks. If they are caught and voted out of the game, the crewmates win.

It’s important to note that although the characters look more like teletubbies than humans, they do show the dead player with a cartoon-style bone sticking out of their body and a few drops of blood so it may not be the best option for younger children.


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