My family doesn’t have a lot of traditions, but there’s one we stick to every year when the holidays roll around: buying a new game for us to play on Christmas Eve. It can be a card game, board game, or any other type as long as we’re all spending time having fun together.
Opening the game together on Christmas Eve also helps to distract us from thinking about the presents that are still under the tree that we’re just dying to unwrap in the morning. Plus, depending on how rambunctious we get as we play, it’s also a great way to tucker us out early so we can wake up bright and early the next day. If your family is anything like mine, you won’t have any trouble letting your competitive side bring plenty of excitement to any game.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for the holidays to have a family game night. Each of the games below would be a blast for everyone — young or old — to join in all year round. Keep reading to see all the fun games you and your family can enjoy together!
Best Balancing Game
For this "teetering, wobbling, shifting, tipping, unbalanced balance game," each family member takes a turn hanging a wire piece onto the tabletop stand. Of course, each time they do, it becomes a bit more unbalanced. Even the slightest wrong move could send the whole thing toppling down in seconds, so expect tensions to be high while playing this game. You can even play it by yourself to see how far you can go before things start to fall!
Where to Buy: $12.99, Amazon
Best Matching Game
The bright, bold shapes of this easy-to-learn game make it perfect for younger and older family members to enjoy together. It's similar to a classic game of dominoes, as the objective is to match colors and shapes to form a long line. It may seem simple, but it requires a lot of thought and strategy for anyone looking to be crowned the winner.
Where to Buy: $22.99, Amazon
Best Singing Game
You don't need a karaoke machine or video game console to enjoy musical games. For this one, a single word prompts the players to be the first one to sing a song that contains it — "no singing skill necessary," according to the game's description. One reviewer on Amazon wrote, "The game brought laughs and tears running down our cheeks as the whole table would break out into a song."
Where to Buy: $29.99, Amazon
Best Disney Game
This trivia game poses questions about Disney's animated classics, more recent blockbusters, television shows, and their famous theme parks. A designated host asks the questions based on images on a card. On top of testing your family's Disney knowledge, there are rounds where you see how well you know each other by trying to guess another player's answer.
Where to Buy: $15.95, Amazon
Best Drawing Game
This game is sort of like a combination between classic Pictionary and the telephone game. One player starts by drawing a word, then passing the drawing over to the next person, who has to try and guess what that word was. They pass that along again, and the next person has to draw whatever the one before them (likely incorrectly) guessed. For example, you might draw the phrase "when pigs fly" but the person who guesses thought your drawing looked more like a "chubby butterfly." The book of drawings and guesses is passed around until it gets back to the original artist to reveal the hilarious interpretations.
Where to Buy: $29.98, Amazon
Best Non-Traditional Game
Escape Room in a Box
Escape the Room experiences have become more and more popular in recent years. With this game, you don't have to worry about leaving your home and making a reservation to attempt your own adventure. This version relies on teamwork to puzzle out the 19 mental and physical challenges before a mad scientist can "turn you into a werewolf."
Where to Buy: $21.99, Amazon
Best Classic Board Game
Ticket to Ride
This beloved game inspired by Around the World in 80 Days has been played by families for generations for a reason: it's so darn fun! However, the high stakes of winner-takes-all can make for some heavy competition as players string their trains across the board. We recommend planning time for plenty of rematches.
Where to Buy: $44.97, Amazon
Best Funny Game
As jarring as the title sounds, this incredibly popular card game is a twist on Russian roulette. According to their description, "players draw cards until someone draws an esploding kitten, at which point they explode and are out of the game — unless they have a diffuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches." Don't worry, no actual kittens have ever been harmed while playing this silly game.
Where to Buy: $19.99, Amazon
Best Ridiculous Game
If you don't mind looking a little weird as you try to say phrases on a card with your mouth pried open, this game is for you! Each box comes with 10 mouthpieces and 200 cards. The goal is to have the other players guess what you're saying before the time runs up. According to one review, "It's hysterical — even my 96-year-old father loved it, and his dentures didn't come flying out of his mouth!"
Where to Buy: $14.75, Amazon
Best Spooky Game
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Although it's probably not a great option for families with super young kids, this chilling game is perfect for fans of mysterious and scary movies. According to the description, "you and your friends explore 'that creepy old place on the hill' until enough mystic misadventures happen that one of the players turns on all of the others." It's sort of like the reverse version of Clue!
Where to Buy: $32.88, Amazon