Get-togethers like dinner parties and sports viewing parties offer a fun way to spend time with friends, catch up, enjoy great food, and bond over what you love. But sometimes, you want the fun to keep going — or else you’re in need of a little intellectual stimulation. Adding a game night into your get-together can be the perfect solution.
To amp up your get-together-turned-game-night, you’ll want to commit to some planning so that you have all the necessary games on hand (and make sure they’re easily accessible), in addition to all of the preferred game night food and drinks (some of which might overlap with your existing menu for the evening).
Below, we’ll discuss several different types of games you should consider for your game night in addition to food and drink ideas.
For many people, a game night means board games — and that’s it. In this regard, Monopoly is a game night staple, but it can get extremely competitive. If you haven’t played in a while, studying a bit of strategy beforehand will help to set you apart from the rank amateurs and make you a worthy opponent for that one ultra-competitive friend. When game night comes around, you’ll be able to show off your skills and take that one friend down a peg or two.
Other great classic games to have on hand for a game night include Clue, The Game of Life, Pictionary, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. Scrabble, in particular, is a good choice for a dinner party, especially one that’s a bit more formal than casual. Like with Monopoly, it’ll help to study various tips and tricks in advance so you’ll be more prepared. It’ll also increase the flow and enjoyment of the game, which is exactly what you want at a game night. After all, nothing ruins the mood faster than having to explain how to play the game over and over or no one taking it seriously enough.
If you’d rather not play board games, or if you’re looking for another game to add in, poker, bridge, or rummy are great card games to play. All three will be equally at home at any type of get-together, but they’ll work best for a sports viewing party or a more casual dinner party. However, it’s important that everyone present knows how to play the game in advance. Like with learning board games, you don’t want to ruin the mood.
If you’re not sure which game to choose (or start with), rummy is usually a good choice because it’s easy to learn. It can be played with two or more players, or more than six (you’ll just need a second deck in this instance).
Although not a traditional element of most game nights, video games are an increasingly popular option. They tend to work best with a casual get-together, like a sports viewing party. However, if your get-together has a wider mix of people, there are certain games that are a better fit for a diverse crowd than others.
For example, Mario Kart is often a party favorite. Wii sports are also a good option because it gets everyone moving and laughing. No matter what you end up choosing, make sure it’s a multiplayer game, and make sure that you rotate the players so no one is left out.
What to Serve
If you’re adding a game night onto a sports viewing party, then you’ll likely have many of the game night favorites on hand: finger foods and beer. Regardless, it’s a good idea to keep the food coming during a game night, so make sure you at least have snacks like chips and pretzels still available. You can even incorporate some simple, creative snack hacks to make things easier while you play.
As for pairing a game night with a dinner party, what you decide to serve at the former will depend on what you serve at the latter (and when). If you’re playing games before dinner, start with cocktails and appetizers that are easy to eat. For after dinner, serve dessert, coffee, or light snacks like fruit and veggies.