Tips to Make Family Game Night Great

I’m a firm believer of family time and one of our most favorite things to do is play games together.  Games are fun but they also encourage communication, a great way to learn sportsmanship, and make for healthy competition.

Tips for a successful family game night include:

  • 1) Make it a priority!  Mark the date on the calendar and make sure everyone understands that it’s a family date and not to make other plans.
  • 2) Add some variety to your game night.  As long as everyone gets to participate and spend that time with each other, it really doesn’t matter what game it is.
  • 3) Turn off ALL cell phones and TVs.
  • 4) Have snacks and beverages already made and easily accessible.
  • 5) Know the rules. Make sure everyone understands the rules beforehand to prevent arguments later.  It always

Our favorite games are Scattergories, Monopoly, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Trivial Pursuit, and Dominoes.   Not only does Walmart have low prices on their games right now, they have also provided some fun ideas on how you can turn your family game night into a theme!

  • Rock n’Roll Night—Turn your living room into a 50’s diner for Rock n’ Roll Night. The family could play include Twister, watch one of the two High School Musical movies, pull out those old tunes and serve diner themed foods like milk shakes and classic hot dogs.
  • Double Trouble Night—Turn family night into trouble fun by playing the infamous Trouble game and bending the rules such as eating with your fingers. Then relax around the TV to watch your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie and see how everyone’s favorite pirates get in and out of trouble
  • Special Mission Night—This night is about solving puzzle and using your smarts to uncover a mystery. Create or solve puzzles, play Pictureka and consider adding in a movie like National Treasure. Secret receipts of creative snacks might also be revealed!
  • Day of the Week Family Night Kit—For a Sweet Tooth Sunday. Walmart would provide the board game Candyland as well as the sugary sweet movie Pollyanna along soda and makings for a homemade ice cream sundaes.

What are YOUR favorite games to play?  What fun themes can you come up with?

What did we play this weekend? MONOPOLY of course! I think that Hasbro makes some of the best games out there.

Monopoly Board Game


Monopoly Game

Monopoly Champion

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  1. says

    You are so right! Family time is a must! We have family game night at least twice a month (sometimes it’s hard to have more than that because my husband is a correctional officer). Our favorite games to play are Monopoly Here and Now, Tripoly, and Pirates Dice. During the Christmas break, when my sister and her husband come in, I take the week of christmas off work and we play games and stay up very late every night.
    .-= usedtobeme´s last blog ..A stolen Meme from Poppy =-.

  2. Nadine L says

  3. Cee says

    Our favorite game has always been Trivial Pursuit (I hear there is now a Beatles edition?), but we’ve also enjoyed Scrabble and Cranium. A theme night could be a camping night, where you make a tent in the living room, have s’mores, and turn out most of the lights.

  4. Marilyn Wons says

    Our family loves to play “Go To The Head of the Class”. I played this game back when I was a child. I loved it then as my family and I do now, also, all players learn so much!

  5. Patricia Hill says

    My family loves Yahtzee, Clue, Trivial Pursuit, and Dominoes. My favorite is Trivial Pursuit since I have a head full of random facts.

  6. sandy says

    we love any games, seriously most can be fun if they have the right teams and right moods. I think the favorites right now are life and scrabble, with monopoly close behind. We have pj pass out parties where everyone stays up all night and plays games and watches videos , and we all pass out in the family room like a huge sleepover. We have themes depending on the games and ages, if they are easy games then we all play alone, we have girl teams for scrabble against boy and same with monopoly and change up teams

  7. Betty N says

    Here is something my kids (and neices who lived with us for 4 months a year for 8 years) Each kid got to choose what we would do for a family night. If money was involved, they would have to talk my husband or I(For example, an ice cream treat or make brownies) and we would help each kid plan as much or little as they wanted. Since we had a big age range (my little one was 1 when we started this…others were 1st grade through 6th grade) I always knew one niece would have Charades on her list of games to play (I hate Charades!) and we would make sure little guy got something that he could do. Card type games were also popular as well as board games like “Don’t Wake Daddy” and Movie night (the child planning picked DVD’s that they thought all would enjoy and asked for popcorn and drinks for refreshment)
    They really enjoyed the planning and if they asked for some ideas, we would help them and we took a turn also so I got to plan a night and my husband got to plan a night. So basically we were on a six week cycle.

  8. Rose says

    My daughter’s favorite game is Clue. Mine is Monopoly. I think anything with good food and pizza is enough of a theme for my family! Pop in a movie, order a few boxes of pizza, and let the fun begin.

  9. says

    Our kids are 10,8,4 and 1. We play a lot of games! Right now our favorite game to play is Simpsons Clue but Monopoly and Life are a close second and third!

  10. Shannon F. says

    Every Christmas my big family gets together and plays a Scrabble tourney. Throughout the year the couples play each other to practice and keep up their skills. It’s the best part of getting together!

  11. Dezi A says

    Those are great tips! Thanks for reminding me to make it a priority. At our house we love to play anything Cranium and Imaginiff. So fun and lots of laughter.

  12. says

  13. Jill L says

    We love playing I Spy Go Fish. It’s something the whole family can play. I need to go buy some goldfish to eat for a big night. Hmmm….. it gets those creative juices flowing.

  14. Harley says

    What are YOUR favorite games to play? What fun themes can you come up with?

    My favorite games are Clue, Monopoly, and Scrabble. I think it would be fun to have an ongoing tournament (in more than a day or else we would be stuck playing board games all day long). First loser of each game gets kicked! Keep playing a new game until its narrowed down to only one… THE CHAMPION!!!

  15. Sue E says

    My boys love to play Monopoly. When we want to play something fun, but quicker than a game of Monopoly, we play Uno Attack. Thanks!

  16. says

    We love love to play grown up games like scattergories and boggle and scrabble. We just played this outburst game that was so much fun.
    With the kiddo we love the cranium games.
    Hmmm I never have had a theme night.. I can’t wait to plan one now.. I will have to steal your ideas

  17. Cindi says

    We center our games around a food theme. One week, it will be
    pizza, another evening, spaghetti, etc.! Our family favorite games
    are Password ( the youngest is 6 and can play, too ), Chutes and
    Ladders and Uno! Please count me in your your fabulous drawing.
    Many thanks…..Cindi

  18. Margaret Smith says

    Clue is one of my favorites. My kids and I try to do a family game night every week. We all look forward to this so much. Thanks for this contest.

  19. Lauralee Hensley says

    Scrabble word tag team night. It’s where you team up with your kids, and divide up in teams, e.g. Mom and Daughter against Dad and Son. You have the kids each do a word, then the parents, then the kids and so on. The team with the most points gets to have the losing team lay on the floor while the winners eat their after game night snack first, then the losers can get up and get their snacks second. The losers pretend they were knocked like in wrestling by the winners, because words do have power to influence. Use no real violence. It helps children and adult’s spelling. Oh course it doesn’t have to be mom and dad as the adults, it can be aunts, uncles, grandparents, a babysitter etc…

  20. Cathie F. says

    Our grandchildren are finding it hard to please when it comes to games, They can’t turn down a good card game though like Uno or Slapstick or even old maid. I also found an old game we loved to play as kids at a garage sale Pokerkeno which is a combination of Poker and Bingo using an ordinary pack of playing cards. We played it last week and the kids loved it

  21. annette anderson says

    We love to play games! One of our favorites is Trivial Pursuit and when the little one’s want to play we usually play Operation. Thanks, Annette Anderson

  22. says

    The only game I’m very good at is Trivial Pursuit. Growing up my family had Uno, Skippo, Mille Bornes (French auto racing game), The Game of Life, Song Burst 50’s & 60’s Edition, many others over the years.

    Doesn’t really matter what you play, just as long as you play. Good times, good times.
    .-= Tina Kubala´s last blog ..The Long, Long Meme Part II =-.

  23. Kiara says

  24. Lee Taylor says

    My family loves playing card games and ‘Uno’ is still a favorite in our household! We also enjoy playing Monopoly, Scrabble and the Inter-active American Idol dvd game!

    Thanks for the great giveaway offering!

    Good luck to all!

  25. Geoff K says

    Our favorite games are all word-related games: Scrabble, Scattergories, Taboo, and Catch Phrase are definitely at the top of the list. One fun tradition we have is to combine movie and game night and, at least with games like Scrabble or Charades, make it a rule that all of our words or answers should be related in some way to a theme from the movie (with extra points for creative answers)! We also make snacks and decorations to fit the theme, which is a blast. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  26. susan varney says

  27. trish rowell says

    We love to play games as a family…we have started playing monopoly with our daughter who is 7 and she loves it, we also like to play skipo and sorry.

  28. Daphne says

    My guy’s not a game player
    and SCRABBLE’s my favorite game,
    but since inventing “Rice’s Rules”
    things just haven’t been the same!

    We don’t compete,
    we combine our points,
    we help each other score–
    we celebrate a victory
    at 500 points or more!

  29. Erin K Mize says

    We LOVE clue and card games like Uno//
    But now since we have a newer member to the family–
    i think we’d like to try Trivial pursuit Disney!!
    Or Disney’s Scene it~

  30. clelly johnson says

    hi there! our favorite family game is simple cards. I have an 11 yo and to help with her math we play war, but instead of the highest card winning we have who ever can multiply the cards the fastest win the hand. for example 3 of clubs and the 7 of diamonds are drawn who ever says 21 fastest wins! since playing this game her match scores have gone through the roof and she is even playing it with her freinds!

  31. Christie says

    Our favorites are Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Scattergories. We haven’t done any theme nights but your idea for the 50s night is one we might like a lot.

  32. Michelle Draveski says

    my son and I have a grudge match game of risk going
    my hubby is addicted to dominos
    but as a family we all play the good old stand by monopoly!

  33. Cindy Merrill says

    I’m a Food Historian so we recreate special meals from Historical Cookbooks; Example, Last Dinner on the Titanic: The Main course was a Rustic Beef Stew ( Steerage), with Fresh baked bread, and Plum Pudding For dessert. Everyone was given a role and had to stay in character. It was incredible! Next dinner: An Historical Thanksgiving, 1865 ( The first thanksgiving at home for civil war soldiers)

  34. Anne Taylor says

  35. mitchell says

    we like to play different versions of scrabble, along with the normal way of course. but our family is pretty good at it so our favorite is actually “reverse scrabble” where the goal is to come up with words that seem real, that sound real, that plausibly ARE real, and yet they arent allowed to be words as found in the dictionary. so here is how it works. there are 2 types of challenges – 1. someone can challenge if they actually think it is a word (no real words allowed!). 2. someone can challenge the plausibility of whether it even sounds like a word (this is to avoid total garbage like jjajhiih). so the person who made the word has to come up with a plausible pronunciation and definition for it and then use it in a sentence. and the other player(s) not taking part in the challenge (as impartially as possible) decide. we like it, lol. thanks

  36. katie says

    Our family is very competitive so we like to choose games where everyone plays together and everyone’s a winner! If it isn’t meant to be played that way, we usually change the rules :)

  37. Mike C says

    It’s got to be Monopoly and for a few reasons. First, it’s just fun. Second, it is a long game to play, so it wears the kids out, they’re ready for bed, no problem. Third, it’s the easiest way to get them thinking about what money responsibility means. Not the whole lesson, but a good first step.

  38. KaTe U says

    We love to play scrabble, monopoly. Or when we have little kids we play is hilarious how big the little ones think they are. When they come first thing out of their mouths “what is our special treat tonight?” They know I make or bake something special.
    Good times had by all.

  39. mitchell says

    we also play a lot of card games – mostly poker (texas holdem) and cribbage. we play for money but usually just spare change. thanks!

  40. Betty N says

    As my children got into elementary school, they loved such games as Who Is It (This has been a favorite game of each of my grandkids as they hit the early elementary age and I have one more to go who is still a preschooler so I am saving my game to play with him.)

  41. Geoff K says

    Another favorite game of ours would definitely be Trivial Pursuit, and we have enough versions of the game to have different theme nights revolve around it. For example, we have the 80s Edition of Trivial Pursuit, so a few times we have had an “80s Night” in which we all dress up in our favorite 80s styles (teased hair, legwarmers, neon, etc.), listen to some great tunes from the 80s, put out 80s candy (Nerds, Pop Rocks, etc.), and reminisce about the decade as we play!

  42. Deborah Wellenstein says

    We love all trivia games, so we frequently have trivia night. One person gets to pick his/her favorite trivia game. Thanks!

  43. Denise B. says

    My all-time favorite games to play are Monopoly and Careers. I still have mine from when I was a young child, and they still have all their pieces.

  44. Kymberly says

    Usually on Sunday nights my whole family gets together to play board games like monoply, deal or no deal, trival pursuit, survivor ect,…. its lots of fun ecspecially if there are really competitive people involved the victory is so much sweeter.

  45. Heidi Gail says

    I like Dominos, Life, and Monopoly. One of my favorite family night themes is Harry Potter night with a movie or two and strange looking treats that we name after the treats in the books or buy at the candy store.

  46. Marjorie Whitney says

    Monopoly is our favorite family game night game to play, but we also include others. Themes are usually suggested by the youngest kids, often involving hats related to the characters we are to play.

  47. barbara wright says

    We love Apples to Apples. When they were little, the family favorite was “fast oatmeal”. Now that we’re playing the adult game, they delight in trying to make me say that Martha Stewart is great (she has NO business having wood chips for the grill with her name on them! My kids think it’s a riot that she annoys me so much).

  48. Angela says

  49. Holly Lawson says

    We have a scavenger hunt night. It is great for Fall when the weather is cool and we can have smores afterwards. We hide clues around the yard for the kids and they use flashlights to find the “treasure” at the end of the game. SO FUN!!

  50. Anne Taylor says

  51. J says

    my daughter is just getting to the age of games, so another one we like is memory. don’t play it quite like the rules state, but it works for us & she has a great time.

  52. Missy says

    We LOVE Clue… sometimes we add in themes by choosing other countries, on those nights we have that country themed dinner/dessert, music AND we google away for a childrens game from that country :o)

  53. AB Smith says

    Love the game Blokus – think we will have a puzzle theme for family game night this week!

    I’d love to win this prize, thanks for sponsoring this.


  54. Sharon Seneker says

  55. Debi says

    We love card games! It’s also a great way to get the youngest ( 9 yr old) to do math without realizing it! Some of our faves are Uno, Texas Hold’em and 21( blackjack!) I can’t even begin to tell you how many decks of cards we have – ophhhh one of our new faves I just got at Walmart?!?! Scrabble Slam :-) Also improves spelling skills of 44 yr old men hehehehe

  56. Chels says

    My favorites are Guess Who and Chutes and Ladders – they’re fun even when you’re not a kid. Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. Kim H. says

    We do have a game night. It isn’t marked in stone (our daughter is a teen) but we do it regularly. Usually either Friday, Saturday or Thursday (just works out this way).

    Our fave games are Monopoly, Uno and Lunch Money. Sometimes Beer Money if we’re in a more competitive mood. We also play Jenga, Might and Magic, and Pirates!

  58. sandy perez says

    me and my husband and four girls love family game night and everyone has the own favorite but for me it’s monopoly but I love just seeing the smile on thier faces when we get the games out and pull from the hat to see which when we are going to play that night

  59. Jacob says

    We play a game called UPWORDS. It is kind of like scrabble, but you can also put letters on top of the tiles to make new words

  60. Angela C says

    My favorite game to play is Monopoly!!! My kids are too small for that one yet. Their favorite right now is Candyland!!! THANKS!

  61. lynn calyton says

    my teins and I love monopoly junior almost redy for the big boy boared. I make a monopoly cake and I make jailbird macaroni its our bonding time we love it. We also play candy land I make home made taffy for that one

  62. brooke says

    Current favorite game is Candyland… as far as themes they will have to wait until the kids are older.. They still don’t get candy yet..

  63. Jennifer Miller says

    Our favorite game is a toss-up between Scattergories and Loaded Questions. They are both games that you have to write your answer down in, but its simple and loads of fun! Thanks for the giveaway!

  64. Auriette says

    I like playing Scrabble. My best times playing it were with my friend Liz, because she was as non-competitive as I was and we would help each other out when we were stuck. It made it a lot of fun.
    .-= Auriette´s last blog ..HP is addictive. =-.

  65. Darcy B says

  66. E.B. Micone says

    I love so many games I can’t pick a favorite, but one that works with the wide variety of ages in my family is Dutch Blitz. It’s simple (you only have to recognize four colors and count to 12) but moves very fast, so the littler kids have an advantage over the adults!

  67. Kiersten Patterson says

    We have had some really fun game nights with our friends. One time we had about 30 people in my 1 bedroom apt. We played Farkle, Cranium, and catch phrase. We had all these games going on at the same time. It was crazy and fun!

  68. Carol says

    Candyland is wonderful to play with our new granddaughter. She loves it, and I made a cake for her birthday that looks just like the Candyland game board!

  69. Betty N says

    As my grandkids get a little older their favorites included uno Rummy Up, Upwords (easier than scrabble), Othello, connect 4,
    Since I have 8 grandkids from Pre-school to college age, I have collected games for all ages. One of my grandsons had to write about someone and he wrote about his grandma (me) and one of the things he wrote was “she has tons of games”. (most of my games I acquired at garage sales for 50 cents to a dollar)

  70. Geoff K says

    Another fun themed game night my family’s done in the past is to have a “Clue” night, for which we dress up as our favorite character from the classic game (Miss Scarlet, Miss Peacock, Mr. Green, etc.), prepare snacks inspired by the game (e.g., something with plums, mustard, etc.), and both play the game and watch the movie version from the 80s. It’s really a lot of fun!

  71. electric island says

    Clue , Whatzit & Trivial Pursuit. Themed thriller night for Clue, maybe deck ourselves out in characters from the CLue game, that would be so fun or a Flappers roaring 20s theme for the Trivial Pursuit game night.


  72. Sharon Seneker says

  73. Krista Lyle says

    Our favorite right now is Uno or Connect Four, I would love to get Jenga and Clue. Maybe a whole murder mystery night playing Clue in October would be fun…Thanks for the ideas.

  74. Jennifer Rich says

    Our children are still fairly young so our games consist of Mr. Mouth, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Jr. Monopoly. We also play Mario Party video games together because we can all 4 play and the kids can actually beat us at several of those games! We normally combine pizza night with game night so that is the main theme for us!

  75. Patrice says

    Clue is another game that we enjoy. It’s even more fun to play when we set an atmosphere for the house, with dim lights and candles.

  76. victoria lynch says

    My kids love to play connect 4 and candyland. We have had a candyland night. we watched charlie and the chocolate factory ate some candy and played candy land. the kids had such a ball

  77. Kathy Emerick says

    We love to play…”GO Make Groceries”. This is a cajun version of Go Fish. We love to watch Harry Potter and make milk shakes.

  78. sarah d. says

    Scrabble is one of our favorites. We change up the rules to make it fair for the younger kids (eg. maximum of five letter words).

  79. Renski 17 says

    A favorite family game when I was young was Monopoly. I loved it and was ruthless :-0. My little ones are too young to play Monopoly so we play Candyland.

  80. latisha depoortere says

  81. Terri L says

    I am not good at coming up with the themes so another favorite game of ours is Banangrams. It is like scrabble sort of except you make multiple words in crossword fashion.

  82. Kat E says

    One of our favorite games is Trivial Pursuit but our version is old and missing several pieces. I’d love to buy a new (and complete!) version for us.

  83. Heidi Gail says

    Another good theme night is pirates- the Pirates of the Carribean movies are great while drinking “grog” and speaking in a pirate accent.

  84. Charlotte Robbins says

  85. katiea says

    We’ve loved the SceneIt series of games ever since they came out. And now with Simpsons and Star Trek versions, we’re in geeky cloud nine!


  86. Deb says

    I’ve been thinking about doing a weekly theme for our family night, using the USA as a theme. We’d pick a state out of a “hat” (using an old cardboard 50 state puzzle) and have a traditional foods dinner, play a game that we could tie into something the state is known for (or make up a Trivia game for it), and then watch a state-themed movie with appropriate snacks. It’ll take a lot of research that I’d have to do before setting up, but I think it’d be fun.

  87. Jay says

    “Zoo night” Playing hungry hippos, yummy food make banana splits/ice cream, peanuts-things you would eat at a zoo or the animals like. Watch Madagascar 1/2.

  88. Yvonne Butler says

    Scrabble or Rook are our favorite games for a Saturday night at home after college football and snacks all afternoon. Thanks for the entry!

  89. barbara wright says

    My son and I love to play Scrabble… until he learned all the obscure 2 letter words in the Scrabble dictionary, that is. Now he can beat me all the time so we don’t enjoy it as much anymore.

  90. Anne Taylor says

  91. Lindsay says

    My idea for a theme for us to play wit would be an 80’s night! Teased hair, neon clothes, some great cheesy 80s music. It would be good tiems!

  92. Veronica Garrett says

    My favorite games are Scrabble, Monopoly and Twist. Themes? Pirates of The Caribbean and You Might Be A Redneck.

  93. Michael says

    Among the games we regularly enjoy are Monopoly, Back Gammon and Trivial Pursuit, but most recently we have been addicted to a game that’s called ‘suicide solitaire.’ For a card game, it’s an adrenaline rush! :)

  94. Ashley says

    our favorite game right now is sorry! i think a “fashion night” would be good for the girls and play a game like mall madness and watch a movie like confessions of a shopaholic

  95. Susan Kramer says

    Our favorite game is Scene It Jr. and any Cranium games. I think the next time we play Scene It, we’ll do a movie theater theme with concessions and tickets.

  96. Laura K says

    We love card games in our house (since our only child so far is still an infant and too young to play games) so we play kanasta, phase 10, and uno on a regular basis! thanks for the chance to enter!

  97. says

    We’ve been having UNO nights lately. I think I need to invest in some more card games. I wish we had some more space. We’re so cramped in this darn tiny house we can’t even have a table big enough for us to sit around. Hopefully next summer we’ll be able to move to someplace bigger.
    .-= Loretta´s last blog ..Yes, My Boys Have Chores Too =-.

  98. says

    We have family night every Monday night and have for decades, literally. It’s a huge blessing. We also love, love, love games. Come on, we’re homeschoolers. I think that’s required.

    We don’t ever really have a theme, but I might try that.

    Right now my #1 favorite is Qwirkle. We play that at least once per week!
    .-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..Best Toys: 60 Educational Family Games =-.