15 Game Night Ideas for Almost Any Occasion

Everybody loves game night. Game night is a tradition for some friends and family, especially during the holidays or special occasions. While some games stick around, others fade out, leaving you wondering what games to come up with next. There are lots of games out there. However, not just any game will do for your crowd. You’re looking for the perfect game that engages everyone and keeps the fun going for hours.

Game night is a great way to make memories. Whether you’re looking to start your game night or need a fresh idea for your regular meetup, we’ve rounded up a unique set of fun family game night ideas to help you out. You can also try some of these games with friends, or coworkers, or anyone else in any setting. Choose your favorites, grab your game night food, and have a great time!

1. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is well on its way to becoming a classic board game and a favorite of family game night ideas. Ticket to Ride is a basic strategy game. Your goal is to have the most points at the end of the game. You gain points by claiming routes and completing destination tickets. It's a fantastic, fun game for up to five players - perfect for children and or adults who love to play games.

The object of Ticket to Ride is to build train routes across the country by collecting and playing matching train cards. Throughout the game, players are rewarded for building longer railways and connecting distant cities. Ticket to Ride is perfect for game nights with its simple premise and just the right amount of strategy.

2. Loaded Questions

One of the most popular board games, Loaded Questions involves players taking turns reading off questions from cards, which the other players must answer by writing down their response. One player chooses a card and reads one of the four questions on the card. The other players must then write their answers on their scorecards and pass them to one player. Then, the asker picks their favorite and tries to match each answer to a player.

If you are looking for game night ideas that help you get to know people, Loaded Questions is perfect for game night. You learn a lot about the people that you play it with. Loaded Questions is a great ice breaker. Try and get as funny and creative as you can with your answers, and you win! It's essentially like Cards Against Humanity, but with more freedom. It's great for game nights or family game night.

3. Bananagrams

Take game nights to the next level with Bananagrams. This variation of the game Scrabble is a contest of quick thinking. In Bananagrams, every player uses a set of letter tiles to arrange their word grid as quickly as possible. As people use up their tiles, players take additional letters from a pool until fewer tiles are left than players. Once the pool has run dry, the first person to use up all their tiles and yell “Bananas!” wins.

Bananagrams requires no pencil, paper, or board and comes in a small portable banana-shaped pouch that's perfect for ages seven and up —at home or on the go. Play the regular Bananagrams rules, but words must be three letters or longer. NO two-letter words. If you are looking for game night ideas that are simple and fast-paced, Bananagrams is ideal for family game night.

4. The Resistance

If you want game night ideas that involve cutthroat strategy, The Resistance may be your choice for friend or family game night. Nothing gets a game night as heated as when you must decide who to trust. Designed for five to ten players, The Resistance pits a team of Resistance Operatives (the good guys) against Imperial Spies (the bad guys). For three to five rounds, your team's goal is to carry out missions while each player tries to deduce other players’ identities.

Players secretly vote whether a mission will succeed or fail, so it's up to the group to determine who can be trusted. Resistance is one of those great, easy-to-learn game night party ideas that are great with the right group of friends and family. It is best to play this with as many players as possible. It makes the game more unique and enjoyable overall on family game night.

5. Catan

When playing Catan, players control pirate troops intent on building new hideouts. Players will have to collect resources, such as wood and wool, to set sail and expand their network. Catan is a balancing act between luck and strategy, but it is a perfectly streamlined, fun game for all ages. Catan is satisfying to play, even more satisfying to win on family game night.

As a game best played with a poker face and a good set of bluffing skills, Catan rewards long-term foresight and strategies more than rushed or brute-forced gameplay techniques. Catan is one of those board games that is open to all – it is easy to learn and play. It has unique and interesting mechanics, and it keeps all the players engaged at all times due to the way the dice and negotiation work. All in all, Catan is a game anyone can play on family game night.

6. Balderdash

Whether you're a convincing liar or extremely gullible, you'll find Balderdash to be one of the most enjoyable board games on family game night. The game challenges players to come up with fake definitions for extremely obscure words to convince everyone else that your definition is real. Definitions are read aloud. Points are tallied. If you guess the correct definition or trick your opponents, you score. Make sure to practice your bluff!

Balderdash is a great game for game night or special occasions! Players guess an answer for a topic read by rotating readers. All players can gain points for different things. All the true answers are ridiculous, so the trick is to write similarly ridiculous guesses so that people will vote for your guess as to the real one. If you love playing games, then Balderdash is a fun board game.

7. Hunt a Killer

Hunt a Killer may be one of your best family game night ideas if you like playing board games with a little intensity. This engaging board game is an immersive mystery-game subscription box that tasks you with solving a fictional crime using the clues provided. The main objective while playing Hunt A Killer is to use the props within each box to crack a complex murder mystery.

Customers receive one episode box each month delivered right to their door (or more frequently, if you become hooked!) over six months (six boxes total) that will eventually lead them to uncover the killer. Players can work together to decipher clues and solve the murder mystery. In this way, Hunt a Killer is unique when compared to other board games. It may add a little mystery to game night.

8. Otrio Wood

when you have kids, you need to think 'outside the box' during game night. One of the most fun games that the entire family can play is Otrio Wood. One of the favorite games of kids, Otrio Wood is similar to Tic Tac Toe. To win, get three pieces of your color in a row based upon similar size, lined up in ascending or descending order, or within the same space as three concentric pieces. The rules are simple, but the family game can be just complex enough to challenge your child.

Otrio is a unique game that is engaging, challenging, and beautifully built! The family game is made of solid wood, giving players an elegant playing experience. Show off your smarts in a brainy showdown with Otrio! Marbles Otrio provides family fun, cool games for a family game night that everyone will love!

9. Candy Land

Speaking of classic games, Candy Land is one of those board games that you can play with your young children over and again. According to Hasbro, the game's manufacturer, more than 40 million copies of Candy Land have been sold. The game, which invites players to explore a peppermint stick forest, a peanut brittle house, a molasses swamp, and a gumdrop mountain, was designed to foster imagination and individual play rather than encourage competition.

Travel through Candy Land" along the path of colored spaces. The moves are made according to colored squares, or the players draw picture cards. Be the first player to reach the Candy Castle by loading on the multi-colored rainbow space at the end of the path. Although geared toward children, Candy Land provides family fun for everyone and can be a quick and easy way to spend game night.

10. Twister

Are you looking for a hilarious game for game night? Twister provides so much fun for everyone and is still considered one of the ultimate party games for game night. It is also a fast paced game that engages everyone, including hard-core board gamers.

The rules are simple. Divide into two teams (or as many teams as you want). Each player must try to place the called-out body part on a vacant circle of the called-out color. If your called-out hand or foot is already on a circle of the called-out color, you must try to move it to another circle of the same color. Any player who falls, or touches the mat with an elbow or knee, is immediately out of the game. The last player left in the game is the winner!

11. Cards Against Humanity Family Edition

The makers of Cards Against Humanity are now offering the game’s new family edition, a simple game designed for ages eight and up. Cards Against Humanity Family Edition has been released early so family members can enjoy it while they’re socially distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, it is already being called of the best card games around.

The Family Edition is a fill-in-the-blank party game. One randomly chosen player begins as the Card Czar and plays a Black Card. The Card Czar reads the question or fill-in-the-blank phrase on the Black Card out loud. Everyone else answers the question or fills in the blank by passing one White Card, face down, to the Card Czar. The Card Czar shuffles all of the answers and shares each card combination with the group. For full effect, the Card Czar should usually re-read the Black Card before presenting each answer. It is one of the best games for laughs!

12. Trekking the National Parks

Want to combine a great night of games with an educational opportunity? Trekking the National Parks can keep everyone learning all night long. This game is not only easy and fun to play, but it's really beautiful. The new, updated version takes about 5 minutes to learn and can be played over and again. You trek through National Parks in the game, collecting colored stones and making “camp” at the most valuable parks. Each of these activities nets you victory points, which leads to the win.

For gamers looking for a great idea to play with their family, Trekking makes a good choice. The theme is perfect for a family weight game, and the cards even include photos of the national parks and interesting facts about them. So, the game is not only fun but educational too! It gives you a great excuse to teach your kids while having a blast trekking through the parks!

13. Scrabble

The concept of Scrabble is easy: score more points than your opponent. A player collects points by placing words on the game board. Each letter has a different point value, so the strategy becomes to play words with high-scoring letter combinations. A Scrabble game board is made up of cells in a square grid. Best of all, you can set your level of difficulty whether you played with friends, family, kids, or adults.

One of the most obvious advantages of playing the Scrabble board game is that it'll teach you to expand your vocabulary. But as a word game, it will also help you to improve your word-derivation skills. Individuals who play Scrabble often learn to utilize suffixes and prefixes more easily than those who don't play any word games.

14. Trivial Pursuit

Just read the reader interactions comments on the Trivial Pursuit website, and you will instantly get the feeling that this is not just any board game. Trivial Pursuit (and all the affiliated sites and games) has long been an endearing game for brainiacs itching to flex their intellectual muscles. But beware, Trivial Pursuit is a long game. It can be fun, but you have to be committed.

The premise of Trivial Pursuit is easy. You answer more trivia questions than your opponents. The questions are divided into six categories, giving you more routes to choose from. The person that has answered the most questions and filled their game piece with pie pieces wins the game. There are numerous versions of Trivial Pursuit available, including a version for kids. Anyone who has played the game can tell you that it is highly competitive. It is great for a fun party with family and friends.

15. Clue

Another classic fun board game that people can join in on at your house is Clue. Everyone from kids to adults can play in the same setting, with one goal in mind: find out whodunnit! Each player is given a crime scene with plenty of clues to determine who committed to crime. The first player tries to guess. If they do not get it correctly, the next player has a turn. All of the crimes take place in the same house.

In the classic murder mystery game, Clue, Mr. Boddy is found dead inside of his mansion. The object of the game is to determine the killer, the murder weapon, and the room in which the crime occurred. The game is suited for players eight and up and can support three to six players. Clue is one of those must-have games that everyone can have fun with. It is a super simple game that adults and older kids alike can play, so really, the whole family can play. Grab some food and join the party!

Whether you play with adults or kids, there is something about board games that people love. Whether you like strategy games, hilarious games, or competitive board games, there is something for everyone. Next time you have a party, turn it into a fun game night!