by Kristen Johnson
It’s that time of year when families gather together to celebrate the holidays, and what better way to spent quality time with everyone than to play some board games! We’ve picked our favorite board games for festive family fun, breaking them down into categories to cater to whatever your family enjoys the most!
If your family enjoys working together vs competing, a cooperative game would be right up their alley. Team up to stop multiple viruses from destroying the world in Pandemic, or try Hanabi, a challenging game all about communication and strategy as you work together to put on the best firework display without actually being able to see your own cards.
If you’re a family that enjoys healthy--or sometimes not so healthy--competition, these games are perfect for any ruthless competitor. Buzzword involves shouting a series of phrases, each with a common buzzword, while Smartass is the all-encompassing trivia game. In both of these games anyone can answer at any time, so stay sharp!
If your family is the type to cozy up next to the fire and read the latest comics, or get in passionate debates about the latest Marvel movie casting announcements, you and your nerdy family can enjoy a game of Munchkin and its 50+ expansions, including 6 holiday themed ones. Or if you would rather immerse yourself in a different world, try Settlers of Catan Star Trek, a Starship Federation twist on the popular board game. It’s only logical.
Maybe your family gathers together for Walking Dead night, or your house is the one with the elaborate TARDIS light display, but either way there are plenty of trivia games for the fandoms in your family. Walking Dead Trivia and Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit are great classic options, however, if your family is full of movie and television buffs that want more a wider scope of trivia, try the Pass the Popcorn. It’s packed with lots of questions and audio clues to stump even the most seasoned movie fan.
A deck of cards can go a long way, and is often the most simple addition to any gathering. Whether it’s a spirited round of Go Fish, or perhaps some family poker or blackjack, the possibilities are endless. And of course, let’s not forget UNO, which is of course a more colorfully wild version of Crazy 8’s, but there are other varieties that are pretty fun, like UNO Dare, UNO Hearts, and of course, Frozen.
For those of us who have to keep the kids in mind, Telestrations is the weird but perfect combination of Telephone and Pictionary, leading to many hilarious results. For an intriguing, scheming group game, The Werewolves of Millers Hollow is a Mafia-like the card game with a supernatural twist where the werewolves wake up every night to feast upon the village.
If you're a family of varied tastes, check out Cranium or Quelf. These games offer a lot of variety from Pictionary tasks to charades to shoving ice cubes down your pants. They can be fun for both kids and adults, and even more fun for adults when there is plenty of eggnog.