There’s nothing quite like getting together with your family or friends and hosting a game night! The elements of every game night are the same: you combine friendly competition with good laughs and great food, and your gathering will surely be a hit. If you need some inspiration for your next get-together, check out these tips to make your next game night a roaring success.
1. Serve The Proper Fare
While a fancy multiple-course meal is somewhat of a staple of dinner parties in general, it’s not necessarily appropriate for game night. Because of the nature of the event, the food can’t be fussy or complicated to eat. In fact, simple finger foods are your best bet here. To make things easier on you, the host, ask every household to bring their favorite finger food; you won’t have to prepare as much, and you’ll get to try everyone’s beloved recipes. Make a variety, such as pigs in blankets, stuffed mushrooms, a charcuterie board, and even mini sliders. This way, guests can easily enjoy their meal and still have their hands free to play the game.
Don’t forget about drinks! Individually Packaged drinks such as bottled water, soda, or beer are perfect options for a game night because they can be grabbed quickly. You don’t want to be stuck running drinks or tending bar all night; providing already packaged drinks enables the guests to serve themselves. Put the drinks on a table near the game area, so your group can quickly grab a beverage and return to the action.
2. Assemble A Game Selection
The most important part of game night is, of course, the games! You know your group best, so put together a variety of different games that you know they’ll enjoy. Don’t just stick to one style of play. Pick a few card games to add to the mix, such as Uno and Phase Ten by Mattel or Rook by Hasbro. Be sure to add in some classics like Clue, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit, and some funny games, like Cards Against Humanity or Taboo. At the start of the evening, you can vote on which games you’d all like to play.
3. Set The Mood With Music
Game night is not the time for loud music or songs emphasizing lyrics. You want to concentrate on the game at hand, so background music is appropriate. Make sure it’s upbeat, though; you will want your guests to feel the enthusiasm when they enter your home. Jazz or easy listening are perfect choices.
4. Rearrange Your Furniture For Optimal Gameplay
If you intend to play a game with a game board, or a big card spread, don’t set up where the guests are far away from the game area. Make sure each guest has enough room to play the game comfortably and have their plate and drink alongside them; it’s usually best to set up at a kitchen or dining room table. However, if you’re playing a game such as Charades or Guesstures, you may want to set up your group in the living room, with the coffee table moved out of the way so each guest can fully see the actions of their competitors.
5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
While a little healthy competition is fun, no one likes a sore loser on game night. Yes, it is disheartening to lose at Monopoly for the 5th week in a row, but don’t let it ruin the event. If guests are getting cranky, switch up the game to one where laughing is first and winning is second, like Secret Hitler, where the players try to determine who among them is actually the enemy. Or, perhaps, play a game such as Forbidden Island, where all players work together to safely get off a sinking island–with the treasure in tow, of course.
If you bring together delicious food and drink, a fun environment, a varied game selection, and good people, your game night will be a guaranteed success. Before long, you’ll be everyone’s favorite game night host!