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Themed Family Game Nights

Though we just started having family game nights this past winter, they have proven to be a huge success. We have a lot of fun together, playing different games, competing for prizes (basically things we find in our homes that we’d like to swap), and just being together as a family. My sisters and their significant others, my parents, a couple of aunts, and sometimes a few friends join in for the monthly fun.

Recently I suggested that we start having themed game nights, mostly because I just think it would be something we’d enjoy. What I’d love are some theme suggestions that are family appropriate (we always have my daughter, who is four, in attendance; other children sometimes attend as well). Here are a few that I’ve already come up with.

Apple Night: We play Apples to Apples (which seems to be the general favorite that most people can play) and all bring apple-flavored dishes and drinks.

Homemade Game Night: Everyone has to come with a game that he or she made up on his or her own and be prepared to explain how to play. Alternatively, we could just play games that require pen, paper, and our creativity—like charades or Pictionary.

Potluck Night: We pick a theme—Asian, American, Chinese, etc.—and everyone has to bring a unique, flavorful culinary dish that matches. We could even assign each person a type of dish (appetizer, dessert, etc.) to make sure we don’t have too many of the same kind. Or we could do a traditional potluck and have everyone bring an ingredient to put into a stew!

Kiddie Game Night: We could all bring in kiddie foods—like macaroni and cheese, finger foods, or lollipops—and play nothing but kid games like Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, or Hi Ho Cherry O all night. For an adult twist, we could always just play one hour of kiddie games, and dress up the kiddie dishes to make them more grown-up (top the mac and cheese or add more cheeses, make elegant finger foods, chocolate milk cocktails, etc.).

Costume Game Night: Best costume would, of course, win an extra prize. This one would probably be ideal for the October game night.

Bring a Friend Night: Everyone could bring a new friend to come and play (if the person whose turn to host has enough room!).

Double or Nothing Night: Play for double prizes (this one would make my brother-in-law quite happy!), or play with change for money. (If we do this, it will have to be a rare theme!)

So, any other ideas?