How to Host a Family Game Night

A family game night is fun for everyone, especially when there's good food and friendly competition involved!

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African American family playing board game together
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Why Have Game Night?

Add a little excitement to your at-home time! With these ideas, your family game night will be fun- and food-filled with a little bit of friendly competition, of course. Now, get your game face on!

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Stack of Board Games
Claire Krieger/Taste of Home

Pick What to Play

After you and your crew decide on a night that works for everyone, here comes the hard part: agreeing on a game. Be sure to gear your selection toward your group. If you have little ones, opt for a classic like Candy Land. School-age kids love Sequence. And teens and adults can’t seem to get enough of Catan.

Editor’s Tip: Short on games? Buy some from a local thrift store (just check to make sure all of the pieces are in place) or check the library—some let you borrow board games in addition to books.

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Board game snacks
Taste of Home

Select Your Snacks

You’ll want your menu full of small, mess-free munchies that can be grabbed, dunked and devoured in between rounds. Think homemade Mini Corn Dogs, this luscious Lake Charles Dip and loaded Chocolate Caramel Cookies. Check out this collection of game night recipes, plus the themed treats below!

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Inspired by Clue: Mustard Pretzel Nuggets

It was Colonel Mustard with the candlestick in the kitchen! Let your imagination run wild with these aptly named mustard pretzel bites. It’s no mystery that they’re delicious.
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Inspired by Scrabble: Meatball Alphabet Soup

Pay homage to the classic word game with alphabet soup. For easy eating as you play, serve the soup in mugs.
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Inspired by Candy Land: Candy Bar Brownies

Even if you don’t make it to King Kandy’s Castle, you’ll still be a winner, thanks to these candy bar brownies. They’re so delicious, every player will be vying for the last bite.
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Inspired by Hungry Hungry Hippos: Key Lime Pie Balls

It’ll be the players—not the hippos—chomping at these Key lime bites. The rolled bites are inspired by the game’s marbles.
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Inspired by Pictionary: Gingerbread Cards

For a fun twist on Pictionary, trade in your paper for one of these homemade cookie cards. Edible food writing pens make it easy to draw on their surface!
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Inspired by Operation: Savory Party Bread

Even if you can’t extract the Bread Basket token during a game of Operation, you can still enjoy slices of this savory party bread. The whole family will enjoy pulling slices from the warm, gooey loaf.
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Inspired by Monopoly: Mama’s Million-Dollar Fudge

You’ll be even richer than the bank after one bite of this million-dollar fudge. Plus, the small squares make it easy to eat between turns.
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Inspired by Apples to Apples: Chunky Apple Snack Cake

Serve up slices of this snack cake during a game of Apples to Apples. Just like the game’s kooky card combinations, this treat is guaranteed to garner smiles.
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Board game snack setup
Taste of Home

Set the Table

First, place the game and its pieces on the table to ensure there’s enough space. You can even divvy up tokens, deal cards and set up scorecards in advance. Next, set out your snacks in the remaining space.

Editor’s Tip: Serve the small bites on a lazy Susan. That way everyone can reach, even as they’re strategizing.

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Hand cleaning station for board game night
Taste of Home

Play Clean

And no, we don’t mean playing by the rules! That’s important, too, but so is keeping the table and game pieces tidy. Place slices of lemon and a shallow dish of warm water at each place setting. When fingers get greasy from snacking, simply splash ’em in the water and rub with the fruit to freshen up quickly. A spritz of hand sanitizer will help, too.

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Dice falling onto snakes and ladders board
Rafe Swan/Getty Images

Game on!

You’re finally ready to call in the crew and get gaming. For optimal family bonding, make game night a tech-free zone. Have everyone place their phones in a separate room and turn off the TV. Now, it’s time to snack—then attack!

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.
Annamarie Higley
Annamarie is Taste of Home’s Shopping Editor and previously worked on the brand’s magazine and special issues. It was during this time she tapped into her love language, gifts, and spearheaded the print holiday gift guides in 2021 and 2022. She’s thrilled to continue creating gift guides full time for the shopping team, in addition to testing and reviewing products, spotlighting viral gadgets and editing freelanced content. A midwestern transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, crafting and—you guessed it!—shopping and cooking.