Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to: Host a Winning Game Night

Photo Courtesy: Ideal Home Garden.com
Whether it's a quiet evening at home with friends or a planned quality family event, a game night is a guarantee win-win situation.  It's more affordable than going out, and it is significantly more comfortable than meeting up with friends at a loud bar. Game nights also offer a way for people to connect, interact and share without technology.

Hosting a game night doesn't have to be stressful or expensive -- that would kind of defeat the purpose.  So, here are a few tips for throwing a fun night in that everyone will enjoy.


Numbers Matter
If you want everyone to play the same game, be sure to check how many players or team each game can accommodate.  If you're asking guests to bring a game, make sure you inform them of the number of attendees so they can plan accordingly.  If you plan on setting up multiple play areas, remember that some games are louder than others, such as ones that require participants to shout out their answers.

Keep the Food Simple
Think appetizers or finger foods and avoid cooking if you don't have to.  A plate of hummus with pitas and veggies for dipping is the perfect game night food.  Also, salsa and chips are always crowd pleasers.

Photo Courtesy: OneCharmingParty.com
Build Your Own Party Mix
Another winning game night food idea would be to set up a "candy bar" with glass bowls filled with an array of old-school candies, pretzels, nuts, and chocolate. Provide spoons or scoops and bowls so that your guests can create their own game night mix.

Food & Drink Stations
Usually, it is a good idea to keep food and drinks on a separate table or area of the game area. This helps reduce the chance of spills on the board or paper money.

Game Area Comforts
Where will you be sitting? Around the dining room table? In the living room on sofas and chairs? Make sure you have plenty of throw pillows for added comfort in chairs or on the floor.  Throw blankets are also a great idea for those who may tend to run a bit cooler.  If necessary, be sure to borrow extra chairs for additional seating.

Start the Playlist
A little background music can pump up the atmosphere.  Cue up your favorite playlist on your iPod and let the music flow.

BYOG (Bring Your Own Games)
Invite your friends to bring their favorite games over for a bit of variety.  Be sure to ask your guests to check the games for instructions and that all necessary pieces are in the box. If playing with family, have each member choose a game they enjoy to add to the mix.

Paper and Pen
Not all games take a board or a deck of cards. Some only need a pen and some paper, such as Celebrity, Charades and Password.

Game Breaks
Schedule mini-breaks in between games or at intervals during a long game for restroom use, checking cell phones and hitting the snacks. Game breaks are also a great way for people to socialize and interact on a more one-on-one format.

Ground Rules
From board games to dominoes, game night can bring out the competitive spirit in all of us.  Before starting, it may be a good idea to agree upon some ground rules.  These can range from deciding upon tricky, often disputed rules to decorum.  Here is a sample list from LoveEtc's blog:

1. No sore losers, however winners do get bragging rights. Lay it on thick.

2. No cheating (unless the game calls for cheating, then may the cheaters prosper.)

3. UNPLUG! Please turn off all cell phones. If you must keep yours on, turn it to vibrate, and take all calls away from the game table. No texting at the game tables (again, no cheating.)

4. Unless ALL players at a game agree on rule changes BEFORE play starts, the rules that came with the game are to be used to settle all rules, disputes, or questions.

5. No wagering, unless it’s a funny dare wager for all of our enjoyment, or a drinking wager.

6. Try to keep swearing to a minimum.

And lastly, have fun! Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Until next time!
-- Weegee Manlove

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 3:00 AM 

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