Family Board Games (That Are Actually Fun For Adults Too)
One of my favorite things over the winter break was having the relaxed time to play games. And it’s important to note (and is the point of this post), I am someone who finds many kids games booorrrring so it’s been such a delight in the past year to land on some games that are actually fun for the adults too! And really, I can’t say enough how great it is to get off the devices and play board games. Here are 5 games that we have enjoyed immensely; feel free to drop any recommendations in the comments. I hope to continue to add to this list!
Blokus (recommended for ages 5+)
Blokus looks deceptively simple and when you start the game you think, “Sure, no problem. I’ve got tons of room to connect all my shapes by corners.” But the game actually does involve strategy to expand your shape network and block your opponents, with the ultimate goal of getting all of your pieces on the board. We played this game for the first time over winter break and were hooked. It’s so very satisfying to find fun ways to connect your pieces and hear the click of the tiles as they lock into place!
Clue (recommended for ages 8+)
Clue is a classic for a reason! Each player will end up developing their own system to keep track of ruling out suspects, weapons, and rooms, which is why I think this game works across ages. We started playing this as a family over April break last year when Violet had just turned 7 (we rented a beachside AirBNB for April break and it ended up downpouring the entire time but there was a vintage version of Clue in the house that ended up providing hours of entertainment!). At the beginning Jon and I routinely each handed over an extra card or two to Violet but now (at almost 8) she can totally play with a regular dealt hand. After our vacation, I ordered a copy of Clue; I went for the new version with the Asian Dr. Orchid. #representationmatters
Dragonwood (recommended for ages 8+)
Dragonwood weaves mythical creatures (yes, there's a magical unicorn!) and adventure into a game that ultimately gives your kids fun math and pattern recognition practice! There's enough strategic thinking to make it fun for adults too, and an added bonus is you can adjust the length of the game depending on your mood. Violet received this game as a birthday gift last year and we have bought and gifted the game repeatedly to friends since then! (Technically, this game does not involve a board but I think of it as a board game given the setup.)
Ticket to Ride (recommended for ages 8+)
Ticket to Ride is a great game for those who love to fantasize about building their empire! The object is to collect matching train cards in order to claim railway routes throughout North America; the longer your route, the more points you earn! We were introduced to this game last year during a game night with friends and it was so fun that we bought the game as a gift for another set of friends and they became completely hooked too! This past New Year’s Eve I attribute a rousing round of Ticket to Ride to our ability to make it up until midnight!
Codenames (recommended for ages 10+)
Get ready to exercise your word associations with Codenames! The “board” includes a layout of 25 words, only some of which belong to a particular “spymaster” whose goal is to get you to guess their collection of words by one-word clue only. Jon bought this game for Christmas and it became an instant hit in our home. The game is listed as recommended for ages 10+ but at age 7 Violet can totally play this game. We just always start with her doing a quick scan of the board to see if there are any words she doesn't know. We gifted it to the same friends we gifted Ticket to Ride and they immediately were obsessed!