The secret to any holiday party isn’t the food (although I am partial to those little mini hot dogs on tooth picks), the sparkly decorations or the fancy-schmancy location. No, the secret to a great holiday party is making sure your guests come away with memories of gut-laughing fun and festive camaraderie. And, the best way to ensure your holiday party guests have tons of fun, is with the right party games. No, we are not talking about pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, but rather games that will get everyone cheering, or strategizing to win. So, to help you kick-start your next seasonal soiree, here are my picks for Top Party Games for the Holidays.
The original Trivial Pursuit game was a huge hit when it first came out. Created by a bunch of guys who liked to sit around, drink a few pints and test each other’s general knowledge of history, geography, science and popular culture, Trivial Pursuit was the game of choice for many of my family’s holiday get-togethers. My dad, Uncle Mike, Cousin Mickey and I made an almost unbeatable team. I was great with science, movies and music, while Mickey and Mike had every sport stat memorized. Dad rounded out the team with an encyclopedic knowledge of history and geography. Anything we didn’t know, Uncle Mike would just answer “Mount Vesuvius!” in the hopes of randomly guessing right. Today, you can test your knowledge with a wide variety of themed Trivial Pursuit sets, from the World of Harry Potter edition to a Marvel Cinematic Universe set. Best of all, it is the kind of game everyone can play, even if it’s only to shout out “Mount Vesuvius!” every once in a while.
Another family favourite is Yahtzee. It’s basically poker, but with dice, however it is a lot more family friendly than, say, a room full of cigar-smoking guys sitting around a green felt table. The object of the game is to score points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. After a certain number of rounds and scoring, the winner is the person who racks up the most points in the game. The most fun in the game by far, however, is yelling “Yahtzee!” when you score the highest combination of five-of-a-kind for 50 points. And just like good old Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee has kept up with the latest crazes by giving fans different dice cup designs to use, from Hello Kitty to Dr. Who. For me, I’d practically toss a kitten off a roof for a YAHTZEE: Avengers Age of Ultron – Iron Man Game. C’mon, you get to use Iron Man’s head as a dice cup! C’mon!
Everyone’s basement needs a ping pong table. It’s perfect for everyone in the family to engage in a little friendly competition and hand-eye coordination challenge. For me, I remember hitting the ping pong table with cousins while the parents were reminiscing about the “good old days” and getting into the scotch. But something like the Franklin Quikset 60″ Indoor Table Tennis Table is ideal for the whole family, and will definitely attract a crowd of cheering party-goers.
A good dart board is also great to have around for parties. Lots of people enjoy a good game of darts, and it’s easy to get teams together and a rooting section going at any party. And the Viper 787 15.5″ Soft Tip Electronic Dart Board is ideal because the soft tips ensure a bit more safety, especially if there are kids running around. This board also offers 43 games with 241 different options, and can accommodate up to 16 players!
In university, I spent quite a lot of time in the student common area playing foosball. Aside from just liking saying the name, I consider foosball to be one of the better and more exciting table sports. It’s action-packed and exciting, and you’ll definitely get a crowd of cheering fans gathered around the table at any party. If you don’t have the room for a full-on foosball table in your house (because that ping pong table is taking up so much room), then maybe take a look at the Mainstreet Classics 20″ Table Top Foosball. It’s a sized-down version of a regular foosball table, but it still offers all the same fun and excitement of a full-size table, plus it is easy to store.
Okay, did I say foosball was a fast and exciting table game? Okay, well Air Hockey is even faster, and more exciting, if you can believe it. Although you can only play with two players at a time, Air Hockey is sure to be a hit in any game room, and at any party. Set up something like the Franklin Sports Quikset 54″ Air Hockey Table at your next shindig, and I guarantee it won’t take long for people to start gathering around to cheer on the action.
If you can’t decide of your party guests will want to play ping pong, foosball, or air hockey, why not get them all, plus a lot more, with a multi-table? These babies will certainly be the life of any party, and offer a variety of different games and game surfaces to liven up any soiree. For instance, the Hathaway Matrix 54″ 7-in-1 Multi-Game Table offers seven classic rec room games: billiards, air hockey, chess, checkers, backgammon, ping pong, and foosball. How can your party possibly be dull with a line-up of party games like that?
Hopefully, my suggestions for Top Party Games for the Holidays have given you some ideas on how to make your next seasonal soiree a big memorable hit, full of laughs, camaraderie and good will (and some healthy competition!). What’s your own favourite party game? Did I omit something that always gets played at your parties? Maybe charades or Pictionary? Let me know what you think of my list, and what you play at your parties, in the comments section below. Happy holidays!