toys, games, & activities for kids and parents

At this time of year—and pretty much all through the winter, it’s a great time for toys, games, and activities that families can do/play/enjoy together. If you’re interested in spending some quality time with your family this Holiday Season and over the long winter beyond, perhaps one of the toys, games, and activities I’m fixing to discuss below will inspire you to put a plan for big family fun into action. Keep on reading for all the different suggestions, and let me know in the comments section at the end of the article what related items you would suggest for having wholesome family fun this winter. Read on!

An arcade machine


toys, games, & activities for kids and parents

The first thing I want to mention is the Arcade1Up NBA JAM Wi-Fi Arcade Machine with Riser. I reviewed this classic arcade cabinet myself right here on the blog not very long ago, and I really had a lot of fun with it. Even though there are several different Arcade1Up gaming cabinet options available to choose from, my main reason for picking this one to talk about here today is the fact that it has room for 4 individual players to hop on and all play together at once. In other words, it’s the perfect way for families to have fun playing together. It comes with 3 different (but very similar) basketball games built-in—NBA JAM, NBA HANGTIME, and NBA JAM Tournament Edition. Each of these early 1990s classics is a 2 on 2 game, making it perfect for families of 4 to play together. And if you don’t have 4 players available, you can play solo, play with 2 or 3 players, or even play against friends from around the world online via Wi-Fi.

Board games

Another one of the best ways for families to spend time together is by playing board games. There are so many great games to choose from, but I suggest getting games that fit well within the time frame you have available for playing.

toys, games, & activities for kids and parents

For instance, if your family is really busy and can only spare an hour or two here and there for playing together, consider something that’s relatively quick and easy like Trouble or Clue. These games typically don’t last for much more than a half hour or so, so you can probably play at least a couple of rounds of either in an hour. Of course, if your family has more time and wants to play something that lasts for at least a few hours, then something like Risk or Monopoly might suit you better.

Each of these games is a classic, and there are generally several different variations of each available—in a variety of unique themes for those with varying interests. If your family enjoys spending time together doing things that are both fun and competitive, a board game is a great option as most board games seem to combine some portion of skill or strategy and luck, so nobody need be too disappointed if they lose, because they can always blame it on bad luck.

Rec room games

Another great form of family fun and entertainment is retreating to a part of your home, such as the basement or games room, to engage in playing some classic Rec Room Games. These include Ping PongAir Hockey, and Foosball Tables, as well as Dart and Casino Games, among various others. These kinds of games and activities allow families to spend time together having competitive fun whether you only have a few minutes to play or an entire weekend to work with.

Out of all of these, Air Hockey is probably my personal favourite, but I’ve also always been really keen on darts. I haven’t had a chance to play in years, but I have to admit that the Hathaway Winchester 18″ Steel Tip Dart Board Cabinet really caught my eye.

This set comes with the board itself, the cabinet enclosure, 6 steel-tip darts, and 2 pub-style dry-erase scoreboards (one on either side of the board) so you can keep track of which family member is dominating play. It also closes when not in use to conceal and protect the board—and look really good while doing so. The board itself is made from CARB-certified, medium-density fibreboard, meaning it’s a high-quality board as good as you’d find in any pub or dart league. You really can’t go wrong with a family-friendly rec-room game like this!


Finally, if you prefer something that’s uncompetitive, somewhat sedate, and wholly cooperative, there’s always the popular classic, LEGO. And the great thing about LEGO is that there are numerous different themed sets to choose from, covering a wide range of difficulty levels.

High on the popularity meter this particular year is LEGO Super Mario, which has one main set (the LEGO Super Mario: Adventures with Mario Starter Course, featuring 231 pieces including Super Mario himself) and a number of enhancement sets that you can also get to build on and expand the Mario theme.

In fact, the set pictured above is the massive LEGO Super Mario: Bowser’s Castle Expansion Set, which consists of a whopping 1010 pieces that enhance the initial set with features like Bowser’s castle towers and bridge, as well as the dangerous boss character himself. Other aspects of this set include bright colours and a variety of moving (rotating) parts and pieces that make the set more fun and interactive. Though it’s listed as being designed for kids ages 8 years old and up, one is never too old to enjoy LEGO! And if you’re already a fan of the classic Super Mario Bros video game franchise, the nostalgia factor alone is enough to draw you in. It’s the perfect way for kids and parents to spend time building and playing together!

As you can see, there’s no shortage of great ways for families to have fun together over the long, dark winter months. These days there are so many great toys, games, & activities available for you to choose from that there’s really no reason to ever get bored again. Find all your favourite toys and games at Best Buy Canada today, and have big family fun over the Holidays. Merry Christmas!

Leonard Bond
Leo enjoys writing about everything from secret agents to tech toys and gadgets to professional hockey. Find his reviews and other product related commentary right here on the Best Buy Blog and his latest hockey rants at


  1. This is a great list. Thanks Leonard! I’d be a little concerned though if some kids wanted to play with those steel-tipped darts without an adult. I know myself as a kid and I would not necessarily have been responsible with them…

    • Thanks for checking it out Ian! I agree about the darts. That’s one of the reasons I saved the dart board suggestion for an article revolving around whole family fun. With supervision, kids should be able to play safely, and the darts can always be locked away by the parents later on. Of course, back in the day we also had lawn darts, and I do remember an occasion or two of having to dodge someone’s wild throw!

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