How to Throw a Game Night Party

I honestly can’t remember the last time I was invited to a dinner party. Heck, I can’t remember the last time I hosted one. It must have been before kids because it takes a TON of work. But then again, having great conversations with friends over delicious food is something I miss dearly. An easier option? Hosting a game night. You still get to spend time with friends, enjoy delicious snacks and drinks, and of course make memories with your nearest and dearest. Here are my tips on how to throw a game night party:

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Plan Your Guest List

For game nights, you want to invite two or three couples, or limit the number of players to ten. Why? Because you need an even number to play most games and some board games can be limited to a certain number of players. I mean, you don’t want any of your guests to have to sit out, do you?

I have found that parties are much more exciting when you connect people who might not be close friends so that simple acquaintances can become fast friends by the end of the night.

You can also add a fun twist to game night by breaking up couples to form teams. That way no one falls into a boring and dull comfort zone. And I mean, making wagers with your partner on the game outcome can make the night (and the day after when he or she is stuck doing the dishes while you sleep in) even more fun.

Choose Your Games Wisely

As we age, we realize that we all have strengths and weaknesses. For example, I am a very detailed planner and have a way with words. So, games like Scrabble are right up my alley. But once math games are introduced, my competitiveness melts away. When planning your game night, choose a wide variety of games that will appeal to various guests. For example:

WordsmithsScrabble, Bananagrams, Taboo, Scattergories 

Math MavensRummikub, Qwirkle, Yahtzee

Trivia BuffsTrivial Pursuit, Smart Ass, American Trivia

Creative MindsCharades, Cards Against Humanity, Happy Little Accidents

Plan about 30 minutes for each game, allotting time for snack and drink refills…as well as victory dances.

Plan a Yummy Menu

Speaking of refreshments, a game night is one of the easiest parties to plan for. Why? Because all you need are some finger foods and a large pitcher of premade cocktails to get the party started. Some snack options:

Charcuterie board


Homemade trail mix (just mix together a ton of your favorite snacks and ta da—you have a fancy new snack!)

-Gourmet popcorn

Chocolate covered pretzels


You can make a dish or two if you want to give the party a more personal feel, but honestly it’s not necessary. Your friends and family care more about spending time with you compared to eating something homemade.

As for the drinks, I like to set up a gourmet hot cocoa bar if hosting during the winter (which is my favorite season to have game night because what else is there to even do?!?!) or a champagne bar. Simply set out some bottles of bubbly with a few different fruit juices/syrups to add a little something special to your cocktail. You can also make a giant vat of sangria ahead of time—it gets even better each extra hour that it is chilled!

Add a Family Friendly Twist

Want to include your kids in on all the fun? No problem! Just be sure to stick to games that all the kids can do (think of Twister and Trouble) instead of more complicated and time consuming games like Sequence and Monopoly. You can also have younger kids pair up with an older partner to promote sportsmanship and team spirit.

Some family friendly game ideas:

Pie Face





For other fun party ideas, check out my list of entertaining ideas.

Enjoy game night!


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  1. Leslie says

    I was just thinking about having a game night. I love your idea of having games from several categories and playing each for 30 minutes. If mine is a success, I can see making it a bi-monthly thing.

  2. Amber says

    We do little family game nights with Candyland and Monopoly but would be really fun to invite some friends over too and drink Sangria !

    • Amanda says

      No matter the age, everyone loves a fun game and excuse to get together–especially when there is sangria involved!

  3. Katherine says

    I love the idea of hosting a game night because you’re right, dinner parties are so much more work and I don’t end up enjoying it as much. Lol I’d much rather just pull together yummy snacks & some sangria! Definitely doing this for our next girls night in. 🙂

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