"If you ain't first, you're last."
And my friends don't like to lose! They are some of the most competitive people, which is a huge part of why we've started hosting monthly game nights.
It all started when our friend Justina hosted a game night for her birthday this summer. She went all out; sack races, egg relays, life-size Jenga, beer pong and so much more. Who knew a game of Catch Phrase could get so heated? We spent the whole evening laughing and yelling at each other (in a friendly, competitive way, of course).
Since then we've had a few different game nights. It's a great way to unwind, bond and have a good time with your friends. It's even better when the kids are left at home.
Here are 8 Tips for Hosting an Awesome Grown-Up Game Night:
1. Have a decent selection of games.
Duh, right? But you have to make sure your selection is appealing to everyone and that you change it up a little bit. Believe me, people will get bored if you have the same games over and over again. Some of our group's favorites are: Catch Phrase, Pictionary, Heads Up, Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples. We've even branched out to try a drinking game called True American at a Post-Election Day party I hosted.
This Christmas I got a new Murder Mystery game that I'm dying to try out!. Telestrations After Dark and Drunk, Stoned or Stupid are also on our list of games to try.
2. Snacks, snacks and more snacks.
With competition comes stress...so you're going to need to have something for your friends to stuff their mouths with to keep them from trash talking too much. My friends are really good about contributing to the food stash. Like almost too good! At our last game night (for 9 people) we had my slammin' queso, a jalapeno popper white cheddar cheese ball, chili cheese dip, buffalo ranch chicken dip, a ranch dip, hummus, 3 kinds of cookies, and brownies. And...I feel like I'm missing a couple of things. I told you my friends were generous!
3. Break out the booze.
You know what helps make a game night, even more, fun? Booze! It helps lighten the mood even more and lets people loosen up. We typically serve beer, wine and a signature drink like a sangria. Of course, we have friends who don't drink so we always have soda and water on hand for them too.
4. Clean up for crying out loud!
Tidy up before your friends come over. Nobody wants to use a dirty bathroom. Scrub down your toilet and sink, and light a few candles. I always pick up our kitchen as well since that's where people end up congregating.
5. Put your phone down.
Okay, so this is probably the hardest part of the list and it's not something I enforce in my household but think about it, wouldn't it be nice if we were all living in the moment? Focusing on the ones that we're with and enjoying each other’s company? As a rule, I always put my phone away (once everyone has arrived) and save my texts and Facebook and Instagram notifications for another time.
6. Rotate houses.
Consider having someone else host the next game night. It keeps things fun and fresh with a new setting, collection of games and maybe even totally different food/drink options.
7. Have fun.
The most important part of game night is simply having fun. Sure, being competitive helps drive a game night but it's important that you don't lose your cool. As long as everyone keeps in mind that it's just a game and that it's not whether you win or lose, you're bound to have an excellent time.
8. Create a trophy. For the first game night at our house, we created two trophies to hand out. You'd be amazed by how excited my friends over a T-Rex and Batman trophy haha. Check out the DIY.
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