10 Family Game Night Ideas for a Fun (and Budget- Friendly) Time

If you are looking to add consistent quality time as a family, create more connection and build fun memories, all while sticking to a budget, put a family game night on the calendar! Which family member can’t stop laughing during their turn? Who wore their competitive pants to the party?  No matter how old your kids are or what kind of games everyone prefers, here is a list of ideas for you to choose from! Remember, you can always pick one to get started, and then choose from the list for all the future family game nights to come! 

#1 Family Trivia – See what interesting facts you may or may not know about each family member! Ask each player to write down a fact about themselves in the form of a question on index cards to be read out loud, as guesses are made identifying them. Example questions could be things like, whose favorite color is purple or who is afraid of spiders?

#2 Paper Telephone – Most of your family may be familiar with the game of “telephone.” In this version, each player starts by writing down a simple phrase on a sheet of paper and passing it to their left. Then each player draws the phrase they receive using their artist skills and continues to pass it down until it reaches the original artist, who reveals what the phrase has evolved to! 

#3 Charades – This is a classic party game for a reason! It gets everyone out of their seats, laughing and using their brain! Pick a theme for each round to make it interesting and put ideas on tiny paper scrap in a bowl for players to choose from. Want to take advantage of technology? Download the Heads Up or Charades app on someone’s phone to play. 

#4 Backyard Games – Think outside the dining room table for game night! As the spring weather warms up, get everyone in the backyard to play things like cornhole, badminton, or even get the nerf guns out and set up targets! Depending on the age of your kids, you can let them decide! 

#5 Murder Mystery – If you have older children or teens, plan for a really fun evening with a little flair! You can make up a mystery yourself, giving everyone character names and profiles, while secretly marking one as the killer. Looking for a simplified option? Grab a done-for-you murder mystery game online or try a board game version! 

#6 Scavenger Hunt – Perfect opportunity to get outside! Create your own list of things to find, or download a free scavenger hunt worksheet online for players. You can find themes such as the neighborhood, nature, colors, the seasons or holidays and more! Break into teams and set a time limit for everyone to complete their hunt and return. 

#7 Video Games – Who says game night has to be screen- free? A great way to bond with your kids is participating in things they love that you may typically feign interest in. Pick a team player game with simple rules and lots of competitive fun like Mario Kart or Mario Party! These are perfect for the whole family! 

#8 Paper Airplane Content – Never underestimate the power of friendly competition!! Create an airplane building station at your table or on the living room floor with paper materials and markers or crayons. Once each player has constructed their plane, the fun really begins! Set up a fly zone and mark how far each one goes, crowning a winner at the end! This is great if you have elementary school kids or older!

#9 Bingo – Loved by the youngest and the oldest of players, never discredit the game of “Bingo”! Grab a cheap set online, borrow from a friend or get creative and print your bingo cards online, and use pennies for chips! You can take it up a notch and pick out prizes from the dollar store or create “prize coupons,” to win things like getting to choose the movie or the dessert on Saturday night.  

#10 Board Games – Keep it simple and traditional by choosing a board game that’s suitable for all ages of play! You can grab Candy Land or Sorry for the little ones learning the basics or get the older kids laughing with a modern pick like Taboo or What Do You Meme? Bored with your overplayed favorites lying around the house? Head to the store as a family to pick something out for the evening! 

Remember, it’s less about what you’re playing and all about who you’re playing with! Pick something from the list as a family or take a vote from the ideas everyone has. Grab a family favorite snack and jump in!



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