Tips & Tricks for Hosting Game Night
We're all about playing games
Not the kind in dating, c'mon now
Whether you picture gathering people to play friendly games like Pictionary or rowdying things up with Cards Against Humanity, planning a party based around games is a win. Hosting a game night gets friends together and naturally induces laughs (and sometimes embarrassment... which later brings laughs). No need to worry about whether people will be entertained or in good conversation because the games take care of that.
Check out our party planning checklist specific to game night to keep your get-together one that feels playful every time.
1. Pick a handful of games beforehand
As the master gamer that you are, you get to pick the vibe of the night. Think about if you want the crowd split into teams, more partner-focused, or individual. Are you keeping score? Will there be a prize? Be sure to have 2-3 backup options to play if for some reason the first game doesn’t go over well.
Tip: If one game is going great, don’t rush into moving onto your amazingly planned list of games. Relax and enjoy that your guests are enjoying themselves - and save the rest for next time!
2. Create your guest list
Stuck on who to invite to your game night? We’ve covered this for you. Check out How to Make A Guest List. Happy inviting!
3. Give your guests an idea of what you have in mind
As experienced hosts, we have substantial evidence supporting that informed guests are some of the most comfortable. Some guests may want more info beforehand than others, so take liberty to share with them a few of the games you have in mind. Give them an opportunity to brush up on their skills and familiarize themselves so they can show up as their best, most natural self. Add your top game titles to the invite, or text guests a few days before party time to fill them in.
4. Add in something unexpected for an element of surprise
When guests say yes to a game night, they expect to play games (thank you, Captain Obvious). Which is why we love adding in a little something extra. This is where you get to make your game night one to remember - and you’ll have even more competitors next time. Here are a few of our favorite surprises:
- Popcorn bar with fun toppings - grab this popcorn maker. Offer savory and sweet options like nuts, M&Ms, pretzels, savory cheesy seasoning, chocolate anything, and enjoy!
- Get shirts like these Game Night shirts from Etsy, or ask your friends to dress in certain colors per team, or a game-inspired theme (Clue costumes, anyone?)
- If guests will be seated for dinner prior to playing games, use buzzers instead of place cards for seating arrangements. Sharpie the names on buzzers and get your guests in game mode!
5. Take charge - in your most happy-hostess way
When it comes to game night, those games aren’t going to play themselves. It takes someone (ahem, you) to gather the guests, lay out the game, enforce the rules (optional), and make the game night happen. Welcoming, mingling, having a drink or bite can kick off the party, but there comes a time when you get to get the games going. Don’t overthink this part. Dropping a few lines like, “It’s game time!” or “Last one to the couch has to go first!” gets the competitive spirits brewing.
With all that said… we say it’s game time!
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