how to host a game night for adults

how to host a game night for adults | almost makes perfect

you may have heard me mention that my friends and i do a pretty serious game night. we’ve been pretty much keeping it up bi-weekly for the past few years, so i’ve definitely learned a thing or two about what makes for a good game and what doesn’t. and because i’m generous with advice, i decided to share with you my best tips!

how to host a grown up game night |  almost makes perfecthow to host a grown up game night | almost makes perfect

1. invite a good number of people

try to invite an even or big group of people. and base the game accordingly : if you have an even number, team games are always the most intense for us. make sure everyone is equally passionate about playing games, because you don’t want any naysayers or buzz kills. there are certain games that are fine for a small group, and some that are only fun with a large one.

2. choose the game prior

our game night email chain is when we decide on the game(s), so there’s no heated discussion once everyone arrives. if your friends need help, provide them with a list of options. (this might also apply to friends who apparently like to argue about these things.

how to host a game night | almost makes perfectdiy personalized game pieces  | almost makes perfectdiy personalized game board pieces  | almost makes perfect

3. while you’re at it, choose the right games 

now that our game night has commenced so many times, we know what we all enjoy and what we don’t. games that end up being the most fun for us are : taboo, mafia and celebrity. we also love balderdash when the group is feeling a little more mellow. and to spice up your old board games, i came up with an easy DIY to gift all your friends with : personalized game pieces! you can keep them in one place and use them every time you guys play a board game – so no more fighting over who has to be orange. head over to the kendall-jackson blog today to see the how-to.

4. don’t start the game right away, and have another as backup

we usually end up talking for about 30 mins at least before we start playing. but as the host, it’s your job to shut everyone up and make them start the game at a certain point (what a thoughtful host i am!) when the game has finished and everyone is winding down, but not leaving — have an extra little game for them to play. we love telephone pictionary for the end of the night, because everyone can sit around and crack up and leave on a really high note.

how to host a game night for adults | almost makes perfecthow to host a grown-up game night | almost makes perfecthow to host a grown-up game night | almost makes perfecthow to host a grown-up game night | almost makes perfecthow to host a game night | almost makes perfect

5. clear off your coffee table

we always tend to play around a coffee table versus a dining table, because it’s a much more relaxed vibe. while the girls will admire your cute coffee table styling, it ends up getting in the way so save the trinket display for your next party. all you need on the table is the games and some coasters.

6. make easy finger foods that don’t require flatware

you don’t need to serve dinner at game night, and it’s much easier to nosh while playing. chips and dips, crudite and frozen appetizers are all easy. (even easier, just order a couple of pizzas to be delivered when everyone arrives.) also, if you want to avoid doing a bunch of dishes, no one will judge you for using paper plates and paper napkins. especially if they get to drink from real glasses.

7. provide dessert

because you don’t want your teammates running out of steam before you lead them to victory. give them a little sugar fix. we always find a box of donuts is cheap, easy, and gets eaten. and when they don’t, you can turn them into favors! i have a printable i’ll be sharing with you next week for that.

how to host a game night for adults | almost makes perfecthow to host a game night | almost makes perfect

8. don’t worry about not having enough chairs

as long as you have enough floor space. arrange some cushions and pillows on the floor, and make your guests feel comfortable by sitting on the floor yourself.

how to host a game night for adults |  almost makes perfecthow to host a game night |  almost makes perfect

9. make sure there is plenty to drink 

we usually do game night on tuesdays, but everyone still wants to have a glass of wine or two. it’s also totally acceptable to provide food as the host and ask your guests to BYOB if they’re particular. we still always have a bottle or two of wine in case, like kendall-jackson avant sauvignon blanc (especially perf for a summer game night al fresco)

10. you don’t need to set a mood

don’t bother setting the mood with music and candles. background music is fine, but in our group — we’ve always ended up turning down the music so we can focus and yell more. and candles, although they might create some pretty mood lighting, use a lamp instead. you don’t want your rug setting on fire because your friend just blew his round of celebrity and was flailing everywhere.



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  1. Great tips! My boyfriend and I love playing games and have been hoping to have friends over for a game night soon. This is perfect 🙂

  2. LOVE this! My family is full of board game nerds so this would be such a hit. Great post!

    Ps. Can we be friends? 😛

  3. Love this! We play a ton of board games around here. And I’m also a huge fan of the Avant wines!

  4. Thank you for the tips, game nights are always the best. Love the touch of giving the guests their own playing blocks with their picture on them.

  5. Ummmmmmmm, Molly, can I come to your games night?! Girl.So.Good.

  6. Thanks for sharing your tips! I am actually hosting my first ever game night this weekend (July 4th but since I am Canadian this is no patriotic party haha). Super excited and my friends seem to be too because this is the biggest number of RSVPs I have ever had for a party!

  7. Thank you for all of your tips

  8. This is easily the classiest and most beautiful adult game night I’ve ever seen! I love the pictures of players as playing pieces, too.

    Another great way to choose games and to get guests motivated to play is to have everyone bring one, potluck style. That way, everyone has a favorite they want to play, you save money, and others get to try new games. You might not have time for all of them in one night, but you’ll just have to throw another party!