Family reunions, get-togethers with old friends (and their families), holiday gatherings. You can get away with catching up on what everyone's been up to, who's married who, who's let themselves go, and all the gossip for the first few hours. But then you need to find something for everyone to do with the rest of the afternoon.
Thankfully, we have a full list of group party games that will get even the most reserved individuals up and involved. You can laugh at the weird faces Uncle Bob is making in Charades, cover your friends in shaving foam in Cheesy Toss or even play online group games with those long-distance family members.
The candy bar game
Perfect for those chocolate lovers out there (which is, let's face it, everyone!), the Candy Bar Game involves a pile of candy in the middle of a circle and a pair of dice. If you roll a double, then you can grab your favorite bar, but you can also steal it from someone else! At the end of the game, you get to eat whatever candy bars you've managed to hold onto. Full instructions can be found via Overstuffed Life.
Do you have a friend who fancies themselves a crack shot? Then this is a pretty good way to test their claim. Pair up, and give one half of each pair an empty ice cream cone. They must sit on a chair, lean back, and put the cone in their mouth. Then their partner is blindfolded and must attempt to throw mini marshmallows into the cone. Prepare for lots of frustrated shouts, and a lot of marshmallows over your floor!
You can play this one with the whole family on game night, but it's also a great game for adult gatherings. A little like Name That Tune, Play Party Plan has come up with a head-to-head team game where you have to get your team to guess the movie title using only a few words. The catch is that each team bids on how many words they need and the lowest wins. Don't be that guy who says they can do it in one word!
You'll need slips of paper in a bowl for this game, each marked with the name of a celebrity. Players take it in turns to pick a slip and act out the celebrity for their team to guess. To be honest, this one is funnier with a mixed age group of people. This is purely because then the list of celebrities you know will be completely different. Gran isn't going to guess Kim Kardashian and your teenager will have a hard time working out who Frank Sinatra is!
Now, this involves a purchase, but we think that the game is well worth it. You'll get hours and hours of fun out of The Game of Things without duplicating the cards. Each card has a category, for example, "Things that are so last year" and every player must write down what they think is on the card. Points are scored for each correct answer. You'll soon see whose brain works the fastest!
The bowl game
Fun Cheap or Free reckons that this is the funniest adult party game she's ever played. That's quite a claim, but we were rolling around with tears of laughter running down our faces when we gave this one a try, so she might be right. Each player writes down 3 weird but true facts about themselves, and you all have to guess which slips of paper belong to which of your friends. This one will take you down a hilarious rabbit hole of stories!
This one is for the more active among you, and probably not the best plan for after a 5-course holiday meal! Still, it's a lot of fun and will provide great photo memories for you to share the morning after! It's pretty straightforward: two players sit on the floor with socks but no shoes. The first player to remove both of his opponent's socks wins! You'll want to make sure that you've cleared a big enough space for this one!
Get that ball!
Blindfolding adults and watching them feel around with no idea of where they are is a lot of fun! This kid's party game is just as good for grown-ups, and you can make the obstacles even more challenging. You need a large space, 2 buckets, and some small balls. Place a bucket full of balls at one end of the room, and an empty one at the other. Scatter soda cans around the whole space and blindfold your players. They must take it in turns to cross the space without knocking over by soda cans to retrieve a ball and bring it back to the empty pail. You can expect a lot of falling over!
T-shirt relay game
If you're looking for a game that will get your friends in a tangle, then this is for you. Find a large t-shirt and put it on one of your guests. Get everyone else to line up behind them. The first player must hold hands with the next player and the rest of the group helps them transfer the t-shirt to them. Then the second player holds hands with the next in line and the task continues until everyone has worn the shirt. This is a pretty good icebreaker too!
Paper plate Pictionary
Here is another game that you might have played with kids, but that is also great fun for an adult game night. Even the most accomplished artists will have trouble drawing something sensible when they're drawing on a paper plate on top of their head! Usual Pictionary rules apply, except the artist can't see what they're drawing, making the whole thing a lot more difficult, and a lot funnier.
The sentence game
This game works best when you have at least 8 players. All you need is a piece of paper and some pens for each player to end up dissolved in giggles at the silly things you've written. First, everyone writes a statement about themselves at the top of the paper, folds it over, and then passes it to the left. Then the next person must read the statement and try to draw it, fold the paper over, and pass it on again. The next person looks at the picture and tries to write what they think it is. This continues until the end of the paper, and you all get to see what the simple statement turned into!
The hand game
Sometimes I feel as if we need more inventive names for these games, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it as my mom used to say! As simple as the name is, the set-up is a little complicated so you can read the finer detail here. You really have to pay attention in this one, with the slapping and counting and working out which hand is which. But it's a lot of fun for teens and adults alike.
Human hungry hippos
This one takes a little setup, but it's totally worth it for the hilarity that will ensue! You'll need a LOT of ball pool balls scattered in the middle of a room, some skateboards, and some large plastic buckets. As you can see from the photos, your players will need to work in pairs to collect as many balls as they can from the center of the room, as if they were the Hungry HIppos in the kid's game we all know and love!
Emoticon guessing game
Keeping in touch with friends and family who live far away has always been tricky, but in the last year, technology has jumped at the opportunity to keep us connected to our loved ones when we couldn't see them in person. Group games that you could play via your phone were so much fun and meant we could continue game night. These emoji guessing games can be made on any topic you can think of, from movies to TV shows, to phone brands. You'll be puzzling over them for ages!
The flour game
Who doesn't like seeing dad get his beard covered in flour? The flour game is a great family game night idea that you can use with any group when you want to break the ice. Simply grab a cup or bowl with a flat bottom, put a clean penny in the bottom and pack the rest of it with flour. Put the cup or bowl upside down on a plate and lift it off, leaving the flour behind, like a sandcastle. Each player takes it in turns to carve off a bit of the tower with a butter knife. Whoever makes the penny fall has to retrieve it with their mouth, and end up in quite a mess!
Slip 'N' Slide kickball
This epic game is all over TikTok at the moment and if you've got a large enough backyard then you can join the trend. Set up your kickball bases as kiddie pools filled with water and run plastic sheeting between the bases. Apply soap and water and watch everyone slip and slide their way through the game! Make sure you have towels at the ready!
Oven mitts and Hershey's Kisses
Watching people being clumsy is the best part of an adult game night! This game is a great option for laughing at your friends and taking embarrassing videos of them struggling to unwrap Hershey's Kisses whilst wearing oven mitts. Set 2 people up at a table with a pile of chocolate treats, put a pair of oven mitts on them both, and set a timer for 1 minute. The player with the most unwrapped chocolate wins, and gets to keep their stash!
If games of strategy and chance are more your thing than chocolate, then this fun card game will help you fill your evenings. You can find the instructions here, from Fun Squared. Simply you have to be able to place your cards in numerical order before anyone else. Pipping someone to the post will give the ultimate game night satisfaction!
Human pinata chase
For something a little more active, and a lot crazier, why not try your very own human pinata chase? You'll need an old t-shirt for each "pinata", a glue gun, and a whole load of candy! Stick the candy to the shirt and get your volunteer to put it on (maybe warn them first!). Then they set off at a run and are chased by the rest of your group who must grab the snacks off of the shirt. You can add all sorts of things to the shirt, and Family Reunion Helper has some great ideas!
Another active game, but one that requires a lot less space and can also be played indoors. Mingle is a brilliant game for larger groups and you don't need to do any prep before you get started - bonus! Players wander around the room/garden and a caller yells "Mingle mingle!" followed by a number between 2 and 10. The players must get into groups of that size, or they are out. Simple, fun, and great for running off some energy!
Say it with a smile
You've probably seen photos or videos of people playing games with these dental mouth guard openers, but until you've had a go yourself you won't realize how much crazy fun you can have! Best with at least 4 people, you have to get your team to figure out what you're saying whilst wearing the mouth guard. You'll need a bowl full of words or phrases to pick from, a few mouth guards, and a lot of people willing to look silly!
Our favorite game night option? Shout it! You can find all the free printables you need here. With 4 levels, players shout the word that starts with the same letter as the picture on the card. The first one to shout the right answer gets to keep the card. We've got 128 cards to keep the fun going!
Got an outdoor space, some scaffolding boards, rope, and a team willing to work together to win! Two teams of 3 people are best for this game, and you can find all the instructions on how to make your giant feet here. Teams have to stand on the boards and get to the finish line first to win. Cooperation is key, and amusing tumbles are guaranteed!
Would you rather?
Sure, we might have designed this DIY board game for kids, but it's easy to re-jig for adults too. You can make this as personal or as cheeky as you like! Find all the instructions for your new favorite game night option here. You'll need a large sheet of paper, post-it notes, counters, and dice.
Photo scavenger hunt
Sticking around indoors is great for when the weather is cold and chilly, but if you want to get out and about to explore then this game is a great choice. Scavenger hunts where you take photos are a great idea for a group activity. You create a list of items to snap, send off your teams, and the team with the most correct photos wins! You can find ideas for your list from Simple as That.
Have you got an outdoor space and a ball? Then you can play this fun and active game. Everyone sits in a circle with their hands on the ground and keeps them there. Then the group has to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. The person who lets the ball fall is out, and you go for another round.
Tell a joke
This is a great idea for family game night, but also for after dinner-party fun! With just a spoon and a small ball, you can keep the laughter flowing all night! The challenge? Tell a joke whilst holding a spoon in your mouth with a ball balanced on the end. You're not allowed to drop the ball, even while you're laughing at the joke you've told!
Name the lyric
We love trivia games, and we love games to do with music, so this perfect crossover is one of our favorites. Before the game starts you'll need to write single words on a bunch of slips of paper and put them in a bowl or a hat. Divide into 2 teams and players take it in turns to read out a word on the paper. The rest of the team must say (or sing, if you're feeling musical) a song lyric with that word in it. Then the next team tries to name one until everyone's run out of ideas. The last team to name a song wins the round!
Open up a large bag of M&Ms and get the group to grab as many as they like. The catch is, for every color, they need to tell the group something about themselves. Whites Sand and Cool Breezes have some great ideas for categories, or you can choose your own. The more random the better!
Garden games are a great way to pass the time on summer afternoons, but you don't have to go for the generic shop-bought options. You can make your own bespoke Jenga set by following Lemon Thistle's simple instructions. You can even personalize the pieces to make them more special. These sets are also great for weddings.
Another one of our favorites, the no-hands watermelon challenge hands you fun, and a nutritious snack! All you need is a large watermelon cut into equal parts and a table. Sit the participants around the table and have them put their hands behind their backs. Then they have to finish the watermelon slice before anyone else to win! You might want to have some napkins on hand...
If you have a group of Disney-loving friends (or a group of parents who have to sit through Disney movies with their children) then this is your next game night activity. A Girl and a Glue Gun has free printables that give you all you need to get going. It's simple, you read out the quote on the card and your team has to guess the Disney movie it's from. You can even add in quotes from your top faves!
Looking for a way to involve shaving foam in your game night? Cheesy toss is your friend. You'll need shower caps for half of the group, shaving foam, and lots of Cheetos. Put the shower caps on the heads of your players, cover them with the foam and get the other half of the group p to throw cheetos into the foam. The pair who have the most cheesy snacks stuck on the hat at the end of a minute are the winners! Just don't eat them afterward.
Never have I ever...
Now, you probably all played this game in college, and we know you have a whole host of grown-up friendly questions ready to go. But, if you're hanging out with a mixed age group, or you just want to keep it clean (Grandma playing tonight?) then here is a list of clean Never have I ever statements for your enjoyment.
We couldn't have a list of fun games without including Charades! You can use a ready-made set, or you can come up with your own ideas. Split into 2 teams, and take it in turns to act out the movie, book, TV show, or object on the card for their team to guess. Whatever other games you play charades is a great way to finish off your game night. Enjoy!