game night

If you’re tired of spending your weekend going to the same bars and restaurants, perhaps it’s time for a change. Of course, you still want to see your friends, have a few drinks, and have a good time all around. Well, this is where a game night comes into play. 

Hosting a game night might seem daunting at first, but if you follow this guide, I can guarantee you will have one of the most memorable game nights ever. Who knows, you might just turn this into a weekly event!


The most difficult part of the experience, and probably where most game nights go to die, is the planning stage. It requires you to make some big choices, but I promise in the future, you will be happy you did.

The first thing that needs to be planned is the schedule. In all honesty, there is no way you are going to be able to find the perfect time for all your friends. The best way to do this is to put your foot down, don’t consult anyone, and don’t change it because someone complains. Whether you choose for it to be weekly on Saturday night, bi-weekly on Monday morning, or whatever conglomeration you make, do not back down. This will only make it harder to get people to take it seriously.


This is also somewhat a part of the planning phase. You want to choose the games beforehand; otherwise, on the night of, you could spend hours debating which game to play. My best advice is to choose a handful of games, send a group text with the options, and have everyone vote for a few games. Then it’s up to you to make the final decision.

You could even choose a theme for games such as Disney themed games or Harry Potter themed games.


game night games

While you’re at it, you need to make sure you choose the right games. You don’t want to choose too many games that are long and complex, but you don’t want too many short games. A good mix of games is perfect for your game night. You can choose the shorter games to get everyone ready and in the competitive spirit before moving on to the more difficult games. As I mentioned, you want to have a small variety of games to choose from, but not so many that it will take too long to debate. 


Now, this is an important tip. It is always good for a game night to choose the right amount of people. The number of people will affect the games you can play. If you have an even number, then you can play team games. If you have a smaller group, then there are specific games you can play that require fewer people. You also want to make sure you don’t overdo it and end up turning your game night into a house party.


The space you choose for your game night is also important. Some games are going to require a big playing area, so it will be good to play on a dining table. Others not so much, so a coffee table is fine.

You need to make sure the area where you’ll play is comfortable enough for people to sit for a long time. On the other hand, don’t worry if you don’t have enough chairs. Some of the best game nights are played sitting on the floor and playing the games on a comfy rug. 


finger foods

Your game night should go on for a few hours, and you don’t want your guest’s rumbling stomachs to interrupt the games. Having ideal food is important. For a game night, finger foods are the way to go. Chips, dips, pretzels, popcorn, charcuterie, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure the food you choose isn’t messy and doesn’t require any utensils to eat.


Having enough to drink is just as important as the food. I usually recommend BYOB for game nights, especially if you are already providing the space and food. However, it’s always good to have some backup drinks just in case. We all have that one friend who always conveniently “forgets” to bring something. Keep a variety of drinks, such as beer, wine, and soft drinks as well.


Now, I know we have already mentioned food, but dessert is a completely different thing. Everyone might start to feel a bit tired a couple of hours in, so giving them a sweet treat will give them their second wind. Don’t worry about making an elaborate cheesecake unless that’s your thing. Simply pick up a box of donuts or ice cream to offset those salty snacks.


people playing games

Knowing when to start and end the game night is another aspect of hosting. In the beginning, everyone will likely be catching up and getting settled in, so it is up to you to get everyone to shut up and start playing. Setting a 30-minute “chat” timer is the way I do it. This way, everyone can chat, but they know as soon as the timer goes off, it’s game time. 

Ending the night is another important part. You don’t want to make everyone leave as soon as the big game is over. Once everyone is winding down after the game and finishing up their drinks,  you should play a smaller “extra” game such as Time’s Up. This way, everyone can sit around and play, laugh, and end the night on a high note.


You’re probably thinking, this is a weird tip. Let me explain. As a host, you are expected to freshen up everyone’s drinks, refill the snacks, clean up spills, etc. There’s nothing worse than having to run back and forth to the fridge in the middle of your turn to refill drinks.  

Some people like to be that kind of host. Personally, I tell everyone to feel as if they are in their own home. That means I will get everyone their first drink and set out the snacks. After that, everyone is free to help themselves, and they don’t need to ask permission every time they want to go to get something.

Hosting a game night doesn’t have to be stressful. It is meant to bring friends together for a great time. Follow these tips and wait for your friends to ask when the next one will be! If you want a bit of a different gathering, check out our Beer Olympics Games.

Alan Lemus
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