20 Must Have Board Games for Family Game Night

I have vivid memories of playing board games with my family on Sunday afternoons. It was a great time to come together, play some games and while away some lazy hours, whilst doing something together. Now, with a family of my own and children who are just getting old enough to play board games (they are 5yrs and 7yrs), I am keen to “stock up” on a set of different games for us all to enjoy together. Here, I list my favourite from years gone bye! You will probably recognise a number of them and I would LOVE to HEAR from you, what YOUR favourite games were as a child!

These board games would also come in VERY handy for that long long night that is New Year’s Eve! So stock up now and be READY. (Check out these New Year’s Eve Crafts & Activities if you are interested too! And these New Year’s Eve Traditions from around the world **crack me up**).

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Family Game Night - 20 Classic Games to Play

I have shared a set of games for older kids, as well as younger ones. Some to play with 2 players and some to play with more. Hopefully something for everyone, with any skill or ability!


Yes,  no article about family board games would be complete without Monopoly. Most definitely a worth game to start with and I am sure top of people’s minds when you are asked about which games you know and play. A timeless classic for sure and available in so many different versions. The aim of the game – is to move around the board, buying “land” and building property.

UK Readers – Monopoly (variations include Dr Who Monopoly, The Hobbit Monopoly and James Bond!)

US Readers – Monopoly

family board games


Next of course we have Cluedo! Who doesn’t love a good Murder Mystery that you need to solve yourself?

UK Readers – Cluedo – you can even get a Harry Potter Cluedo set!

US Readers – Cluedo

family board games (2)


I confess to being terrible at spelling (I am sure you have noticed throughout all of my blogs! Ha!). But for some reason, I still very much enjoyed playing scrabble, I rarely won, but I think I got the satisfaction from doing well in enough in an area that was my “weakness”. And no doubt this was good for helping me develop my vocabulary and and spelling! But that is me. Many people enjoy the crossword type challenge that this game brings!

UK Readers – Scrabble

US Readers – Scrabble

family game ideas

Game of Life

Oh what was it about this game that we ALL enjoyed? Was it the fact that you had to little cars with pink and blue pegs, that represented yourself and your “spouse”, that you got to add “kids to the car” as the game continued? Or was it that you got to experience “life” with adventures and work? Great feature of this game, is that you can make it “shorter or longer”, depending on how much time you have to play.

Uk Readers – Game of Life

US Readers – Game of Life

family game night


On of the games my brothers liked in particularly and that is great for beginners through to Veterans as you can adjust the game accordingly. Rally the troops and achieve global domination!

UK Readers – Risk

US Readers – Risk

games for the family

Trivial Pursuit

Another game that I have fond memories and that also come in lots of different additions to suit you and your family – from junior versions, through to master mind versions. I sometimes suspect that my parents liked this game, as we would always beat them at all the others. Ha!

UK Readers – Trivial Pursuit (do check out junior versions too)

US Readers – Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary

family games (2)


We loved the variety in this game and once again, there are “normal”, junior and delux versions (rather fancy the delux version myself – you get to sketch, sculpt, solve puzzles, act and hum!)

UK readers – Cranium Delux

US Readers – Cranium

family games

Game Compendiums – Chess, Ludo, Draughts, Checkers, Backgammon, cards, dominos, mikado

An article about family games would not be the same without a sharing a Game Compendium of sorts! There are LOTS of sets out there – mini sets, big sets, delux sets. Wooden sets, travel sets, plastic sets. Whatever takes your fancy. What is important is these oh so traditional games – chess, checkers, backgammon, cards, dominoes amongst others. Though we love the “modern classics” such as Monopoly and Cluedo above, I am keen for my kids to learn these traditional games too – they have been around for years and years and have stood the test of time. They are challenging and make you think and they are fun. The great things about Compendiums, is that they come in one box, but contain so many different games. Something to have in any family store cupboard!

UK Readers – a Wooden Set

US Readers – 100 Games in One

PS I am pretty certain that “Ludo” was also called “Sorry” in my hey day…..

US Readers –

classic kids games


Who doesn’t love a game of UNO – bright, colourful and simple to learn this is a card game of generations. I used to play a version of this with an “ordinary deck” of cards, but there is something attractive about UNO. This set of cards, makes it super easy for younger kids to pick up and learn and introduce them to the wonderful world of card playing. I still enjoy this game as an adult!

UK Readers – UNO

US Readers – UNO

classic games

Connect 4

I am ashamed to say, that we do not have this game YET!!! Eventhough this is another game I loved as a child. A two player game, the aim is to get “four in a row”. It is great for a quick 10minutes here or there.. or play it for hours over and over again. We have told Santa that we NEED it this year!

UK Readers – Connect 4

US Readers – Connect 4

classic games (2)

Guess Who

I shared “Who is it Here”, simply because, I enjoy the graphics on this particular version, but Guess Who essentially it is. A 2 player game of logic and deduction and asking the right questions to figure out “who” has been picked. Again this game comes in a 1000 variations.. from Moshi Monsters through to superheros!

UK Readers – Guess Who

US Readers – Who is it?

great games for kids

Mastermind or Brain Master or Code Breaker

Another two player game that I used to love – Mastermind – the aim of the game is to work out the sequence of colours that you opponent has chosen. Your opponent gives you an indication of what you have right or wrong and getting those grey cells ticking you too can break the code!

UK Readers – Mastermind

US Readers – Mastermind for Kids

classic kids games (2)


Another 2 player game involving problem solving skills. Love that it introduce basic science skills, as it is based on the movement of cog wheels!

UK Readers – Downfall

US Readers – Downfall



A game for concentration and steady hands – why not add a bit of spice by playing forfeits if you  tumble the tower?

UK Readers – Jenga

US Readers – Jenga

great games


If Scrabble always took far too long for you, you would probably enjoy Boggle – the principle is similar, but the pace if fast and furious. You have 3 minutes to make as many word combinations as possible.

UK Readers – Boggle

US Readers – Boggle

game ideas


A classic game of risk and luck that will keep you wanting playing on and on.

UK readers – Yahtzee

US Readers – Yahtzee

games for christmas


And finally.. to round it all off.. a fun ACTIVE game for all the family – Twister!

UK Readers – Twister

US Readers – Twister

So, I hope that sets you up with a great game cupboard! If you are looking for more ideas, I asked readers on Red Ted Art Facebook, what games they liked to play – here are their Game Suggestions!

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