Before TV streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, I remember that one of the amenities we would look at for holiday accommodations was whether the hotel or apartment owners have games available on site. Usually, you would find classic games like a deck of cards, Scrabble or possibly a Monopoly.
But with children growing up and also the boredom of playing the same games over and over again, we have been on the exciting journey to find the best board games to bring on holiday.
In this article, I will reveal our favourite top 10 best family board games that you need to experience at home or on your next holiday. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Dixit is a fantastic game for families and is often highly recommended for its creative and imaginative gameplay. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a game that can be enjoyed by players of various ages.
Dixit has simple rules that are easy to understand, making it accessible to players of all generations. This means that both children and adults can enjoy it without much difficulty.
The game encourages players to be creative and use their imaginations. Players have to come up with unique and abstract descriptions for the illustrated cards in their hands, adding an artistic and imaginative element to the game.
Dixit features beautifully illustrated cards that are both visually appealing and thought provoking. The artwork alone can captivate players and spark conversations.
Dixit is a social game that promotes conversation and interaction among players. It’s an excellent choice for bringing the family together and enjoying each other’s company.
Overall, Dixit is an excellent choice for family game night. It’s a game that encourages creativity, communication, and enjoyment for players of all ages. If you’re looking for a fun and inclusive board game to play with your family, Dixit is definitely worth considering.
7Wonders is another fantastic board game that can be a great choice for families, especially if you have older children (from 10 years old) or teenagers.
This is a game that we have taken in our last October half term holiday and we literally played it every day before dinner (including my mother in-law!)
7Wonders is a card drafting and civilisation game that encourages strategic thinking. Players must make choices about which cards to draft, which resources to gather, and how to build their civilisations. This can provide a satisfying challenge for more experienced gamers within the family.
7Wonders supports 2 to 7 players, making it versatile for various family sizes. It also offers different player counts and strategies for adapting to the number of participants.
While 7Wonders has strategic depth, it typically plays in a reasonable amount of time, around 30-45 minutes. This makes it suitable for family game nights when you want to enjoy multiple games in a single evening.
Overall, 7Wonders is an excellent choice for families with older kids and adults who enjoy strategic games. It combines history, strategy, and social interaction in a way that can make for engaging and memorable family gaming experiences.
Uno is a classic but I thought I would include it in the list. This widely popular card game can be an excellent choice for family play.
It is incredibly easy to learn and play. Its simple rules and mechanics make it accessible to players of all ages, including young children.
Uno games are typically short and can be played in a relatively short amount of time, which is ideal for family gatherings when you may want to play multiple rounds.
The game is known for its fun and fast-paced gameplay, where players match colours and numbers and play action cards that can change the course of the game. This keeps everyone engaged and entertained.
Uno can be enjoyed by both kids and adults, making it a game that can be played by the entire family. It’s one of those rare games that can be played with grandparents and young kids alike.
While Uno is a simple game, it still offers some strategic elements. Players must decide when to use action cards like “Skip” and “Reverse,” adding a layer of strategy to the gameplay.
Uno is easy to carry and can be played just about anywhere, making it a great choice for vacations or day trips.
The card game also has various themed decks and special rule variations, which can add novelty and variety to the game.
Uno is a timeless family game that combines simplicity and excitement, making it a top choice for family game nights. Its broad appeal and accessibility have made it a household favourite for generations. If you’re looking for a game that’s easy to learn, fun to play, and suitable for players of all ages, Uno is a great pick.
This is the game I enjoy playing the most with my kids (even though they are bored of it now). So much so we have expended the game with additional packs to last it longer.
Settlers of Catan, often simply referred to as Catan, is another highly recommended board game for families. It’s a classic in the world of modern board games and offers several features that make it a great choice for family play.
Catan is known for its straightforward rules and accessible gameplay. It’s a game that’s easy for newcomers to pick up, making it suitable for family members of different ages and gaming experience levels.
While Catan is easy to learn, it also offers a good amount of strategic depth. Players must make decisions about where to place settlements, which resources to collect, and how to trade with others. This provides an engaging and thought-provoking experience.
Catan encourages negotiation and trading among players, which can lead to lively and interactive gameplay. This social element is often a highlight for families playing together.
The board layout and resource distribution are randomised each time you play, creating a fresh experience with every game.
Catan has numerous expansion packs and variants that can add new elements and challenges to the game. These expansions can extend the game’s longevity and keep it interesting. My favourite is Seafarers that add ships and a pirate with more areas to play like islands.
The theme of Catan is family-friendly, focusing on the development of settlements and trade on a fictional island. The game’s theme is approachable and suitable for players aged.
Catan is a versatile game that’s well-regarded for its mix of strategy, negotiation, and accessibility. It’s a great choice for family gatherings, and its enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to bring people together for a fun and engaging gaming experience.
Articulate! is a popular word-based board game that is designed for a wide range of players, including families.
Articulate! is a game that encourages players to describe and guess words within a limited time frame. This can help improve vocabulary and language skills for players of all ages, making it an educational and fun choice.
The game can be played in teams, which is ideal for family gatherings. Team play promotes collaboration and friendly competition, allowing family members to work together and enjoy the game as a group.
Articulate! is known for its fast-paced and engaging gameplay. The timer and the challenge of describing words quickly add an exciting element to the game.
Articulate! is designed to be accessible for players of various ages. While it may be more challenging for younger players, it can be enjoyed by teenagers and adults, and can even be adapted to accommodate different age groups.
In addition to improving vocabulary and language skills, Articulate! also enhances communication and descriptive abilities. It’s a great game for developing these important skills in a fun and entertaining way.
The game encourages active participation and conversation, promoting interaction and social bonding among players. We usually had a long laughter on several occasions where the game went absolutely competitive.
If your family enjoys word games, quick thinking, and good communication, Articulate! is definitely worth considering. It’s a great way to have fun while enhancing your language and vocabulary skills.
Carcassonne is a highly regarded board game that is well suited for family play. It combines strategy, tile-laying, and territory-building in a way that can be enjoyed by players of various ages.
Carcassonne has simple rules and is easy to learn, making it accessible to players of all ages. It’s an excellent choice for family members who may not be experienced board gamers.
The game involves building a landscape by placing tiles, claiming features like cities, roads, and fields, and strategically deploying followers to score points. This offers a mix of strategy and planning, which can be engaging for both kids and adults.
Carcassonne features colourful and attractive tiles that can captivate players’ attention. As the landscape takes shape, it can spark conversation and visual interest.
Games are fairly short, usually lasting around 30-45 minutes, which is convenient for family game nights when you might want to play multiple games in one sitting.
The game’s theme is based on building the French medieval city of Carcassonne and is suitable for family play. The theme is not overly complex or intimidating.
Carcassonne has numerous expansions that can add new elements, rules, and tiles to the game, enhancing its variety and replay-ability. We have purchased 3 expansion packs and now the gameplay can last up to 90 minutes.
Carcassonne is a versatile and enjoyable family game that combines strategy with accessible gameplay. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a game that can be appreciated by both kids and adults, and it’s known for bringing family members together for fun and engaging board game sessions.
7. Sushi Go!
This game is one of my daughter’s favourite and can easily packed for a day out.
Sushi Go! is a delightful and highly recommended card game for family play. It’s particularly well suited for casual gaming sessions and can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Simple Rules: Sushi Go! has straightforward rules that are easy to understand, making it accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. You can quickly teach the game and start playing.
Games of Sushi Go! are typically short and can be played in about 15-20 minutes, which is perfect for a quick game before dinner or after lunch.
The game’s sushi theme is visually appealing and cute, making it fun and engaging for players. The adorable sushi card illustrations add to the game’s charm.
Despite its simplicity, Sushi Go! offers strategic decision-making. Players must choose which sushi cards to draft to build the best combinations and earn the most points. This adds an enjoyable layer of strategy to the game.
Sushi Go! is designed to be family-friendly and can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. It’s a game that bridges generational gaps and can be appreciated by everyone.
There is an expansion called “Sushi Go Party!” that adds even more variety and options to the base game, increasing its replay value. We haven’t tried the expansion though so can’t comment on this.
Sushi Go! is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a quick, light-hearted, and family-friendly card game that combines fun, strategy, and a charming theme. It’s an excellent game to bring family members of different ages together for an enjoyable gaming experience.
8. The Game of Life
I have to be honest, this is not the game I am enjoying the most but my kids love it. So I usually negotiate that if we play The Game of Life, we have to play a game of Catan as well in the same night.
The Game of Life is a classic board game that has been a popular choice for family game nights for generations. It’s a game that simulates various life choices and challenges, and it offers several features that can make it an enjoyable family game.
The board game is designed with a family-friendly theme that simulates various life stages and decisions, from education and career choices to marriage and family life. The theme is relatable and suitable for family play.
The rules of the Game of Life are relatively easy to understand, making it accessible to a wide range of players, including children and adults.
The Game of Life encourages social interaction and conversation among players. It’s a great way to engage with family members and discuss the decisions made during the game.
While the game has a degree of luck due to the spinning wheel, the variety of paths and choices in the game can offer some replay-ability.
The Game of Life has been a beloved classic for many, and it can evoke a sense of nostalgia for older family members who grew up playing it.
The Game of Life has various editions and versions, including themed ones like “The Game of Life: The Simpsons” or “The Game of Life: Junior,” which can add variety to the game.
It’s important to note that the Game of Life does involve a significant element of luck, especially when spinning the wheel to determine outcomes, which may not appeal to players who prefer games with more strategic decision-making.
However, it’s a fun and light hearted game that can bring family members together for a nostalgic and enjoyable gaming experience, especially if you’re looking for a classic board game that everyone can enjoy.
We have discovered this game by pure chance when we were stuck with Covid in Paris last year. We simply loved that game and we kept changing teams to learn how to play with different members of the family.
Codenames is a fantastic word and deduction game that is suitable for family game nights, especially if you have older children or teenagers. It’s known for its engaging gameplay and is often praised for its fun and challenging experience.
Codenames is typically played in teams, which encourages collaboration and communication among players. It’s a great way for family members to work together and have lively discussions.
The game is focused around word association and vocabulary. It challenges players to make creative and strategic word connections, which can be both fun and educational.
Codenames is a cerebral game that requires players to think critically and use deductive reasoning. It can be particularly appealing for families with older children and adults who enjoy intellectual challenges.
In addition, Codenames rounds are relatively short, typically lasting around 15-20 minutes, which is ideal for family game nights when you want to play several games in a single evening.
The game’s theme, which involves giving one-word clues to identify words on a grid, is family-friendly and straightforward.
Codenames is a great choice if you’re looking for a word game that combines strategy, wordplay, and team collaboration. It’s a game that can foster friendly competition and lively interactions during family game nights.
Last on our list is a game involving sturdy quality coins and cards: Splendor.
Splendor is an excellent board game that can be a great choice for family game nights, particularly if your family enjoys strategy and resource management games.
Splendor has straightforward rules that are easy to understand, making it accessible to players of different ages and gaming experience levels. It’s a great game for introducing strategy games to newer players.
Despite its simplicity, Splendor offers a good level of strategic depth. Players must manage resources, acquire valuable cards, and build an economic engine to win the game. This provides an engaging challenge for family members.
Splendor games are relatively short, typically lasting around 30-45 minutes, which is convenient for family game nights when you may want to play multiple games in one sitting.
The game’s theme, which revolves around gem trading and collecting, is family-friendly and straightforward. The game’s mechanics are intuitive and easy to grasp.
Splendor offers replay-ability as the card decks are randomised in each game, which means you’ll encounter different card combinations and strategies in each play through.
Furthermore, Splendor supports up to 4 players, making it suitable for smaller family groups or as a part of a larger game night with multiple games being played simultaneously.
In conclusion, Splendor is a great choice if you’re looking for a strategy game that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Its accessible rules, strategic depth, and relatively short playtime make it a well-rounded game for family gatherings. It’s an engaging game that can be appreciated by both younger and older players and can provide hours of entertainment on family game nights.
As you can guess, our family is a big fan of board games and we have quite a few more to recommend. So here are 5 more games that we would encourage you to discover as well:
- Little Circuses
In this guide, I have highlighted the best board games that we can’t stop playing whether we are at home or on vacation. Usually, we bring 1 or 2 board games depending if we take the car, catch a train or need a plane to our holiday destination.
Typically, we enjoy playing board games just before dinner or if all agree, plan a board games evening without TV (challenging task you should say).
Anyhow, playing a board game with the family is a good way to interact with everyone and have a good dose of laughter and competition. I would be surprised if you would not like any of these games mentioned above.
Enjoy your holiday and embrace board games with your kids!
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