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Would the holidays really be the holidays without at least one heated family game of Monopoly? Not in my family. Board games and apps are the perfect holiday activity because they’re fun, group friendly, and bring the whole family together. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays with immediate family you see all the time or bringing together extended family members you don’t know as well, games are a great way to step away from social media, spend time together, and build memories.
Every family is different and depending what group you’ve got coming together, you may not be sure which game to play. Here’s the perfect family game to play for every situation.
When you have a lot of kids in the family: Heads Up! app
Brainchild of Ellen DeGeneres, this app is perfect for entertaining your family over the holidays. Like charades but on your smartphone, you can easily a category that will entertain people of any age group. Free categories range from movies to impressions to current trends, but you can buy additional decks and have them instantly downloaded to your phone. The app even records video as you play so if you want, you can save the video straight to your camera roll for lasting family memories.
When you have family tension to work through: Monopoly
A true classic and possibly my favorite game of all time. It can run long and get heated, voices might get raised, and silent treatments might be issued out as temporary punishments. But hey, it’s a good way to express that family tension and engage your competitive spirit. And you can pretty sure that you’ll come out of a game of Monopoly with hilarious family memories. If Monopoly isn’t your jam, try other resource games for a similar experience.
When your family enjoys “colorful” humor: Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is what you get when Apples to Apples grows up, goes off to college, and comes home for Thanksgiving. This party game is a lot of fun but best played after the kids have gone to bed. If kids want to join in, swap it out for its PG cousin Apples to Apples.
When you have short attention spans: Jigsaw puzzles
Hear me out. You either love them or you hate them, but everyone can participate for as long or as briefly as they want and you can space them out over the day (or week). The holidays are chaotic and puzzles are flexible. Maybe your dad is stressed about getting the turkey out on time, you’ve got to run out to see childhood friends for an hour, your cousins will be filtering in and wanting to catch up, and the kids want to participate but only for a few minutes. In crazy scenarios like this one, a puzzle will hang out on a table and wait while you balance lots of moving parts.
Bonus idea? Take an old family photo and get a custom puzzle made with sites like Portrait Puzzles.