Holiday Games: For Quality Time with the In-Laws

Crowd Pleasing Games for all Family Members

All games can be used as a tool to connect with new additions to your family clan, bond with friends and genuinely bring everyone together in one room. Board games, performance challenges and classic card games create memories and one of kind moments to unite on a strategic and collaborative level while enjoying some healthy competition. Use these game suggestions for any family get-together this season. Whether you are meeting new members for the first time, making friends or celebrating with old family, one of these is bound to spark your interest.

Themed Monopoly:

Themed Monopoly

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Let’s be honest the original is fun for some people, but if you really want to get people excited bring a themed version based on your region, career choices or interests. My personal favorite is animal-opoly for the nature lover and the regional options, from New York, Minnesota and Las Vegas, you can find a monopoly game for your state that will have everyone buying local businesses and monuments.

The Newlywed Game:

Newlywed Game

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This one is for all the couples attending the holiday party. Test your relationship knowledge in this game for some good laughs. Hear participating couple’s stories and how they function at home when no one is around. This game is made to bring up trick questions and create scenarios with topics most wouldn’t bring up. Keep it light and fun (Insider Tip: make sure everyone has a snack and drink before you start this game).

North Pole Party People:

North Pole Party People

Photo by Ted Carpenter Creative

This is a one of kind board game created by designer Ted Carpenter. Known for his illustrations of adorable winter themed creatures, this game gives them life with witty themed pieces and squares, styled wonderfully with clever questions to guide you to the finish line. This is great for the entire family and won't take as much time as other board games. Available on his website.

Play Holiday Poker:

Holiday Poker

Photo by Amy Snyder/Flickr

For the gambling crowd this is a competitive choice. Play various styles to include or exclude the kids. Some play for pennies, other play for big bills where winner takes all, but you can always play with just poker chips, to keep your wallet safe. There's more than ten variations of poker, including Texas hold'em and Seven Card Stud and let's not forget Blackjack. To add some fun to the expereince request that everyone bring a hat to wear at the poker table; a fedora, cowboy hat, accountant visor or any accessory that will put people in the poker spirit.

Christmas Bingo/Holiday Bingo:

Holiday Bingo

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Print custom bingo cards and play themed bingo with the classic matching rules. Vote for an announcer and enjoy the race to finish your card first. Fun for all ages and easy to understand, no fighting necessary. This is especially a good choice if you are looking for a do-it-yourself project, you can make your own bingo playing sheets or print them from various websites, like or, on some sites you can even add family pictures or objects to the mix.

Put on a Talent Show:

Talent Show

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This traditional activity is popular with musical, dramatic and theatrical families. Send out an e-mail announcement to participating members before the party date, so when the time comes everyone can have an act prepared. If there are individuals who don’t have that performance gene, ask them to be a host or a judge for the show. Ask someone to bring a microphone, speakers or karaoke machine to simulate a stage. If this becomes an annual tradition there will always be a raining winner to hand off their title for Most Entertaining Performance.

* Keep your classic deck of cards handy, small enough to fit in your purse or bag, games like B.S. Crazy Eights and Speed are always a hit for a party that needs a boost or an ice breaker

(Other games considered for this list: Sorry, Cranium, Cheese Touch, Pictionary, The Walking Dead Game and Settler's of Catan)