We are a board game family and we have a ton of them. My husband and I both like board games but are the first to admit that some are just painful to suffer through. Some board games are either too basic to hold our attention or have convoluted rules, others are just a slight tweak on a classic game in order to throw in some licensed characters.
We play enough board games around here that I consider myself enough of an expert to know when we’ve found game that are fun for both our kids and keep the adults entertained. So with that in mind, here are a few of the best family board games, in our ever-so-humble opinion. Affiliate links ahead.
Tried and True Family Board Games
Ticket to Ride – This is probably my personal favorite. It’s a bit of a time commitment as it takes 30-60 minutes to play through the game, but it involves an element of strategy and planning that keeps me going. Plus, it’s entirely possible that you’ll have no idea who the winner is until the very end of the game, so that element keeps everyone on their toes.
Ticket to Ride now comes in multiple versions. Ticket to Ride New York is a shorter game if you have younger kids or shorter attention spans
Qwirkle – This was the first game that we played that gave me a glimpse of life after Chutes and Ladders and it will always hold a special place in my heart. It says it’s for ages 6 and up and I think that’s about accurate, but we’ve played with just a group of adults and had a great time.
We actually have the Ocean version of this game, but there are several options, including Harry Potter and Frozen branded games. You have to shift the tiles around the board to make paths to the objects you’re trying to collect. Since you recreate the board every single time you play, this game keeps everyone on their toes.
Catan – If you’re a board game person, surely this is on your radar. It has won a million awards and has several available expansion packs. The recommended starting age is age 10 and this is another long game clocking in at about an hour to finish each game, so keep both of those things in mind when deciding if this would work for your family.
Dice and Card Games for Families
Farkle – This, along with Yahtzee, is an easy to play dice game that we all love. As an added bonus, it’s easy to take with you on the road and can be played without any special equipment. All you really need are six dice and you’re good to go.
Quixx – Another dice game, that requires a tiny bit of strategy. The fun part of this game is that everyone has a chance to play on every turn, even if they’re not the ones rolling the dice. It keeps everyone engaged and moves the game along quickly. This is a great game to travel with as everything you need comes in one small box.
Monopoly Deal – Before you run screaming away, this isn’t the Monopoly of your childhood that will go on for days. (Our family actually likes Monopoly, but I know it’s not for everyone.) This card game can be played in as little as 15 minutes!
Exploding Kittens – Two things that you should know. First, this was the most-backed Kickstarter in history and it features illustrations by The Oatmeal. You should also know that there is a family-friendly and a NSFW version of this game, so make sure you grab the right one! We haven’t played this, but I think we need to make this the next one we add to our collection.
Sushi Go – A lot of my friends are recommending this game this year and it looks cute and fun and portable. Since my kids are the only grandkids on either side of the family we’re always looking for games we can bring along at the holidays to keep everyone happy.
We would love to hear what games your family loves (and the ages of your kids/the kids that play the game for reference.) Leave them in the comments below so we can add them to our wishlist.