Games After Dinner: What Do You Play?

Dinner parties are versatile and unique. You can make formal invitations and invite twenty people, or keep things small and intimate with your closest friends. Dinner itself can be a no-frills laid-back barbecue or a more gourmet three or four course meal. All these details tell a lot about the type of host you are (or want to be). For some of us (including me) it's fun to put our personal touches through the organization of it all. But, today I'm wondering what do you do after the dinner party? After the ice cream is scooped and the soufflés are poked, do you have some house games that you go to? I'll share our house favorites, but I'd love to hear yours, too.
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An evening with dinner and games works best for us with a small group of people, about six to eight total. Sometimes these get-togethers are organized around an occasion, sometimes they're impromptu and casual with just a few snacks (and cookies). Our two house favorites are Guesstures and our modified version of Pictionary.

Guesstures is easy to setup and always a lot of fun with our group of friends. We have the digital version that you literally just set out on the table and start. If you're not familiar with Guesstures, it's basically like charades with a timer — your goal is to get your team to guess as many words/phrases in 30 seconds. I'm known for over-thinking the clues and doing the non-obvious, i.e. not your best partner.

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The other game we play I am better at: Pictionary. Unlike the traditional game, at our house we toss aside the board and game pieces and just take out the clue cards. We then break out a large dry erase board with markers. It basically Win-Lose-Draw with Pictionary cards.

If you're interested, here's how we play it...

  • Start by dividing everyone up into two teams (a numbers in a box system works well). Everyone gets a turn to draw, and only the members of your team get a chance to guess.
  • The drawer picks a Pictionary card and trys to draw as many clues from the card as they can with the timer. Each clue is worth one point, and the hardest clue (denoted by green) is worth two points.
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  • When the time is up, if a clue isn't guessed, the other team gets a chance to steal the points for that clue. For a steal, the other team confers with each other and takes one guess - a final answer, if you will.
  • After one person on a team draws, another person from the other team draws and things proceed like this until one team gets twenty points - the winner.
  • Try it out and let me know what you think.

Game nights are great for close friends and new friends you're just getting to know. They're also a great excuse for planning a fun dinner full of recipes you want to try. You could even course it out—appetizers, game, dinner, game, dessert, game!

Do you have game evenings after dinner? What are some of your house favorites?

Related: Hosting Game Night? A Roundup of Snack Recipes

(Images: 1-3. Young Chris Perez (before he knew how to use a camera) 4. Chris Perez)

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