Host the Ultimate At-Home Family Game Night
Game Night Decor
Hosting an exciting family game night is easy with our fun ideas, finger-food recipes, and free printables. Start setting the tone for this fun-filled evening by decorating with bright colors. Hang a geometric paper garland—made with cut pieces of colorful cardstock ($7, Target)—or go all-out with a game tile-theme display.
Set up game stations along a large table, or set up a grouping of smaller game tables. Family members can enjoy two-person games like dominoes ($6, Target) or tic-tac-toe while taking part in a large game night setting. This setup is perfect for a group that includes younger children who may not want to sit still for a large group board game.
Whip up a tray of delicious bite-size desserts that guests can enjoy mid-game. To make them, wrap dough around banana slices and chocolate spread, roll them up, and pop in the oven! They're the perfect finger-food dessert, and so yummy you might have to make two batches—we won't tell if you taste test a few before the game night begins!
Printed Money Banner
Making bright and fun decorations doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Download our free printable template of game night money and print each sheet on a different colored paper. Cut the money into triangles and fold the tops over a long piece of string or ribbon to create a festive garland.
DIY Checkerboard Game
If you're looking for a fun (and practical) DIY project to try, make a fabric checkerboard your family can enjoy long after this game night ends.
Make the board:
Start with two large cloth napkins ($11 for a 6-pack, Walmart) and use painters tape to tape off a 16x16-inch square around the outside edge of one of the napkins. Mark a pattern of 2-inch squares to create a checkerboard pattern; start with the top row, and tape off the squares with painters tape. Paint every other square a solid color, and continue taping and painting squares until four rows are painted. Continue the process with a second color until the board is covered. When the paint is dry, glue a pom-pom trim ($3, Target) to the outer edge of the backside of the napkin. Place the painted napkin on top of the second, unpainted napkin and secure with glue.
Make the playing pieces:
Purchase 2-inch wood circle disks and cut half-circle pieces of colored felt in coordinating colors so that the pieces fit over the wood circles. Glue the felt pieces to the wood circles and continue until you have 12 of each color. When the glue is dry, cut 12 whole circles of each color and glue to the backs of the circles.
Game Night Snack Mix
This delicious homemade snack mix is the ultimate game night food, with something for everyone. Mix rice cereal, nuts, and pita chips with butter, cheese, and seasoning and bake until crunchy. Add single portions of the mix to bright paper cones for fun individual servings. To create the display, we painted a plain wood box with a black and white domino pattern, then filled the tray with regular drinking glasses. The cones sit perfectly inside the drinking glasses, which allows for easy grab-and-go snacking in between games!
DIY Game Tiles
For a truly customized game night display, use DIY tiles to spell out game-theme words or your family's last name. Use a set of alphabet stencils to paint plain wood squares to resemble game tiles, then attach them to the wall with hanging strips designed for painted walls. For a budget-friendly version of this design, print letters and numbers on colored paper, cut into squares and arrange them the same way.
Every party needs a take-home favor—even family parties held at your own home! We love these adorable trophy candy jars—and they're so easy to make. Start by attaching plastic trophy figures ($10 for an 8-pack, Party City) to small jar lids, then spray-paint them a solid color. Fill the jars with small candies and screw the trophy lids on, then top off with a ribbon and our printable game night tags.
Creamy Bacon-Filled Crescents
Your family will love this delicious bacon-filled snack! This savory treat starts with a spread of cheeses, bacon, and green onions, which is then wrapped in dough and topped with poppy seeds. What's not to love?
While there are plenty of board games out there (these are our favorite family-friendly board game options), homemade games are just as fun and they're easy to personalize. Make your own tic-tac-toe board with a few simple materials.
To make the board:
Start by painting 3-inch wood squares; you'll need four painted squares in one color and four painted squares in another color (we used blue and teal triangles for our board). When the painted squares are dry, cut four 20-inch pieces of rope. Glue one of each color square to the ends of each rope piece.
To make the playing pieces:
To make the playing pieces, you'll need to paint five squares for each side (10 squares total). Paint the first set of squares in one color pattern and the second set of squares in another color pattern (we used the orange and green designs for these). When the pieces are dry, you're ready to play!
Printable Bingo Cards
Play a fun game of bingo with our free downloadable cards! Just print the cards and use a circle punch to make circles from colored paper. To play the game, cut up the sheet of plain numbers and add them to a bowl; draw numbers from the bowl and have each member cover the numbers on their board as they're called out. The first person to get five in a row wins!
Chocolate-Mint Checkerboard Cookies
These minty checkerboard cookies are delicious and oh-so-festive! Don't be intimidated by the checkered pattern; making these cookies is actually easier than it looks!
Decoupage Money Coasters
Give each guest a game-theme coaster to set their drink on! Start with a set of purchased plain foam coasters and our downloadable game night money pattern. Print the money onto colored paper and cut each sheet to fit on top of the coasters (depending on the size of your coasters, you may want to use the print settings on your computer to adjust the scale of the money). Use Mod Podge decoupage ($8, Target) to secure the paper design, and let dry completely before use.
DIY Geometric Garland
Finish decorating in minutes with an easy geometric paper garland. Punch or cut multiple shapes from colored cardstock and pair up matching shapes. Sandwich a string of twine between two alike shapes and secure with a hot glue gun ($12, Target). Repeat this technique, alternating shapes and colors until the garland reaches your desired length. Hang from the walls or ceiling to create a fun and exciting feel for game night.