5 Holiday Party Games That Aren’t Charades
Pairs best with wine (a lot of it)
Some families are quiet. Some are rowdy. Either way, you’ll be spending lots of time with yours (and friends) when the long stream of holidays begins soon. Whether you want to energize a lifeless party or bring some order to chaos, here are five fun games for all different types of groups.
Best for: Injecting some energy back into a group.
Players: At least two.
How to play: Simply download the app on your phone and get people to clue you into what’s on the screen. It’s pretty self-explanatory from there—once you get the hang of holding your phone to your head.
Best for: Attentive players ready and willing to forge alliances (and, OK, mislead each other).
Players: At least nine.
How to play: You’ll need one moderator to lead the game. From there, you secretly divide the other players into townspeople, a sheriff and a doctor. But no one knows who is who, so the game becomes a quest to figure out who the mafia are before the town goes to dust. For complete rules, go here.
Best for: Breaking the ice…and mostly an excuse to buy some adorable stickers.
Players: No limit.
How to play: Give every guest ten stickers to covertly stick to other guests without them noticing. If your target catches you, he or she gets to stick a sticker on you. First one to get rid of all their stickers wins. It’s like spy games, but the stakes are waaaay lower.
Best for: Making everyone smile.
Players: As many as you want.
How to play: Ask everyone at your party to write down a creative superlative (“punniest,” “coolest dog owner,” “always has the freshest mani,” etc.) and drop them in a bowl. Then everyone takes one out and gifts it to somebody at the party.
Best for: A competitive group.
Players: The more, the merrier.
How to play: OK, it’s basically charades but on steroids and involves guessing only celebrities (so no more obscure old movies your dad picks). Plus, two extra rounds—one-word descriptions and silent descriptions—make things waaaay more fun. For complete rules, go here.