5 Games to Play at Your Next Dinner Party

A list of good games to play with friends at a party to prove you're never too old for some fun and whimsy.

Nov 22, 2013
Special Collections: PLAY LIKE A KID
Friends at table playing games to play at a party

Image by Flickr user WanderingtheWorld 

Dinner parties are a great way to gather friends and enjoy delicious food, but how about taking it to the next level by inserting a bit of fun and whimsy? Playing is just as important for kids as it is for adults, and a dinner party is an ideal setting to let loose and enjoy. Instead of just talking, checking your smartphone and watching YouTube videos, connect with your friends by trying these five dinner party games that require nothing more than some good humor and a bit of imagination!

1. CHARADES
The classic word-guessing game with a catch – NO TALKING!
THE BASICS: Divide into two teams and have each person write a secret word or phrase on a piece of paper. The slips of paper are collected and separated, with each team guessing the other’s phrases or words. Alternating turns, one person from each team acts out the clue without speaking – and no mouthing! The team members can shout out guesses, but they have to figure out the word in three minutes or less. Each correct answer is worth one point.
IN DEPTH: Traditionally, there are six categories for charades: books, movies, plays, songs, TV shows or quotes.  Players acting out the clue can begin by motioning the category and also informing their team how many syllables each word contains.
MATERIALS: Pens, paper and your pantomiming skills!
CHAMPS: The team with the most points wins.

Charades is one of the good games to play with friends

Image by Flickr user dangerismycat

2. SING DOWN
Get your vocal chords ready - this game requires fast thinking and good singing!
THE BASICS: Folks divide into teams and a designated person chooses a word. The teams have one minute to think of as many songs they can that contain the word in a lyric. When brainstorming time is over, each team takes turns in singing a song which includes the word.|
IN DEPTH: What makes this game so fun and challenging is that no songs can be repeated and every member of the group must sing!
MATERIALS: Pens, paper and warmed up voices.
CHAMPS: The group with the most songs wins.

A sing down is one of many good games to play with friends at a party

Image by Flickr user dananthony11

3. CELEBRITY
Test your pop culture knowledge with a fun game in the spirit of 20 Questions!
HOW: While your guests are seated at the table, ask each of them to write a famous person’s name on a Post-it note.  Without peeking, have every person stick their note on a friend’s forehead and get the game rolling. Each person has to figure out who their celebrity is by asking other guests a series of questions to figure out the identity.
IN DEPTH: Make it even more difficult by picking a historical figure or a cartoon character!
MATERIALS: Post-It notes, pens and sharp questions.
CHAMPS: Whoever guesses their character by asking the least amount of questions wins.

Celebrity is on the list of games to play at a party

Image by Flickr user {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester}

4. DETECTIVE
Go back to your childhood with this fun game that involves a bit of mystery and sleuthing.
HOW: One person is designated as the detective and must leave the room. In the meantime, the host picks a guests to be the trapper. The trapper must covertly wink at other guests and when winked at, each guest must perform a funny dramatic motion and sit down. The detective has two guesses to work out who the trapper is.
IN DEPTH: The trapper needs to be sly and make sure that the detective doesn’t guess their identity.
MATERIALS: Open space and a cunning attitude.
CHAMPS: While there isn’t a clear cut winner to this game, the trapper’s incentive is to to stump the detective, and the detective’s goal is to discover who the trapper is in two guesses or less.

Detective is part of the good games to play with friends

Image by Flickr user paurian

5. PHRASE
To avoid dull dinner table conversation, add a bit of spice to the chatter with this game.
HOW: Before the guests arrive, brainstorm funny or weird phrases and place them under each person’s plate. When everyone sits down, have them read the note to themselves and memorize it. As the dinner progresses, each guest has to naturally slip their phrase into the conversation, without the others noticing.
IN DEPTH: Be creative! Come up with wacky yet slightly plausible phrases like, “I eat fifty tomatoes a day” or “Have you tried scorpion?”
MATERIALS: Paper, pen and out-of-the-box thinking!
CHAMPS: The trick to this game is that no one must realize that you used the odd phrase in conversation. Whoever is the most convincing wins!

Phrase is one of the best games to play at a party

Image by Flickr user photosteve101

Shoshana radiates doing good, driven by a love for people and community. Among many topics, she writes about friendship, creativity and healthy living.

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