The right card and board games can bring any group of people together. That's part of their magic: versatility. Think of a person you know. There's a game for her. Think of her opposite. There's a game for him, too. Regardless of whether you know a serious strategist or a casual competitor, having a game night can be one of the most stress-free ways to entertain. But no game night is complete without grub. Throw in a few fun DIY decorations, too, and you'll soon have a weekly game night on the calendar.
Set the Tone With Invitations
To get the party started, you've got to get the right crew together. Assemble the most dynamic people and send out these festive invitations. You can easily make at home -- especially since we've included free printables!
Keep Things Tidy with Decorative Glass Jars
Game pieces getting lost under the table, having one die short of a pair of dice and pens that are missing their caps: these are all things you'd like to avoid during game night. Keep everything in its right place with versatile (and very pretty) porcelain painted glass jars.
Make it Festive with a DIY Tassel Garland
While your favorite board game is the only centerpiece you'll need, throwing some splashes of color on the walls will make the mood festive and bright. These tassel garlands will do just that, and can be made inexpensively out of tissue paper, paper napkins and embroidery thread.
Guard Your Tables and Games from Drink Rings
Everyone knows that a cold drink set on one of the games could pretty much ruin the night. Prevent this mishap while displaying some of your favorite pictures with tile photo coasters.
Keep the Cards Clean with a Flavorful Dip
While there's nothing you can do about the certain subject matters of certain card games, you can keep all of your cards from getting dirty by avoiding chips with added flavors. Those will definitely cause stains. You won't need their added flavor with this easy-to-make and very tasty white bean hummus.
Impress Your Friends with Pizza Cones
You will get all of the compliments if you serve these delicious pizza cones. Think: hot pocket + best homemade pizza ever + no-mess appetizer=one happy group.
Make Your Prep Really Easy
If you don't have much time to prepare, but you still want to wow the crowd, throw some antipasti skewers together in advance. They'll be a huge hit, and you'll have barely broken a sweat. Bonus point: imagine how ahead of the game you'll be when you draw the "antipasti skewer" card in Pictionary.
Keep the Gamers Happy with Cheddar Bacon Tater Tots
You can't help it if a couple of your friends complain about having to play their least favorite game — you do what makes the most people at the party happy, right? Here's a tip: cheddar bacon tater tots will always make the most people (that is, everyone) happy.
Make a Mid-Game Snack Without Missing a Turn
The appetizers are dwindling and the game is tense. Thankfully, you've got a loaf of bread on hand and brie cheese waiting to be melted. You won't miss a minute of the game, and more importantly, you'll ease the tension within seconds of serving.
Refresh Memories with a Childhood Flavor
While there are certainly some good time-travel board games, you might opt for a quicker method by instilling some childlike nostalgia with this old fashioned pink lemonade.
Keep it Cool, Keep it Fresh
If you're playing games with a lot of movement, people are bound to get thirsty. Keep your friends cool and refreshed with a pitcher of white sangria.
Make a Quick and Delicious Dinner and Get Back to the Games
You know you can't be tied up in the kitchen for hours during game night, so prep these delicious steak tacos beforehand. Not only will you keep from missing a single game, but you'll have something on hand for guests who are really hungry.
Wind Down the Fun with a Classic Dessert
As the final scores are announced, give a clue that the night is coming to an end by serving a beloved dessert: brownies. Spruce up the presentation by making it in a cupcake pan, and turn the delicious classics into fun and tiny treats.
Make Everyone Feel Like a Winner in the End
Those who don't like chocolate, or others who didn't expect to lose, can still feel like champions at the end of the night. Finish strong with cheers all around and a platter of cheesecake bites.