Break the Ice: 5 Favorite Party Games

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Whether you're hanging out with friends, or hosting family for an extended amount of time, there's nothing like a good old fashioned party game to keep the holidays fun. Games are a great social activity to help avoid conversation lulls, congregating around the TV or eyes glued to smartphones. From classics to Kickstarter-funded newbies, here are a few of our current favorite party games.

  • Charades: A classic game that doesn't require any cards, boards or game pieces. Players act out a word or phrase, often by miming similar sounding words. The more creative and unusual the words, the more interesting the game.

  • Telestrations: A mashup of Telephone and Pictionary. Using an erasable wipe board, everyone plays simultaneously: each player gets a word and draws what they read. Everyone then passes their board with the drawing on to the person next to them, and guesses what word is depicted on the board that they recieve. Everyone continues to draw, pass, and guess until it reaches full circle. While there is a boxed game available to purchase, you can easily make this game on your own with scrap paper and pencils. This game is fun for both artists and the drawing-challenged (if not more fun).


  • Cards Against Humanity: Probably best played with friends and other people you feel comfortable offending. Often described as a more crass version of the game Apples to Apples.


  • Loaded Questions: A game of who-said-what? You must correctly guess fellow players' answers to probing prompts and questions. A great game to see how well you know friends, and for getting to know new acquaintances.


  • The Settlers of Catan: If you're looking to kill a lot of time, this is your game. Using a customizable board, players collect resources and build armies, roads, and cities, which eventually lead to victory. It can quickly get competitive and easily last two hours, or even more with one of the many available expansion packs.

What games will you be playing this holiday season?

(Image credits: Anjali Prasertong)