Why Your Next Get-Together Should be a Game Night

It finally happened: your entire friend group finally managed to coordinate schedules and plan far enough in advance that you’re all able to hang out together. Sure, you could go out, but that requires even more decisions, and I’m a firm believer that going out to dinner with more than four (or mayyyyybe five) people is more hassle than it’s worth. Instead, try having a game night at home with everyone. Here's why it’ll be better:

  1. 1. There's more freedom

    Even if you all manage to find free time on the same day, there are always people who will have to come late or leave early—that’s just the nature of being an adult with responsibilities. Game nights are perfect for this because it’s easy to jump in and out or start new games when people show up. In addition to that, if people aren’t feeling whatever’s happening at that moment they can watch, socialize, or just switch games.

  2. 2. It's cheaper

    Most people own at least one card or board game, and there are cool new ones coming out all the time that you can get pretty inexpensively. (Love Letter and Codenames are two of my favorites, and both are less than $15 on Amazon right now.) Aside from the games themselves, it’s easy to put together a fairly inexpensive and more varied meal if everyone brings food or a drink to share. Who doesn’t love a potluck?

  3. 3. It's a great way to get to know new people

    Is this the first time your newly-formed group of friends is hanging out outside of a study session? Are there new significant others that need to be met? Either way, a game night provides a super chill space to get to know people. Figure out who’s competitive and who’s not, or what kind of jokes your friends like!

  4. 4. It's okay if you don't stick to the plan

    Nothing is worse than when you're super excited to see your friends, but after playing catch-up for an hour or two you run out of good conversation topics. In come the board games! There's nothing wrong with letting the games take a backseat when you realize that you have more to talk about than expected. In that case, the games will still be there when you're done with your conversation, but there's no pressure if you don't come back to them. Either way, enjoy the time you've got, and there's always something to fall back on. 

At the end of the day, a game night is easy to plan, fun for pretty much everyone, and varied enough that there's little danger of getting bored. Add in a potluck and some drinks, and you've got a great night ahead of you.