Family Party Games



As the Holiday season is fast approaching many families will be gathering and looking for fun family party games.  Today I will be reviewing some of my more favorite party games that I have always enjoyed over the years.

Clothes Pin Game

I was introduced to this game at a friends 40th birthday party.  I was standing there talking with some people I had just met when someone walked by me and I felt something funny on my arm.  I reached around and found that I had a clothes pin hanging from my sleeve.  The people I was talking to explained that it was a game going on and the trick was to put the pin on people without them knowing.

Colorful Clothes Pins
Try using colorful clothes pins!

As I looked around the room I started picking out a few clothes pins hanging randomly around people.  I also noticed a lot of people kept swinging their arms behind them looking for pins hanging off the back of their shirts ( I thought this was particularly funny as it looked like they had just passed gas).

Needless to say I had a lot of fun that night and I made sure that I always pinned the people that were bragging that they could not be.  It was definitely a great game for a party with all kinds of people that had not met before.

Doodle on Head GameChristmas Tree Doodle

This was a childhood favorite game from my family Christmas party on my dad’s side.  Since it was our Christmas party, our challenge was to put a piece of paper on the top of our head and draw a Christmas tree without being able to see what you were doing.  Then all of the trees were gathered and the one that looked most like a Christmas tree won.

This game can be easily translated to all kinds of occasions.  You could draw a pumpkin on Thanksgiving, a Jack-O-Lantern on Halloween, an Easter Egg on Easter, and so forth.  Let your imagination run free with this and have fun judging the winner.

Family Trivia Challenge

This is another game that came from our family Christmas party.  This game does take a bit of legwork to prepare, but becomes very informational as well as fun.

The Moderator of this game will have to be very knowledgeable about the family, or be able to discretely pick up information.  To help give you an idea of some questions that could be asked I will provide you with a starter list here:

  • What month of the year were most of the family born in?
  • What was Grandpa’s first car? (My Grandpas’s was a Model T)
  • How many in the family have a certain color of eyes?
  • How many in the family went to college?
  • Who has traveled the furthest around the world?
Old Photo
What is in your family history?

As you can see, there are all kinds of great trivia questions that you can come up with.  Even when I was a young child I really enjoyed this game as I liked learning about my family history.

Family Name Word Challenge

This is a very simple game where the players try to make as many words as they can using either the family’s last name or something similar.  Obviously if you have a very short last name you can include a first name or something so that there are more then enough letters to use.

I enjoyed this game so much as a kid that I was always asking my dad to give me a new word or phrase that I could use.  I learned a lot of new vocabulary words by playing this game with others and comparing lists.


Probably my most memorable game moment at a family party was playing Jengaagainst my Uncle.  The game was so intense that everyone at the party was watching every move with great anticipation.  Our tower was leaning so severely to the one side that every move was thought to be the last, but we pushed on. I forget how long the game actually took, but we played so determined that it took a while.  Needless to say, eventually I was able to show up my Uncle and win the game.

We played many other games that night and the whole family enjoyed it quite a bit.  While its not a game that can directly engage everyone, there was a lot of enjoyment to be had just watching the game.  There was also a lot of “talk” going on not just between the players, but from the spectators as well.

What Does Your Family Play?

The games above are just a handful of the great family party games available.  I would love to hear the stories of what games you love to play at your family gatherings.  Please share them with us in the comments below!

James W D

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16 Replies to “Family Party Games”

  1. Excellent site! Brought back some good game night memories. I think at my next family get together I want to try the family trivia, sounds like fun to me.

    • Thanks Stacy! I am glad I was able to churn up some good memories for you and to give you an idea for your next get together. Please let me know how it works out and if there are any other games that we could share.

  2. This page is really awesome…family games are very good for bringing all family members together and it is essential to rejuvenate by taking a break from the monotonous life..I hope you will be able to bring the old magic back..:)

    • Hari, In todays world having family time is vital. I see so many families drifting apart from each other and barely spending any time together. Thus one of the major reason I started this site, was to help bring back the “old magic” of family games that I enjoyed throughout my life. I hope you come back for another visit!

  3. Hi, Wow did you bring back memories of family game night when I was young. I am now 50, We now play Uno on Sat. nights and we have a blast. We have added a twist by inserting the blank cards from the deck and wrote out our own rules on them …like instant out and everyone pass your hand to the left. It make for a good game and we laugh trying to out do the other.

    • Thanks! I really appreciate your feedback. I love how you customized your Uno game and I am generally a big fan of house rules for games. You can make them so much more personal to your family or friends.

  4. Wow! this is a great site with so many games. When I’m on holidays and go to see my family in Mauritius (I’m British), I used to play scrabble, Carom, domino and other cards gamess with my bro’s and sis. your games are new to me, i like them and will definitely give a try. Your site is well written as well. Keep it up.

    • Raj, Thanks for stopping by, I am glad you like the games I posted about here. I have played a lot of Scrabble growing up myself and I do like that game. I was looking at a domino set at the store the other day as I have not played that since I was very young & wouldn’t mind reacquainting myself with it. Thanks again for stopping by and hope that you come back again!

  5. Wow how do you come up with so many games? This is the second time I’ve been here and there are a ton of new games! Keep it up!

    • Well, gaming is a passion of mine. I am always looking out for new ways of entertaining myself, my family, & my friends! Thanks for stopping by again!

    • Yeah the Clothes pin game was classic. The guy that bragged the most that he was the king of the game was my victim all night long.

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