Family reunions can be anxious. Mainly if it includes inviting some cousins you haven’t met in the last 10 years. That’s what happened to me. Luckily, I’ve already made a list of games, that absolutely killed the boredom, and made the reunion less awkward. Since I can’t gatekeep information, I will share this list with you today, and all you need to do is pick your favorite (s).
- Indoors Family Reunion games:
- Family Trivia;
- Broken Whispers;
- The Starbust Game;
- How Do You Do?;
- Two Truths And One Lie;
- Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Bottle;
- Board/Card Games:
- Wits & Wagers;
- Incan Gold;
- Cards Against Humanity Family Edition;
- Sushi Go;
- Outdoors Family Reunion games:
- Bean Bag Toss;
- Blanket Race;
- Stack & Run;
- Egg Russian Roulette;
- Potato Sacks;
- Tug Of War;
- Water Balloon Catch;
- Final thoughts;
Indoors Family Reunion Games
If your reunion is happening on a lovely evening, or you just want to keep the fun indoors, there are some good games you could use. They’re simple to play, don’t take up much space, and are enjoyed by all ages.
1. Family Trivia
Equipment: A list of questions;
Starting the night with a Family Trivia is one of the most heartwarming ideas. It breaks the ice, makes people feel comfortable, and everyone gets to know more about the family. All you have to do is make a list of 15 to 20 questions (you can borrow from our 21 Questions list too), and ask them out loud. Whoever answers correctly gets a point. Questions can be something like who traveled the furthest to attend this reunion? How did Grandpa & Grandma meet? Who is the oldest family member here? Who are the newlyweds? And more ideas that relate to your fam!
2. Broken Whispers
Equipment: People only!
Remember the Broken Telephone OR the Whispers game we used to love as kids? This one is called the Broken Whispers since we will use gestures instead, and let me tell you, you will burst into laughter! You will all stand in a line, and starting with the last person in the row, they have to pass the message to the player in front of them, but only using gestures. The message cannot be repeated twice and must be passed all the way to the first person in the row. Once the latter is completed, the first player (the one who started it) and the last one, compare their messages. Here’s a TikTok to show how fun this game is: Rios Family Reunion.
3. The Starburst Game
Equipment: A pack of Starburst candy, 4 plastic cups, 2 containers, and a timer.
If you’re looking for something more energetic, and competing, give the Starburst Game a try. Two players play at a time. You can divide all people into 2 teams, and everyone takes turns. Those two players must put their hands into the two cups (as shown in the picture), and whenever they’re ready, start a 60-second timer. There are 20 (or more, if you wanna make it harder) candies for each, and both players aim to put these candies in containers while having their hands in cups. Whoever has the most Starbursts in their container when the timer’s off, wins the round! For instance, here’s how the game goes: The Starburst Game.
4. How Do You Do?
Equipment: A list of songs;
‘How Do You Do?’ is probably one of my personal favorites! One person is chosen to go first. The game organizer writes down a song title, which will be shown only to the first player. They must sing the song, but only by using ‘Do’ (Doo do do doo). Whoever guesses the song, takes the turn, and follows the same order. This continues until all players have sung a song at least once! If you can’t wait to play it, watch this video if you wanna prove how fun it is: How Do You Do?
5. Two Truths And One Lie
If you’re meeting with more people than just your close family, it’s a good idea to give them an update on your life, by playing the famous Two Truths And One Lie. The thing is that all people will take turns to say two truths and one lie about themselves. Everyone has to guess which one was the lie, and once everyone gives their guess, the player must tell who was correct, and optionally add more details about the truths. Usually, the game ends whenever all people participating have completed a round.
6. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Bottle
Equipment: A bottle, or a cup;
Every time I brought this game to a gathering, all the people ended up getting so committed to the game, and laughing out loud! Here’s the thing: divide all members into 2 groups, and ask them to face each other, about 1-2 feet away. Place one bottle or cup in the middle of each pair of players. One player moderates the game, and they should mention body parts. Players must touch the body part that was called (head, shoulders, ears, eyes). Finally, when the moderator says ‘bottle’, two players must compete to be the first to catch the bottle. All players who caught the bottle stay in the game, and a new round starts, until there’s only one player left.
Board games, and card games too, are great if you’re willing to bring some competition to your reunion. Time goes by so quickly while playing any of the below, so you’ll probably be playing for several hours.
If board games are your type of entertainment, Codenames must be the one, especially at family gatherings since it’s simple to learn, and can be played by all people. To play Codenames, you divide all people into 2 teams, and each team picks their spymaster. Spymasters must give one-word clues about words while the teammates must guess these words, but making sure they don’t guess the opposing’s team clues. The game ends when one of the teams has all the words covered (guessed), and that team is the winner!
If you wanna keep the group entertained for about an hour, Dixit is the way to go! Each player gets their image cards and the one player who’s the storyteller of the round starts by picking one of their images and making up a sentence related to it. All other players look at their cards, pick one they think matches best with the storyteller’s description, and give that card to them, facedown. Then, the storyteller places all the received cards faceup in the center of the table, including their card, while all other players must guess which was the original card the storyteller started the sentence with. Points are dealt depending on your guesses!
3. Wits & Wagers
Available on Amazon ($44.31) | Ages 10+ | 4 and more players;
You wanna check how smart & creative everyone is? Wits & Wagers is the game for that. There’s one question reader, who must read questions on their order. Players have 30 seconds to give guesses, and guesses must get sorted. Then, players place bets depending on who they think is the closest to the correct answer. Keep in mind that your answer should be the closest to the actual answer, but must not go over it. There will also be a banker on the game, who deals with the chips, bonuses, payings, and all that financial stuff. The player who has the most points after the 7th question is answered, wins! Since there is more information that could help you play, watch How to play Wits & Wagers.
4. Incan Gold
Incan Gold is the game of ancient artifacts. Each player has their tent. Depending on the cards that are turned over, players get gems, and in their turn, they decide if they want to stay or go. If they pick the latter, they must place the gems inside the tent, so they’re safe. If they decide to stay, they can lose their gems. If two same cards come up at the same time (for example fire cards), the expedition is over, and all players use their gems. Different artifacts have different points. It takes a while to master, so, watch how to play Incan Gold for more!
5. Cards Against Humanity Family Edition
Cards Against Humanity Family Edition is my go-to, every time I’m looking for something simple, and hilarious. To play the game, one player becomes the Card Czar and reads one black card out loud. All other players must pick one of their white cards, as a response to the black one, which can be a question or fill-in-the-blank. Then, the Card Czar should pick their favorite card, and give that player one awesome point. Although the content is extremely funny, it is indeed kid-friendly. If you wanna make sure, go through the cards once before playing.
6. Sushi Go
‘Sushi Go!’ is one of the most adorable games ever, probably because even kids enjoy playing it (even younger than 8). Each player gets dealt a hand of cards, and the remaining deck is placed in the center of the table. All players pick one card they want to keep and place it facedown in front of them, then, turn it over, and pass the hand to the player on their left. This continues until all cards have been played, and then the score of cards placed in front of players is checked. Card combinations have special values (such as nigiri on top of a wasabi card, most maki roll icons, 2 or more dumplings, and more). The player with the most points after 3 rounds, wins!
If you need more ideas, go through our family card games list.
Outdoors Family Reunion Games
Everyone loves a good outdoor game to play at family reunions. Not only do they bring endless laughs, and connect people, but overfill everyone with energy too, and all people get included. Set your preferred game up in the yard, and see how everyone has the fun of their lives!
1. Bean Bag Toss
Equipment: Game boards, and bags.
To play Bean Bag Toss (or Cornhole), you may either make the equipment yourself or go search them up on Amazon. Players are divided into 2 teams, and the goal of each team is to score the most points. You must stand at a distance of 10 to 15 feet, and attempt to throw the bag on one of the holes, which have different points each. After all players from the teams have thrown once, you check the score and decide who wins. Ps. all ages can play, but make it simpler for kids.
2. Blanket Race
Well, it works just as fine with adults sitting on blankets, lol. Start by making a start & finish line, and divide players into pairs. One person from the pair but sit on the blanket, and the other must drag it. On the count of three, all players standing up must drag the blanket & the person on it, to the finish line. Then, switch places, and the other person does the same all the way back to the start line. Whoever arrives first, is the winner!
3. Stack & Run
Equipment: 9 hula hoops, and 18 plastic cups.
Stack & Run can either be played indoors, or outdoors, however, we prefer the latter. Two players compete at a time. What they have to do, is run and get the cups from the other circles, and bring them to the center hula hoop, stack them on top of each other. But, you can only take one cup at a time! That’s all about it. Here’s how fun the game is: Stack & Run.
Ps. If you wish, you can turn it into a drinking game too! Drink the beer first, then stack the cups!
4. Egg Russian Roulette
Equipment: Eggs, and a deck of cards.
This one’s messy, but it is one of the funniest games for reunions. There are several versions of playing, but our favorite consists of two players turning over one card each, and whoever has the highest value, is the winner. The privilege of being the winner is that you get to break the egg in your opponent’s head! 2 people play at once until everyone has either had an egg on their head or were the winner of the round. Can this be considered a card game though?
5. Potato Sacks
Equipment: one potato sack per player;
The Potato Sacks Race is just as hysterical for both kids and adults. To play the game, players get into a potato sack each, and line up in the starting line. In the count of three, everyone must jump (with the sacks on), until they reach the finishing line. The first one to cross the line is the winner. Optionally, you may come back all the way to the starting line. Here’s how it goes: Potato Sack Race.
6. Tug Of War
Equipment: A sturdy rope (8+ feet long);
Tug Of War is a classic game that has survived time, and performs great as a beach game as well! Now, if you don’t know how to play, tie the rope in the middle, and divide all players into 2 teams of equal players. These teams must take place on opposing sides of the rope, and start tugging it as hard as they can. Whenever one of the teams crosses their line (marked by the game judge), they lose, and the other team is the winner!
Equipment: Game set (available on Amazon).
If you wanna save money, you can for sure make your own Mölkky equipment with a bit of effort. There are numbered pins (from 1 to 12), and a bigger pin, named the Mölkky. The numbered pins are arranged in a specific formation, and players take turns to knock them down, using the Mölkky. You get points depending on which pin you’ve knocked down, and whoever reaches 50 points, wins the game.
8. Water Balloon Catch
Equipment: A few balloons filled with water.
No matter how old we are, we will always enjoy a game that includes water balloons. Divide players into pairs, and let them face each other, about 10 feet away, while being opponents. Then, you must throw the water balloon to your opponent, who must catch it, and throw it back to you, until the balloon pops. The player who pops the balloon is out of the game. The remaining players compete until there’s only one player left, and that is the winner!
The thing about these family reunion games is that they create deeper connections, teach everyone more about the family roots and bring extreme fun. Depending on how long you’re gonna be with each other, pick more than one game just so no one gets bored. You’ll make the family reunion the best ever!