The 4 Essentials You Need to Host a Game Night at Home

Games + food + drinks + friends = the easiest party ever.
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We all love hanging out with friends, but planning a party can get a little complicated. Enter the game night: It's the perfect excuse for a casual, laid-back night with a few of your favorite people. The best part? It's a snap to put together an evening centered around competition and snack foods. Here's how to plan the ultimate game night at home.

Living Room Entertaining: Adult Game Night

Living Room Entertaining: Adult Game Night

Photo by: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Rustic White Photography, LLC

1: THE GAMES

What games should you break out at the party? Well, that depends on the guest list! Simple word games, board games and card games are great for small groups. For groups of more than six, avoid games with individual written responses or lots of moving pieces. Interactive team games like charades or an electronic trivia game are great crowd-pleasers. 

Indoor-Outdoor Floor Cushions in Living Room

Indoor-Outdoor Floor Cushions in Living Room

Photo by: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Rustic White Photography, LLC

2: THE SEATING

Give guests a comfy spot to settle in. For board games, line the coffee table with floor cushions. For larger group games, move furniture into a semi-circle so everyone can have a seat and enjoy the fun. 

How to Settle Up a Kettle Chip Bar

How to Settle Up a Kettle Chip Bar

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

3: THE FOOD

For game night success, plan for small bites that guests can grab between turns. Creating a potato chip bar with a variety of chips, dips and toppings allows guests to make a custom blend. Cardboard berry baskets make the perfect individual serving vessel. 

DIY Potato Chip Bar

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Please a Crowd With Just Basic Ingredients

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Oversized Vessel and Large Scoop

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Sweet and Savory

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Think Beyond the Standard Spices

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Cheese, Please

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Add a Little Spice -- or Not

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

A New Use for Berry Baskets

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Snack While You Chat

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Add small bowls of snacks on the game table to allow guests to munch as they play. Homemade beer cheese is a crowd-pleasing dish that never disappoints; serve with pretzel rods and crudité. 

Make This: Beer Cheese Dip

Beer Cheese Dip

Beer Cheese Dip

Roasted nuts are another delicious table snack that guests won't be able to resist. These cashews are tart and spicy thanks to chile and lime. Make the roasted nuts up to a week before your party for easy night-of prep. 

Chili and Lime Roasted Cashews

Chili and Lime Roasted Cashews

For a more substantial snack, try these individually-sized pizza pies -- the pocket shapes make them easy to eat with one hand. These are stuffed with sauce, pepperoni and cheese, but add your favorite toppings or serve a mix to accomodate different tastes. 

Make This: Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Hand Pies

Homemade Pizza Hand Pies

Homemade Pizza Hand Pies

Don't forget the dessert! These big-as-your-head cookies will give guests the energy they need to compete all night. 

Original_Gaby-Dalkin-Valentines-Day-Giant-Sugar-Cookies_s4x3

Original_Gaby-Dalkin-Valentines-Day-Giant-Sugar-Cookies_s4x3

4: THE DRINKS

Punch is perfect for a crowd: You can make a big batch before the party to avoid playing bartender all night, and putting the alcohol on the side makes it perfect for non-drinkers, too! This sparkling cranberry-lemon juice is great with a splash of vodka or without. 

Sparkling Sunshine Punch With Fruit Flowers

Sparkling Sunshine Punch With Fruit Flowers

Want to spice up your punch? Learn to make a mojito ginger splash, plus get more tips for the perfect casual game night:  

Enjoy the refreshingly real taste of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, made with real ginger. Enjoy it alone or in a cocktail as a great way to brighten up your gatherings this holiday season.

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