It’s all fun & games: Hosting game night for friends inexpensive, simple


Whether it’s because of research papers, grade-determining exams or just the repetitive routine, everyone tends to get stressed toward the end of the semester. Enjoying a game night is a budget-friendly way to get your head out of the textbooks and socialize with friends.


First, choose a handful of people to invite. Consider the size of your living space – if you live in a small apartment, 20 guests might be too many. Be sure to give them a few days’ notice so they can plan to attend. Choose friends who are comfortable around you and each other. Let them know they need to wear comfortable clothing – like jeans and a T-shirt – and that they can bring along their favorite games, if they choose.


With all of the physical and mental exertions your friends will make, they will appreciate any refreshments you provide. Set out some healthy snacks that don’t require any silverware like pretzels, tortilla chips, fruits and vegetables. That way, no one has to quit playing to nibble, and you have little mess to attend to later.

As for drinks, I again suggest you consider how much cleaning up you want to do. The best choice would be bottled drinks like water, juice and soda. If you’re not worried about spills, have everyone write their name on plastic cups and fill them as they wish.


Be sure the play area you have chosen is clean. No one wants to crawl around your dirty laundry to find a seat. Whether your game night is in a residence hall living area or your own living room, be sure the furniture is arranged like you want it. If you’re playing team games, arrange an opening down the center of the room. If you want everyone to sit on the floor, simply move the furniture out of the way.

No matter what you are organizing, your home should be guest ready. Do whatever it takes to make it something you can be proud of in front of your friends.


There are several types of games out there, so don’t hinder the fun by only playing one. Though “Monopoly” can be exhilarating for the first two hours, your guests might get bored trying to finish it.

You could begin the evening with a high-energy game in which people work in teams – I recommend “Catch Phrase” or “Guesstures.” This way, no one is put on the spot for too long. Also, I have yet to play either of those games without erupting in laughter.

If you’re in the mood to use some brain power, bring out games like “Scrabble” or “Scattergories.” If not, set up your DVD player and play your favorite version of “Scene It?”

Make a deck of cards readily available, as well. Many times, there will be a couple people who prefer less active games like Blackjack or “Uno.”

When it comes to choosing games for your game night, the possibilities are endless. Bring the whole stack of favorites out of your hall closet and be willing to let your guests choose. Just make sure someone knows the rules well enough to explain them to everyone else. Most importantly, don’t have a minute-by-minute plan for the evening. Go with the flow. After all, the purpose of a game night is to relax.

Kelsey Noel is a senior in music education. Please send comments to