Top Ten Family Games for the Holidays!

by Julie Hans

It’s that time of year again that we are start to think about spending time with our friends and family and creating wonderful new memories! Of course I’m thinking about what games I want to play with all of my loved ones! I want to share with you the top ten games that I’m going to play at our holiday “get-togethers” this year.

1. Hive Mind by Calliope Games - This game is a blast! Players are trying to come up with the most popular answers to simple questions like “What are 5 things that come to mind when you think of babies?” to score the most points and become the queen bee! How good are you at guessing what the best answers are going to be? Ages 8 and up.

2. Fake Artist Goes to New York by Oink Games - At the beginning of the game each player is given a secret word that will be drawn by all of the artists, except for the fake artist who has to fake it until they make it! After everyone has contributed to the drawing everyone guesses which person at the table is the fake! If the phony is caught, they’ll have one last chance to guess what was drawn! Ages 8 and up.

3. Codenames Disney by Czech Games Edition - First of all, if you don’t have regular Codenames yet, you are missing out! Codenames Disney uses the same concept but it features Disney’s memorable characters and art. Everyone has their list of favorite Disney movies (admit it!) which makes this game fun for the whole family! Ages 8 and up.

4. Wits and Wagers by North Star Games - This game is best for families who love trivia! Put your bets on who you think knows their stuff and those who are just pulling their answers out of thin air. If you are well acquainted with those you are playing with you should do really well, and if you don’t... You’ll definitely be well acquainted by the end of this game! Ages 10 and up.

5. The Climber by Capstone Games - I’m a sucker for high-quality, well-crafted wooden game pieces. The Climbers includes colorful wooden blocks, little ladders and cute little climbers who are trying to get to the top first. How will you outwit the other climbers??? Ages 8 and up.

6. Kingdomino by Blue Orange Games - This game involves a little math and strategy but is serious fun for everyone. It won the “Spiel deh Jahres” this year (that’s German for Game of the Year)! You are trying to build the best kingdom with domino-like tiles that represent all different kinds of land. This is your chance to show your friends and family that you are King! Ages 8 and up.

7. Dr. Eureka by Blue Orange Games - This game and the next are great if you want your kids to get excited about science. It’s a very simple premise. You have to put the elements (colored plastic balls) in the test tubes in the right order by color without using your hands. The fastest “scientist” to match the patterns and shout “Eureka!” wins the round. You’ll have to have the best pattern recognition and hand-eye coordination to be the ultimate scientist! Ages 8 and up.

8. Dr. Microbe by Blue Orange Games - This game is the third game on this list from Blue Orange Games because they seriously make some fantastic family games. In this game, everyone has a Petri dish and they are trying to put the correct combination of microbes together to make the virus. This game will spark the “little, infectious-disease creating scientist” in all of us! Ages 8 and up.

9. Picwits by MindWare - This game is a different take on Apples to Apples. Use your colorful picture cards to come up with the best match to the caption card. It is guaranteed to bring your group hours of tear-inducing, belly laughs. Ages 10 and up.

10. Clue by Hasbro - Everyone knows about the classic Clue BUT we have Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, Firefly and Classic Clue! Each one has their own unique twist on the classic formula. This game is truly a crowd pleaser. You can choose the one that will be sure to draw your group in and find out who did it whether it’s Princess Leia or Sheldon Cooper! We’ll be playing the Star Wars version for sure because we are true Star Wars nerds at our house! Ages 8 and up.

If you have any questions about these games or any of the other 2,000 games at Mission: Board Games, or you want to try any of our 100+ demo games, stop by at 5606A Johnson Drive, Mission, KS 66202! Or send me an e-mail at!

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My name is Julie Hans. I am a 46 year old mother of four. I have been a retail store manager, preschool teacher, caterer, and PTA president. I love my family, my dogs and being in nature. My latest adventure is becoming a Board Game Store co-owner/game consultant, because I love playing games!