Small Thank You Gift Ideas for Game Night Hosts/Hostesses
- super cute score keeping “Big Game” Notepad by Skel Design
- support their quest to keep drink rings off the table with this Board Game Coaster Set by Yettydesigns on Etsy
Cocktails to Serve at Game Night
- My mom’s Summer Slush is the best beverage recipe for any summertime get-together, honestly. Slush is SUPER easy and the right amount of fun for entertaining. If you want to get fancy, you can offer your guests a slush bar by featuring a variety of soda options [key lime and grapefruit sodas would both be delicious!] and colorful fruits to skewer as garnish.
- As a lemonade fan, I’ve got my eye on a pitcher of Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade from Life as a Strawberry. I often forget the power flavored simple syrups have to elevate an at home cocktail recipe and the blackberry simple syrup in this pitcher is sure to get the job done.
Popcorn Recipes for Snacking During Game Night
- Cheesy Italian Popcorn
6 Tablespoons popcorn kernels
1/4 c olive oil
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 T dried parsley
1/2 t garlic salt
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c grated Romano cheeseInstructions. Pop kernels via preferred method [I do this] and put popcorn into large bowl.
Pour melted butter over top of popcorn, then add seasonings and cheese.
Stir or shake to coat evenly. I like to use a bowl with a lid so I can snuggly cover and shake the container to coat the popcorn quickly.
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Popcorn
6 Tablespoons popcorn kernels
1/4 c coconut oil
2 T unsalted butter
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
pinch of sea saltInstructions. Repeat instructions for Cheesy Italian Popcorn, substituting coconut oil for olive oil and replacing herbs and cheese with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Reasons Why Popcorn ROCKS for Game Night Snacking
- It’s easy and cost friendly; you can make a TON of it for very little money. A great snack for feeding a crowd.
Even if you don’t have time or desire to pop it yourself at home, you can find reasonabily priced pre-popped popcorn on the store shelves. Lately I’ve been all about the Naturally Sweet SkinnyPop Popcorn, which may be taking me back to my kettle corn obsession from a few years ago. I’m lucky to have Skinny Pop available to me at my local independant grocery market, but there are only a few flavors available at the moment. I’m putting in a request with the grocer for the Aged White Cheddar, Pepper Jack and Dusted Dark Chocolate. Don’t they all sound divine!?
- It is super simple to customize popcorn flavors to please the taste buds across the table. I like to make a big batch of plain popcorn [or short-cut it with a bag from the store!] and separate into batches to flavor. Creating a popcorn bar full of toppings, seasonings, and mix-ins is another idea sure to impress guests.
Favorite Games for Large Groups
- Joe Name It. I’m a fan of this game because it fosters creative thinking and is simple enough that anyone can play along. I LOVE this game because it comes in a box small enough to throw in my purse which explains why I’ve played Joe Name It in 7 bars in Schenectady county. [and counting.]
- Heads Up. You’ve heard of this game by now, right? You may have seen it played on Ellen. This game remains a group favorite since I experienced the fun first hand at a large family gathering years ago. It’s an game app to be played with a group and it’s a blast! I highly recommend this video to get an idea of what the game is like. [Warning: YouTube videos of celebrities playing this game on the Ellen show are readily available to fill the next several hours of your life. You are welcome/tell your productivity I’m sorry.]
Favorite Game Night Games for 3 – 6 People
- Pass the Popcorn. If you enjoy movie trivia, this is a game for you. I especially dig this game because you don’t have to have seen the movies to do well; a general knowledge of pop culture is enough to make you successful if the cards fall in your favor.
- Zero the game. We’ve chosen this game with a few different groups of people over the past couple of years [with family over the holidays, cider-heavy game night with local friends, and with a family we love consisting of two 30-something parents and two teenage girls] and every time we’ve played we’ve had a blast. Zero the game is similar to Family Feud, but… opposite….since “zero is a winning number.”
Second Round Snacks
- Salted Chocolate and Caramel Pretzel Bars from Tastes Better from Scratch make the perfect snack to bring to the table after you’ve started the second game. Sweeten up any sore losers and deliver a sugar rush to the night before the yawns start creeping in.
- The best recipes fit into both the “easy” and “impressively delicious” categories, like this classic favorite: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip from How Sweet It Is. I like to offer fruit, cookies, and graham crackers for dipping.
Level-Up’d Coffee to Pair with Those Snacks
- This Almond Biscotti Iced Coffee Cocktail from Drip Brew serves a ridiculous delicious blend of Amaretto and Bourbon sure to get the group amped for another few rounds of competition.
- I’m fully on team frozen treat in the summer, and Creative Culinary’s Espresso, Kahlua and Irish Whisky Frozen Cocktail is a cup full of boozy adult goodness to satisfy your sweet tooth.