Ten awesome family games

I believe games (board or otherwise) should be a big part of every childhood! They were a huge part of mine and I still love them to this day. If you’re already a fan of games and need some new ideas for the family, or if you’re looking for a new family pastime that will get the kids away from the telly then I hope you’ll enjoy this post!

I’ve picked ten games all for various ages and number of players that I think families will enjoy. And I’ve played all of them, although admittedly I played many for the first time as an adult. I’ll chat about the games later but first I’ll show you them in shareable/pinnable format… wink wink nudge nudge ;)

Ten Awesome Family Board Games

Penguin Pile-Up

A really simple game where you have to balance penguins on a precarious iceberg. Any penguins that fall during your turn you have to keep, and the first person to balance all their penguins wins! A great game for younger children as there are no complicated rules to follow.

Tip: this also makes a great drinking game… when there are no children playing of course ;)

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Penguin Pile-Up


For fans of word games Bananagrams is a good one! I actually bought this for my mum last Christmas and it’s another easy-to-pick-up game. All players start with a number of tiles and they have to essentially create their own Scrabble boards in front of them with words crossing one another. Additional tiles can be picked up if stuck and the first one to place all their letters wins. There could be an unfair advantage for adults playing this game with small children as their vocabulary will not be as expansive as yours, so perhaps teaming up would be an idea: an adult with a child for example.

Tip: also comes in handy as an educational tool for helping children spell.

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Bananagrams

Enchanted Forest

Family friends bought this game for me and my brother when we were little, just before we set off on a long train journey home. And apparently we played it for the entire trip! This is definitely a firm favourite from my childhood. Players have to seek out the tree that matches the treasure card at the castle, and then get to the castle to claim that treasure. It’s a game of memory and strategy: do you wait until you’ve identified a few trees and then go to the castle hoping you’ll also know the next treasure that’s revealed? Or go as soon as you’ve found the treasure on show? Decisions, decisions…

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Enchanted Forest


This has been played with my cousins every single Boxing Day since we bought it, which was several years and about 3 lots of replacement Play-Doh ago! Just like Pictionary but, rather than draw clues, players have to model them out of Play-Doh. There are easier clues and harder clues so you can adapt the game to players of different ages, and you just need 2-3 teams so a great game if there’s a lot of you!

Tip: another good game for adults when a few drinks have been consumed!

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Rapidough


My brother bought this just last year, and it made a nice change from the games he normally favours in that it only took 5 minutes to learn! The objective is to take turns building paths with the tiles you have in your hand, taking care to stay on the board whilst also trying to steer others off it. Last one to remain on the board wins!

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Tsuro

Survive aka Escape from Atlantis

Another firm childhood favourite for me and my brother (when it was called Escape from Atlantis). I actually bought this for my brother again recently and it was still fun to play, even though I’m all grown up :) Aim of the game is to escape in boats from the sinking central island to the safety of the little islands in the corners. Each piece of island that disappears reveals a new game element such as a boat (yay!) or a shark (boooooo).

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Survive

Ticket to Ride

Another game I played as an adult but one I’m sure children will love. There are many versions of this game, I’ve just linked to the Europe version seeing as that’s where I’m from, but you could always go for the more exotic maps such as India or Asia (education ahoy!) Players start with route cards and the aim is to create those routes from city to city using the little plastic trains. All points are tallied up at the end depending on if you’ve completed your routes or have penalties for not doing so. This is a very secretive game as you don’t want anybody to know your routes in case they place trains to stop you, therefore if you want a game with more communication then this may not be for you.

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Ticket to Ride

Settlers of Catan

I love Catan! It’s a mixture of strategy and luck, with players receiving different cards due to dice rolls and building roads, settlements and cities (as well as buying the occasional development card) in order to gain victory points. The game is designed so that the board can be different every time, and if you fall in love with it there are numerous expansions either for more players, or more scenarios such as Seafarers of Catan or Cities & Knights of Catan.

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Settlers of Catan

Forbidden Desert

I actually bought this very recently as something for me and the boyfriend to do, when we aren’t watching Sons of Anarchy :| It’s the first cooperative game I’ve ever played and I was unsure as to whether a game like that could be fun. Well, it is! It even still feels competitive, however you’re just competing against the game which makes it great for super-competitive families that avoid board games due to arguments! The aim is to find the pieces of your flying machine and escape the desert without either dying of thirst, being buried by sand or the storm reaching a fatal level: hard to keep track of all simultaneously. Again, the game set-up changes and you also pick cards to determine your character and special skill, which results in different game play each time.

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - Forbidden Desert

The Resistance

This one is for the older kids, and another game we’ve played on Boxing Day as it’s perfect for large groups. At the start of the game everybody randomly (and secretly) selects a card to determine whether they are a spy or resistance. The game then continues into 3-5 missions that the resistance want to go ahead but the spies are trying to stop. It basically ends up in a lot of lying about your identity and not knowing who to trust… which is fun!

Tip: don’t play with those who really don’t like being lied to as it has been known to cause arguments. Also, don’t play with soft people like my mum who has been known to help the opposing team because she’d have felt bad for them if they didn’t win!

Find it here

Awesome Board Games for Families - The Resistance

I hope you’ve found something you like the look of! If so, just click on the links and you’ll be able to find out more. You can also look up the games on Board Game Geek – it’s not the prettiest website but it’s a brilliant place to discover more games, see photos and read reviews, and ultimately help you decide what will suit you and your family :)

 Heart Debs

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