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How to Bond on a Budget: Host the Ultimate Game Night

Getting the gang together to enjoy a game night is one of the best ways to bond on a budget. Sure, you could toss a few games on the table, send a group text, and call it good. But when you go a little further and put some thought into the night, it takes the whole shebang to the next level. Here are some tips for hosting the ultimate game night.



Get Creative with the Invites

You don’t have to go old-school with expensive paper invitations to make your announcement a little more exciting. Instead, send out a free e-card with a built-in option to RSVP, and you’ll make it easier on your guests—and yourself—when it comes to planning out the evening.

Pick Your Games Strategically

Once everyone has RSVPed, it’s time to choose the games that will work best for the group. Ask your guests to bring one of their games along, but make a plan on which ones you’ll include on the agenda. For groups with short attention spans, it’s probably better to forgo the Catan and Monopoly options. Or mixed groups might be better off avoiding games such as Cards Against Humanity.

Put Out Small Apps and Suggest a Potluck

Group gatherings are more affordable and enjoyable when your guests can contribute. Maybe you can provide a few appetizers, or order some pizzas, while they bring the sides and drinks. Don’t forget the paper plates and cups for easy cleanup!

Set Out a Side Table for Noms

You don’t want to be sitting, intently playing an involved board game while having to reach around salsa bowls and knock over cups every time it’s your turn to move. Set out a side table for the food and drinks, and make sure it’s easily accessible to all.

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

Pre-game cleaning is always a good idea so you don't get caught running around hiding laundry in the closet and scrubbing the toilet while guests are arriving. Take a few minutes the day before to get your house in order, and then on the day of the event you can put away the clean dishes and light a candle for ultimate ambiance.

Find Extra Seating

Pull out the folding chairs and round up extras from the dining room and kitchen before everyone arrives so you’re not scrambling for extra seating when you’re mid-game. And make sure you have comfy seats, too—you may want to bring out some blankets or throw pillows for padding on wooden chairs. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck sitting on a rock-hard chair for hours on end.  

Take Some Breaks Throughout the Evening

Game night is there to create a closer connection between friends, inspire conversation, and keep things light—not to get ultra-competitive and focused in for hours upon hours. Well, that can depend on your group. But otherwise, take some breaks between games as the night goes on, letting people get up, stretch, and refuel.  

Implement a No-Phones Rule

This tip is the real game changer (pun intended). If the name of the game is the connection, don’t let your technophile buddies rule the night with gifs and texts. Have everyone leave their phones at the door when they arrive and let the fun begin!



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