Check out these budget friendly family game night ideas.
If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE to play family board games. I love the competition, I love the laughs, and I love spending an evening with my favorite people……while not having to spend any money!
Our little family has Family Game Night every Sunday evening. I brought this tradition with me from my childhood and have loved sharing it with my children. Family game night usually consists of some popcorn, fruit and snacks while playing a pile of games together. The focus is having fun, laughing and enjoying time together.
I also love to get together with friends and family members for game nights. The great things about games is that there is always something for everyone. With hundreds and hundreds of games to choose from, every personality and preference can find a favorite game to play.
Games are easy to share with others, making it so cheap for everyone involved. Think about it! If everyone bought just one game, and then gets together to share the games, you get to enjoy multiple games for the price of one! Frugal win!!
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Where to buy family games?
There are many different places to buy board games for families. You can buy them on Amazon or stores that sell toys.
My favorite place to buy games though are at thrift stores. The game section is my first stop every time I go to my local thrift store. Most times I don’t buy anything, but some times I find some great games for only a few dollars!
I have also seen used family games sold on Facebook Marketplace, so make sure to check there!
The Best Family Games Under $20
Here are a few of my recommendations of the best family games under $20. You do not need to spend a lot of money to enjoy a fun game night with your family!
Strategy games are my very favorite games to play! I love being able to use my mind while playing!
Citadels is a quick game to play and easy to learn. It has the perfect mix of strategy and lightheartedness. If you are looking for a short strategy game, Citadels is a great choice! You can get it for less than $13!
Bohnanza is a great game for older kids/teens. This game consists of trading “beans” to plant in your bean fields. It takes a little practice to learn the game, but once understood it is very addicting and has a fun strategy involved.
Codenames is a very popular game, and for good reason. To play this game you form two teams and use word association to try to get your teammates to guess which words you are thinking of. It feels a little complicated when you first open the box, but it is actually really easy to learn.
We play Forbidden Island very regularly in our house. Forbidden Island is a different than other games because you do not compete against each other, instead you work together on the same team to beat the game. Together, as a team you try to “save” the island before it sinks. It can get a little stressful, but I love when our little family is forced (encouraged???) to work together.
If you are looking for some laugh out loud games for groups to play together, here are a few that we love.
Watch Ya Mouth
Watch Ya Mouth is such a fun party game. It is impossible to play this game without laughing the entire time. Promise. It is probably one of the funniest games I have ever played.
It’s easy for all ages to play Mad Gab. The game play involves scrambled words that you sound out to try to guess the correct phrase. It’s so funny to listen to your teammates trying to guess the phrase while they sound the words out over and over.
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples Junior is one of the best family games. It’s so easy to play and the rounds go very quickly. Even my 4 year old enjoyed playing his cards and trying to keep up with the game. I love that it is a game for everyone, even for people who don’t like games!
My very favorite party game to play is Catch Phrase. This game is played in teams and you use word association to try to get your team to guess the word on the game unit. The game goes fast and is easy for all ages. The cool little Catch Phrase Unit even keeps score for you! Yay!
Pit is fast paced, interactive, and loud. The game works by trying to convince others to trade cards, or “crops” with you while they are trying to convince others to trade with them. It is a race to be the first to collect all of your crops. My kids love playing this game and it’s a great way to bring others out of their shell. It is currently on sell for less than $13!
Telestrations is a mix between Pictionary and Telephone. Everyone draws a word, then passes their drawing to the next person who guesses what you drew, this continues through everyone. It’s so funny to see what the end product is and how the pictures change.
Easy to Play Games
If you are looking for some easy, quick games to learn and play here are a few of my favorites below!
Cover Your Assets
The game Cover your Assets is fast, easy to learn and seriously addicting. It’s honestly one of my faves ever! I’ve always loved money games and the ability to feel like a “quick millionaire.” This is a great game for families!
Anomia is a fun group game and works well for all personalities, even those normally quiet will start shouting and laughing while playing. You do need to be able to read, so it is geared towards older kids. Anomia is small and compact which makes it easy to carry around on trips or over to someone’s home.
I absolutely love Bananagrams, or as my family likes to call it, Speed Scrabble. It has the same strategy as scrabble, use your letter tiles to connect words together in a grid. But, it is fast paced and has an extra element of stress (in a very good way). If you are a fan of word games, you will love bananagrams!
Farkle, or The Dice Game as I grew up calling it, is a game of luck and risk. The more you risk, the more lucky you might get. It’s very easy to play, just simple rolling the dice and keeping score. Farkle can turn into a lengthy game or played as a quick time filler. Plus, it’s a great deal at less than $10!
There is really no game like Spot It! It is easy for all ages to play, has many different game play options, and each round goes quickly. My kids can seriously play Spot It for hours! We absolutely love it and I recommend it to everyone!
Clue is a classic, and for good reason! It’s a good old fashioned mystery game as you make guesses trying to guess who committed the crime. My kids love getting to go from room to room and write their suspicious in their “clue notebook.”
Kids love Exploding Kittens! It’s simple to learn and so much fun to play. The idea behind the game is so unique and original. There is a little bit of strategy involved, but not necessary to enjoy the game.
I grew up playing Sequence and it’s been fun to introduce it to my kids again. It’s a very simple strategy games, easy enough for young kids to follow and enjoy playing. The goal is to get your tiles all in a row on the game board.
Qwirkle is a game for all ages! The game is played by matching tiles together based on shapes and colors. It’s a fun game to play while visiting with your friends and passing time.
You just can’t go wrong with Pictionary! It’s a fun drawing game where you try to get your teammates to guess the picture you draw. This has been a popular game for years for good reason! You can get it for less than $20 on Amazon!
Enjoy your next family game night!
It is possible to buy games, enjoy a game night as a family without spending a lot of money! I hope your family will enjoy a few of our game recommendations!