6 steps for throwing the perfect game night


The weekend is a time to relax, have fun and take a break from tasks and assignments of the workweek, especially with things slowly getting back to normal. What better way to take a break from the ordinary than by throwing a game night for your friends. Keep these six steps in mind to throw the perfect weekend shindig for your friends. 

Get the pool ready

If you have a pool, expand the game options to water games as well. Set up a net for water volleyball or purchase a floating ping pong table. If your pool is large enough, keep the games in one area and leave the other area for people to relax in. If you building a pool has been a dream of yours for some time, an epic game might be a perfect excuse to get the balls rolling. Search online for custom pools in your city, such as “custom pools Dallas,” to find a professional in your area that can make your pool visions a reality. 

Test the electronics

Nothing will put a damper in your game night quite like your console not working right or finding out a controller broke. To prevent any day-off disasters, test all your electronics a couple of days before to make sure everything is working properly. If you plan on playing video games, make sure all the consoles and accessories are working and testing the games to make sure there are no scratches or glitches.

Give your television a quick test to make sure there are no issues; if you plan on watching a specific movie, make sure the DVD works or the movie is available on a streaming device. If you have a sound system, give that a whirl a couple of days before the party ensures there are no issues. Replace all light bulbs and batteries and have extra on hand in case they are needed. 

Gather the games

If you plan on having board or card games at the party, get all the games a week or so before the party, especially if you intend on purchasing any games. You do not want to wait until the night before the big day only to find out you cannot find Scrabble at any local stores. Dust off any games you already have and purchase any new games well in advance of the party. 

Check the games you currently own to make sure no pieces are missing. If pieces are missing, you may be able to buy substitute pieces online or use household items as stand-ins. Have plenty of pens and notepads available for tracking scores.

dice with playing cards for game night
Whether its board, card, or video games, you’ll want to make sure everything is good to go before everyone arrives.

Prepare the prizes

While prizes are not necessary for a successful game night, they add an exhilarating aspect to the evening, not to mention they also heat up the competition element! In your invitation, note that there will be prizes. If you have a tight budget, keep the prizes simple. They can be $5 gift cards to favorite shops or restaurants or simple gifts from the Dollar Store.

If you have a higher budget, give more expensive or elaborate gifts. If you have a creative side, make your own prizes, such as mini gift baskets. You can create a “relaxation” basket filled with bath salts and soaps. Or you can make a “sweet tooth” basket filled with chocolate, gummies and hard candies.

If you really want to stick with the game night theme, create prizes based on the game you are playing. For example, whoever wins Clue gets a new pair of candlesticks and whoever wins Apples to Apples gets a basket of apples. Just remember, if you plan on making the prizes start well in advance of the party date, so you have plenty of time to acquire the products and build the prizes. 

Get the food and drinks

Besides the games, the food and drinks are probably what most guests will look forward to the most. A few weeks before the party, decide what food you want to offer. Do you want to cook the food or get it catered? Do you want a meal or just appetizers? Will there be alcohol or just soda? These decisions take time, so do not wait until the last minute to make them.

If you plan on preparing the food yourself, make a grocery list about a week before the party. Keep in mind, the more food you can prepare ahead of time, the more time you will have the day off to get other tasks done. Crockpot dishes and premade casseroles are huge time-saving meal ideas.

Go to the grocery store a couple of days before the party and purchase all the ingredients. Consider going to a wholesale store, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, if you need to purchase large quantities. Alcohol especially can get expensive quickly, so while you can offer an open bar, limiting the drinks can save you money too. Stick to beer and wine or limit the hard alcohol to a house cocktail. 

Once the food is purchased, prepare as much of it as you can ahead of time. Unless you plan on using your dishware, remember to pick up plates, napkins, cups and utensils. Paper and plastic are probably best, especially if people will have food by the pool. This will save you the worry of someone breaking a glass container in the water. 

If you really want to save on time, get the food catered by a favorite restaurant or business. Ask friends and family to see if they have any recommendations on local businesses. The company may even offer you a discount if you are a first-time client. Just be sure to start the hunt as soon as you have a date for the party. Some businesses book really far out, especially if you are hosting the party during a busy time of year. The sooner you start looking, the more catering options you will have. 

Give the neighbors a heads up

Be sure to give your neighbors a heads up about your party. Doing so is considerate and gives them the chance to come to you directly with any concerns during the party. Give them your cell number and let them know should they have any issues, such as the party is getting too loud or a car is parked in their spot, to give you a call, and you will take care of it.

While it takes some planning, a game night will likely be the highlight of your friends and family’s week. Plus, it gives you a chance to spend time with those you love the most. Follow these six steps to put on a gaming night your guests will never forget.

What do you do when throwing a game night? Do you have any tips to add? Let us know on Twitter, or MeWe.

Last Updated on May 12, 2021.

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