10 Classic Low-Tech Board Games to Play with Your Family During the Holidays
Ahh Christmas… that magical time when the jangling of sleigh bells infiltrates every TV commercial, we’re remarkably okay with the idea of a reclusive, strangely dressed sweatshop owner from the far north with a penchant for home invasion who keeps stalkerish notes on our sleep habits and passes judgment on our naughtiness, and families gather from all corners of the globe to sit around the dinner table and check their phones for emails, text messages, Facebook updates…
Okay, so maybe that’s not quite what it’s all supposed to be about. What happened to goodwill towards men? Heck, what happened to dinner conversation?
The holidays are a great time for a temporary tech intervention, and declaring a family game night on those rare days when while everyone is together can be a fun way to bond with loved ones off the grid.
It’s in this spirit that we’ve gathered this list of ten of our favorite board games and the best deals we found online for each of them. There’s something in here for all ages – from games to play with the littlest of the elves to the ones you keep out of sight until after they’re all snug in their beds with visions sugar plums dancing in their heads.
If you like Words with Friends, then you’ll love its original, low-tech inspiration. If you’re anything like me, then you were looking for an excuse to brush up on all those fascinating Q-without-U words anyway. $15 at Amazon.
Real world real estate development never was and never will be anywhere near as satisfying as watching all hope drain from your brother’s face as you Scrooge him out of his last few dollars after landing on your BoardWalk hotel for the third time in a row. $14.46 at Amazon.
3. Candy Land
The only thing the little ones will like more than playing Candy Land is playing it with a grown up. It pays off later when they choose you, their new favorite, to snuggle up with when it’s time to watch A Christmas Story. $12.99 at Amazon.
Nothing teaches the kids the art of the insincere apology quite so well as a few rounds of Sorry. $14.59 for the Winning Moves Classic Sorry Game at Target. It’s a few pennies more than at Amazon, but drops with a REDcard and ships free.
You loved it as a kid, and so will yours. Chutes and Ladders is as much like Candy Land in that enduring a few rounds can earn you some kid-capital to enjoy later. $13.47 at Amazon.
There are many strategies for winning at Risk, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” I’m pretty sure I got that right. $24.99 at Target, or $23.74 with REDcard.
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like blowing up your cousin’s battle fleet while stuffing a fistful of cookies in your mouth. $24 at Amazon.
Sometimes the classics really are the best. While you definitely can get a chess board for much less, we like this wooden set since it features three classic games in one box. $29.95 at Amazon.
Who killed Mr. Boddy? It was Miss Scarlet in the library with the monkey wrench. Who ate the last piece of pie? It was Dad in the walk-in closet with a red plastic spork. $17.90 at Amazon.
It’s never discounted, and it’s definitely not child-friendly, but it was an instant classic from the moment it was first introduced in 2011. Put the kids to bed, pour some wine, and hope like hell that Santa’s global surveillance network is out of commission for the night. $25 at Amazon.
Overall, Amazon is the clear winner when it comes to the lowest prices on classic board games, though Target sneaks in with a couple deals by virtue of the one-two punch of 5% off with REDcard and free holiday shipping. Most of these games are also available at Walmart, and the price is often the same as Amazon.
We generally pick Amazon in these match-ups since Prime members get perks like free shipping and the minimum spend required to get free shipping for non-members is only $35 compared to Walmart’s $50. But if you’d rather buy in-store, when there is a price difference, you can take advantage of Walmart’s new online price matching policy to get Amazon’s price in store.
What’s your favorite board game to play with your family? Tell us about it in the comments!