Friday, February 6, 2015

Five Favorites: Parlour Games

"Set": one of my favorite games!
Yesterday, we spontaneously invited a couple friends over for dinner and ended up having a long and lovely evening with one of my all-time-favorite games: Set!  Playing together has such an invigorating effect on an evening...suddenly there is anticipatory tension in the air, regularly released by raucous laughter. The competitive juices start flowing and it's past midnight in the blink of an eye! I loved playing lots of board and car games with my family as a kid, and I'm so happy to continuing the tradition!

Here are my top five:

1. Set. Easy to set up, easy to learn, and easy to play with any number of players for any length of time.  This is the most versatile and fun game I've encountered in a long time. Its also great brain-training and far more aesthetically pleasing than most games I know (I'm looking at you, Candyland).

2. Apples to Apples. This is great for word-nerds like me! The only disadvantage is that all players must be native or almost-native speakers, which limits its use in our circle. This has always been one of my family's favorites, though. My sister Zelda even snuck our set away when she moved to Rotterdam, depriving us of one of our favorite games during the holiday season. I'm going to have to visit her soon to steal it back!

3. Monopoly. An oldie but goldie. I am incredibly bad at this game despite extensive strategizing. I can, however, hold on to cash for more than five minutes and balance a checkbook. Zelda almost always pulls off a win on the board but maxes out her account every month. Interesting, no?

4. Taboo. I love this because of the hilarious associations people have with random words. The best soliloquy yet has been an attempt by my dear friend Andrew to explain "Body Odor" by invoking Abe Lincoln (?!). Needless to say, nobody guessed it, but that might have been because we were all on the floor in stitches.

5. Charades. This is probably the game we play most often. It's super simple and best of all free! Just divide into two teams, grab a pen and paper, and start thinking of clues (the harder the better!). Things can get a bit racy if it's an all-adult game but lets be honest, that just adds to the fun. Hardest so far have been: 'infinity', 'Meryl Streep', and 'civil rights'.

What are some of your favorite games? I'd love some more recommendations!

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Karl loooooves Settlers of Catan, but I think its way to complicated!

PPS. More five favorites here and here and here.


  1. OMG! That picture just took me back to junior high school! We used to play Set in my gifted program! I had forgotten all about it until now. I want! I have NEVER finished a game of Monopoly haha - no attention span whatsoever I suppose. Taboo and Apples to Apples sound hilarious!! Thanks this was so great!

    1. Wow, I didn't know they used SET for that kind of thing, how cool is that?! I grew up playing it just at home/in the car/any time my parents needed quiet. I love that your total concentration is required: completely addictive!

    2. Yup! And I just ordered it!

    3. Yay!!! I'm sure with so much previous experience, your SET skills will put all others to shame :-)

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hello Dear ! This post is great! :) You have an amazing blog ! :)
    Maybe we can follow each other ? :)

  4. That sounds like so much fun! Let's see- I like to play scattergories, and a dice game called greed, and if we're talking cards- we play guts or golf. Lol- lots of those games start with g! Have a great week!

    1. I've heard so much about scattergories, I really must try it out! And you might be on to something with your "G" theme...Go fish? Gin Rummy? Sounds like a "G" themes games night would be fun!

  5. monopoly is definitely my fave!