Brilliant board games for the holidays

Give a gift that the family will love long beyond the holiday season with one of these brilliant board games. Whether you are enjoying the sunshine out on the deck or snuggled up indoors during a summer storm, board games are a great way to keep the whole family entertained. We have rounded up our favourite games for all the family along with some tips for small, easy to pack games for holidays and those with longer play times for some epic gaming.

Fun for all the Family

Don’t Break the Ice

Players struggle to keep Philip the Penguin on top of the ice as they tap out ice blocks one by one with a mallet. Be careful which block you choose and Don’t Break the Ice or it will all come tumbling down.

Once Upon a Time

Challenge your creativity as you take on Once Upon a Time, a story telling card game. Players work together to create a story using the fairy tale themed game cards. To win you need to guide the tale towards the ending on your ‘happy ever after’ card, but be careful as other players will try to interrupt and take over the storytelling.

Flick em up

Be transported to the Wild West and get caught up in the battle between the Sheriff and the outlaws in Flick ‘em Up. Set up on of 10 epic scenarios using the buildings, tokens and props, then flick your tokens to try take out the opposing team and complete the missions. Who knew you could have this much fun with the flick of a finger?

Cranium

Get ready for some side splitting mayhem with Cranium. Teams compete in a range of fun challenges from trivia and word games to drawing, sculpting and acting. There is something for everyone in this great family game.

Great games for groups

Concept

Stretch your brain to its limits as you try to convey words and phrases to your team using the various symbols on the Concept game board. For example, to show a bee you might choose animal + small + black + yellow. There are a range of difficulty levels, so the whole family can get involved.

5 Second Rule

Get ready for some frantic fun with 5 Second Rule. It should be easy to come up with 3 superheroes or brands of car, right? Try doing it when the pressure is on and the 5 second timer is counting down. This is a great party game for lots of laughs and is easy to learn.

Taboo

Taboo is a classic game of fast thinking and even faster talking. Players take turns to try to describe the word on their card to their team without mentioning any of the ‘taboo’ words. Deceptively challenging and hilarious to play.

Wits n Wagers

Looking for a trivia game where you can with without knowing any of the answers? Then Wits and Wagers is the game for you. The questions have numerical answers such as how tall is the Eiffel Tower or how many Americans were injured in a bathtub in 2011? Once everyone’s answers are revealed you place wagers on which answer is the closest. The player with the most chips at the end of the games wins.

Games to pack in your bag

Yahtzee

An oldie but a goodie, Yahtzee is a fun dice rolling game that is easy to learn and also small enough to take with you anywhere. All you need is a score pad and 5 dice. Try to roll the right combinations, such as a full house or the elusive ‘yahtzee’ 5 of a kind, to score points. Test your luck and strategy as you decide which dice to keep and which to re-roll.

Uno

This easy to learn but wonderfully addictive game has been a family favourite for years. Match colours and numbers or play action cards to try to be the first to get rid of all your cards. Don’t forget to yell Uno when you’re down to your final card.

Burger Up

Burger Up is a deliciously fun card puzzle games where players compete to create epic burgers, fill customer orders and upgrade their restaurants to earn coins. Satisfy your customers' special requests and layer on some ‘perfect ingredients’ for your best shot at being the top chef.

Get into some epic gaming

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Explore the spooky mansion in Betrayal at House on the Hill as you uncover room tiles, artefacts and omens. Work as a team to uncover the house’s secrets but beware, once the haunt starts you won’t know who to trust. With a whole book of alternate ‘haunts’ and endings, every time you play will be a new thrilling experience. There is also an expansion available with even more scenarios and rooms to discover.

Pandemic Legacy

Pandemic legacy takes the game franchise to a whole new level. Work co-operatively to try and avert a mystery disease outbreak across the globe. As you play through the game's story line you will add stickers to the board, open files and tear up cards. Be careful what decisions you make as they will shape the rest of the game to come. Season 1 of the game was a hit when it was released in 2015 and the story continues with Season 2 now available.

Splendour

Play as merchants and build your wealth in this fast-paced chip-collecting game. In Splendor you buy and trade gems, transportation and shops to build prestige points. If you play your cards right you might even attract a visit from a noble to boost your prestige and bring you a step closer to winning.

Links current at time of publication.