Friday, March 2, 2018


The winter... Can be a dark time. I mean that literally and figuratively of course, since we're still building up daylight hours after the winter solstice and you know, seasonal depressive disorder is real. And here's one thing I know to be true: All the Netflix in the world (even the delightful Queer Eye reboot) can't save you from the feeling that this gloomy, chilly season might never end. 

But you know what can? Fun and games—and friends. 

With my family, it's the occasional Yahtzee marathon on snowy Sun Valley nights. With a former flame, it was an introduction to "Speed Scrabble." I've also got an occasional Sunday night dinner club with friends in the city, where a high-energy, red wine-fueled game of Fishbowl always follows the potluck meal. And just the other day, I ran into friends one Saturday afternoon at a local bar, who were playing Settlers of Catan while sipping on craft beers. In Maine, we've developed a bit of a tradition around playing 'Never Have I Ever' when we're out at night. (Hey, it counts!)

My point here, unsurprisingly, is that these days and nights—not the ones spent curled up in front of the TV or even just chit-chatting with my friends—are the ones that I remember most fondly. Engaging in play as an adult is such a profoundly fun way to deepen bonds and get to know people better. Personally I tend to sort game nights into this "only on vacation" place a lot of the time, or "only once and a while," but there's really no reason for it. A deck of cards will fit in even my tiniest of purses, after all.

I want to make games non-digital games—Gin Rummy, backgammon, Scrabble—a larger part of my day-to-day social life. Not only will they strengthen bonds, but our brains, too! Endeavoring to spend less time scrolling my Instagram or watching TV has been a big priority for me so far this year, whether or not I'm achieving it is TBD. But now that my apartment is really coming together, hosting game nights is high on my to-do list.

Picture it with me: Boxes of pizza, bowls of popcorn, bottles of cold beer and high ball glasses of perfectly mixed Old Fashioneds. On the Sonos speaker, a playlist sets the mood. The hours pass easily around the coffee table with round after round of card games, Balderdash (a childhood favorite) or Liar's Dice (a new one I learned this winter). Perhaps there's even a light snowfall outside the window...

Doesn't that sound perfect? I'm still in the midst of planning said game night (and trying to restrict myself from buying too many online), but I can already feel some of those "Oh my god, it's still March!?" vibes fading away with each roll of the dice.

Below I've rounded up a few of the most fun and colorful games I could find, including a really expensive lucite backgammon board and an "adults only" version of Taboo (ha!). And for the warmer weather when it finally comes? A pastel Bocce kit and Prosecco pong!