Sometimes the food isn’t enough. I know, it’s blasphemy to say such a thing, but if we’re going to be truthful with ourselves we have to admit that sometimes a certain group make-up needs extracurricular distraction. The dinner table doesn’t necessarily have to become a cesspool of entertainment, but there are some excruciatingly appropriate games that do the job of spicing up the night where the feast fell short. Here are some ideas for you.
If you have never played story, then that’s all the better. This is the perfect game for a group of thoughtful adults, and it’s apt for strangers and families as well. It doesn’t require anyone to stand up, and it’s a passive game void of points and stress. What you do is begin with the opening phrase of a story made up on the spot. One person starts; this will be you, the host. You say something along the lines of “once upon a time there was a faun”. The person beside you constructs another sentence to continue the story, and so on around the table for as long as the story has plots to fulfill. It’s very easy, and extremely enjoyable. It could be an insightful exercise, but more often than not it turns unbearably comedic.
Or any version thereof. You must know twenty questions. Perhaps you can limit the game to famous people so that things move along more quickly. If you don’t know what twenty questions is, then you must join society once more. One person comes up with something, and all the others must guess what that something is without asking more than twenty questions. All questions must yield yes/no answers. This is a wonderful, often intellectual game for a calm dinner party.
You will need props to play Pictionary. The reason Pictionary is acceptable is that it only requires one person to stand and go up to the supplied whiteboard or chalkboard. While they use their minute to draw whatever it is they must draw (as decided by a hat filled with bits of paper), the others can watch and participate without being inconvenienced at their plates. Pictionary, being a visual game, is especially rewarding, and brings a group together in laughs.
On par with Pictionary is charades. While in Pictionary one must draw what it is they must relate to the others, in charades one must act it out without speaking. It’s always funny to see your friends trying to physically express geological locations! Charades can be played in teams if there are enough attendees ready and willing at the dinner table.
A fun game to play at the dinner table doesn’t necessarily have to be as active as the ones mentioned above. “Invitee” is an engaging way to create conversation. It’s a dinner table game wherein each person picks who they would like to invite to dinner. This person can be anyone in history. Prompting each person to explain their choices is what makes the game so intriguing, and in some cases revealing about one’s character.
Playing games at the dinner table is a perfect way to create more enthusiasm around a meal. And you know what they say; enjoying food is an act of all the senses!