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Best New and Old Family Games That Everyone Can Play

Best Family Games That Everyone Can Play

Our tips for a great winter family vacation!

After spending so much time in our connected worlds, we find ourselves wanting to get away from it all and truly disconnect.  One great way to pull the plug on our connected lives and to enjoy our family and friends is through old-fashioned, tangible, touchable games.

When you arrive at Edson Hill, you can feel your blood pressure slow down and your mind begins to relax. It’s a perfect place to sit down and play some Backgammon, Chess, Apples to Apples, or even Charades. So, here’s a list of some of the best family games for getting everyone involved and having fun:

Apples to Apples

This is a great “new” game that can be enjoyed by family members from 12+ or the junior version can be played by kids as young as 6. The concept of the game is to match a noun from a green apple card with your best choice of adjective from your hand of red apples.

The connections are not always obvious to everyone and the messages played with are often nuanced which makes the game for many ages. This is an easy game that does not require great strategy but creativity and a sense of fun.

With kids, Apples to Apples often ends in fits of giggles!

Settlers of Catan

Do you have historical buffs in your family? Strategists who love to conquer? Architects who like to build? All appetites can be satisfied in a game of Catan. This is another new classic that we can’t get enough of. We know eight-year-olds who play Catan and win against their 50-year-old uncles.

It’s a solid game that involves some strategy and a lot of bravado.
In this board game, you are a settler who is given a certain set of resources at the beginning of the game, with each round you are working to build your settlement and assume possession of certain types of land. It’s highly competitive in a fun way and can get everyone pretty fired up.


Endless entertainment.  Charades can be played virtually anywhere with almost anyone.  The name of the game is for one person to act out a phrase, saying, object, or other parts of speech and allow the other participants to guess the message they are trying to convey.

Without a doubt, your family will be rolling with laughter by the end of the game which can provide hours of entertainment.  Charades is probably best suited for outdoor areas around a campfire or in a private room as laughter can carry a long way! Get your group together and have some fun – directions are here!


According to Wikipedia, Backgammon is one of the oldest board games. It’s a two-player game that requires the use of strategy and thoughtful play. We find that the game gets better every time you play it because you build your library of techniques to win.

The goal of Backgammon is to clear the board of all of your pieces before your opponent does. It’s a fun game that can be played for hours by kids and adults alike. Many of our guests enjoy playing Backgammon by the fire in the living room or Tavern.


A great game for groups of up to 8, Bananagrams is very similar to Scrabble, but positioning and points don’t matter.  Each player starts with between 11 and 21 tiles face down with the remaining tiles in the “bunch”.  At the start of the game, one player says “Split” the signal for the game to begin.

Each player uses his or her own tiles to make as many connected words as possible.  When a player runs out of tiles, he or she says “Peel” and each player draws another tile.  The first player to play all of their tiles without any tiles remaining in the bunch wins.

Bananagrams is perfect for a large table in a resort or hotel common room, and curious onlookers may even be jealous of your family’s fun!


A classic board game for the entire family, Scrabble gets you getting creative with words. Grandparents/elder family members take on a fun role as a family resource and keep everyone engaged. Scrabble is surprisingly addicting as it pulls you in and gets your competitive spirit going. Much fun can be had challenging unusual words and spelling out fun words.

At Edson Hill, we play scrabble on an antique wood board that has seen years of feisty games and much fun!

Join us in the mountains for some fun and games!

Erik Stacy
General Manager
Edson Hill

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