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Oregon Family Magazine

Spice Up Your Weekends

02/21/2011 ● By Anonymous
Day-to-day schedules can get tedious. Bouncing between work, home and family obligations, it’s often hard to muster the energy and enthusiasm for making time for yourself. But weekends are two-day opportunities that should be used to recharge and indulge in some much needed fun and relaxation.

By the time Friday and Saturday nights roll around, you might not feel like doing much of anything, so instead of feeling the pressure to go out, try staying in to create your own memorable festivities.

Cynthia Nims, editor and author of 12 cookbooks, including Gourmet Game Night (Ten Speed Press, 2010), focuses on the importance of unplugging and reconnecting with friends and families over entertainment at home. “Games are perfect for a night in with a group of friends. They are a fun reminder not to be too serious,” says Nims. “The lighthearted atmosphere makes it possible for both guests and hosts to relax and enjoy the genuine fun of sharing laughs over a favorite game or two.”

Nims recommends choosing your game night games thoughtfully to ensure that it will be fun for everyone. An updated classic like Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It is more about knowing your friends than knowing the answers to obscure trivia. A game like this keeps everyone engaged and doesn’t put anyone on the spot. Players bet on whether or not their friends will get their questions right or wrong, and for each correct bet a player earns chips that can then be used throughout the game to buy wedge pieces for those categories they don’t feel like attempting.

For a game night, Nims suggests easy nibbles that are upscale enough for a dinner party, but easily edible and mess-free enough for a game night. Some favorites are homemade pretzel sticks with a trio of mustards, pickled grapes and blue cheese skewers, and green pea and mint spread topped with crispy pancetta.

For the host who doesn’t want to spend time in the kitchen, order some no-fuss takeout and suggest each guest bring a dessert. Guests will have the pleasure of trying small bites of several different desserts, while also showing off their own favorite specialty. A raucous game of Taboo will do just the trick for those who’ve had too much sugar. Players race to describe their clue without using any of the taboo words before the timer runs out.

For more creative types, try a round of Pictionary where players must draw the word or phrase on their card in order to get their teammates to guess the clue. This quick-draw game will have everyone out of their seat.

Whether you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud night of fun around the coffee table, or a rambunctious, out-of-your seat game, gathering together good friends and food is the perfect recipe for spicing up your weekend with a stress-free game night in.

For more fun ideas, visit