It’s All Fun and Games at Your Next Family Gathering

Perhaps it’s a backlash against the high-tech, screen-oriented world in which we live, but “family game night” is making a comeback.

Particularly this time of the year, we’re less active, more apt to stay home and find ourselves looking for activities that promote togetherness. For parents, it’s a chance to enjoy their kids’ company, not to mention the unique gifts of having the kids sit still and be engaged. For kids, it’s an opportunity to learn good sportsmanship and a chance to see that life exists beyond texting and the latest iPhone apps. 87709_1000x1000

Looking for some fresh and fun ideas for your own family game night? Check out these games that bring the action right into your living room or rec room. 84057_1000x1000

This air hockey table folds for unobtrusive storage. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the table has two legs that fold under the playing surface and the table tilts 90° until it is perpendicular with the floor, enabling out-of-the-way storage against a wall. Wheels on the base of the table allow you to roll it easily to another room. The table’s powerful fan ensures rapid puck movement and the PVC rails enable fast-action bank shots. 11258_1000x1000

Turn your dining table or kitchen island into a table tennis platform. This lightweight, yet sturdy set includes a 4″-high net that clips to the board at either end but won’t mar a dining surface’s finish. The table reverses to reveal separate chess/checkers and backgammon boards. When play is done, the folded table and all accessories store in the included canvas tote.

This Whac-A-Mole game can be personalized to replace the standard mole heads with molded caricatures of members of your family, past managers, your ex, or any combination of personalities. The game operates exactly like those found in amusement parks—five mole heads pop up randomly while you attempt to bash each with a mallet for points—but this one comes in a walnut veneer cabinet. When closed, the game assumes the form of a bookshelf. Inside, a storage shelf for your preferred beverages sits above the game, ensuring no family game night goes with thirsts unquenched.

Hosting a family game night is a great alternative to gathering at a restaurant. You can laugh as loudly as you like, play till the wee hours and enjoy the unique gifts of togetherness and fellowship with those you hold dear.

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