5 Family Games for New Year’s Eve

Recently my family traveled on the cruise ship, Norweigan Escape. We were all looking forward to spending  quality time together.  Relaxing dinners, no laundry, and exploring Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya were the immediate attractions.  Piano singers and comedians caught our attention.

It didn’t take long to learn how important it is to view these shows before 11 pm.  Because after that time, the comic antics turned sensual and focused on drinking.

The world exerts pressure on us everyday, but especially seems to be challenging when looking for family entertainment on a cruise ship (Yes, I will be looking into future Christian cruises).

When the behavior of others around us are violating scripture principles, what do we do?  There are just some cruise ship scenes that people hope will never make it to shore.

So, how does a Christian family with adult children travel on a cruise ship but not be influenced by the sensual and party atmosphere?

When the Holy Spirit alerts us we shouldn’t be here watching, it is time to head back to our cabin early. But are we stuck in our cabin the whole trip?

Separating ourselves from activities that can serve as stumbling blocks in our Christian walk is necessary. Avoiding the upper deck pool parties, casinos, and smoky bars are easy.

However the topics of the Broadway plays were much more challenging. One choice was “After Midnight” which depicts snapshots of what occurs in Harlem. The other was “Choir of Men” which is a group of friends singing drinking songs in a bar setting.

Sometimes we need to trade the partying lifestyle in for a family game night. Playing board games in the cruise ship  library with my family was my favorite entertainment option.

So, if you are planning a future cruise…don’t forget to pack your favorite games.

Plan a Game Night For New Years

In case you are interested in gathering the family to play games on this upcoming New Year’s Eve, here are a few that my family enjoy to play again and again. Grab some chips, salsa, and cheese dip. Then meet everyone at the kitchen table for a fun evening!

Please be advised that many of the games that I’m sharing with you are difficult to find in stores.  I have provided an Amazon link for more information.  Purchases through the links are a quick and easy way to support this website. So, thank you in advance if you do decide to purchase one of my favorite family games by clicking on the game name. Enjoy!

  1. Legendary Encounters Alien Deck Building Game
  2. alien

This is my favorite game for the past several years! This Aliens game can be played with 2 to 5 players and usually lasts an hour. However this game is best played with teens 14 and above.  The reason is because it is based on the popular movie, Aliens.  So the card pictures show graphic scary movie scenes. It is not necessary to have seen the movie in order to play, but it does make it more scary.

All the players work together to combat the aliens by building a deck of characters with various abilities.  Some characters kill aliens while others scan rooms.  Having a team member to play the medic is important in order to survive the aliens’ strikes. Avoiding face huggers, chest bursters, and double tail whips are vital to surviving this game. Everyone wins once the missions have been completed and the team kills the Queen Alien!

2.Survive Escape from Atlantis


This is a new game to our family and has quickly become a family favorite.  This game can be played by 2 – 4 players and usually takes about 45 minutes. Ages 8 and up will enjoy this game.

Building the game board is as much fun as playing the game.  As you can see in the picture above, there are different tiles of sand, stone, and trees.  You place all of your “people” on the different types of the land along with two boats on locations of your choice.

The goal is to get your people into a boat, avoid whales and sea monsters to travel to a safe island. If you fall overboard sharks are waiting, but there is hope!  Dolphins can assist your swimmers before the volcano blows on the main island.  Once the volcano explodes, whoever has the most points wins!

3. Sheriff of Nottingham


This game can be played by 3 – 5 players and usually lasts about 60 minutes. The age for this game is 14 or above. The reason is because this game involves bluffing, bribery, and smuggling (not exactly Christian values, but you can win by being a honest merchant!) It is a great test of character.

As a merchant, you place various items like apples, bread, and chickens into a bag.  You hand your bag to the one player who is acting as the Sheriff of Nottingham for the turn. The Sheriff can interrogate you, accept money from you “not to check your bag”, or from others “to check your bag.”  If you are caught smuggling, all the contraband is removed and you have to pay a penalty.  If the sheriff checks your bag and you were honest, then the sheriff has to pay you!  The goal is to have the most money by the end of the game.

4. Labyrinth


Our family games nights started when the children were younger and this is one they wanted to play over and over!  One to four people can play and it usually takes about 30 minutes. It is recommended for the child to be around 8 years of age to play.

The fun part of this game is shifting the maze to be able to reach the treasure that you need.  Each player receives certain treasure cards they are trying to reach.  On your turn, you can shift a row of walls by placing an extra tile. The extra tile moves a row of walls to change the maze to block your opponents.  Once a player reaches all the treasures and returns to the beginning, they win!

5.Digging Dinos Jr Monopoly


This game was played so much by our boys that the box itself fell apart. Two – four players can play and our boys began playing around 5 years of age.  They continued playing until they were middle school age and it is still one of their treasured games that was NOT allowed to be sold at our garage sale (no matter how badly damaged the game box is).  It is still not for sale!

Digging Dinos is a much shorter game than the traditional Monopoly and has lower denominations of money for children to count.  As a former math teacher, I highly recommend your young child to be the banker in this game.  Children love the dinosaurs and everyone wants to avoid the dreaded Tar pit.

Family Game Night

I hope your family has as much fun playing games together as our family does. A few tips to remember is that the goal is to enjoy fellowship with each other.  You can still have fun even if you aren’t the winner. Think of it as a great opportunity to laugh together no matter whether you win or lose!

I would love to hear about a favorite game that your family enjoys playing together.  Be certain to comment below.

A New Year Prayer for You

I pray that your happiness is on your hope in Christ and you receive wisdom how to live peacefully with everyone. I hope that your public behavior is a model for others. May you resist entertainment options laced with sinful ways and be able to overcome worldly entertainment options. May your family game nights be a blessing to you all. ( Adapted from Romans 12: 12 – 21). In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.


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Published by April Jollie

Teacher + Writer = Lessons of Hope for Tough Days, writer to deepen understanding of God's Word and to stay connected to Jesus.

2 thoughts on “5 Family Games for New Year’s Eve

  1. Try a Disney Cruise – lots of family things even for adults including PG movies and all the fabulous shows, plus you seldom see kids because they have their own deck!! No smoky lounges or gambling casinos either!

    1. Hi Joyce! Yes, we have gone on a Disney cruise before and had a marvelous time at all the shows. I remember thinking when I was in line listening to all the whining children “this may have been a mistake.” But once we got onboard, we never saw a child on the ship. Great idea!

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