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Buy a new game for holiday fun



A Hudson Valley Mom Approved list of 35 games to play at home

Buy a new game for holiday fun


As more of us stay close to home, board games increase in popularity. We asked moms what board games they like to play. This makes a great holiday shopping list. 

Thanks to 25 moms who submitted their favorites. (We will add to this list as more parent submit their best games to play at home.) 

I have not added links for places to shop because most of these games are available on many popular online sites, as well as at our local box stores. 

Spot It from $10

Each player draws one card and flips it face-up at the same time. The first player to spot the animal match between the cards and call it out wins the duel. It’s a fast-pace game for two to eight players.

Go Away Monsters from $15

Little kids have to get rid of the monsters before going to bed. The game ends when all the players have completed their bedroom game boards and all the monsters have been thrown into the "monster pit". Teaches shape recognition, sharing and cooperation.

Jenga from $10

A game of physical skill. How many building blocks can you pull from the tower of blocks without making the tower crash?

Kara Ticket to Ride $42

Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points you earn. It is fast-paced with two to five players. Ages 8+

Azul $28

Object is to create a beautiful wall in a Portuguese Palace. An award-wining and popular game but not easy to explain. I have included a video link from Board Game Geeks to get your started.

https://boardgamegeek.com/video/174577/azul/how-play-azul

Sequence $20

Play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board. When you have five in a row, it’s a SEQUENCE. Each player or team tries to score the required number of five-card sequences before their opponents. Easy enough for children, challenging for adults!

Uno Attack $24

Brace yourself for an exciting, action-packed way to play UNO™! If you draw the Attack! Attack!  command  card, you have to push the UNO™ Attack game's sleek electronic card shooter. If you're lucky, nothing will happen. But if you're not, the shooter will fire a stream of UNO™ Attack cards that you'll have to add to your hand! For 2 to 10 players, ages 7 and older.

Otrio $25

Players compete to line up three pieces of the same color my similar size; in ascending or descending order; or within the same space. Encourages players to cultivate their reasoning, strategizing and critical thinking skills. 2-4 players aged 6+.

Throw Throw Burrito $29

Place a pair of burritos on a table and draw cards. Keep your cards a secret. Rack up points by finding three of a kind in the deck. Find matches before anyone else does. If someone plays Burrito Cards, a Battle ensues. Steal points from your opponents by hitting them with squishy burritos. Declare war on your friends. Some battles involve a handful of players. Others force the entire table to engage in a Burrito War. Duel to determine the winner. During a Burrito Duel, two players must stand back to back, walk three paces, and FIRE. All ages.

Chickapig $20

You are in charge of a flock of Chickapigs. Strategically move your Chickapigs across the board to pass through the goal on the other side. Along your way, do everything you can to thwart your opponents. And beware of the pooping cow! Why do your Chickapigs want to cross the board? To get to the other side. 2-4 players. Ages 8+.

Mancala $12

A turn-based strategy board game played with small stones, beans, or seeds and rows of holes. The objective is to capture all or some set of the opponent's pieces. Any child or adult will have fun taking part in this quick and easy game! Rules are easy to learn. Best with 2 players who are ages 7 years old and up.

Exploding Kittens $20

Exploding kittens is the perfect card game for adults, teens and kids who love kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats. A highly strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian roulette, basically, if you draw an exploding kitten, you lose. 2-5 players. 7+.

READ MORE: Board games are back

Pass the pig $10

You roll, and if you get a Pig-Out or an Oinker, you pass the pigs onto the next player. If you get anything else, you may decide to roll again or pass the pigs. Two to four players may compete, and the first player to reach 100 points or more wins the game. Ages 3+.

Skipbo $8

Skip-Bo is the ultimate sequencing card game! Players use skill and strategy to create sequencing stacks of cards in ascending order.  The first player to use all the cards in their personal Stockpile wins! 2 players. Ages 7+.

Cauldron Quest $22

While working together, players use strategy and problem solving to find ingredients before the wizard blocks the path. Tokens, dice, and bottles add to the fun. Cooperative game which cultivates emotional development, shared decision-making, positive self-esteem, creative problem solving, and a sense of community in a non-stressful play environment. For 2 to 4 players ages 6 and up.

The Fairy Game $18

In this matching and gathering game, kids learn simple strategy by following directions & taking turns. No reading required. Special cards allow players to slow down Mr. Winter’s chill. Work together to fill the fairies’ magic wand and banish Mr. Winter from the garden! Different card combos keep the game fun. 2-4 players ages 5 and up.

Hoot Owl $16

In this color-coordinated matching game, players cooperate to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Help all the owls home before sunrise and everyone wins! Play a color card and fly to that space. Draw a sun card and you're one step closer to daylight. Players can move any owl on their turn and talk together about how to get owls home & win.  2-4 Players. Ages 4-8.

Blokus $23

Players take turns placing their 21 pieces on the board: each piece must touch another of the same color, but only at the corners! Stake your claim and protect your territory by fitting as many of your pieces on the board as possible while strategically blocking your opponents! The game ends when no more pieces can be placed down, and the player with the lowest number remaining wins! 2-4 players. All ages.

Suspicion $20

It is called the game of secret identities and deduction. You become a character in this game and you have to figure out what the other characters (players) are all about. Up to 6 players. Ages 10+.

Old Favorites

Monopoly with many editions beginning at $15 for younger kids to the basic at $20. You buy and sell property and houses with the object of becoming rich with the rents charged when other players land on your property.

Sorry $10

Players move their three or four pieces around the board, attempting to get all of their pieces "home" before any other player.

Trouble $10

Be the first player to move all four of your colored pegs around the game board and into your FINISH line.  During the game, try to send your opponents' pegs back to HOME.

Bananagrams $10

Tiles in a banana-shaped holder. With younger children give out tiles and let them create words. For older kids and adults, they have to arrange the tiles they receive (like Scrabble) until they are all used up.

Pictionary $14

Playing Pictionary may remind you of Charades, but with drawing on paper instead of acting out the answers. Great for all ages. 

Scrabble Junior $15

Kid-sized words and colorful pictures make it fun to match letter tiles to words on the grid. Players move their funny tokens up the score track as they score points. When all of the tiles have been placed on the board, the player with the most points wins! 2-4 players. Ages 5+

Uno $12

Players take turns matching a card in their hand with the current card shown on top of the deck either by color or number. Special action cards deliver game-changing moments as they help you defeat your opponents. Ages 7+.

Chess $12

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 square grid. Played by millions of people worldwide, chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. 2 players

Othello $19

A strategy board game for two players, played on an 8×8 uncheckered board. Players take turns placing disks on the board with their assigned color facing up. During a play, any disks of the opponent's color that are in a straight line and bounded by the disk just placed and another disk of the current player's color are turned over to the current player's color. The object of the game is to have the majority of disks turned to display your color when the last playable empty square is filled. 2 players. Ages 8+.

Yahtzee $13

While luck plays a big role in Yahtzee, strategy makes a huge difference. The objective of the game is to score points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. Ages 8+.

Chutes and Ladders $13

Spin the spinner and move the pawn up the ladders and down the chutes. Chutes and Ladders is a classic game that children enjoy playing over and over. Players scramble to the top of the gameboard without slip-sliding down! Land on good deeds to climb ladders but watch out for the chutes. 2-4 players. Ages 3+.

Candy Land $13

Players encounter all kinds of delicious surprises as they move their cute gingerbread man pawn around the path in a race to the castle. No reading required. Ages 3+. 2-4 players.

Backgammon $30

It is a two-player game where each player has fifteen pieces (checkers or men) that move between twenty-four triangles (points) according to the roll of two dice. The objective of the game is to be first to bear off, and  move all fifteen checkers off the board. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games. 2 players. Ages 8+.

Twister $13

See where the spinner lands and make a move! Right foot red, off to a good start. Left foot green, you’ve got this! Left hand blue … wait, is that physically possible? Give it a shot. 2 to 4 players. Adults and kids age 6 and up.

Games for the older crowd

What do you Meme $30

Adult Party Game. Compete with your friends and family to create the funniest memes. Do this by using one of your dealt caption cards to caption the photo card in each round. The winner of each round is decided by a rotating judge. This game was created for ages 17+.

Speak Out $20

The Speak Out game brings friends and family together for laugh-out-loud fun as players try to say different phrases while wearing a mouthpiece that won't let them shut their mouth. In the Speak Out game, players draw from the deck and read the phrase as best as they can, but it's not so easy to do when the mouthpiece is hindering them from forming words correctly. Ages 16+.




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