Dinner Party Games





We LOVE to play games at a dinner party. In fact, Lydia’s husband has to give her a talk before guests come to dinner to remind her not to “force” friends to play Trivial Pursuit if they don’t want too. Games can break the ice between a group of new acquaintances or be a bonding element between the oldest friends and family. Here are some great party games for grown ups.

Tip: serve dessert and coffee as the game gets going
Trivial Pursuit (get a fun modern version or one you know your particular group will love.  Here’s a list of ones you might be able to find on eBay or elsewhere )
Apples to Apples-If you’re not yet familiar with this game, please trust us.  It’s a classic in the making.

This is an involved game that needs some space as the version we prefer- the “alternative” version-  involves pantomime. Everybody, and we mean everybody, does a good pantomime after a drink or two.   Wikipedia has the best instructions for playing.  A great game for a BBQ or cocktail party

Who am I…? (the famous person game)
Write the name of a different famous or historical person on a post-it, one for each guest, and place one on each guest’s forehead.   Using the 20 questions format, each person tries to figure out their celebrity identity.  The person who guesses with the fewest questions wins.

I Never…
Drinking isn’t a necessary part of this adult version, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink while playing.  Have each guest write down a secret act they committed in the past, beginning the confession with “I never…”.  Put the secrets in bowl and let everyone take turns reading one secret aloud. After each secret is read, try and guess whose secret it is.  Guaranteed you’ll know one another by the end of the night!

The Secret Message (also known as the Phrase Game)
This is for word nerds like Sarah.  Write a different sentence on pieces of paper you slip under each person’s plate. Try for phrases that sound odd in adult conversation, such as “I want a pony” or “I find kittens terrifying.”  When your guests sit down, ask them to read their phrase to themselves.  They each must then incorporate their phrase into the conversation at some point in the evening.  If the person they are talking to calls them on it, the clumsy phrase-maker is out of the game.  The guest who first uses his phrase without being found out wins.

Fortune Telling Fish
Ok, so this isn’t a game per say, but fortune telling fish are as fun to play with now as they were when you were kids.  Write each guest’s name on a fortune fish box and set one in the center of their plate as a place card then watch your guests giggle as their fortunes change throughout the night.  And yes, good food and wine as well as warm conversation do affect how that little fish curls and flips.  We’ve tested.

Other fun table favors:

Heart holograph glasses

Googly nerd glasses

Vintage gum or after-dinner mints

Game on.


3 Comments on Dinner Party Games

  1. April
    October 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm (12 years ago)

    Great article! I love dinner party games, but you included some I hadn’t heard of. I can’t wait to try The Secret Message.

  2. joanna
    October 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm (12 years ago)

    Ladies, I love this! Confession I (basically) hate games. But this post was so great that it makes me excited to play games!

  3. katie
    November 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm (12 years ago)


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