Whether you’re waiting for the turkey to finish cooking or you’re recovering from a food-induced coma, board games are a terrific addition to any Thanksgiving celebration. This year, instead of trotting out that shabby, worn-down copy of Sorry! or trying to play Go Fish with an incomplete deck of cards, treat your family and friends to one or more of our recommendations.
The following games appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike and are typically a hit at any get-together. They are all easy to learn, which is a must when the tryptophan takes effect after that third plate of food and your rules-explaining skills start to diminish.
The titles here range in price to fit any budget and most of them can be purchased at your local Target or Barnes & Noble (or Amazon…).
Love Letter (amazon link) (our review)
Don’t let the small size of Love Letter fool you. Sixteen cards doesn’t seem like enough for up to four players, but it’s plenty for this social deduction game whose rules can be summed up thusly: “Take one, play one.” 2-4 players. MSRP: $11.99
For Sale (amazon link) (our review)
The game is divided into two rounds. First, you buy properties. Next, you sell those properties. Simple, right? It is, but you’ll be surprised how many times you’ll end up playing it, usually back-to-back. Or back-to-back-to-back. 3-6 players. MSRP: $25.99
Wits and Wagers (amazon link)
Remember when Trivial Pursuit was all the rage? Wits and Wagers surpasses it on all levels, mainly because it doesn’t matter how much useless trivia anybody’s stuffed into their heads. You score points based on bets you place on everybody’s answers. 3-7 players. MSRP: Family Edition $19.99
Ticket to Ride (amazon link) (our review)
This modern classic is always a crowd pleaser. Once that big, beautiful map hits the table and the tiny trains start filling up routes, the rest of the party will want in on the action. I’m thankful for the 1910 expansion; not only does it extend the life of the core game, but the larger-sized cards are much appreciated by older eyes (like mine). 2-5 players. MSRP: $49.99
Pit (amazon link) (our review)
For a game that’s been around for over century, Pit doesn’t get enough love. Each player starts with nine cards and once play begins, it’s a free-for-all to collect all nine of the same commodity. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to experiencing the frenzy of the New York Stock Exchange floor as players scream and shout their trade offers. Best of all, if you lose, you won’t end up like the Dukes. 3-7 players. MRSP: $8.99 (Deluxe version with bell: $16.99)