25 Kickass Holiday-Party Games for Friends, Relatives and Everyone Else

From a 5-minute icebreaker to a 2-hour apocalypse survival

December 9, 2017 9:00 am

The holiday season is upon us, and that means faithful friends and yadda yadda yadda. Unfortunately, that also means  the Bumble date your buddy brings to the Christmas party and relatives you haven’t spoken to since last December.

To help break the ice, and ease the tension, we’ve rounded up the best games for holiday entertaining. Below, elegant playing cards, board games for all situations and ice dragon snow tubes (you’re gonna need the fresh air).

Order them now, or keep this list on hand should you have some unexpected visitors and need to make a mad dash to the store, Schwarzenegger and Sinbad-style.

Playing Cards

Areaware Pixel Solitaire
Featuring the original artwork from the Windows 3.0 game. | $16

Theory11 Monarch
The best in luxe playing cards — they’ve even got a gold foil deck. | $10

Frausto & Co. Whiskey Deck
On the cards you’ll find facts, vocab and tips about the spirit. | $16

Areaware MINIM
For the minimalist fanatic, and still decidedly playable. | $8

The Tonight Show: Jimmy Fallon
Fallon fans? Play this theory11 deck during commercial breaks. | $10

Bloc Marble Deck
The third limited-edition set inspired by natural textures. | $18

Board Games: Quick Play

Secret Hitler
People are split between liberals, fascists and one Secret Hitler. No, in the game. | $35

Hot Seat
Ask a question, everyone tries to guess what you’d say. Ultimate icebreaker. | $20

Bang! The Dice Game
A rapid-fire Wild West shoot-’em-up that you can learn in minutes. | $15

Cash ‘n Guns
Gangsters, a big heist and foam pistols to point at each other. | $26

Bards Dispense Profanity
It’s like Cards Against Humanity, but all answers are direct from Shakespeare. | $25

The Chameleon
All but one know the secret word. Try and find them out. | $16

Board Games: Extended Play

Arguably the best board game of the last two years. | $133

Dead of Winter
Nothing says “winter wonderland” like an apocalypse survival game. | $54

Mechs vs. Minions
No, not those minions. Think of it like your favorite tactical video game IRL. | $180

Like charades for the bookish, or when you want some peace and quiet. | $28

Sure it looks intimidating (and geeky), but it’s the most addicting of the lot. | $28

Monopoly: Cheaters Edition
You already cheat, so why not officially sanction it? | $13

Snow Gear

Stiga Snowracer King Size Sled
The person shredding on this is automatically king of the hill. | $256

Snowfeet Downhill Skates
Strap these onto your boots and try the newest winter sport. | $119

Sled Legs
Won’t have to worry about anyone losing these, just about torn ACLs. | $55

Mad River Rocket Sled
Clark Griswold could have used the plush kneepads on this bullet. | $180

Ice Dragon Snow Tube
The Seussian pool float renaissance has finally come to snow tubes. | $22

The Buffalo Icecycle
Imagine pedaling this part-bike, part-skate on the rink at Rockefeller Center. | $2,500

Updated Dec. 4, 2018; originally published Dec. 9, 2017

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