Holiday Survival Guide

The Best Way
to Kill Time

Holiday Survival Guide

The Best Way
to Kill Time

Whether you’re hosting or attending, games are the key to a good time

Best board games and puzzles in 2023

There are plenty of reasons why the holidays are a great time. But they're not without their low moments and awkward conversations. Depending on how you celebrate—with family or friends—the days during holiday breaks can be refreshing and fun-filled or feel like some of the longest days of the year. And there's only so many nostalgic movies a person can watch, right? And don't even try to start talking about current events.

That's why we need games. Whether you're hosting or simply a guest, they instantly shift the atmosphere of any gathering and get people involved in what's going on in front of them. They not only help pass the time, but they shoot down any awkward and unpleasant conversations and move the topic to the game at hand. Engaging your loved ones in some friendly competition will get the whole group's adrenaline pumping, bring in the laughter and keep any tension or holiday blues at bay. Plus, without sounding too much like a cheesy TV special, they help make treasured memories with the old people and young kids we don't see enough of throughout the rest of the year.

What game you choose is entirely up to you and your crew. There are modern takes on the classic, simple card games or even low-key puzzles. But we'd suggesting bringing your own to any gathering and having the bravery to challenge your group to a game. Some might hesitate at first, but everyone's always happy to have played once you get going.


Best Board Games
& Puzzles in 2023

Board Games

All the classics are here, in a handsome throwback book box that can easily sit out on a coffee table until it's time to play.

$40 each by Hasbro

Geo Pattern Dominoes

Dominoes, but make it stylish. This take on the timeless table game uses wooden dominoes featuring geometric compositions inspired by Cubist art and Abstract Modernism.

$46 at MoMA Design Store

Acrylic Tumbling
Tower Game

Consider this a Jenga game that doesn't ever have to be put away. The lucite blocks form an interesting sculpture that invites anyone to play.

$79.95 / $63.96 by CB2

Deluxe Edition

This heirloom-quality take on the classic Scrabble board game is 25% larger to kick your wordplay up a notch and features a rotating board and raised tile grid for effortless play.

$140 by WS Game Co.

Poker Set

Never a bad idea to have a poker set on hand. This handsome set has everything you need: 200 poker chips, a dealer's button, and two 54-card decks. There's even a handy instruction booklet for beginners.

$40 by Chronicle Games


Loteria Game

The traditional Mexican game (similar to bingo) was reinvented with a millennial twist. Prepare to laugh.

$19.99 by Blue Star Press

Sports Trivia

Unleash all that sports info you have rattling around in your brain with this trivia game that works for any amount of people. The card set includes 140 sports-related questions covering everything from basketball to cricket.

$14 by Gentleman's Hardware

Cards Against Humanity:
Family Edition

The infamous card game is back, but in a much more family-friendly capacity. Don't worry, the cards were written in consultation with child development specialists.

$29 at Amazon

The Hygge Game

Looking for something less high-stakes? This game has more than 300 thought-provoking questions designed to spark meaningful conversations.

$19 by Hygge Games

Name That Tune

Forgot to bring a game? No worries. Grab your phone (and maybe a bluetooth speaker) and pull up a “best of 2022” playlist. Designate a DJ, then split into two teams. See who can name the most songs after just a few seconds of listening. Extra points for those who can name the album.

SoundLink Flex speaker,
$149 / $119 by Bose

Wordle IRL

Inspired by the digital game we all got addicted to during the pandemic, Wordle: The Party Game features the same gameplay fans love, but players compete in real life to solve the five-letter puzzle.

$18.59 by Hasbro


If your group isn't into “games,” then a puzzle can be a good way to get people interacting without actively playing. These three will keep everyone occupied (including kids of all ages) while maintaining a low-key vibe.

Workshoppe Citylife Jigsaw Puzzle

Citylife jigsaw puzzle,
$30 by Workshoppe

Puzzledly World Map Puzzle

World map puzzle,
$30 by Puzzledly

MyPuzzle Chamonix France Art Deco Puzzle

Chamonix, France
art deco puzzle,
$30.99 by MyPuzzle

Le Puzz There Will Never Be Another You puzzle

There Will Never Be
Another You puzzle,
$38 by Le Puzz

Parks Project National Parks Wonderland Puzzle

National Parks Wonderland puzzle,
$38 by Parks Project

Piecework Type A Puzzle

Type A puzzle,
$38 / $26.60 by Piecework

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