5 fun games and activities to play with friends and family at home

It has been a decade since smartphones first exploded onto the market. In that time, these tiny devices have had a massive impact on our day to day lives – completely transforming how we communicate with one another and access information.


While these genius pieces of hardware certainly have their uses, one area in which they’ve arguably had a negative impact is in reducing the time we spend socializing with friends and family. The average person spends somewhere between 2 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours on their phone a day, which is a significant time away from interacting with the people we love.


So perhaps it’s time to put your phone down – because trust us, there’s a lot of games and activities that are more fun than scrolling through your timeline of choice. Here are some innovative ways of interacting with your friends and family away from your digital devices.


Buy a roulette table and get spinning



You’ve no doubt seen the gambling films that show dozens of people crowded around a roulette table having the time of their lives. So why can’t you bring this classic casino game to your own home?


Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to play. Just pick and number or red or black, and bet your stake. Then hold your breath as the ball moves around the wheel. You won’t have to spend much time explaining the rules of roulette to another player, and it’s also not expensive to set up in your home. You can buy a decent roulette table and ball online from around £10.


If you don’t want the game to be too dependent on money but still have an element of excitement, low stakes roulette offers an excellent middle ground. By keeping your bets small, people shouldn’t get too downbeat when they lose but still compete with one another to try to win – keeping alive the spirit of this thrilling casino game.


As part of your preparations to host low stakes roulette with your friends, it might be a good idea to play the game yourself. Low stakes roulette is popular online as well as at land-based casinos, thanks to the convenience with which gamblers can play at home, and the high-quality of the game graphics. You’ll get a better handle of the rules of the game, and enjoy yourself at the same time, by playing low stakes roulette at a true-to-life online casino.


Host a murder mystery dinner party


Guy Fawkes Mask


Netflix show Making a Murderer and podcast Serial has helped to fuel the craze we currently have with crime, and more specifically murder mysteries. Why not capitalize on that widespread appeal by hosting your own murder mystery party and getting your friends and family involved?


To get started you’ll need to buy a murder mystery pack. A good pack will not only include a portrayal of all the characters, but it will include props to make the experience more immersive.


Encourage your guests to dress up by sending them an invitation with a description of the character they’ll be playing. Decorate your house so that it is in keeping with the style of the murder mystery you are playing and be prepared to be a theatrical host.


Over the course of the evening, you will reveal more and more clues as to who the murderer is. If you can stretch your budget to include a prize for the first person to identify the murderer then your event will keep everyone interested until the grand finale.


If you make your event as engaging as possible, your guest won’t be reaching for their phones and you could make it a regular event, rotating the hosts.


Audition for Come Dine with Me



There have been over 1,600 episodes of Channel 4 hit show Come Dine with Me since it first appeared on our screens back in 2005. The show features four contestants battling it out for £1,000 of prize money.


Each episode features a dinner party at one of the contestant’s houses with the other contestants awarding them a mark out of 10 in secret afterwards. The contestant with the highest overall score after everyone has hosted wins the prize money.


You can do this with your friends. Agree beforehand to put a certain amount of money each into a kitty for the winner, then get started at hosting the events. Go out of your way to make your event the most spectacular.


Trawl through the cookbooks to make something that not only stands out but tastes great. You can also get creative with how you run your dinner party, introducing games or special guests to wow your other contestants.


You can film your reaction and scores at the end of each party, revealing them at the end to everyone to announce the winner. If you want to, you can even film the entire thing and upload it to YouTube.


Start a book club


Fewer people are reading now than at any other point in the last 50 years. This could be for a variety of factors, including the popularity of today’s TV streaming services.


Reclaim the power of literature by starting your own book club with your friends and family. Get together once a week and each other’s houses with the host picking a book for the group to read.


If you can’t commit to reading one book a week then adjust your meetings to once a fortnight or once a month. At each meeting, you’ll get together to discuss whether or not you enjoyed the book and the main themes that the author was trying to convey.


Not only will you broaden your literary horizons, but you’ll build your ability to empathize with other people’s perceptions – a powerful life skill that also improves your mental wellbeing.


Host an improv night


Man Reading Book Beside Woman Reading Book


This event combines humor and fun while encouraging you and your friends to grow as individuals. You’ll not only have a great time but you’ll learn how to speak in front of a crowd and come out of your shell, which in turn could help your professional careers.


Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a game show that popularised the art of improvisational comedy and there’s no reason you can’t do it yourselves. You can buy an improve starter kit which gives you situations and props or you can make your own.


You just need to make sure that you have enough space for a group of you and your friends to gather and play out fictional scenarios. To make the event as good as possible remind yourself and your guests not to deny your spontaneity. If you feel something that would add to your improv, do it and have some fun!

Or even try word UnscrambleX hours of fun unscrambling words. 



  • While they’re great for many things, smartphones can be the common enemy of having fun with your friends and family.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative in your quest to drive fun interactions with your close friends.
  • Pick events that are tailored to your group. If there aren’t many extroverts in your friends and family group, perhaps a book club would be better than an improv night.
  • An element of competition is often the most important part of having a successful event. Make sure that what you’re doing is fun but provide your guests with an incentive to compete and be the best.
  • Try and combine fun with an event that helps your professional or personal life. If you want to broaden your horizons, a book club would be a great idea. If you’re looking to boost your confidence and public speaking then an improv night is for you.