Family of four playing a board game; Mouse Trap, Monopoly and Pop-o-matic Trouble hover in the backdrop.

No judgement if screens have been a saving grace for you and your family (honestly, we’re kind of into these laptops and TVs), but if you’re looking for a little face-to-face bonding time, we have a few ideas. Whether you’re spending full days with your kids or reuniting for weekend hang time, family board games are an ideal way to bring everyone together for some fun and friendly competition.

Sure, board games aren’t fancy, but they’re still a guaranteed good time with your kids, friends or even your partner. (Games make a super affordable date night, by the way.) We’ve divided our list into six categories to make it easier to pinpoint what will work for you—with most games under $30. Get ready for family game night!

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Best Classic Board Games

Clue Master Detective

Good old Clue is one of the best family board games out there! Players solve a murder mystery by figuring out who did it, with what weapon and in what room of an old mansion. This Master version has more rooms, characters and weapons than the original, so more people can play for longer. It’s perfect for large family game nights with a mix of kids and adults!

Suitable for ages: 10 and up
Number of players: 3 to 8
Playing time: 60 minutes

Best Classic Board Games

Mousetrap

Help your mouse nab the cheese without getting caught by the tricky trap. This exciting game—with 3D traps built up on the board—helps build construction and decision-making skills while teaching cause and effect. Plus, kids love it when a mouse triggers the trap!

Suitable for ages: 5 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 30 minutes

Best Classic Board Games

Trouble

Press the Pop-o-Matic bubble to roll the dice and move your pegs around the board without running into “trouble!” With a simple setup and dice that can’t roll away, Trouble is a great game for taking on the road.

Suitable for ages: 5 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 20 to 30 minutes

Best Classic Board Games

Monopoly

What can we say about one of the most popular family board games of all time? In Monopoly, players try to amass the most wealth and property and avoid going bankrupt. It teaches money and math skills—but kids will have so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning.

Suitable for ages: 8 and up
Number of players: 2 to 8
Playing time: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours

Best Classic Board Games

Checkers, Chess and Backgammon

You can’t get more classic than this trio, which has kept people’s minds sharp and occupied for thousands (yes, thousands!) of years. They each help to develop kids’ decision-making skills and keep adults on their toes, too.

Suitable for ages: 4 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 20 minutes to 1 hour

Best Board Games for Preschoolers

Jenga

Stack them up, slide them out, watch them crash! Jenga is a lively way to introduce family game nights to young kids. It’s fast, portable and so much fun to play.

Suitable for ages: 4 and up
Number of players: 1 and up
Playing time: 5 to 15 minutes

Best Board Games for Preschoolers

Candy Land

Candy Land is a family-friendly classic for a reason—kids love it! It teaches patience, turn-taking and counting, making it the ideal board game for three-year-olds.

Suitable for ages: 3 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 20 to 30 minutes

Best Board Games for Preschoolers

Hungry Hungry Hippos

A fast-paced, exciting game for kids and kids at heart, Hungry Hungry Hippos involves releasing marbles and letting the hippo-feeding frenzy begin! Marbles are a choking hazard, but with supervision preschoolers four and up can join the fun.

Suitable for ages: 4 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 10 minutes

Best Board Games for Preschoolers

Don't Step In It

Don’t Step In It is on its way to becoming a family classic. Players take turns placing soft moulded “poops” on the game mat, then put on the blindfold and try to avoid stepping in it! It’s silly, squishy fun.

Suitable for ages: 4 and up
Number of players: 1 to 7
Playing time: 10 to 20 minutes

Best Board Games for Preschoolers

Shark Bite

Don’t get bitten! This fishing game will have everyone laughing out loud. Players roll the dice to try and hook sea creatures without disturbing the shark. Kids will love the element of surprise and using the fishing rods.

Suitable for ages: 4 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 10 to 20 minutes

Best Board Games for Kids Ages 8 to 12

Exploding Kittens

This fast-paced card game will make your family laugh as players match and steal cards while trying to avoid being blown up by explosive kittens! It’s similar to Uno and Crazy Eights—but sillier—and is compact enough for travel.

Suitable for ages: 7 and up
Number of players: 2 to 5
Playing time: 15 minutes

Best Board Games for Kids Ages 8 to 12

Toss Across

Get your family on their feet! This classic board game is Tic Tac Toe—but with way more energy. Players toss bean bags at the game board, trying to turn over the targets to get three Xs or Os in a row.

Suitable for ages: 5 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 10 to 20 minutes

Best Board Games for Kids Ages 8 to 12

Harry Potter Labyrinth

Perfect for Potterheads, this version of the popular kids’ board game Labyrinth has players winding through mazes at Hogwarts, trying to find Harry, Ron, Hermione and the gang. It’s exciting and fast-paced, while building critical-thinking skills.

Suitable for ages: 7 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 20 to 30 minutes

Best Board Games for Kids Ages 8 to 12

Qwirkle

Warning: This mix-and-match game is addictive. Players create rows and columns of matching shapes and colours to win. There’s no reading involved, so it’s fun to play with all school-aged kids—and it’s super easy to learn.

Suitable for ages: 5 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes

Best Board Games for Kids Ages 8 to 12

Five Crowns

This award-winning rummy-style game will turn your kids into card sharks in no time. The unique deck has five suits and a rotating wild card for 11 rounds of fun. Easy to take anywhere, it keeps minds fresh through quick thinking.

Suitable for ages: 8 and up
Number of players: 1 to 7
Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes

Best Strategy Board Games

Catan Family Edition

In this family board game, players land on the uninhabited island of Catan and race to be the first to develop it with roads, settlements and cities. A popular strategy game, it’s ideal for families with older kids as it takes careful plotting.

Suitable for ages: 10 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 60 to 90 minutes

Best Strategy Board Games

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is the best family board game for kids who’ve moved on from building train tracks. Players compete to see who can visit the most cities in North America using train routes, game cards and miniature trains. It’s easy to learn and teaches geography, too.

Suitable for ages: 8 and up
Number of players: 2 to 5
Playing time: 30 to 60 minutes

Best Strategy Board Games

Risk

This classic board game has sparked hours of fun family battles since 1959. Players wage war against one another using infantry and artillery pieces to conquer enemy territory. It plays differently every time, so your family game nights will never get repetitive.

Suitable for ages: 10 and up
Number of players: 2 to 5
Playing time: 1 to 8 hours

Best Strategy Board Games

Sequence

The goal of this game is to create a five-card sequence and block your opponents from achieving their own sequences using game cards and playing chips. It’s easy to learn and play—challenging for adults, yet still plenty of fun for kids. Plus, it comes in English, French and Spanish.

Suitable for ages: 7 and up
Number of players: 3 individually, or up to 12 in teams of 2 or 3
Playing time: 10 to 30 minutes

Best Strategy Board Games

Battleship

Another classic strategy game for kids and adults alike, this game asks players to sink each other’s battleships using memory and deduction. Younger kids will love shouting, “You sunk my battleship!” You can also play in teams of two against two.

Suitable for ages: 7 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 10 to 30 minutes

Best Educational Board Games

Eric Carle Let’s Feed the Very Hungry Caterpillar Game

Carle’s classic children’s book comes to life in a puzzle game that teaches number recognition, counting and fine motor skills. Players use their caterpillar piece to eat through foods, picking up butterfly puzzle pieces to complete the transformation and win.

Suitable for ages: 3 to 5
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 10 to 20 minutes

Best Educational Board Games

I Spy

The popular look-and-find books now have a game version. Players match riddles to pictures to build puzzles that promote early literacy skills and hand-eye coordination. No reading required!

Suitable for ages: 3 and up
Number of players: 1 to 4 players
Playing time: 15 to 30 minutes

Best Educational Board Games

Mathable Domino

Help older kids with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with this math-based domino game. Much like the original, players match numbers and complete equations until their dominoes are gone. (We’ve also selected 20 gadgets and toys that will help with learning at home.)

Suitable for ages: 9 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 20 minutes

Best Educational Board Games

Scrabble Junior

This version of Scrabble will grow with your family. One side of the board has pre-set words for kids to match the letters and move their characters around. The other side is blank for traditional word creation when the kiddos are old enough.

Suitable for ages: 5 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 30 minutes

Best Educational Board Games

Mastermind for Kids

This version of the classic code-breaking game is simpler for younger kids, with colourful animal pegs and a smaller board. The “codemaster” creates a sequence using the pegs, then the codebreaker tries to guess the code. It encourages STEM skills, logic and problem-solving.

Suitable for ages: 6 and up
Number of players: 2 players
Playing time: 30 minutes

Best Adult Board Games

Pandemic

This strategic cooperation game has become so popular in 2020 that The New Yorker devoted an article to it. Four diseases spread across the world as players try to keep on top of outbreaks and find a cure. While it’s appropriate for ages nine and up, for some kids it may be too sensitive. It also requires high-level planning and comprehension.

Suitable for ages: 9 and up
Number of players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 45 minutes

Best Adult Board Games

Codenames

Codenames is a fast and fun-to-play adult party game for folks who enjoy guessing. There are two teams, each with a “spymaster” who knows the secret identities of 25 undercover agents. The spymaster gives their team clues and the team who makes contact with all of their agents first wins!

Suitable for ages: 14 and up
Number of players: 2 to 8
Playing time: 15 minutes

Best Adult Board Games

Blokus Duo

Blokus Duo is the two-player version of Blokus, a quick and easy-to-learn game of strategy and logic that changes every time. Each player places pieces on the game board. The catch is that each piece must touch another of the same colour—but only by the corners. It’s easy enough for kids, yet challenging and engrossing for adults.

Suitable for ages: 8 and up
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 minutes

Best Adult Board Games

Chameleon

In this game of subterfuge, everyone knows the secret word except for the “chameleon.” The goal? Reveal that person! Players try to throw each other off by calling out other words. Then everyone votes to see who was lying. Social and fast-paced, it’s perfect for game night.

Suitable for ages: 14 and up
Number of players: 3 to 8
Playing time: 15 to 30 minutes

Best Adult Board Games

Tiny Towns

If you love world-building, add this game to your cart immediately. In Tiny Towns, you compete to build the best town using pooled resources. The rules are few but the opportunity for strategic fun is enormous!

Suitable for ages: 14 and up
Number of players: 1 to 6
Playing time: 45 to 60 minutes

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