Board Games for Christmas & New Years

December 21, 2017


December and January bring Christmas, New Years and vacations – both from school and work.

What are you going to do with all that time on your hands?

In our family, we love a good Board Game. If you are looking for something fun to do with your family here is a list of our favorites.

Our Top 5 Favorite Board Game Picks

Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder



“Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities in various countries around the world.”

This was one of our first “Euro-games.” We have played it so many times we have just about worn the cards out. As a mother I like that you are building rails all over the United States. Anytime we can add something like Geography into a game I am sold. That combined with collecting colored train cards to make sets  makes this game a winner. If you get tired of the United States Map, there are multiple expansions: Switzerland, Africa, Nordic Countries to name a few. Recently, they released a version for younger kids called Ticket to Ride First Journey for ages 6+.


Dominion by Rio Grande Games



Great playability is what we love about Dominion. 

A quality Board Game is an investment, so when I can get a variety of combinations out of it, I feel like I am getting a better value.

This game plays like it is a deck building game where you buy cards and add them to your deck buying victory point cards until game end. The last time I counted there were over 14 expansions to this game making it a versatile asset for maximum playability.


Pandemic by Z-Man Games



I’ll admit this first time I played this cooperative game I wasn’t impressed. Then I played it again with our kids and I figured out the game. You take on different roles such as a Scientist or Operations Specialist to prevent the Outbreak of plagues.

We really like being on the same team to complete this game. It is so popular, that there are several expansions. Z-Man Games even created Legacy Editions, which means that you get the same friends together and play through the game 12-24 times before the game is put away for the last time as a keepsake.


Codenames by Czech Games Edition



“Codenames is a social word game with a simple premise and challenging game play. Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table. Their teammates try to guess words of their color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.” per Vlaada Chvatil

This game makes for tons of laughter and works great boys against girls or cousin against cousin. Our teenage son enjoys this game a lot and with quick play time we all end up loving it as well. This game has gotten so popular there is now Codename pictures, Codename Marvel, Codename Disney and more. Santa might be making a delivery to our house with one of these.


Orleans by Tasty Minstrel Games



I have saved the BEST for last.

This is my All-Time Favorite game.

The first time I played it I instantly knew I had to have it. I seriously started shopping for it within hours.

“Grow your economic reach and gather followers in this bag-building game. A game for 2 to 4 players. In medieval Orleans, you will gather followers, establish trade stations, and collect goods and money to gain supremacy.”

This game is great for up to 4 players but if you really like this game the expansion turns it into a cooperative game. Orleans Invasion creatively uses the same board to have an all new game. Again, I like replay-ability and this game delivers.



As much as we like playing games, what we really like is time to slow down and visit with friends and family across the table. May your Holiday break be full of time to unplug and unwind.

Let us know if your family and friends enjoy board games and give us your favorites!  We’d love to hear them.

Elizabeth May
Elizabeth loves to host any gathering or party, Hospitality is her gift. When not at her church, Elizabeth can be found playing a competitive European board game. She enjoys SEC College Football, maybe even a bit too much (WAR EAGLE!) Originally from the deep south, Elizabeth along with her husband and four teenage children have called Fort Worth home for several years.

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