If you're anything like me and my family, you love crowding around the table and having a game night; but you probably know, it is all about having the right game!
Check out some of my favorites in these categories:
I love card games because they travel well and they don't take as much time as a board game. They are the perfect fast and easy solution for boredom anytime, anywhere!
This is a favorite in my house for good reason!
It's best for players 7+ and requires 2-5 players. This is perfect because it's something my two kids can play together but also a game we can all enjoy as a group.
Another perk of Exploding Kittens is that it only takes about 15 minutes to play, this is perfect as a quick solution for something to do, or can work as one of many rounds on a big game night.
It's a pretty easy game to learn! It is all about being the last player standing and not getting blown up by an exploding kitten (the title might sound a little gruesome but I promise its not!)
It's easy to pack if you're traveling and massively popular, it is my number one recommendation!
Gubs is another great card game, but this one is a bit more complicated. This game is probably better suited for ages 10 and up and it takes as long as 30 minutes, so this is a bit more of a commitment.
This game requires a little more strategy, a bigger learning curve and more focus than Exploding Kittens would. This is great for older kids who want to be challenged during family game night!
This game is from the same company that brought you Cards Against Humanity - which is NOT exactly a game for the kids.
This is a super fun option; it's a bit sarcastic but totally appropriate.
I also wanted to give a shoutout to the makers of this game, because if you visit their website right now, they giving away free print-out cards for you to play the game FREE while we're all stuck at home!
I bet you already have this one, but seriously, it is just the best!
You can play this with a big or small group, and although the box says 7+, it is great for young and older kids alike! If you somehow still don't have this game, I recommend ordering it!
Board games have come a long way since I was a kid!
Forbidden Desert is one of many in the 'Forbidden' series, and in my opinion, it is the most approachable.
My absolute favorite thing about this game is that it is collaborative. You can play with 4-5 players at a time, but instead of play against each other, you win or lose as a team. This is especially great if you have a little one in the family that has trouble losing.
We never get sick of this one!
Okay, this one isn't exactly a board game but you will definitely need a table top!
This game is great for fine motor skills with little ones! I also love that it totally levels the playing field; age and experience won't help with this one!
Not only do I love the movie, I love the board game!
My personal favorite is this 'retro' version that is reminiscent of the original game!
This is the classic 'who dun' it' game that requires a bit more skill and critical thinking; it might be a little too tough for young kids but kids 10 and up will love it!
Not only does this game require deductive reasoning but it doesn't last forever! You can get together and play this game in about 45 minutes, it is perfect!
Now, this is an incredible game, but it is very involved.
This game requires more time and attention than your typical board game, so this isn't one I'd recommend for little kids. This game is for you if you're interested in serious strategy!
These weren't an option when I was a kid, but there are some great digital games out there these days!
These are games you can play on your phone or tablet, but that doesn't mean you're playing solo - you can still get the whole family involved!
What I love about these digital games is that you will have them anywhere you go without packing extra, they are perfect for long car rides!
Monopoly is an old classic but they did an awesome job of revamping this game for the digital age.
You can purchase this game on the IOS store for $3.99, my family did and we honestly think it was worth every penny!
What I love about this game is that you can play alone (against the computer), multi-player online against strangers, or by passing the phone or tablet around with family and friends!
There is no need for a banker, and there is even a speed mode that allows you to play the game a lot faster. We've all been stuck in those 7 hour Monopoly games that never end well, no more of that!
This game is free, but there are in app purchases.
To play this game, one person will hold the phone on their forehead and the other players will need to help them guess the word on the phone. Heads Up is very similar to its non-digital counterpart Head Bands, and it is a blast!
Like a mentioned before, it is free to download the game, but there are themed 'packs' you can purchase; rest assured there is plenty of free content to keep you entertained, but I love the option to expand!
Click here to get the app
This game is a little bit similar to the card game Apples to Apples and it's from the same people that make Heads Up!
This is a great family game that involves everyone secretly writing answers for one player to select the best.
Click here to get the app
This is a music trivia game that is totally free to download! There's a live trivia game every single day where you test your knowledge and have a chance to win $$$ (the game is totally free to play!). Are you an 80s expert? An R&B guru? Maybe you're ready to crush a game that's all about music of the 2010s? We do a different category every show!
FULL DISCLOSURE: this recommendation is a bit self serving because I'm one of the hosts on Song Pop Live, so my love for it may be a little biased -- but, honestly, my family plays along and loves this game too.
Click here to get the app
Hopefully you enjoy some of my favorite games, and remember, no matter what you play its about the time you're spending with your loved ones. These games will create awesome memories for your family and friends, they are an awesome investment of money and time!
Right now, you're obviously not jumping on a plane to your dream destination. You probably can't even go have a night out with your loved ones.
Don't worry, there is good news! I think there are lots of ways to still have an adventure at home. Lets break down some options from camping to romantic dinners; all in the comfort of your own home.
Enjoy the great outdoors in your own backyard!
The first time I ever took my kids camping, it was to our backyard. This was the perfect 'intro' to camping. The best part? If you're at home this costs you next to nothing!
Grab a simple tent like THIS ONE, an LED flashlight, plus an adult sleeping bag or one for the kids.
Not only is this some amazing family time, but it is a safe and convenient way to camp! The bathroom and kitchen are right inside!
And by the way, if you're a city dweller like me, you still have a lot of options! Go on the roof, balcony, or even the living room! It'll mix up your family's routine, get you out of a rut and make you feel amazing.
Give it a try!
Backyard camping pro tip: Invest in a fire pit! They create great ambiance, provide warmth, and of course you can make some s'mores!
Here's a great, basic fire pit.
And here's something crazy fancy and kind of awesome.
Please remember common sense - no fire pits in the living room, or on the balcony or roof; and of course check local ordinances before setting anything up!
Romantic Kitchen Date
You know what? Cooking together creates an amazing bonding experience.
Although it might be tempting, don't leave it up to one person to cook and wait on the other.
Find a new recipe and get in there and try it together! There are loads of studies that show that couples who try new things together bond more over those experiences.
While you're cooking, definitely listen to some music! This will get some creative juices flowing and help you two bond even more.
For those of you have been together for a long time, write down some conversation starters. Try things like 'the thing I remember most about you is _' or 'my favorite part of your body is _'. Read these aloud to each other; you'll be amazed what you learn about the person you've known for years!
Kitchen Date Pro Tip: Involve the kids. Now, I know this sounds a little counter intuitive but kids in the kitchen can be really fun! This is especially great if you have picky eaters, they are more likely to try something they helped to make. This creates an awesome bonding experience for the whole family!
Spa Day at Home
Now there are a million videos online on how to do the 'best mud mask at home', and I'm clearly not the pro in that department. However, I do want you to get the most out of your spa day.
This starts with setting an appointment, and keeping it! One of the first things we do when we get busy is to move self care way down our priority list. Treat this spa day like a doctors appointment, set the day and stick to it!
Try to keep your spa day as tech free as possible. The only exemption should be your phone so you can play a little music or try some meditation. Give your eyes and brain a break and just mellow out.
While you're pampering yourself, try to stimulate all of your senses. For instance, if you're going to treat yourself to a foot spa, add some noise cancelling headphones and an essential oil diffuser. BOOM, perfection!
A spa is about indulging yourself head to toe, don't leave any of your senses out!
Spa day at home pro tip: Don't apologize for making you time! We all of have a lot of responsibilities and people we want to be there for. In order to keep up, you need to take care of yourself, when you come from a place of positivity and energy, you're able to give that to those around you.
There you have it guys, three of my favorite staycations! I recently posted a YouTube video on this topic, so if you need some more tips, check it out!
If you’re a Prime member, there is a ton of great content for you to watch at no additional cost. What better time to dig into some new shows than while on lockdown?
The problem is, it can be tough to make the perfect pick! I’m gonna help you find the best from three different categories:
Family Friendly Choices
Family movie nights are the perfect stay-at-home activity. These lesser known films are the perfect ‘new’ movie to keep your kids (and you parents) entertained.
Let’s start off with an awesome animated movie for the whole family to enjoy. This movie was released in 2011 and features the voices of Timothy Olyphant, Abigail Breslin and Johnny Depp.
I LOVE this film, and I’m not the only one! One of the first things I do whenever I’m picking a film is to check out the reviews of other users. This one got an average of 4.5 stars out of over 2,000 users and a 7.2 rating from IMDB, seems like a good report to me!
Since this video was released by Paramount, it had a less splashy release than it’s Disney and Pixar owned counterparts. This could work in your favor! The older release date means there is a chance your kids haven’t even seen it yet!
I gotta go way back for this one, released in 1985!
This murder mystery film that is based on the classic board game is a who’s who of comedic actors. The classic features Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Christopher Lloyd and of course the one and only, Tim Curry!
This film is hilarious and has great reviews, it is the perfect family friendly watch!
My wife and I actually watched this film long before having kids and loved it - now that we can share the film with our kids it is even more fun!
Typically, I’m not a big documentary guy, but I’ll make an exception with this one! Yet another film included with your Prime membership with incredible reviews.
This is a super interesting film which was filmed over the course of 15 years. It tells the story of the people who work and live in Antarctica; you’ll learn how they maintain the land, perform research, coexist with the wildlife, and survive the extreme weather conditions.
Not only is it a beautifully filmed piece, it is incredibly eye opening - you cannot go wrong with this one!
These Amazon originals might not be on your radar, but they should be!
This is one of my very favorite shows of any kind. It originated as a Sci-Fi original series where it aired for its first three seasons, but it was then cancelled due to the expensive filming budget.
Good news! Amazon swooped in and rescued the show and filmed the fourth season, and now all seasons are available with your Prime membership!
This is the perfect show to binge watch without getting sick of it! If I had to explain it, I’d say it is kind of like Game of Thrones but in space. The show features a huge cast of characters and many different factions fighting each other, but there is a looming threat that will bring them all together.
It is beautifully written and shot and features some really amazing effects too! No wonder it earned an 8.5 IMDB rating.
The most recent season was just dropped at the end of 2019, so now is the perfect time to get caught up on this show. The characters are great and the writing is awesome, even if you don’t like sci-fi, I think you’ll like this; it is simply great TV!
So here’s the thing about Patriot, it went for two seasons before being cancelled, so two seasons is all we’ll get. If you’re not wild for short term relationships, this might not be for you; but I absolutely love this show!
The name of the show does not do justice to the creative and interesting content the episodes have to offer. On the surface, the plot follows a young CIA agent who is working to stop Iran from going nuclear.
The main character is working in Europe while dealing with his PTSD using folk music. It is dark, comedic, quirky, and unlike anything else out there!
If you’re willing to take a risk on my recommendation here, it will be worth it!
As of April 2020, this is a brand new show, but I think in a few months we’ll all be talking about it.
This show follows a shipment of drugs as it traverses the world and shows us what happens when something goes wrong with that shipment. The plot spans countries, families, and ethnicities in this massive storyline.
If you were a fan of the 2000 film Traffic, you’ll like this show, they are very similar styles!
You should know, the show is rated TV-MA (just like the cocaine business). There is a lot of violence, but it really is an awesome series!
It is just released and already receiving awesome reviews, this is a trend you’ll want to be a part of.
Weird and Wonderful
Black Mirror and Twilight Zone fans - this part is for you! These types of shows are not for everyone, but if you like something a little mind-bending, I think you’ll like these picks!
This is a brand new Amazon Original, which starts with multiple stories that are seemingly unrelated. Of course, as the show goes on, you’ll start to see a little thread of relation.
The wonderful Jonathon Pryce is in this show, so that is just another bonus!
The plot is inspired by paintings by Simon Stalenhag; this is the first time I’ve ever seen a series based on paintings, just another awesome factor to this great series!
It is definitely sci-fi, and it really makes you question the nature of reality. With that being said, I did find it a bit slow moving in the beginning, but when you stick with it, it really pays off!
Do you prefer stories that seem normal and get progressively stranger? Homecoming is for you!
This is another Amazon original with an awesome cast, featuring Bobby Canavale and the amazing Julia Roberts. The show currently has only two seasons available to watch, but it was already nominated for three Golden Globes!
As you progress through the show, reality begins to take on a fluid state which really keeps you getting more drawn in with every episode. Be warned - this show will make you mistrust every scene you watch!
Back to sci-fi again here! Philip K. Dick is a very famous sci-fi author who wrote short stories that have been the inspiration for many sci-fi films. Blade Runner and Total Recall were both created based on Philip K. Dick’s short stories.
What’s better than one movie about one short story? A ten episode series about multiple short stories!
This series is out-there, trippy and mind bending, so if that is your thing, you’re gonna love it!
That’s it for my top picks on Prime during this lockdown, I hope they help you stay entertained!
I’ve gone even more in depth on these shows in my most recent YouTube video which you can watch here.
I’m working constantly to create new content to help inspire and entertain, so check back often to see what I'm up to!