Nothing brings the laughs (and families together) quite like family board games! Strategic, engaging, screen-free and FUN for generational play, board games are a winner for every age and stage.
At Mum Central HQ, we have reviewed quite a number of different board games across the year and had a lot of laughs doing so. Not only was it fun for us, but our kids too. It was refreshing to break away from the ‘classics’ and delve deep into new, exciting and more modern board games.
So, let us share with you our 6 top family board games to pop on this list for Christmas this year. These games are not only great to surprise your family on Christmas Day, but they will keep everyone occupied and engaged with screen-free family fun all year round. They are unique and affordable and will provide hours of fun for less than the price of a trip to the cinema.
TOP PICKS: Best Family Board Games for Christmas 2023
CATAN: Trade, Build, Settle
WHERE TO BUY: Kmart
AVERAGE GAME TIME: 60 minutes
We cannot possibly mention our favourite board game gifts and not include the legend that is CATAN! This strategic board game is a family staple that sees players vying to become the dominant presence on the island of Catan by paving roads, building cities, and establishing settlements.
On each turn, dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards) – wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone – to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game. Think of it sort of like Minecraft, Clash of Clans or SimCity but without the need for a device. #winning
CATAN has won a stack of awards and is considered one of the most popular games in recent history. It appeals to both families and avid hobbyists and it’s especially great for kids who love strategy and adventure games.
Ticket to Ride: Europe
WHERE TO BUY: Kmart
BEST FOR AGES: 8+
AVERAGE GAME TIME: 30-60 minutes
All Aboard for a European Train Adventure with Ticket to Ride: Europe. This game takes gamers on an epic train adventure around Europe as you work towards connecting cities and building train tracks, tunnels and ferries to complete your mission.
The game involves a fair bit of strategy and is ideal for kids 8+ right through to adults. While it’s strategic, the gameplay is simple and rules can be learned in under 15 minutes.
The object of the same is to try to connect two cities (aka routes) with trains to score points. Longer routes equals more points. When you score points, you move your coloured marker around the board (on the outside of the map). You can choose to play competitively or as a team if you have younger kids. Either way, this game is your golden ticket to fun!
FUN FACT: Our Mum Central Reviewers rated Ticket to Ride: Europe a 4.6 out of 5 stars! They awarded a full 5 stars for fun for adults and kids and another full 5 stars for screen-free family fun.
Story Time Chess
WHERE TO BUY: Story Time Chess
AVERAGE GAME TIME: 10-30 minutes
Story Time Chess is made especially for children and brings the world of chess to life in a way we’ve never seen before. It teaches chess through imaginative play, silly stories, vibrant illustrations, custom chess pieces, and a unique chess board.
Story Time Chess involves more than just a standard chess board and pieces. It comes with a whole kingdom of fun. There’s a storybook to teach the rules of chess plus a cast of colourful characters, like King Shaky, King Chompee and Queen Bella, to make it even more engaging for kids to learn and play.
Whether you’re a chess player or not, Story Time Chess offers a chance to immerse your little ones (as young as 3) into the enchanting world of chess and is a great board game gift for preschoolers and up. It’s also taken home several toy and game awards too. Plus, with no chess experience required for parents or kids, it’s easy to learn so parents can learn to play along with their little ones.
WHERE TO BUY: Big W
AVERAGE GAME TIME: 15 minutes
Okay, so while Exploding Kittens is a card game, we’re still counting it on our list of best family board games this Christmas because it really is so awesome. Essentially, it is a kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette, where the stakes get higher with every card you play. The fewer cards, the more chance you’ll draw a kitten and explode.
Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. The deck is made up of cards that let you avoid exploding by peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards or shuffling the deck.
The game is fast-paced and involves a bit of tactic and strategy. It’s a great game for the whole family (kids 7+ will especially get a kick out of it) and delivers a deck full of cheeky fun.
FUN FACT: Our Mum Central Reviewers rated Exploding Kittens a 4.4 out of 5 stars, with one family calling it “one of the best games we’ve ever played“. Now that’s saying something!!
WHERE TO BUY: Kmart
AVERAGE GAME TIME: 20 minutes
One of the best board game gifts for laughs, Herd Mentality is a party game that will bring out the laughs this Christmas. The name of the game is to think like the herd and write down the same answers as everyone else. Just don’t stand out!
If your answer is part of the majority, you’ll win cows. If everyone else writes an answer that is matched by at least one other person, but yours is the odd one out, then you land the angry Pink Cow, and your herd of cows is worthless until you can offload it onto someone else. The first player to collect eight cows wins the game.
The game is really easy to learn and play. Just flip over a question, grab a pencil and write down your answer. It’s suitable for large crowds, from 4 to 20 players (the more players, the more hilarious it gets) and is a great one to bring out after Christmas lunch, on Boxing Day or even New Year’s Eve. Kids also love to play it themselves at slumber parties or birthday parties, so it really is a great all-rounder!
Dixit – Disney Edition
WHERE TO BUY: Gamesworld
AVERAGE GAME TIME: 30 minutes
For Disney fans, this game is your perfect match. It’s designed to test your Disney/Pixar knowledge through images and storytelling. It’s great for kids 8+ years old, but it’s also fun for adults who have extensive knowledge of all things Disney.
Get ready to be transported into all your favourite Disney and Pixar films, including the old-school classics, with Dixit – Disney Edition. There are 84 different Disney films featured in the Dixit -Disney Edition, and every time you play it, it will be a completely different experience, making it the perfect game to pull out anytime you’re in the mood for screen-free family fun.
Dixit – Disney Edition involves a storyteller and a game of guessing, where players need to know not only their Disney movies but also the people they are playing with. It involves a fair bit of strategy, too, and the board, characters and cards are simply stunning.
FUN FACT: Our Mum Central Reviewers rated Dixit- Disney Edition 4.7 out of 5 stars, awarding a full 5 stars for FAMILY FUN!
Let’s revive board games night!
With so many great toys and gift ideas on the market, family board games remain one of our favourite things to gift our kids, especially because you can enjoy the gift alongside with them. Board games last a lifetime, never go out of style, and really are great bang for your buck!
While you can’t go past the classic board games, what we love about these six family board game suggestions is that they are a modern mix of strategy with cheekiness, featuring bright, bold colours, charming characters and beautifully designed cards and boards.
There are no batteries, no screens, and no tiny pieces that you will most certainly step on down the road. It’s just good ol’ family fun with a modern twist.
So, next time you are in the shops and looking for a family board game, look out for these and be sure to put your name down to WIN one of our awesome family board game prize packs below.
We are giving away 3 family board game prize packs, each featuring 6 amazing board games!
Each game prize pack includes:
- Ticket to Ride Europe
- Story Time Chess
- Herd Mentality
- Exploding Kittens
- Dixit: Disney Edition
To enter, simply complete the entry form below and you could be one of our winners!