Games for a cabin getaway
Cabins are a wonderful break from the every-day stresses of our lives…
and we certainly had plenty of those this year. Now that summer is in full bloom again, many Manitobans are enjoying a few days away from home in their cabin or in that of a friend or family member. A time to relax and to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us, whilst spending quality time with the people that are close to us. The perfect backdrop for some board gaming fun!
If you are the lucky owner of a cabin, you might want to consider adding some games to your shelves of books and entertainment. If you are a visitor, you might to add some games to your overnight bag, or even as a bring-along gift for the hosts. But what makes a game a good choice for a cabin experience? Here are some things to consider:
- Something for everyone.
Cabins are a wonderful ‘melting pot’ when it comes to bringing people together. We might spend time with family members of different generations, be it parents, grandparents or children. We might also spend time with friends or partners that have various levels of experience or interest in board games. Some people might enjoy hunkering down and playing a longer and more involved game that might take the better part of an afternoon or evening. Others might be intimidated by learning something more complex, and might rather enjoy a light, short and simple game. Sometimes you might want to spend a longer part of the day playing games, other times you might just want some quick fun while the BBQ is running.
For that reason I suggest a small selection of a few different styles of games. Either way they should be playable by various ages, and they should not take more than 90 minutes or so. Generally family style games will work perfectly in this situation. This should certainly include something that can be played with, or by, children. The absolute safest choice would be a good party game. Usually they have simpler rule sets and can be enjoyed equally by people of different backgrounds. Titles like Just One, Telestrations or Concept would be a great starting point here. Another good choice would be light strategy games that offer a satisfying gaming experience without too many rules. Games like Ticket to Ride, Azul or Carcassonne come to mind. Maybe a clever card game might be just the right thing to have a lovely evening while watching the sunset. There is a plethora of choice available here that can be a joy to discover.
I would also suggest to have some options when it comes to the number of players. I personally would include games for a larger group (6 or more), a smaller group (2-5), 2 players, and maybe even a game that can be played solo. That way you have any possible combination of player counts covered.
- Pick your favourites
If it is your cabin where people are gathering, or if you are the one that is bringing some games along, chances are that people will look at your for guidance in learning a game. I therefore suggest that you have games at hand that you personally love. For the simple reason that your enthusiasm will translate into a more positive experience for the other players. It does’t matter what the game is – if you are into it, others will be as well. Of course, it should be games that you are not easily tired of and that still hold their charm after many plays. Don’t overthink it, start with what you like. If you do have a game at hand that you don’t know well, maybe give it a quick play test on your own so you know it when you explain it. Reading the rules out loud and learning it together does work, but someone at the table who knows the game already, works better.
- Watch the pieces
Because you are sharing games with others, it might be wise to choose games that don’t have an elaborate amount of components. For one, some of these pieces might get lost or damaged over time. Either by cleaning up the table is a hurry or simply by losing pieces thought repetitive play. Furthermore, less pieces make the setup and tear down times faster and that can make it more likely for a game to be played. Games with fragile or tiny components might not be the best fit in this context. Just like the cabin experience itself, keep it simple and relaxing.
- Take it outside
Not every good game has to be played on a tabletop. There are a multitude of lawn games that can be a lot of fun. Bocce or Lawn Darts are prime examples, but there are plenty of other titles available that can be played on an outdoor surface. Even though they are not board games as such, they offer a ton of entertainment and togetherness. Definitely something that is worth having around.
Hopefully these thoughts will inspire you to add some gaming fun to your cabin getaway experience. As I mentioned earlier, the choices can be endless. As a staring point I can offer some suggestions of titles that have worked well for me during a relaxing weekend.
3-6 players, ages 8 and up
A quick-playing family game with very simple rules. Form the image on your secret picture card with one set of components, either shoelaces, colour cubes, icon cards, sticks and stones or building blocks in such a way that the other players guess what image you have pictured. Pull out a marker from the bag that determines your secret picture card and then form that image with your components in such a way that it is recognizable.Then guess what image each other player has pictured. The players get points for correctly guessing other players images and for other players guessing their image. The most points wins!
2-4 players, ages 8 and up
Each player builds their own bear park, attempting to make it as beautiful as they can, while also using every square meter possible. The park is created by combining polyomino tiles onto a grid, with players scoring for animal houses, outdoor areas, completed construction, and more. The sooner you build it, the better! Cover icons to get new tiles and park sections. The game ends as soon as one player has finished expanding their park, then players tally their points to see who has won.
2-6 players, ages 7 and up
Think of this as a dodgeball card game. Collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents while simultaneously ducking, dodging and throwing squishy airborne burritos. This is an outdoor adaptation of the popular table top version. Collecting oversized cards will earn you points, but you lose points when you get hit by 3-foot tall inflatable burritos. Let’s face it, throwing large objects at your friends or family is fun!
3-5 players, ages 10 and up
In this interesting card game, you’ll have to think in different ways than in other card games, because you can only play cards that touch each other . . . but you can’t rearrange your hand. So, play cards that push your remaining cards together in just the right ways, and add cards in just the right spots. But the object is to shed all of your cards, so beware—your opponents may be conspiring to give you more.
2-4 players, ages 6 and up
Great for playing with younger kids. It’s time to for vacation! How quickly can you pack your bags? The quickest one to pack their bags wins! Take all the items named on the card and place them inside the suitcase. The goal is simple: Be the fastest to complete your card and close your suitcase correctly! The game contains four suitcases, 52 plastic items that you pack, and 30 illustrated cards featuring several difficulty levels.
Are you intrigued to try a new game a the cabin? Here are my top suggestions:
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