All-Ages Game Night: A great community event!

I ran an All-Ages Game Night at my church last month as both a social event for our members and a way to connect with our community (and maybe attract some new members).  It was easy to do, extremely inexpensive, and lots of fun!

My family loves games and owns enough to fill a large chest of drawers, so we simply brought about half of our games (see list below), the ones that are easiest to learn and don’t take a really long time to play.  We didn’t serve snacks at Game Night–food is distracting and expensive and gets the cards sticky–but we did serve ice water and lemonade using our real glasses.  It was a hot, humid evening, and our parish hall is not air-conditioned, so we set up fans.

About a week in advance, we hung flyers around the neighborhood, and at bus stops on routes that pass the church, that said

All-Ages Game Night
Card games!  Board games!  Pyramid games!
Learn new games or bring your favorites to share.

and gave the date, time, and location–we had it on a Saturday, 6:30-9:30pm.  The flyers, lemon juice, and sugar were the only expenses for this event.  We did not charge admission.

About 30 people attended at some point in the evening, and less than half of them were church members!  This was the best new-people-attracting event we’ve had in years!  It was particularly exciting that many of the people did not know anyone at our church but simply saw the flyer and decided to come.  A few were hard-core gamers hoping to meet new players for advanced strategy games.  Others were just looking for something fun to do. The only children other than my 6-year-old son were a pair of 6-year-old twins, but we got adults ranging from 20 to late 70s.

I had all my games set out on a table and the beverages on another table.  We set up 4 large rectangular tables, each with 8 chairs around it, for game playing.  As people arrived, I invited them to play a game–with me, when I was available, or by choosing a game from the table.

These are the games that were played during the evening:

These are the games we brought that nobody ended up playing, although they are all good games:

Hosting an All-Ages Game Night worked for me! We’re planning to have another one in November.

Check out Works-for-Me Wednesday to see what works for other writers, including a new way to exchange children’s outgrown clothes for bigger ones!

3 thoughts on “All-Ages Game Night: A great community event!

  1. Pingback: Don’t forget the lemonade! « The Earthling's Handbook

  2. Pingback: Thrifty Tips « The Earthling's Handbook

  3. Pingback: Growing a Gamer Geek « The Earthling's Handbook

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