17 Board Games To Buy For Christmas That Won't Bore The Family To Tears

Future you will be pleased you nabbed one (or more) of these games to keep the family occupied.
Be in it to win it with our selection of reader-recommended games for those long festive afternoons
bgwalker via Getty Images
Be in it to win it with our selection of reader-recommended games for those long festive afternoons

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, HuffPost UK may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

Are you a Christmas gaming household or not? We’re not talking Nintendo or Playstation here, but good old-fashioned board games, the kind of fun that takes up a whole December afternoon, then pack away neatly into a box.

When we polled HuffPost writers and readers for their festive favourites, we got a lot of answers back. Word games like Articulate and Scrabble ranked highly, as did traditional favourites like Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, but we were also pointed in the direction of a range of games we’ve yet to try ourselves.

From classics to new releases via TV tie-ins and fantasy fun, you’re not going to be short of options here.

Buy them now and they’ll keep you busy through till New Year... 2099.

Articulate ranked top with HuffPost readers and, no wonder, they're a brainy bunch. But the game has simpler pleasures too. As one reader says: "You get to shout out words again and again and the faster you are the more you can shout." And that, my friends, is the joy of it!
Scrabble is a design classic for a reason and this limited edition art deco set is even more gorgeous (though you can also pick up the basic edition for a cheaper £10.39).
Trivial Pursuit
Continuing with another classic, we come to Trivial Pursuit. But not just any edition: the Master Edition. Challenge yourself with the hardest of questions (or if you really want to spice things up, there's an X-Rated version, too).
The board game that spawned a thousand themed offshoots. Current editions on sale include Star Wars, Friends, Toy Story, Only Fools and Horses,Roald Dahl and Eastenders. They could probably do with a few rounds in Albert Square to keep the drama down.
Michael McIntyre's The Wheel
We'll be honest: TV tie-in games can be a mixed bag but thanks to the popularity of Michael McIntyre's show, this box is eagerly anticipated, not least by our entertainment editor, who's hoping to find it under his tree.
Taskmaster, The Board Game
We're also excited to try our own hands at Taskmaster after hours spent watching the show in lockdown. We can't guarantee the box contains a real life "Little Alex Horne" though.
Chess Set
Just over a year ago Netflix launched The Queen's Gambit and catapulted chess back into the mainstream. Make like Beth (minus her issues) with this stylish set from chess makers Jacques of London, who've been at this game since 1795.
The Game of Life
Now for the nostalgia games. Your grandparents played this, your parents played this, and now you're playing this, whether you like it not. Spin to win!
Remember Labyrinth, 80s kids? Not the film, the game! I used to pour over the Ravensburger catalogue like a true geek, and this was one of their best. See also the brilliant Enchanted Forest.
Perhaps best immortalised in that classic Christmas film, When Harry Met Sally – "Baby Fish Mouth!" – this oldie is still a goodie, we promise. There's even a fancy "air drawing" version you can buy these days.
A good leveller, this one. As the HuffPost writer who recommends it says: "Scattergories because I'm too competitive. Nobody likes playing any of the others with me, haha."
Catan can be a little bit Marmite. Fans are obsessive, but the rules are baffling to the rest of us. Find a seven-year-old to teach you – and beat you resoundingly – as I did. It's the only route to learning the Settler way.
Ticket To Ride
This fun family game came through as a Twitter recommendation from HuffPost reader Andrew. Turns out it's an Amazon best-seller, too, so it's probably time we got in on the hype.
Jaques of London Backgammon
The game where the box is the board. No matter how many times someone teaches me how to play backgammon, I have to be learn it all again the next time. But while I don't ever remember the rules, I do remember having a good time.
Codenames is a more recent award-winner, part of a new gen of games that are really livening up the scene. I found out about this one by word of mouth and have gifted it so several friends and family members since – they've all loved it.
Another reader recommendation, Poppycock calls on you to either be a boffin or a bluffer – as long as you can keep a straight face, you're in with a chance of winning. One for the, ahem, politicians among you.
Do you dare? Our family played a long round of this on Boxing Day a few years ago, little realising what was to come. It's difficult but not impossible to crack the global health crisis at the heart of the game – giving you hope that we can move past it in the real world, too.