10 Games for Summer Holiday Fun!

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The July 4th Holiday weekend is upon us once again and what better time to introduce your friends and family to some new games?

Here is our list of 10 fun, portable, family-friendly games perfect for the picnic table:

1. Bohnanza (Rio Grande Games) – Plant your bean fields and harvest your crops to sell them at market for top dollar. The art is playful, the theme light-hearted, and it’s easy to teach to non-gamers. Plus, it’s fun to declare yourself the Stink Bean Mogul.

 

2. Sushi Go (Gamewright) –A pass and play card game with deliciously adorable art and fast-paced rounds, this game becomes addicting and will surely be a go-to game for future family gatherings.

 

3. Red Hot Silly Peppers (Rather Dashing Games) –In this silly game of salsa-making, more is better. Play card combos to make the hottest salsa, but watch out for other players using more ingredients and stealing your points!

 

4. Telestrations (USAopoly) – Pictorial telephone is the way of this game. Illustrate your clue and pass the book, taking turns drawing and guessing what the clue is. At the end of the round reveal the hilarious interpretations from the group.

 

5. Gravwell (Renegade Games) – Use the elements to escape the blackhole and boost your spaceship closer to the safe zone. Watch out for dead ships and other players using the forces of gravity to advance their own ship past yours. There’s actual science behind this one, so go ahead and geek out a bit.

 

6. Bears! Trail Mix’d (Fireside Games – hey! that’s us!) – Add this die to your existing copy of Bears! for crazy mixed up fun and new ways to stump your fellow campers and survive the bear attack. (Don’t already have your own copy of Bears!? What are you waiting for??)

 

  7. Roll for It (Calliope Games) – Roll your dice and stake a claim to the cards that match your rolls. Go all in to score big, or go for the sure bet and watch your winnings stack up steadily.  Play as many rounds as you like with this portable, easy to learn, dice game.

 

8. Bang! The Dice Game (Da Vinci) – The Wild West is alive and well in this dice game of hidden identities and flying bullets. Roll the dice and play them against the bandits or the Sheriff, depending on whose side you’re on. Careful, there’s the quick and then there’s the dead, so stay on your toes to survive this standoff.

 

9. Citadels (Fantasy Flight Games) – Fortune and city-building, with some good old-fashioned intrigue, this game requires a balance between long-term strategy and short-term opportunity. Choose your identity carefully each round to secure the wealth needed to build your city with an and come out on top.

 

10. Mag Blast (Fantasty Flight Games) – Who needs diplomacy when you have laser-blasters? Captain your own fleet of inter-galactic ships, using your cards strategically to take out your opponents before they reduce you to space junk.

 

What are your favorite games to break out at the family picnic? Share in the comments below!

 

Ask Fireside – Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

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This time of year is all about traditions and the enduring sense of wonder and excitement that the dawning of a new year can bring. We would like to share some of our favorite traditions, both old and new, with you.

Kris, Customer Care Manager

When I was a kid I loved hiking out into the woods to find and cut down a Christmas tree. It was usually just me and my dad and maybe one of my brothers. It was a nice quiet time spent outside.

As an adult, New Year’s Eve is my favorite. It’s all about expressing gratitude for the past year and hope for the new.

 

Anne-Marie, CEO

My favorite childhood holiday tradition was baking cookies for the Christmas tree. My mom used a special sugar cookie recipe that made cookies unusually thick. We stuck a toothpick through the tops of them before we baked them, decorated them after they cooled, and then strung yarn through the holes to hang them on the tree. My brother, sister, and I would sneak cookies off of the tree until Christmas day.

My favorite current holiday tradition is lighting farolitos (candles set in sand in paper bags). When Justin was growing up in New Mexico, his family adopted the tradition that originated with Spanish merchants, who were influenced by Chinese paper lanterns, and then picked up by the Roman Catholic church as a way to symbolize hope that the spirit of Christ would be guided to the home. Typically, roadways and driveways are lit to show the path to the home. There’s something warm and comforting about seeing those little flames against the cold.

Justin, Chief Creative Officer

My favorite holiday tradition from when I was a kid was that we would get to open one present on Christmas Eve. It was always a really big deal and I would spend the days leading up to it looking over all my presents trying to pick that special one.

Now that I’m older, my favorite holiday tradition is probably decorating the outside of the house with lights. While I don’t go as overboard as I do for Halloween, I do get a kick out of trying to be creative with strings of white and multi-color lights.

Maureen, Marketing Manager

On Christmas Eve when I was a kid we would get to give and open the presents we had bought for each other (Christmas morning was for Santa). I grew up with 4 siblings. I love GIVING presents & I am terrible at waiting, I would spend the week leading up to Christmas begging to be allowed to give someone something. I was always giddy about getting to see everyone’s faces when they opened my present to them.

As a “grown-up” I still love giving presents more than getting them. But I also really love the new tradition we started with friends for New Year’s Eve. We have a themed party and everyone dresses up in costumes to match. We drink, play games, and all look fabulous doing it!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Share in the comments below!