Down Time

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By Michelle Freneaux

Now that we’re getting into the rainy season, it’s a bit more difficult to tell when we can stay outside without getting soaked without warning. Here are some ideas for good, indoor fun.

When the lights go out and you’re at home with candles and board games, make sure you have the following essentials in your game closet. A great but little-known game is The Settlers of Catan. This is an obscure title to those who don’t visit gaming stores often or are on the watch for interesting board games, but it is great for preteens all the way through adults. The game is available in some Wal-Mart stores, so call your Central Wal-Mart to make sure they have it in stock, and then go get it. The original game is four 2 – 4 players, so if you’ve got 5 – 6 people at home, buy the 5 – 6 player extension. Settlers of Catan is a unique strategy board game. The setting is a small island country called Catan that all of the players are “settling.” It usually takes one run through the game to gain an understanding of the rules and to begin developing strategies. It’s an engaging game that many people can enjoy. Don’t be afraid to create some house rules, too, if it makes the game more enjoyable for you.

Another fun, not-so-traditional board game is Battle of the Sexes (also available in some Wal-Marts, so call ahead to be sure the game is in stock). The game has 2 teams, men versus women. Each team must answer questions that the other team would typically know to progress in the game. For instance, the men may be asked a question like, “How do you stop a run in stockings?” while the women may be asked something like, “How many lugs are on the typical wheel?”

If you’re looking for a fun game with the younger kids, Apples to Apples Jr. is great for family. This version is just like Apples to Apples but without the pop culture and history references younger kids won’t know yet. The game is played with an alternating judge every turn. The judge plays a green card, which has a noun on it, and all of the other players anonymously play a red card, which has an adjective on it. The judge then chooses the adjective they like the most for the noun they’ve played. Seeing what all of the other players lay down is funny and entertaining. Apples to Apples Jr. is very family friendly, and a blast for all members of the family. You can also get Apples to Apples and Apples to Apples Jr. at Wal-Mart.

So before you end up with the candles lit playing the same old games for the fiftieth time, stock up on some new, entertaining games.