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Time for some New Entertainment


One of the ways we have saved the most money over the last few years is by completely cutting out entertainment costs. We were once a movie going, popcorn loving, amusement park addicted, dessert having family.

Now movies are a true treat as they don’t happen very often at all. And we no longer live within a few miles of Busch Gardens and Water Country. (Some of you will remember my off the cuff splurge on Universal passes when we first moved to Georgia, thinking, we could easily traipse down to Florida for some fun. I think we did that twice.)

We have also cut down eating out…and ordering any extras when we do eat out. So yeah, our regular entertainment budget is pretty much $0 all the time. And I don’t think we miss it much, I know I don’t. The kids are at an age and maturity that they would prefer to hang out with friends or be on their phones to the fun adventures that I used to plan on a regular basis.

BUT…Quality Time is Still Important

We do still have regular family nights or days or hours. It’s important to me that we spend some quality time together at least once a week. Lots of times this involves visiting a free Saturday night concerts downtown, going to the library (I’m so grateful that all my kids are avid readers) or most often, playing a board game or doing a puzzle at home.

board games

Our current collection of board games. The buckets have card games, puzzles and more small games in them.

I’m also excited to start exploring some of the many mountainous park areas around here. I have recently been given a tour of some “local only” areas. And they are gorgeous! Can’t wait to take the kids and have picnics or just let the dogs roam a bit.

However, until it cools off a bit more, I am not interested in any outdoor activities. This high 90s every day is killing me! (And I had to see my electric bill, ugh!) This is why I’m here today…

Our currently collection of games are getting stale. And with only 3 people now, some of them just aren’t as fun to play anymore. Our go to games over the last year or so have been Ticket to Ride, Catan and some card games like Uno. But we need some new ones! Desperately.

So BAD community, tell me your favorite board games. We prefer strategy type games to anything else. And don’t mind some of the “mature” themes since the kids at home are older and mature. Hit me with your best recommendations in the comments. And if you have other “free” entertainment that your family loves, tell me about it.

I’ve just scheduled college visits for 3 of Princess’ school holidays, do you think that counts as entertainment? Georgia Tech, Clemson and Spelman, here we come.


  • Reply Kim |

    TELESTRATIONS – it is a combination of Pictionary and Telephone (where the message changes as it gets passed down the line). It is great for kids and adults and everyone we’ve played it with has gone out and purchased it for their own home. It is better to play with at least 4-5 people. We’re also on a Mexican Train Dominoes kick. This was another winner with the pre-teen/teen/adult crowd.

  • Reply SMS |

    No board game tips, sorry….just urging you again not to make paying for the car Princess’s problem. She may WANT to work, but in order to attend the colleges you are visiting, she will need a robust financial aid package and for that she needs excellent grades and for those she needs to spend her time studying and perhaps other extracurriculars that colleges like to see. She has the rest of her life to work!

    • Reply KC |

      As a person who attended a prestigious boarding school and a competitive college, I could not agree and urge this anymore than the PP. She should focus on grades, SAT scores, and extracurriculars that help her stand out. Working a menial job and paying for a car you will use, is absurd. Please figure out a way to pay for your car, yourself.

    • Reply Stephanie |

      I agree. Working at Walmart is an extremely poor use of her time right now. She needs to be studying.

      In addition to touring large schools like Clemson, she should be touring small liberal arts colleges as well. These schools will have the student aid ($$$$$) she needs to attend. Sewanee is not very far from you, and is desperately trying to diversify their student body. Also, Furman, Rhodes, Washington & Lee would all be good choices if she wants to stay a reasonable distance to home. If she really hits her scores out of the park (like 32+ on ACT) then she should apply to some of the Seven Sisters colleges in the northeast.

  • Reply Andree |

    It’s a longer game, but I love Empire Builder. Kindof a cross between Monopoly and Ticket to Ride. They also have areas other than the US available (Japan, China and Europe) under different names.

  • Reply Ellen |

    My family has always been a puzzle family. We love sitting around the dining room or coffee tables all working. The harder the puzzle, the better. Watch your mouth is a fun one. but make sure you wash the mouthpieces. blah!
    Oh! Look up a card game called Taco Cat Goat cheese pizza.

    • Reply Kili |

      I also love the different variations /expansions from ticket to Ride (Europe / Germany /Asia….)

      I agree some games are definitely less fun with fewer people.
      Still fun at just two people I think are
      – Quirkle
      -Skip-Bo (Card game)
      – Rummikub
      – phase 10 (Card game)

      Our library also has a selection of games to borrow. Maybe yours does too?


  • Reply Kristina |

    I don’t know if 3 people is enough, but “Betrayal at the House on the Hill” could be fun

  • Reply Ruby |

    I’m a big board gamer and would recommend 7 wonders and Dominion as another 2 pretty easy to pick up entry level board games, similar to settlers and ticket to ride. Some more card games – I recommend sushi go, love letter, Hanabi, no thanks, and parade.

  • Reply Cathy |

    Enjoy the college visits. Your daughter’s school counselor should be able to advise you that as a Georgia high school student, she can qualify for in state tuition at Clemson if she chooses a major not available in the state of Georgia. That can really save you some money, in addition to all the scholarships they offer. Georgia Tech is so difficult to get into right now they average a 4.2 GPA and even with Hope and Zell scholarships, it will still cost $20,000 a year because the downtown housing prices are outrageous. Has she looked at Mercer University in Macon? They are smaller, but offer competitive scholarships. Their average GPA is 3.9. There are so many affordable in state colleges in Georgia that it’s worth looking at as many that fit her interests. Good luck!

  • Reply Jazz |

    Phase 10 and Rummikub are good ones for smaller groups. We have a strategy game called Blokus that is good with 3 people, and varies every time. Some that work better with more people (if you’re having guests over) are Cards Against Humanity and Code Words.

So, what do you think ?