Sometimes you need more than just a good cup of tea and a thrilling book to keep you occupied in the winter.  Try hosting a hygge game night with your friends!

Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book of Hygge, explains that “hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy” and “coziness of the soul” to “cocoa by candlelight.” While hygge is a year-round concept in Denmark, it’s becoming a more commonly adopted practice to help others around the world get through the dark winter months.”

Games are an essential element of the Danish concept of hygge because playing games are about spending casual, quality time with family and friends. For many adults, playing games of any kind can become nostalgic, reminding us of when we were kids.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” –Edith Sitwell

These tips will help you throw the coziest game night gathering.

Tip 1: Timing

Consider getting your family and friends all together for a skate in the park or an afternoon at the sledding hill before your night in. That way you can enjoy some of the limited sunshine and have a chance to work up an appetite for your yummy creations.

Tip 2: Food and Drinks

When planning a game night in, try to keep the food simple and the drinks warm. Keep with warm appetizers and treats that can keep in a crock, that way your guests keep going back to them all night long. Your drinks should also be served warm, beverages like minty hot cocoa or warm cider is the best on a cold night. Similar to food, these warm drinks can be kept toasty in a carafe or crock pot for your whole party. If warm drinks aren’t your thing, consider making a flavorful punch. If there are kids around, you can even set up a s’mores station so they can have some treats of their own!

Tip 3: Environment

While decorations aren’t mandatory for a nice night in, it is fun to take time to spice up your home. Supply ample cuddly blankets, make sure your couch pillows are fluffed, and have some light music playing in the background. Consider putting warm, winter scented candles around your home. (Cinnamon and evergreen aren’t just for Christmas time!) If you have a fireplace, light a fire and enjoy the crackling of the wood all night long.

Tip 4: Game Ideas

Everyone loves a great board game – Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Scattergories, Taboo, or Cluedo – Downton Abby Edition.  But if you are playing with some friends with short attention spans, you might want to keep the Monopoly box in the closet.  Consider playing a few rounds of an easy-going card game or setting up a game of charades. Even playing a fun game of “Would You Rather” can keep the laughter rolling.