Boxing Day Boredom-busters

Boxing Day Boredom-busters For The Whole Family

Published 18th December 2020
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Christmas is a joyful time of year - but something that’s decidedly less joyful is the weather! Sometimes we’re lucky enough to get snow over Christmas, but much more likely is a combination of bitter winds, lashing rain and stinging hailstones. Though you may venture outside for an hour or two to walk off your Christmas dinner, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time indoors over the festive period.

Spending a lot of time cooped up indoors with your family can lead to cabin fever if you’re not careful and, as we’re not able to meet in large groups this Christmas, finding a way to battle the boredom seems trickier than ever! 

Luckily, we’ve got a solution: great board and card games that the whole family can enjoy! With just a few fun board games to hand, you can banish the boredom for the whole holiday season. More than just busting boredom, playing Christmas board games is a great way to spend quality time with your family. But, with hundreds of board games made every year, choosing the right one can feel more like a chore than a cheerful activity. So read on, and we’ll help narrow down your options so you can pick up the perfect board games for you and your family - just in time for Boxing Day, too!

Whip out the Classics

family playing monopoly

In your search for a boredom-busting Boxing Day board game, it’s a great idea to start with the classics. There are loads of classic games out there to choose from and almost everyone’s got their childhood favourite. Buy one of these crowd-pleasing classics and introduce a new generation to the wonderful world of monopolising the housing market or risking defeat in Napoleonic warfare! 

One advantage of playing classic Christmas board games is that almost everyone’s familiar with the rules, so you can get to playing faster. There’s a risk that these classics go stale though, so to stop that from happening, some game designers have remixed classic board games with new rules to spice up an old recipe. This can be as simple as adding new suspects in a murder mystery or as complicated as allowing you to cheat your opponents out of their hard-won housing! With so many fresh varieties of family favourites to choose from, you can rediscover all the best classic board games with a brand new twist that’s sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Help each other

roll the dice

Classic board games are undoubtedly enjoyable, but their competitive nature could raise family drama, which is no fun on Boxing Day! If you’d rather work together, you can play cooperative board games instead. Unlike a classic board game where you play against each other, cooperative board games require all players to work together in order to beat a dangerous foe or survive in a hostile environment. 

Whether you’re rescuing treasure from a sinking tropical island or fighting off frostbite and madness as you climb a haunted mountain, either every player wins or no one does, making these the best kind of Christmas board games to play with sore losers!

Tell a Story

ticket to ride the board game

Cooperative board games have thematic scenarios, but you can’t tell a story with them. In recent years, board game developers have attempted to counter the rise of video games, role-playing games and other story-based adventure games with a new type of board game that puts storytelling at the forefront.

Often called ‘narrative games’, these boredom-busters are cooperative games designed to be played in campaigns of two or more rounds. If you and your family win the first round, you’ll unlock bonuses for the next - but lose a round and the next stage will be far trickier to complete! 

Some of these consequences are quite extreme: take too long to clear a dungeon of fantasy monsters and your characters could meet an unpleasant end, or manage to bring supplies to a struggling post-apocalyptic city and you could permanently change the layout of the game board. With an endless amount of exhilarating scenarios to discover in an ever-changing environment, these are the most fun and intense board games around!

Before you buy a narrative game, a word of warning: as great as they are for proving to your teens that board games can still be fun, they can be quite complicated to play. If you’re looking for family board games suitable for young children, you might want to consider one of the other types of games on our list.

Engage your Brain


If narrative games don't spark your interest, perhaps a brain-teasing board game would? There are plenty of fun board games that will put your knowledge to the test and bend your family’s minds. Become a quiz master and wrack brains with torturous questions on geography, biology, history and more with a classic trivia quiz, or get active and hop around in desperation as you sketch or act out famous pop culture scenes to clue your family in to the right answer - the choice is yours!

These sorts of Christmas board games can be a great mental exercise tool for younger children. From increasing their knowledge to widening their vocabulary, the right brain training board game can provide some extra mental stimulation over the Christmas holidays!

Hide your motives

playing pieces

The next category of family board games tests an entirely different kind of intelligence. Rather than relying on your IQ, you’ll need to use your intuition and people skills to uncover the threat among your family. We’re, of course, talking about hidden role games! At first, these fun board games play just like cooperative games, with all the players working together, but there’s a catch: at least one of your family is a turncoat! 

Whether they’re a killer werewolf stalking a fantasy village or an undercover enforcer for a dystopian regime of the near future, the traitorous player will have to work against their peers, foiling their plans while remaining hidden - they may even try to shift blame onto their innocent opponents to snuff out suspicion! These great family board games rely on trust and duplicity. Be careful though, playing them too much might make you paranoid!

Play your Cards Right

playing cards

If none of the above has piqued your interest, ditch the game board for a deck of playing cards instead! Just like board games, there’s a dizzying amount of card games out there, with tons of exciting varieties and remixes just waiting to be discovered. Plus, when it comes to versatility, you simply can’t bear a humble deck of playing cards! With a pack of these to hand, you can get stuck into a whole host of famous card games, like rummy, cribbage, whist - whatever you can think of! Add some poker chips to the pot and you can enjoy games like Texas hold ‘em, blackjack and baccarat, without the dangers of gambling.

Everyone has at least one card game up their sleeve but if you ever run out of ideas, there are dozens of weird, wonderful and rare card games out there, the rules of which are just a Google search away. Besides, nothing would attract attention on Boxing Day quite like the phrase "fancy a game of Egyptian Ratscrew, anyone?"

Looking to pick up a brand new game to try this year? Or wanting to rediscover an old classic from your youth? Check out our extensive selection of board games and card games and find your very own family favourite for the festive season! Just remember: no cheating! Unless you can get away with it, that is…