Have you recently moved in? One of the first things you must do as a condo owner is to get to know the people in your condo community.
Hosting a casual game night that encourages interactions is the fastest way to form friendships with your new neighbors. If it’s planned well, people will easily warm up to you and vice versa. Here are the ways to pull it off without much effort and stress.
1. Plan your venue, schedule, and guest list
Where and when will you hold game night? Ideally, your condo unit makes a perfect venue because you’re the host. But if it’s not big enough to accommodate at least five guests or it isn’t fully furnished yet, look for a bigger, more comfortable space within the condo premises.
Consider using the sky lounge, roof deck or other amenities of DMCI properties where you and your neighbors can comfortably sit on the couch and spend the night playing games and enjoying the impressive city skyline. That’s the convenience of living in a condo community in the Philippines.
Set a schedule that will work for everyone. A weekend night is the best time to gather your new neighbors for bonding over games and food.
You also need to know the number of guests you’ll invite so that you can choose your venue and plan your budget accordingly.
You don’t want to plan too much, though. That will take the fun out of game night, as you’ll quickly get anxious and frustrated when things don’t go as planned.
2. Invite your neighbors
Once you’re done planning for game night, it’s time to invite your neighbors. Approaching your neighbors personally, tell them you’d love to spend time with them for a casual meet-and-greet over games, food, and drinks. Ask them also to bring their favorite games. They’ll definitely feel special and appreciate your gesture, whether they can make it or not.
3. Pick a variety of games ahead
Decide on your game lineup beforehand rather than waste your guests’ time choosing games on game night. Consider these things:
- Age and personality of your guests – Are most of them introverts or extroverts? Do they belong in the same age group or they vary in age?
- Having clean fun – Games that are too intrusive, wild or daring are awkward and inappropriate for neighbors who are meeting for the first time. Go for wholesome games instead.
- Game complexity – Choose games that are familiar to many and have short and easy-to-understand instructions.
Based on these considerations, pick the kind of games you think are perfect to get to know your guests better and will draw fits of laughter. Here are the best ones to play for game night:
- Card games – Pusoy Dos, Tong-its, and Pekwa
- Board games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Dominoes, and Cranium
- Icebreakers – Two Truths and a Lie, Guess Who, and Toilet Paper Game
- Video games – Wii sports games, Just Dance, Dance Central, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band
- Team games – Charades, Taboo, and Pictionary
- Mobile party game apps – Heads Up! (similar to the popular Pinoy Henyo game), Reverse Charades, Sketch Party, and Party Doodles
4. Prepare your place
If you’ll be holding the party in your own space, it has to be spacious and comfortable enough for your guests to sit, stand, and move around. Here are some tips to make your condo a great venue for game night:
Clean your living room and restroom. Nothing turns off people more than a new neighbor who lives in a messy condo.
Be sure there’s enough seating for everyone.
Play music in the background for a more upbeat gaming experience. You can find playlists for game nights online.
For board games and card games, use your coffee table instead of the dining table. Sitting on the couch, pillows or bean bags around the coffee table is more casual than sitting around the dining table.
For other types of games that need more space, move the coffee table against the wall.
5. Serve snacks!
When there’s free food, guests will surely show up! Eating together before and during the games is part of the fun experience with your condo community. Serve bite-sized snacks that are easy to prepare and eat like chips and dips, pizza, and popcorn. Don’t forget the desserts like cupcakes, cookies or donuts!
6. Get your party drinks ready before your guests arrive
Buy drinks several hours in advance and keep them chilled in the fridge. Getting drinks while the game is going on will just disrupt the flow and make it less fun for everyone.
Offer a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Your safest bets are beer, iced tea, soda, and cocktail punch. Avoid serving strong alcoholic drinks, lest you’ll find yourself dealing with an unruly drunk guest and removing vomit stains from your couch.
7. Manage the flow of your game night
You don’t want the party to start too late, drag on for hours or end way too soon. As the host, you need to manage time wisely. Game nights usually last for 3 to 5 hours, depending on the number of games played and the guests’ schedule.
Serve the food and drinks first for socializing with your guests while waiting for others to arrive. Then move on to playing games after 45 minutes to an hour. To end the game night, tell everyone when you’re about to play the last game. This will save your guests from the awkwardness of saying goodbye in the middle of a game.
8. Keep your kiddie guests preoccupied
As much as you’d want your game night to be an adults-only affair, it’s inconsiderate to prevent your guests from bringing their children. Expect young visitors to tag along with their parents.
Things will get rowdy when your little guests are hungry, bored or sleepy. You don’t want your parent-guests to be distracted during your party, so allot a space for the kids to eat play, or nap. Offer kid-friendly snacks and prepare toys, coloring books, and other kiddie stuff to keep the young ones preoccupied while the adults are busy playing games.
9. Enjoy your game night!
The whole point of hosting a game night with your new neighbors is to get to know them better and enjoy your time with them. That won’t happen if you’re too busy attending to your guests’ needs, taking pictures, and uploading them on social media. You don’t have to host all night. Join the games, laugh with your new friends, and your guests will surely have more fun!