Let’s set the scene: It’s the dead of winter, and snow is piling up. There’s a fire roaring in your cabin. You’re beat from scoring first and last chair, skinning up 8,000 feet of vertical, or climbing frozen waterfalls. It’s time for a beer (or two) and some fireside shenanigans. We picked five of our favorite games to help you fight cabin fever this winter.
Jenga National Parks Edition ($20)
Jenga is one of those rare games that are just as fun with your six-year-old as they are with your drinking buddies. This version adds a new element to the mix: each block contains an interesting fact about a different national park. And a portion of the proceeds go to the National Parks Foundation.
Outside Inside Backpack Mancala ($20)
Mancala is an ancient African game with numerous variations. The simple version involves capturing more stones than your opponent by moving them from the pit into your store. Some say the game is therapeutic; those people usually win. Outside Inside’s version is tiny, plastic, and built for backpacking (it weighs just five ounces).
Outside Inside Backpack Bocce Ball ($15)
Bocce is objectively one of the greatest lawn games ever, and with this set of foam balls you don’t even need a lawn. Any stretch of hallway carpet will do. Closest to the white ball wins. Don’t forget to play defense. It also makes a great stocking stuffer.
The Settlers of Catan ($44)
This is a board game of exploration, settlements, and survival. You barter and trade resources depending on what your settlements need. The goal: expansion. Sounds nerdy, but it’s addictive and has consumed many a winter night. There’s a portable version, too, if you’re backcountry-hut bound ($9).
Bananagrams Party Edition ($15)
This version of Bananagrams follows the original premise—try to complete a grid of words—but throws in some fun-loving adventure with 14 different Party Power tiles that can have you switching seats with an opponent or stealing their letters. It adds a healthy note of chaos to the game.