The family that plays together stays together. But if that means another yawn-filled round of cribbage, perhaps you need to change your game. Start by gifting modern diversions from Marbles the Brain Store.
If all those numbers in sudoku puzzles give you the shakes, try a less intimidating alternative. The concept (filling in a grid) is the same, only you arrange colored marbles on a portable wooden board.
Ball of Whacks, $35
Fidgety friends will love manipulating 30 sturdy magnetic pyramids that can be fixed together and taken apart to create a multitude of shapes and designs. Perfect for procrastinators.
Challenges, challenges. To play the sleek wooden game of strategy and wit, teammates select pieces for you to group according to characteristics (color, height, shape, consistency). It’s Mensa approved and smarty-pants loved.
Tile-obsessed gamers (that means you, Bananagrams monger) go nuts for the brainteaser. Flip letter tiles at breakneck pace until you form words of three letters or more and call them out before your competitors.
Invention Game, $25
A party icebreaker if we ever saw one. Analyze illustrations of actual crazy inventions submitted to patent offices and write down what you think they are. The person closest to the truth wins, and everybody cracks up.
Marbles the Brain Store, 55 East Grand Avenue, between Rush Street and Wabash Avenue (312-494-7769). For other locations, go to marblesthebrainstore.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Marbles the Brain Store