Late Night Frivolity

Last March I wrote about the delicious evening meals enjoyed on our annual ski trip and the fellowship that endures around the table. This tradition also includes a post-dinner game night. Over the years, we’ve engaged in scavenger hunts, intense Pictionary matches, unforgettable charades and high-tech Olympics.

Red Team responding to Quiz Show

As a group, we’re eternally grateful to Jenny, our Mistress of Gaming. Each year, despite her abundant schedule, Jenny works to plan an evening of kid entertainment complete with awards and prizes as well as some fun for the grown-ups. Tonight after a wonderful meal from Chef Lee, we watched the kids break into three teams for It’s a Wonderful World.

The first stop on the evening program was at the dinner table where kids and adults who forgot to bring poetry scratched out haiku that related to our theme. There were lots of topics up for grab including endangered species, composting, recycling, and bringing peace. Those who wrote a poem or song at home in advance were off the hook.

The actual game night began with the anointing of Father Earth who received the “I Found My Roots” award for his outstanding performance in the 2010 Charades. Father Earth kicked off the reading of the verses where the poetic talent of the group was exposed. Here are a couple of samples:

Emmy’s Poem

We spread peace to all

First, we find peace in ourselves

Then, give it to others.


Tanner’s Haiku

Don’t pollute the world

Do not throw trash on the ground

Let’s all start right now.

The kids broke into three pre-designated teams – red, green and yellow – for a bit of trivia. All teams got the assignment to create a short skit that answered the question, “What do you wish was different in order for the world to be a more wonderful place?”

Then each team got three questions (orchestrated in advance for maximum success) such as “Name at least two foods within each of the following categories that are good for you to eat; proteins, carbohydrates, fats.” Upon finishing the Quiz Show, the scavenger hunt began. The teams collected 15 creepy crawlers that were hidden around the ski house to be used as currency with the Survivor Guy.

Next stop, rotation through six stations:

  • Survivor Guy – Turn in the bugs they found on the scavenger hunt for sour neon worms that they must eat.
  • Mount Everest – Become a sherpa. Carry a teammate up the stairs and on the way down, pick up trash left by other climbers.
  • Green Grocer – Taste a strange food sample and guess what it is and where it comes from. We used sugar cane, kiwano melon, and rutabaga.
  • Planet Theatre Playhouse – Draw an eco-related scenario from a deck of cards and then perform it as improv.
  • There’s an App for that – Design an iphone app on a storyboard and present to the venture capitalist. The better idea gets more Earth Bucks.
  • Crocodile Swamp – Jump rope over the crocodile swamp to get a clue and jump back. The clues lead to answers about the wetlands.

Then they visit the Whole Earth Store and cash out their Earth Bucks for recycled toys or planet friendly gadgets.

Whew! What I love about this first and foremost is being amongst friends but the creativity and inspiration is always memory-building. Although we do this as part of our annual ski trip, there’s nothing that would prevent anyone from orchestrating a game night for friends and neighbors.

Jenny’s Entertainment Evenings
Serves up to 40
  • Select a fun and current theme
  • Create stations and activities based upon the number of adults that will be present
  • Build the teams ahead of time so that siblings are split up and that there is a wide range of ages on each team
  • Send out homework or assignments in advance – in this case, we were asked to write a poem and to bring gently used toys for prizes.
  • Engage a couple of kids or adults to brainstorm the stations.
  • On the day before or morning of the event, make signage for each station and figure out the flow of the event according to the floor plan
  • Finalize the flow of the evening and confer with others so that they understand the plan

One great thing about an invented game night like this is that no one knows if it doesn’t go exactly as planned. Be flexible. Have fun. Laugh a lot. Take pictures.

Leave a comment


  1. Agrigirl,

    Thank you so much for sharing your love of Mother Nature and the simplicity yet deep profound potency of spending quality time together enjoying games. This is what truthfully turns the world around and around.

    Just imagine, if the leaders of our states and nations played charades, fish and ’21’. There would be alot less aggravation!

    Speaking of which, my favorite game was “Aggravation”. Does anyone wanna play? The game of course 🙂

    Cheers! To good gaming! And of course, good eats!


  2. Lisa H

     /  March 22, 2011

    What a fantastic evening! Very inspirational. The fact that both kids and adults are included makes it all the more fun and memorable.

  3. That’s a fabulous idea, nice for the kiddies school social evenings, going to pass it on!

  4. What a great idea! There is obviously a lot of work going into it, but what rewards it brings!

  5. Amazing: The most inventive event I have heard of for some time! (I might have to pilfer some ideas :-D)

  6. Awesome night. Jenny’s ideas are terrific.

    Thanks for sharing them with us, Tammy.

  7. What a great way to create a community with awareness, goodness and examples of proactive behaviour. Having these pockets of community growing and expanding outward, like this, lifts the evolutionary status of our world, Tammy. Many thanks.

    • Yes, our goal is that the kids leave with a few more fun facts in their tool belts – sure hope it’s moving us all forward.

  8. Aw, this is so lovely! Over the past few years, my family and I have played word games at fancy restaurants because my 11-year-old cousin is in attendance. It kinda makes the night more fun, even for we adults 😛

  9. awww, how cute! Looks like such a good time!

  10. What are the popular games for adults these days? I hear alot of talk about a particular one for women getting together as a group and playing once every two weeks or so. What fun that is!


    • I think you are referring to something called BUNCO. I have never played nor seen it played. I grew up with parents who played bridge or pinnocle (sp?). Sometimes I see women in the coffee shop playing Mah Jong.

  11. Really inspirational. I’m sure you had a great time. Makes me recall my school days and a certain environmental studies professor who taught us so much more about our environment through little activities and games than what she did through the scheduled lectures.

    And till today, everytime I plant a tree, choose paper bags over polythene, or carry an eaten apple half a kilometer in my hand just because there is no dustbin, I think of her. Through her small activities, she gave us the largest of lessons, for life.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Sally Mom

     /  March 23, 2011

    Just wonderful and inspirational. Another blog I will copy and share with all my young family friends. Such a treat and brings back “laughing memories” Thank you for sharing!

  13. Bunco is the one. So popular amongst the soccer moms. I think it has something to do with margaritas ( LOL ) . I miss the game nights. That is an idea for the Single Adult Ministry I am involved with. See what you do Tammy, I now have the bug to orchestrate a fun game/dinner night with the adults. 🙂

  14. You’re an inspiration Tammy. You’re sending the gears in my head turning about what I can do with my kids {when I have a family} in order to engender in the a sense of responsibility to the planet, but also a can-do spirit. That there are creative solutions to the problems we face and we shouldn’t resort to negativity.

    I loved this story, thank you for sharing, and beautiful haiku’s!

    • Ollin, you can do something similar with a bunch of friends too. We put a tag on everyone’s back that has something to do with the environment and ask yes/no questions until we discover what or who we are. It’s a lot of fun.

  15. Kath (My Funny Little Life)

     /  March 25, 2011

    Hahaha, I want to do the Crocodile Swamp! 😀 I love the idea – many adults would benefit if they could play and be like children for some time again!

  16. Wow I imagine that does take quite a bit of organization! But sounds like a lot of fun!

  17. Wow! Creativity gone wild. I love it. The kids must love you.

  18. Inspired gaming! Creativity, learning, and fun, all rolled together.
    I love it.

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