Every winter storm carries with it the risk of a power outage. I had my power go out around this same time last year, just as I was needing to start getting ready for the holidays. Now, how do you pass the time when the power is out? You can’t play video games, watch movies or mindlessly scroll through Twitter. And if your power goes out in the wintertime, then spending the time playing outdoors is a rather miserable experience.

Playing board games does not require any electricity. All that you need is light, a table and willing participants. Even though the old cliché is that board games lead to arguments and thrown game pieces, that’s only a cliché and not based on any universal human truth. In fact, the opposite is more often true. Board games make a wonderful bonding tool for families and groups of friends, with plenty of time for jokes, chatting and snacking in between turns.

Here is a list of five board games that I whole-heartedly recommend as the perfect way for families and friend groups to pass the time if the power goes out, or during holiday parties.

1. Villainous

A particular favorite. Each participant plays as a different Disney villain, such as Cruella de vil, Malificent, Dr. Facillier, and many more, with their own board and gameplay, while being able to thwart the other players. The first one to achieve their objective wins. There are also Marvel and “Star Wars” versions of the game.

2. Bananagrams

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Bananagrams is basically Scrabble without a board. A pouch of 144 tiles is dumped onto the table and the players form as many connected words as possible.

3. Apples to Apples

Lots of laughs. Apples to Apples players start out with seven red cards that feature nouns. A judge is selected and they play a green card that features an adjective. The other players have to convince the judge that their noun is the best match for the adjective.

4. Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is a trivia game. The players move a piece around a board, answering a question determined by the subject of the square they land on. For an added layer of fun there are special editions centered around specific topics such as sports, horror movies, The Beatles and dinosaurs.

5. Clue

An oldie but a goodie. Keep things fresh and new by playing other editions of the mystery game such as Master Detective, Haunted Mansion, Scooby Doo, “Star Wars,” “Bridgerton” and “Seinfeld.”

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