7 Games to Pick up for the Holidays in the Hudson Valley

Ready to get competitive at winter gatherings? Here are the best new family-friendly games according to local toy pros.

Hudson Valley recommendations are objective, unbiased, and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

When the holiday season rolls around, there’s nothing quite like rounding up family and friends for an afternoon of fun and games. While Monopoly and Scrabble are longtime classics, these newer games are worth a test run as well. Read on for seven top picks from Hudson Valley pros.

Big Boss

Ages 10+ • 2–6 players

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Launch companies and invest in new industries to earn capital. Buy shares of burgeoning businesses and reap the rewards of lucrative mergers. If you play your cards right, you’ll forge a legacy worthy of the title “Big Boss.” —Jean Michel, co-owner of Megabrain Comics, Rhinebeck

Shout It Out

Ages 8+ • 2 or more players

Fast-paced and chaotic! In this game, players draw category and letter cards. Vie to be the team to say the most words in a category before the timer runs out! —Elena Rose


Ages 8+ • 2 or more players

Similar to “Pie Face,” in this high-energy game, you take turns rolling two dice: one to determine if you can skip your turn, and the other to see how many times you have to shake the soda can. After shaking, pull the tab—if you get sprayed, you’re out! The last dry player wins. —Elena Rose, owner of Land of Oz Toys, Rhinebeck

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Ages 8+ • 2–4 players

Animals are wearing disguises and hiding in various places; your job is to figure out who is hiding, what they are wearing, and where they are. It’s a game for super sleuths trying to suss out hilarious suspects like “Paulie the pigeon wearing a mustache at the pier.” —Rebecca Rothstein, owner of Little Pickles, Red Hook

Phone Escape Room

Ages 8+ • 4–8 players

Instead of going to an actual escape room, lock up your phone in a cage and try to get it back. In this game, players have to work together to complete tasks, answer questions, and solve riddles to unlock the cage. There’s also an adults-only version, “Wine Escape Room,” where you lock up a bottle instead. —Elena Rose

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Really Loud Librarians

Ages 8+ • 2 or more players

You need to think fast in this word-shouting board game. Start by drawing a category card. Your team will then yell words from that category that begin with a given letter. Move along the track every time you get a word right and race against your opponents to win. —Jean Michel
Wonder woods game

Wonder Woods

Ages 8+ • 2–5 players

It’s mushroom-hunting season in the utopian wonder woods—who can forage the most varieties? Players will delight in the adorable wooden morels, chanterelles, parasol, and porcini as they collect them and hopefully win the most points. —Rebecca Rothstein

Related: The Museum at Bethel Woods Is One of the Best in the U.S.

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