Best Games for Gifting this Year #LLCGiftguide

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The holidays are here and if your gift list is longer than Santa’s, we’re here to help. The 2017 LLC Gift Guides will help you find the best gifts for everyone on your list leaving you time to spare and enjoy the season and bake an extra batch or two of cookies (we’re partial to chocolate)!  Today we’re looking at the best games for gifting, games make great gifts for families and kids alike.

best games for gifts

We are a gaming family, everyone from the littlest up to the adults love to play games of all varieties. Here are some that myself and other staff members have picked up or tried this year that would make great gifts for the game lovers on your list.

Best Games for 2017

best games


Top Trumps

This is a perennial favorite in our house, we have a shoebox full of them! This quick to learn card game comes in every variety or theme under the sun, if your child has a favorite there is probably a game for it!There are also larger versions that contain arena’s to hold more than one game.  This year at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair we even got a Shopkins lunch box filled with two different varieties of Shopkins game.

Top Trumps games start at $7.99 and are available at Amazon or locally at Learning Express Toys.




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best games


Ice Cool Game

We received a copy of this game at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. It’s brand new and winning awards all over the place for it’s ingenuity and design. The box opens up into a 3-D school where players can flick their penguins from room to room trying to catch fish and avoid the hall monitor. The game is fast and fun and kids of all ages will enjoy it.

By Brain Games and available on Amazon.




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Game of Trains

Another game we received from the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, Game of Trains, is a delightful, sturdy card game that is great for family game night. The game can be played by two to four players, and what’s great about this game is you don’t have to hold your cards in your hand — all of the game cards are played flat on the table, which is great for kids that may find it difficult to hold several cards at once. The goal of the game is to build a train with numbered cards, in ascending orders. But be careful — there are cards that contain special “abilities” or powers — which can serve to your advantage or your opponent’s disadvantage. Jennifer thinks the artwork on the cards is impressive, and this unique game of logic, and a little luck, is sure to be a hit with families. This game is recommended for players age eight and older.

By Brain Games and available on Amazon.


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Last year, we introduced you to Klask in our 2016 Kids Holiday Wish List:Games. This year we bring you Bonk, also from the makers or Klask. If you love Klask, then Bonk will not disappoint the game players in your family. The goal of this game is to knock a wooden ball into your opponent’s goal. However, it takes precision, patience and a steady hand to be successful. This game is recommended for players age eight and older, and it can be played by two or four players at once. We (Jennifer’s family) love the sturdy construction and the simplicity of this exciting skill game.

By Marektoy and available on Amazon.



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Not Parent Approved: A Card Game for Kids, Families and Mischief Makers

If you’ve ever wished for a version of Cards Against Humanity, that was, say, a bit more family friendly, Jennifer has the game for you — Not Parent Approved: A Card Game for Kids, Families and Mischief Makers. Be forewarned that this game is rated for tweens and young teens (ages eight and older), and contains subject matter that is incredibly amusing to that age group but may not be age-appropriate for younger children. This is a game for a tween or teen game night or a slumber party — just make sure you have plenty of napkins available in case someone spits out their snack in a fit of laughter.

By Not Parent Approved, LLC and available on Amazon.


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Geometry Strategy

This award-winning game just looks cool to play, and will brighten the day of anyone who is hooked on chess-like, challenging strategy games. This game is perfect for your middle school math addict, or elementary-aged advanced math lover. Advertised for players ages 12 and older, some reviewers noted it can be played by younger kids as well. I (Jennifer) love the bright colors and array of playing pieces of this game, and the fact that geometry concepts are incorporated into play in a way that makes it very fun.

By Bright Games and available on Amazon.


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Hip Hop Charades

A Chicago-based label introduced this game where teams act out hip-hop lingo such as “bye Felicia,” “butt-dial” and “mic-drop.” This game is designed for players age 13 and older, and is a fun, creative pop-culture take on the classic game of charades. It’s a great group party game. Each card in the deck of 300 contains a clue and also lists the prohibited “violation words.” The game is best played with four or more people.

By Just Play Entertainment and available online.



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Build or Boom

Build or Boom is something we tried at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and is on our preschoolers Christmas list. This two player game is recommended for ages 4 and older and looks great for mixed aged families. Each person has the same pieces and is trying to build a structure to match the card. When you finish you squeeze the dynamite to blow up your opponents.  it’s quick and fun and will lead to lots of laughs.





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Okay this is not a new game and I’m sure I (Melissa) have mentioned it at least 50 times but it’s a family favorite that we all play (ages 6 and up). Carcassonne is a tile game where you build villages and there are so many reprints and expansions! It’s been around a long time but Gamers World in Gurnee Mills has this Big Box with all of them in it! My minimalist heart sang just to have fewer boxes!  if your family loves Catan gives this a try, it’s a fast learn and can be an even faster game.






What are you favorite games to gift this year?

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Disclosure: Some links provided in this story are affiliate links. Little Lake County will earn a portion of sales made through these links and use them to run the site. Thank you for clicking!

We received samples of some featured products in order to facilitate the reviews mentioned in the story. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Placement in this guide was not paid for.

Gurnee Mills is a paid advertising partner of Little Lake County.

About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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