“Over the hills and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go!" If this statement has you dreading the inevitable follow up, “Are we there yet?” then keep reading. Your car doesn’t have to come equipped with the latest entertainment system to keep the backseat crew from getting bored. Check out this list of road trip games that are fun, electronic-free, and totally entertaining for the entire family!
Games That Get Your Creative Juices Going
1. While You Were Sleeping. Got a snoozing car-mate? Create a believable story that starts with, "While you were sleeping," to tell the sleeping passenger when they wake up. Assign all of the "awake" passengers a portion of the story to tell. To keep score, assign points to various reactions from the snoozer. For example, you could assign one point for every, "No way!" and two points for, "Are you sure?" Storytellers win points for various reactions. Fool the snoozer and every storyteller wins!
2. Fortunately/Unfortunately. Start this game by drawing inspiration from passing cars, landmarks, or the weather. One person starts a sentence with "fortunately," followed by something that is fortunate. The next person starts with "unfortunately," followed by something, well, unfortunate. The conversation goes something like…
- Person 1: Fortunately, I remembered to pack my rain poncho!
- Person 2: Unfortunately, it's raining toxic slime that'll melt right through your poncho.
- Person 3: Fortunately, I've been practicing my evasive slime maneuvers.
Go clockwise until someone fumbles. Three fumbles and you're out. Keep playing until only one person is left standing, er, sitting.
3. Two Truths and a Lie. This one's a campfire favorite and especially challenging when you play with family members. Each person says three statements. Two are true, one is false. Other players have to guess which one is false.
4. Go on a Picnic. A word picnic, that is! The first person starts the game by saying, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm taking…" something that starts with an "A." The second person repeats the sentence, including what the first person said, and adds something that starts with a "B." The game keeps going until someone fumbles or you (miraculously) reach the letter "Z."
5. Fictional Family. First, spot another vehicle and look at the people in the car. Take a good look and then create an imaginary backstory about the occupants. Are they former circus performers running away to open up their own nail salon? Is the mom secretly an animal activist, on her way to set the animals in Central Park Zoo free under the guise of a family vacation? This game is sure to lead to a car full of giggles!
Games to Show Off Your (Pop Culture) Smarts
6. Connecting Song Lyrics. One person starts with a line from one song, the next person tries to complete the sentence with another song. For instance: “Hey now, you're a rock star, get your game on go…shake it off!" (See what we did there? That was Smash Mouth's "All Star" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off!)
7. Actor/Movie Association. This one’s similar to the song lyrics game. First, name an actor or actress. The next person has to say a movie that actor was in, and the next person has to follow with an actor or actress that was in the named movie. The game goes back and forth until someone is stumped! If you have three people in the car, the game might start off like this:
- Person 1: Morgan Freeman
- Person 2: Bruce Almighty
- Person 3: Jim Carrey
- Person 1: Yes Man
- Person 2: Zooey Deschanel
Ready to put your movie know-how to the test? See how long you can keep our example going!
Games That Test Your Eyesight
8. The Alphabet Game. This one's a classic. Go through the alphabet by finding letters (in order) in signs and billboards. Once a business name or word has been said, it can't be repeated by anyone else. The first person to find words from A-Z wins. Make the game more challenging by making license plates off-limits.
9. Count the ______. Pick a category of things, like blue trucks, rest stop areas with playgrounds, or restaurants that sell hamburgers, and count them! This game's great for keeping little minds occupied as you're nearing your destination.
10. Cow Game. Need a good laugh? Draw an imaginary line through the length of the car, splitting it into sides. If you see a cow on your side, yell “Cows on my side!” One point for every cow on your side. Steal a point for every cow you see on the other side, if you can call it before the other person does!
11. The Farthest License Plate. This game tests both your eyesight (fingers crossed it's 20/20) and your geography skills. The goal is to find the license plate of a state that is the farthest away from where you are. For instance, if you were driving in Florida and spotted an Alaska license plate, you'd win! Put some time constraints on the game to increase the challenge. Maybe the game starts over every 2 minutes!
Games That Help You Get Local
12. Snack Challenge. This is a fun car game to start the moment you leave the driveway. The goal is to collect the most regional snacks. Each time you stop (bathroom break or gas station fill-up) find a local snack. Everyone gets to pick one snack and it has to be created within the region the stop is located. Whoever has the most snacks at the end of the road trip wins and gets to pick a snack of their choice to eat first!
13. Radio Roulette. Drive across the country and you'll experience a variety of radio stations—some boring, some crazy, and some downright entertaining! Choose a new radio station at random every 10 minutes. You may discover a whole new type of music that you can't live without! Or...you might end up wadding your socks up into ear plugs.
It’s easier to enjoy your time in the car if you can rest easy with what’s going on under the hood. Your local Firestone Complete Auto Care is a great place to get your car road-trip ready with the right services and products for your vehicle. As you gear up for wherever the holidays take you, stop by your local store for a safety inspection and follow Firestone Complete Auto Care on Facebook and Twitter for the latest road trip tips!