Shop Talk : Game night
The tease of warm weather last weekend did not inspire me to head outdoors. Instead, I continued my plans for indoor fun to pass the time. I was lucky enough to be invited to an indoors event last weekend: 15 women enjoying great food, wine, and the hospitality of our fabulous hostess, Leslie Look. We ranged from sales people, corporate managers, and real estate brokers, to teachers, nurses, health trainers and photographers. Our best moment was when we gathered together to play a game. Games have a way of bringing people together, letting you get to know each other, while laughing the night away. So why not head out, pick out a great game, and host your own evening of fun for all ages?
Great games can be had at a variety of Island shops. It could be as simple as a dice game to the long, intense board game Risk, a childhood favorite of mine. Vineyard Haven is the winner for the plethora of store options holding our most desired games.
The Toy Box on Beach Road says it all in its name alone. Here you can find a favorite game for your youngest to your 83-year-old father, who loves those traditional games you grew up on. Brickman's has a whole room devoted to games and toys, which is sure to please everyone. Rainy Day holds an upgraded version of the old favorite, Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The fresh version, Feed the Peanut to the Elephant ($13.95), will have toddlers giggling with joy.
Bunch of Grapes, while re-opening with a crisper, newly laid out floor plan, still has a few select games. Their leading seller Bananagrams ($14.95) was voted Game of the Year 2009 and is "the anagram game that will drive you bananas." Along with Bananagrams is Pairs in Pears, "a word game played with 4 alphabets" and Appletters, "the new domino game where you don't connect the dot's, you connect the letters".
For the young ones in your family, Kiddos and Riley's Reads provide whimsical games geared specifically to children. Bring them along and the shopping trip alone will be an enjoyable afternoon adventure.
Mardells Gifts wins as the game jackpot of the day. They have the popular new game Apples to Apples (our house favorite game night pick) at $35.99 and Uno Deluxe ($24), which offers everyone 10 and older equal enjoyment. For the younger set, junior versions of the classics Scrabble and Monopoly can be yours for $19. Hosting a poker night? You can outfit yourself with Poker Chip & Rack set ($22.99) that even has two decks of cards. Make life easy for yourself and add the card Shuffler for $14.99. Feeling adventuresome? The new Shut the Box game ($16.99) lets you "roll the numbers to win".
Luckily, each town holds at least one great game stop. At The Lazy Frog in Oak Bluffs it's hard not to leave with one of everything in the store, where Granite Hardware in Edgartown offers you the option to get several things crossed off your list while picking up your new game. I personally love their large selection of travel games, so you are not stuck having to play only when you are at home. Alley's General Store in West Tisbury is another awesome place where you can complete many shopping needs under one roof. Their game selection, just like their gifts, is an eclectic mix of old and new.
Remember, if you have a great shopping tip for your Island neighbors, send it in, including your name, so we can include it in next weeks column. Game on!