Fun Group Games that are Perfect for Inside at the Cabin


Sometimes at the cabin, you need something fun to do indoors.  Whether it’s because the weather outside isn’t cooperating, or maybe it’s just dark out and it’s time to enjoy some indoor fun.

Whatever your reason for needing some indoor activities, we’ve got you covered.  We have a whole list here of fun indoor games that don’t require any equipment.  These are some of my favorite games for playing inside the cabin.  They’re best with a group, but even if it’s just your family a lot of these will work just fine.  So read on for instructions on how to play some of the best indoor group games ever devised.

The Sign Game

This is a really fun game that takes a few minutes to get rolling but leads to lots of laughs.

Here’s how it works.

Everyone picks a sign.  This should be a face that they make, an action they do with their hands, or some combination.  It should be something they can do very quietly.  Everybody needs their own unique sign.  Go around the room and take turns showing everyone else your sign.  Pay attention, you’ll need to remember at least some of these signs.  The more you remember, the better you’ll be at this game.

Now that everyone has a sign and they’ve been shared, one person needs to be “it”.  Everyone will sit or stand in a circle surrounding the person that’s “it”.  We like to do this in a room with chairs so everyone can sit and enjoy playing the game while the person that’s “it” stands in the middle.

For the first round, decide on someone to start.  For future rounds, the person who was just “it” will start.  The “it” person covers their eyes and steadily counts to 10. While they count, the person selected to start will begin passing the sign around the room.  When the “it” person opens their eyes, the game begins.

You pass the sign by doing the sign of someone else.  They receive the sign by doing their own sign and then pass it to someone else by doing that person’s sign.

Once you do your own sign to accept it, you have it until you pass it AND that person accepts it.

The objective for the person in the middle is to figure out who has it at any given time.  It they point at you and you have it then the round is over and you go to the middle.  Another round starts with the person who was “it” before starting while the new “it” person stands in the middle, covers their eyes, and counts to 10.

It takes a few minutes to catch on, and it might take a few rounds before you remember more than a sign or two.  But as you get used to the signs and how the game is played, it can be fun to taunt the person in the middle by doing their sign at time.  Just don’t do your own sign or the signs of anyone else in the room unless you are the one who has it.  Messing with the person in the middle is fun, but you should only do your own sign when you’re accepting it and the signs of other players when you’re passing to them.

Mafia

We’ve literally played this game for hours before.  There are several variants on this game depending on how many people you have, but the nice thing is it can be played with nothing but a few scraps of paper.

For this game, you really need a minimum of about 6 people.  Here are the basics.

There is a scrap of paper for each person playing the game.  One each scrap of paper will be a single letter.

  • T – Townsperson
  • M – Mafia

For 6 or 7 players there should be 2 mafia.  For every 2-3 players above that, one should be mafia.  So if you have 9 you’ll have 3 mafia and 6 townspeople.  This is really fun in large groups because you can add in other characters too.  One person will need to be the narrator.

The game starts out with the narrator telling everyone to “go to sleep”.  At this point, everyone closes their eyes.

The narrator can be as poetic as they want in their storytelling.  It’s fun if they make up fun stories to narrate the game.  At this point the narrator will ask the mafia to awake.  Those with the M on their paper will open their eyes silently.  They will point at one other person in the room to “whack”.  Again, this should be silent, so it usually works with one mafia pointing at someone and the other either shaking their head no or nodding in agreement.

Once they’ve selected someone, the narrator tells the mafia to go to sleep.  Then, they tell everyone to awaken.  Everyone opens their eyes and the narrator proceeds to tell how one of the townspeople was “eliminated” during the night.  They can even make up a story about how it happened.

Now the whole group begins a discussion about who they think is the mafia.  This discussion will result in the majority deciding who to blame.  Once the majority vote is decided, that person is now out.  They then reveal who they were, townsperson or mafia.

This goes on until either all the mafia is revealed or all the townspeople have been eliminated.

In this game, more people makes for longer games that can be a ton of fun.  But if you want to shake it up a bit, you can add other characters.

  • D – Detective.  The Detective gets to open their eyes after the mafia has done their work at night and point to a person.  The narrator will shake their head no or nod yes indicating whether or not that person is mafia.  The detective can use this information however they like, but if they reveal that they are the detective it’s likely that the mafia will eliminate them the next night.
  • A – Angel.  The angel gets a turn to open their eyes after the detective.  The angel can pick one person to save that round.  If the person they point to happens to be the person that the mafia chose to whack, then that person is saved from the mafia for this round.

You can see how these variants can add a lot of fun to the game, but they really only work if you have at least 9 people or so.

As you play, you’ll get a good feel for about how many mafia, townspeople, and other characters you should have to enjoy a well-balanced game.

Two Truths and a Lie

This is a great game for getting to know people better.  It works with people you’ve never met as well as people you’ve known for years.  There’s always something about someone that you never knew.

Here’s how it works.  You take turns.  Everyone in the room gets a chance.  One by one, you come up with two things about you that are true, and one that is a total lie.  You tell the two truths and the lie in any order that you want.  (If everyone saves the lie for last it gets obvious).

Everyone else in the room gets to guess which one is the lie.

It’s fun to come up with fairly obscure things about yourself that people in the room aren’t likely to know.  In the process, they get to learn something interesting about you and you get to enjoy trying to trick them with a believable lie.  After people guess, you reveal which one was the lie.

You could score this and have everyone write their guess on a piece of paper.  In my opinion, that gets too complicated.  It’s more fun just to talk about it as a group and let the prevailing guess be “the guess”.  It’s not about a score or winning.  This one is all about having a good time and getting to know each other.

After your turn is up, the next person goes until everyone has had a turn.

Truth or Dare

Most people have heard of this game before.  It’s actually rather simple.  It can be played in groups from 2 up to as many as you want.

Someone starts and either chooses another person in the group, or you can agree on an order to go in.  They ask that person “truth or dare?”  The person responds by either saying “truth” or by saying “dare”.  If they say “truth” then the first person gets to ask them any question and they have to answer it truthfully.  If they say “dare” then the first person gets to dare them to do something and they have to do it.  Once they’ve answered the question or performed the dare, then they get to ask the next person “truth or dare?”

You can see how a game of truth or dare can get out of hand.  So I recommend that you start the game by setting boundaries.  If there are limits on the types of questions to be asked or dares to be challenged, then set those before the game starts.  Refusing to participate in the middle of the game because you don’t like the question or the dare is no fun.  But it’s also important to stay safe.

This game, like many others here, can be a great way to have fun, let loose, and get to know more about each other.

In the Manner of the Adverb

This one usually leads to lots of laughs.

One person is selected to leave the room.  They’re “it”.  Everyone else stay behind while that person goes somewhere where they won’t hear the discussion going on with the rest of the group.

Everyone else stays behind and picks an adverb.  An adverb is a word that describes an action.  Most words ending in “ly” are adverbs.  It could be slowly, intelligently, coldly, whatever adverb you want.

When you’ve agreed on an adverb, someone goes and gets the person that’s “it”.  They return to the room and proceed to ask people in the room, one or more at a time, to act out some action “in the manner of the adverb.”  Then then act it out with the adverb dictating how they do it.

For example, let’s say the adverb is slowly.  I might say, “Sam, go grocery shopping in the manner of the adverb.”  Sam would then act out a short trip to the grocery store slowly.  Each action should only take a minute or less.  You don’t need to go crazy on the acting.  And some adverbs, like slowly, are really easy to guess.  But as you pick some more obscure or funny ideas, like “slothfully”, this game gets hilarious really fast.

Charades

Charades is a classic.  It can be played as one large group or in teams.  Here’s how it works.

If you play as one team, you just take turns and one player goes up in front of everyone and thinks of something to act out.  It can be the title of a book, movie, or song, or even the name of a famous person.  Pick something that people will actually be able to guess.

Now you get to act it out without saying anything and try to get people to guess.

Get people to figure out what it is by helping them determine the category first.  If it’s a book, you can act like you’re reading a book.  For a song, make an action of singing.  You get the idea.

If it’s two words, you can start by holding up 2 fingers.  That indicates the number of words.  Then, you can hold up 1 finger to indicate that it’s the first word you’ll act out now.

Now act it out.  You can go one word at a time, or try to act out the whole phrase.  However you want.  The first person to guess it wins and gets to go next.

If you want to play on teams, then you’ll need many options of things to guess already written out.  This works best if you have some printed off ideas that nobody in the group has seen before.  Then, you split into teams and the teams take turns going.  If their team can guess it within a certain time limit, then they get a point.  If not, the other team gets one chance to guess it and if they get it right they get a point.

Alternate between the two teams and choose a designated score or time at which the game will end.

Of course, you can vary these rules all you want.  It is your cabin.

Telephone

Yes, I’m talking about the game most of us probably played as a child.

It goes like this.  Everyone lines up or stands/sits in a circle.  One person begins by thinking up a phrase.  The longer and more odd the phrase the more fun it’ll probably be.  They quietly whisper this into the ear of the person next to them.

That person then whispers it in the ear of the person next to them.  Nobody gets to repeat what they said.  You have to do your best to hear it the first time and then repeat what you think was said into the ear of the person next to you.

When you get to the last person, they say aloud what they think they heard.  It’s fun to hear how mixed up these phrases can get.

Never Have I Ever

Here’s another great one for getting to know each other.

Everyone sits in a circle for this game.  One player then starts.  They begin by saying “never have I ever” followed by some action.  It could be anything.  Like “never have I ever shoplifted.”

What happens next is up to you.  Some play it as a drinking game.  Anyone who has ever done that thing has to take a drink at this point.

The less adult way to play it is to have one less seat than there are people in the game, like musical chairs.  The person saying “never have I ever” stands in the middle.  Then, when they say their line, anyone who has ever done that thing has to get up and find another chair.  The person in the middle tries to take one of the chairs that opened up and everyone else tries to find one too.

No sitting back down in your own chair.  You have to move.

Then, whoever is left standing is up next.  They come up with a new “never have I ever” and the gameplay continues.

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