Coming up with games for long car rides was a staple of my childhood. Growing up, my family always drove to our vacation destination. No matter what age you are, 17 hours in a crammed car is no one’s cup of tea. These are some fun games for long car rides you can play the next time you take a long trip.
1. License Plate Game
My siblings and I loved the license plate game. The goal is to search passing cars’ license plates in order to find every letter of the alphabet. You start with “a” and work your way to “z.” The first person to find every letter wins. I find this game for long car rides great because it keeps you active and aware of your surroundings.
2. Umbrella Game
“I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring...” If you know this sentence, then you know how to play the umbrella game. The key is to make sure someone in the car doesn’t. Each person must say the sentence and add something that they would bring on the picnic. You can only bring something if you say the word “um” between “bring” and whatever your item is. For example, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring...um....a hat” works, while “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring a hat” doesn’t.
3. Alphabet Game
The alphabet game is another classic one that I love. Working your way through the alphabet, you have to be creative. Each letter gets a female and male name, a hometown and a job. For example, “A my name is Ally and my husband’s name is Alfred. We come from Alabama and we sell apples.” Then you move on to the next letter. “B my name is Brianna and my husband’s name is Bryan. We come from Bermuda and we sell bongos.” It gets tricky when you get to X and Z for sure!
4. Celebrity Game
Can you name a celebrity both real and fictional? Someone starts by saying a name and the next person chimes in with a celebrity whose first name starts with the first letter of the last celebrity’s last name. For example, Kate Middleton...Michael Jackson...John F. Kennedy...and so on! No repeats though!
5. Storytelling Game
If you’re in storytelling mode, then this game is for you! Someone starts by telling one sentence of a story. Each person needs to add one sentence to the plot as you work your way through the story. Where will your story take you?
I just learned about this game but it’s pretty unique when it comes to games you can play on long car rides. One person says an unfortunate statement such as, “Unfortunately, we forgot to book a hotel.” Another player counters with a positive like, “Fortunately, I brought a tent.” You can get pretty creative when it comes to this game so let your imagination run wild!
7. I Spy
What would a list of car games be without the unforgettable “I Spy”? On your turn, you say, “I spy with my little eye something...blue.” The players then need to guess what you saw that was blue. Whatever the color is, this game is great for young kids.
Playing games in the car can be a great way to pass the time. In fact, tomorrow I leave for a 6-hour drive to VA and I might just play these games for myself. What are some other games you can play?