Gaming together as a family can help strengthen bonds as well as help kids practice taking turns. They learn the art of friendly competition and how to win and lose gracefully. These Seattle spots offer in-store pickup of games, but if you’re looking to venture out, they offer several activities and amusements on the premises, too.
Seattle-area game shops:
Located in Queen Anne, Blue Highway Games encourages everyone to “unplug and reconnect.” The shop carries board and card games from around the world, specializing in those that appeal to kids, families and enthusiasts.
Their extensive library contains hundreds of games — from puzzles and cards to chess and checkers. Guests can play at any time, including at the free Friday Game Night Meet Up or at the BHG Board Game Challenge. The challenge is held monthly, with a different game each time. Prizes are awarded for participation and players earn points toward yearly challenge awards. (Winners get their name on Blue Highway’s trophy wall!)
As a bonus, Ginger — the owners’ dog — makes occasional appearances on-site.
2203 Queen Anne Ave. N.
The staff at Meeples Games is well incorporated into the gaming community, and it includes experts in board games, collectible card games and role-playing games, helping visitors to find a niche. This West Seattle staple features a café, in case visitors get hungry between moves, as well as the Meeples store — a retail space specializing in a broad range of goods like board games, Pokémon cards, tabletop miniatures, toys and more. Families can come for tournaments or drop-in play, whether for Family Game Night or at any other time. Meeples events like Open D&D (Dungeons & Dragons, for the uninitiated), Star Wars/Marvel Night and Pokémon Training Camp are just a couple of the community favorites.
3727 California Ave. SW, Suite 2B
For both skilled Pokémon players and novices, Tabletop Village is the place to be. Masters are there to teach anyone willing to learn. Visitors can help build and modify decks, preparing for a casual game or more competitive play. On days with numerous participants, impromptu tournaments often take place. And kids can browse collectibles like Pokémon, Digimon, MetaZoo, Flesh and Blood and DBZ.
Regular tournaments happen on Wednesdays and Fridays. Every Sunday is officially Family Day, but people are welcome to grab a table and play any time the doors are open.
Tech-savvy Tabletop occasionally streams players who want to be featured on Twitch, a live video-streaming service for gamers. Tabletop Village, which is BIPOC-owned and operated, connects to youth in the International District/Chinatown community and beyond.
616 Eighth Ave S.
At first glance, Ballard’s Mox Boarding House may seem like it’s only for adults, but it’s indeed family-friendly. You can play games at one of the restaurant’s long tables or reserve a private room. After being seated, guests are free to visit Card Kingdom next door to explore or to get a board game suggestion. Staff picks like Dragonwood, Fluxx and, of course, D&D can be played at the café, and customers can purchase games and other merchandise, such as miniatures, paint and supplies, in the retail section. Mox has a full menu, which encourages famished families to stay for yet another round of play. Bonus: There’s an Eastside location, too (as well as a site in Portland).