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Dinner party games or conversation starters

I was wondering if people had some good suggestions for icebreakers or even full-on games for a small dinner party (1-2 other couples).

My husband and I just moved to a new area so we're still getting to know people but enjoy having people over for dinner. I guess I should add that we're part of a transitional community abroad and most of the people we meet are getting to know other people, too.

I don't want anything too contrived but something that will help us all get to know each other and put people at ease.

I was looking at Tabletopics, a conversation card game, but I don't know how that would go. I'd love to hear other suggestions.

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  1. If I'm in unfamiliar territory with new people, my first inclination is to see, by listening, if there is any common ground., e.g., *what made you decide to......shop, play or move and etc.*. Otherwise, asking about a lighthearted story about a current event gets it rolling for conversation and every can jump in.

    I don't like participation games myself.

    1. I would avoid games - just my personal preference. When we moved here we would start conversations with - where are you from? what brings you here? do you like it? where is good food shopping, etc. There are tons of very "safe" conversation starters with new people.

      1. Finger puppets. They'll love it.

        1. We do what we call a Lighting Round. Ask a question and go around the room and see how people answer. For example;
          what was the first poster you had on your bedroom wall as a kid
          First car
          invent a new ice cream flavor....

          1. I was at a dinner party recently with new people. The host had each person at the table give a few minutes of a "biography" starting with " I was born....". Each guest got to choose how much and what to share with the group. Some were funny, some sweet, some long, some short. There were 8 of us, so it took awhile, but there was so much information shared, that the next few hours flew by in conversation. It went really well.

            Questions and games are risky IMO. I hate them, personally....so you never know. I would let the guests share as to their comfort level.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sedimental

              I agree w/sedimental. Games are for couples who already know each other and have agreed to play them before arriving.