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8 Games to Play in the Car on Your Family’s Holiday Road Trip

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Unless you consider “Are we there yet?” a beloved pastime and essential component of any extended car ride, chances are you want to keep your children occupied so they behave during road trips this holiday season. Unfortunately, many families these days are wasting valuable bonding time by resorting to digital devices instead of building memories with their kids.

That’s why we’ve developed this list of easy games that involve all passengers and hardly any preparation.

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Fun Holiday Road Trip Games for Your Whole Family

[wptab name=”License Plates”]

Yellow-on-Black Vintage California License Plate

Photo: Flickr

License Plates

These vehicle identification signs are a trove of in-car entertainment. Help younger children practice their alphabet by calling out letters as they’re spotted. Starting with the letter A, the first one to Z wins. Or, you can work collaboratively or competitively to record all 50 state plates while practicing geography. If every participant has a camera, this can become extra-involved. Even guessing what vanity license plates stand for can be fun.



[wptab name=”Never!”]

Hands fingers never have i ever game

Never Have I Ever

No drinking involved. Rather, every passenger raises all ten fingers. The first person participating will state, “Never have I ever (activity).” Every person in the group who has done what the speaker has not done must put one finger down. If all of someone’s ten fingers are down, they’re out. The game continues until only one person has any fingers up.


[wptab name=”Tunnels”]
long road in tunnel driving


This one’s the simplest activity on our list. Whenever the car enters a tunnel, hold your breath as long as you can. Whoever makes it to the tunnel exit, or is the last one still holding their breath, wins the game. We don’t endorse the driver participating, though.


[wptab name=”I Spy”]

I spy pointing

I Spy

One person chooses an object within the group’s view and those in the car must guess what that object is. Begin with: “I spy with my little eye something that’s (color of the object)” or “that begins with (first letter of the object).” Sticking to landmarks and other sizable targets is best. They should remain within everyone’s view long enough to spot and guess.


[wptab name=”Tunes”]
2017 Kia Cadenza Dashboard Controls

Name That Tune

Browse through radio stations at random until abruptly stopping on a song and see who can be the first to guess the title and artist of the selection. This game is a great icebreaker to cross generational gaps and open conversation.


[wptab name=”Bingo”]


Bingo on the Road

Before you leave on your vacation, have someone draw up a pile of bingo boards with road trip sights in place of letters: two-trailer trucks, “road closed” signs, dogs in cars, Canadian license plates, police cars, etc. Make sure each one has some variation. Once the boards are passed out to each participant in the car, let the scavenger hunt begin! The first player to cover a straight line wins.

[wptab name=”20 Questions”]


20 Questions

Whoever chooses to begin will select any real item they want—person, place, or thing. The other participants must take turns asking yes-or-no questions until one is able to guess what the first player is. By the twentieth question, every player has one more chance to guess, and if no one does, the solution is revealed and that player wins.

[wptab name=”Picnic”]


The Picnic Game

Although it is know by many names, this game is relatively universal. One person begins by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing (item begins with A).” The second player will repeat the sentence and add an item that begins with B, and so on. If you forget an item, you’re out, and whoever reaches the end of the alphabet is the winner.


In the St. Louis Area? Here are some great one-day road trip ideas