Category Archive


Throw this party: MINGLO!

When I first met with Kelli from [vendor-heart link=””]Shindig Events[/vendor-heart] to scheme my April staff/reader meet-up, we did a little brainstorming on activities, and it went like this:

Ariel: What if we did, like, hipster bingo cards but catered to Offbeat Empire reader interest? People could wander around being all, “You’re wearing an octopus accessory! Are you lactating? Who here had a home birth?” I know my readers’ tastes like the back of my hand [delicious!], and it could be fun! Sort of like… mingling bingo?



And thus a party idea was born. And now you can steal it.

Race to the Treasure! and 4 other cooperative board games

Our four-year-old was recently gifted Race to the Treasure!, a self-titled cooperative board game from Peaceable Kingdom. Prior to playing, I wasn’t familiar with the concept of “cooperative board games” — being of the “it’s healthy for kids to learn to lose!” mentality, I wasn’t sure if I would be on-board with the idea.

Do you have two-player game ideas for pouty losers?

My husband and I like to play games but we can’t seem to find much to play together. He’s into Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; I’m more of a Trivial Pursuit kind of gal.

The real problem is, I’m a bit of a sore loser so we try to find two person, non-competitive games. Do any offbeat homies have ideas on games we can try out while I work on my sportsmanship?

A simple, easy-to-make, portable board game

My husband and I both love playing games, especially board games. We have a games bookcase that’s full of our favorites, but the one we play the most is Go. One of the reasons why we love Go so much is because we made our own game set. We wanted to be able to toss the set in our pockets or my purse and go to coffee shops or the park to play. It was one of the easiest projects we’ve ever done, and also one of the most useful. Here’s how we did it.

How To Train Your Robot: how I teach kids to program without computers

Last April, I taught six kids of ages 5 to 7 how to program. “In what programming language?” you may ask. Well… I didn’t use a programming language, at least none that you know of. In fact, I didn’t even use a computer. Instead, I devised a game called “How To Train Your Robot.” Before I explain how the game works, let me tell my motivation.

Medieval tavern-themed gaming room: even the power outlets look olde

Weapons, secret drawers, sewage vents in the ceiling, and a 6″ deep players dungeon!? Yeah, this Medieval-themed gaming room is out of a Dungeons & Dragons fever dream and must be seen to be believed!

My baby can’t leave the house and I’m going nuts: what low-key games do you play with your infant?

My son spent most of his first four months of life in a hospital. Because he is so recently post-transplant, he can’t be in most public spaces without either a wee baby-sized face mask or without being in his stroller under a rain cover to block out airborne germs. We’ve played the same five games over and over — what else can we do to keep one another entertained?

My House Hunters drinking game

Everyone’s buzzing this week about HGTV‘s House Hunters being fake. Instead of acting outraged that a staged reality show is staged, I say LET’S DRINK! Wanna play it with me? Here’s how.