Friday, May 15, 2009

Games & Grooves

Looking for something fun to do this Friday or Saturday night? Maybe you’d like to plan a get-together but are feeling the pinch in this economy. You’re not alone. One of our favorite activities is to hold a Games & Grooves party. It’s fun with just the four of us, but even more fun with friends over. The format is really simple: food, games, dancing.

We start with dinner, usually a selection of cold cuts and cheeses, a sliced baguette, and loads of fresh fruit and veggies. Everyone can bring something to share, just make sure it’s simple. If you want to be decadent, add dessert. I like to make truffles—I know, wait! They’re high fat and high calorie, BUT, they’re small and I only make a few. Just enough for that little something sweet at the end of the meal, but not the same as eating a giant slab of three-layer chocolate cake! It usually comes out to one or two per person and no leftovers to wolf down after the party.

The great thing about this type of “dinner” is that you can grab a little something and then go back to the main activities: games and grooves. If we have a crowd, there’s usually a football game going on outside. Or baseball. Or Frisbee. In cold weather, we might skip this part and gather for dominoes or cards. But one of the highlights of Games & Grooves is the old school Atari that I grew up with. We love to play arcade games, and they’re fun for all ages.
Again, I know—wait! No, it’s not just an excuse to sit and play video games. Only two people can play Atari at the same time, so I also put on some mix CDs and if you’re not playing Atari, you’re dancing to the music. Hence, the Grooves part.

See how it all works together? This is a really fun way for everyone to come together, enjoy each other’s company, burn off some energy and just have a good time. I use a lot of music from when I taught aerobics and I love trying to teach my kids the steps. (Seriously, is any song better than Madonna’s “Holiday” for doing the Grapevine? My kids hear it come on and line up behind me.) And I love watching them to see their dance moves.

Now, most people don’t have an old Atari gaming system lying around. A lot of you might have a PlayStation, Nintendo or a Wii. And that’s fine. You can still integrate those games into your healthier lifestyle with no problem, especially Rock Band or Wii Fit. Just make sure you’re still getting plenty of physical activity and everyone keeps moving.

I almost forgot to mention the BEST part of Games & Grooves: you will spend most of the night LAUGHING your head off. They say it’s the best medicine. In any economy. So make some memories this weekend and have fun with your own Games & Grooves party!

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