4 people playing spikeball

8 Quarantine-Friendly Games to Overcome Cabin Fever

Take a break from your Netflix binge and play a good old-fashioned game instead.

Surprise, surprise. If you aren’t an essential worker (but are doing your part), that means you’re still stuck inside like the rest of us. And there’s only so much baking and home workouts you can do.

So if you’ve run out of activities, join us in one of these fun, quarantine- and social distancing-approved games instead.

Games for Groups

This goes without saying, but this isn’t the time to invite your friends over. Instead, we’re suggesting group games for those in larger or family households.


Ah, the classic “don’t-knock-over-the-tower” game. People of all ages enjoy Jenga, and there are infinite possibilities to make the game more fun or challenging.

Ideally, you have an official Jenga game set with wooden blocks. But if you don’t, you could try your hand at building your own “Giant” Jenga — just scrounge around for some two-by-fours and a table saw.


This one is the ultimate game option for those who might not own any games. All you need is yourself, your family, and a few scraps of paper. You could even play at a distance with your next-door neighbors.

The rules of charades are as simple as it gets: two teams with a scorekeeper and timer. You act out clues to a phrase devised by the opposing team while your teammates try to guess it. It’s a riot.

Spikeball & Pingpong

Inspired by volleyball, Spikeball has gained popularity in recent years due to its easy setup and the fact that it can be played almost anywhere, from the beach to your backyard.

With a net that’s 3 feet across (combined with game strategy), Spikeball players are usually 4-6 feet apart, making this a great active and high-energy game with no contact necessary.

Pingpong only works if your family has a pingpong table, net, and paddles. But if that’s not you, luckily there are nets that can attach to any table for sale online.

Official tables are 9 feet long, so you may have to revise your strategy on smaller kitchen tables. This game is a great indoor or outdoor option and can also be played with teams if you have a large family.

Games for Pairs


Anyone who enjoys board games probably already owns a chessboard, making it a great “let’s pass some time” choice. Chess games can be fast and competitive or last for days. It’s not too hard to learn the concept, and the game gets even better once you pick up basic strategy.

Our editors have hunkered down with this game through hurricanes and snowstorms. And as a bonus, it keeps your mind sharp and allows time for conversation and contemplation.

You can grab a good standard folding chess set on Amazon for $29.

Bean Bag Toss (Cornhole)

Full-size cornhole boards are set anywhere from 20 to 27 feet apart. Take a break from working and challenge your spouse or roommate to a round.

There are plenty of sets out there, but here are a couple you can get for a good price: this standard kit or, for those short on space, this mini cornhole set.


There are lots of fun and unique cribbage boards out there, including our staff’s favorite paddleboard cribbage from NRS (and portable ones for when we can travel again as well).

This game takes some mental staying power and strategy and is perfect for those with competitive sides. Just remember to wash your hands before and after touching all those game pieces.

Mt. Everest playing cards

Solitary Games for Quarantine


This game is a spin-off of the tale of Robinson Crusoe — you’re stuck on a deserted island and must “survive.”

It might not seem like the best choice if you’ve got cabin fever, but this solo game is actually pretty fun. You get to practice survival skills, conquer environmental hazards, and help fight pirates, all from the comfort of your living room.


Yes, you’re alone, but don’t let that stop you from having game night. Try playing solitaire or any other game you can play with a deck of cards.

Trust us, it might not be the most exciting game night you’ll have, but it’s a fun option that gets you away from a screen. Or if you aren’t sick of screen time, download a card game app and challenge your friends.

Have you discovered any great new games while staying at home? We’d love to hear about them. Let us and your fellow readers know in the comments below as we all navigate new ways to overcome cabin fever.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.