I have been drawing a blank lately about which Bunco topic to write about next. My group held their monthly Bunco meeting last Sunday. It was a fun Valentines Day themed game. Anyhow, one of our regular players brought a guest from out of town to play with us. The lady is a member of a Bunco group in her hometown. She made a comment to me that our group was very friendly and welcoming and noted that her group is focused primarily on ‘winning’ the game. It got me thinking, is that how most groups are? I have played with two groups and both have been mainly about socializing with playing Bunco a nice bonus.
I am the organizer of my Bunco group and I try my best to keep the game going and yet have people socializing. For the most part my group is very social but there are a few who prefer not to socialize much. They are usually the ones who say, ‘ding, ding, ding’ when the head table is talking and not starting to play when they want them to. If you play Bunco regularly you know what I am talking about:) Our games usually start at 2 pm on a Sunday and I have a rough schedule that I like to follow to try to keep all personality types happy. People start to arrive at 2 pm and then we have a potluck meal until about 2:45 pm at which time the game starts. We play two rounds of Bunco and then have a dessert break. This break is typically 15 minutes and then we play one more round of Bunco, distribute the prizes and then play an (optional) game of Left Center Right. From start to finish it is about three hours (give or take a few minutes).
This month we are giving away a cute pair of dice earrings! The ladies in my group love these! Just head to the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page and tell me about the personality of your Bunco group! Also, if your minimum purchase at Bunco game Shop qualifies, you can add a pair of dice earrings to your cart for free!
February is such a fun month for Bunco themes! Of course the most popular theme is typically Valentine’s Day. This is our fourth February as a group and our first time having a Valentine’s Day theme. Red and pink hearts are fun but I prefer more creative themes for February. Don’t worry we will still talk about Valentine’s Day Bunco:)
One of my favorite themes for February was Souper Bowl Bunco. I hosted this fun event! I love making soup, so I made some of my favorites, chicken noodle, fire roasted tomato and a pot of chili. The rest of the group brought things that go with soup, such as cornbread, crackers, rolls, salad and sandwiches. As usual there was an abundance of delicious food. A football game was playing on the television and football themed decorations and table cloths made it even more festive. People wore football jerseys and t-shirts of their favorite team.
Another out of the box February theme is Chinese New Year. This year it falls on January 31st, so you could do this theme for January or February. Fun decor can be found at party stores. Using red and black dice at each table is really festive. We did potluck for this theme and people brought Asian specialties such as fried rice, lo mein and egg rolls. Of course there were fortune cookies at each table. We had fun reading our fortunes. You can package fortune cookies for each person to take home as a party favor. I found cute takeout containers with Asian designs to put the prizes in. I think the gals liked the containers better than the prizes!
Last but not least, Valentine’s Day Bunco. Red and pink dice at the tables would be perfect for this theme, along with some pink and red chocolate covered candies. These red dice inflatables would be perfect to replace your fuzzy dice with that night for snake eyes or travelling. They could even be used as prizes. You could have a dessert theme along with Valentine’s Day, or a chocolate theme. A chocolate fountain or fondue would liven up the party as well.
What is your favorite February Bunco theme? Let me know on the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page. Also, enter our monthly giveaway!
One of my Bunco group’s favorite theme is Pajama Party Bunco. What’s not to love? You get to show up in your pajamas, robe and fuzzy slippers and eat breakfast food (when it isn’t actually breakfast time!).
A Mimosa or Bloody Mary (either non-alcoholic or otherwise) would be a lovely way to start out. Breakfast favorites lend themselves perfectly to potluck. Muffins, croissants, casseroles, waffles, cinnamon rolls, sausage, bacon, the list could go on and on. I love all of those things! However, I wanted to shake it up a bit! Oatmeal in a slow cooker with a toppings bar is so much fun! Some ideas are dried cranberries, golden raisins, nuts, brown sugar, honey, chopped apples, cinnamon, you get the idea. This way there is a healthier option that people can customize. Another idea for a crowd is make your own breakfast burritos. Make some scrambled eggs and keep warm in a slow cooker. Have some warmed tortillas, cheese, meats, breakfast potatoes, salsa, sour cream, avocado, etc.so that each person can customize a burrito to her liking. Easy yet delicious and something most people will enjoy. If you prefer not to serve breakfast food, you could go the traditional route and make it a pizza party. That is fun too!
Now onto the actual Bunco game. Some prizes for this theme may include sleep masks, fuzzy socks, fleece throws,a Bunco apron even small packages of cinnamon rolls or muffins. Everyone can vote on who is the most festive and she could win a prize–fuzzy slippers maybe! There could be a fun movie such as, Girls Just Want To have Fun (one of my favs!) playing in the background. We always have a ton of fun with this theme. Some ladies wear pink rollers in their hair and are decked out from head to toe. It is a fun way to start the New Year off!
Has your group held a Pajama Party Bunco? If so, tell me what you did to make it fun on the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page.
A fun Bunco theme this time of year is New Year’s. We celebrated New Year’s Bunco in January. Our Bunco ladies wore sparkly shirts and heels, like many people do when they go to a party on New Years’s eve. A DVR recording of the ball drop was playing in the background. When people arrived they were given a necklace with a noisemaker attached to it and a Happy New Year tiara. You have to have a noisemaker (and a tiara) when the ball drops! As you probably know, most Bunco ladies love making noise!
For drinks, we had sparkling cider and grape juice and Champagne for those who drink alcohol. Be sure to break out your champagne flutes or buy some plastic stemware at your local party store. These cute wine charms would be perfect to keep track of whose glass is whose. Bottles of sparkling juice and /or Champagne also make great Bunco prizes.
Everyone brought their favorite appetizer or dessert. There were many delicious savory offerings like spinach artichoke dip, chips and salsa, egg rolls and jalapeno popper dip. My all time favorite dessert on New Year’s Eve is chocolate covered strawberries. Unfortunately strawberries are not in season during the winter but usually my grocery store carries a long stem variety in January and February. These are great for dipping. Chocolate fondue with assorted dippers is another perfect dessert for a crowd. Chocolate cake with a cake sparkler on top would be festive as well.
What is your Bunco group’s favorite theme for games in January? Have you had a New Year’s theme Bunco? If so, let me know about it on The Bunco Game Shop Facebook page.
This is the time of year to whip up some sweet treats for your holiday Bunco game. My group has many ladies who are not big fans of dessert but the holidays are the time to indulge. I stumbled upon an awesome recipe by accident. I was excited to make Gingerbread Pops from the latest issue of Food Network magazine. They were one of Food Network’s 50 No-Bake Treats. Made from crushed ginger snaps, cookie butter (yes, there is such a thing!), candied ginger, powdered sugar and butter. Yummy, gingery goodness. I bought my candied ginger in bulk because it was much cheaper than the bottled variety. Well, these treats were supposed to be on a stick as is but I decided to take out the stick and dip the gingerbread balls in white or dark chocolate. I topped them with seasonal sprinkles and packed them up in festive bags with ribbon and a cute gingerbread man button. They were delicious and looked adorable!
14 ginger snaps
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cookie butter (such as Biscoff or Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
1/2 stick room temperature butter
12 oz. melting wafers (dark or white) such as Ghiardelli
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until it comes together. Chill mixture in refrigerator for 1/2 -1 hour and then form into 1&1/2 inch balls. Melt wafers in glass bowl in microwave for 30 second increments, stirring after each until fully melted. Using a fork, dip each ball in chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet or 13×9 pan and refrigerate for at least an hour. The truffles can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature.
These truffles would make a great homemade gift for your fellow Bunco Babes. What is your favorite candy treat to make this time of year? Let me know on the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page. Happy Holidays!
It’s the time of year to indulge. Many Bunco get togethers will center around good food and desserts (cookies!). A delicious seasonal beverage is a perfect accompaniment. My group has had three December Bunco games so far throughout the years, with a fourth coming up this Sunday! The first year we met at a Mexican restaurant, played Bunco and drank margaritas. The second and third years we met at a members home, who along with her best friend are awesome at entertaining. It is a not to miss event each year. They go all out with non-alcoholic punch, soda and delicious Champagne Punch. These wine charms would be great to keep track of whose cup is whose.
Hot beverages are popular during the winter season. Even in the Southwest we are in the mood for a warm beverage. One of my favorite ways to serve hot chocolate is in the slow cooker. Drinking hot cocoa can be even more fun with a toppings bar. The presentation can be beautiful and festive. I always get compliments and comments saying it looked like I worked so hard to put it together. The truth is it is so easy to do! You can let them think it is hard to do. Mini marshmallows, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, candy canes and mini chocolate chips make perfect fixings for hot chocolate. For those that enjoy a spirited beverage, Irish cream can be added as well.
Some other festive beverages for this time of year include Egg Nog, Spiced Cider and Mulled Wine. What is your favorite seasonal Bunco beverage? Is there a tried and true favorite your group loves? If so, please let me know on the Bunco Game Shop Facebook page. While you are there enter to win this month’s giveaway!
Eight years ago I moved from the Northeast to the Southwest. I had no family or friends here, so I joined a playgroup. I had an eight month old at the time. She needed friends and so did I. I met many wonderful ladies from that group, some of whom I am still friends with today. That group of ladies introduced me to Bunco. It was a nice way to meet people and get out of the house for some fun. I played with that group for about five years before I started my own group.
I, admittedly, am a control freak. It is in part why I started my Bunco group. I joined a social network that is intended to bring strangers with similar interests together and started my group in May 2010. We played our first game in June 2010 at my house with 15 players, 7 of which are still members. There are now 60+ members and we play Bunco once per month with typically 18-24 players.
As much as I like to be in control, we as a group have made changes throughout the years. Rules have been tweaked and more prizes are given out to spread the joy of winning. Even if I don’t win I have a great time! It is nice to socialize with ladies who are my friends. It’s also great to meet women who are new to the group and sometimes Bunco in general.
In addition to being a control freak I am shy and soft spoken. As many of you know, most Bunco players are not like that! At least in my group we have a lot of strong personalities (which is not a bad thing). The co-organizer for our group is my ‘voice’ at Bunco games. She will shout to quiet the group down when they are rowdy (which is all the time;) Even when I think I am being loud, I am not loud enough. This is why having a co-organizer is important. She helps me with things I am not very good at. Also, if I am unable to make it to a game, she will run it. If you are thinking of starting your own group, it is a good idea to have a friend that can help you organize.
Although Bunco groups all play by the same basic set of rules they are very different in their approaches pertaining to rules and entertaining styles
Some groups have 12 core players with subs who fill in for those who cannot attend. My group has 60+ members and typically we have between 18-24 players. We rarely play with a multiple of four players, so we more often than not have at least one ‘ghost’. A ghost is an empty seat, or invisible player whose ‘partner’ plays for them. At our last game we had three ghosts (yes I know some of you are cringing at the thought of this!). It is nice when there are enough players but a ghost (in my opinion) is not that bad. It really just means that someone at the table has to roll every other time. In our group whoever is the ghost usually does not keep score (unless they want to). The husband of one of our players made us small wooden ghosts (see photo). They are easy to carry from table to table and it lets us know that there is indeed a ‘ghost’ playing at that table. I have played with other groups that use a baby doll or nothing at all to stand in for the ‘ghost’.
Do you play with a ghost? Do you always have 12 players or a multiple of four playing? If so, how does it work? Do you use substitutes? My group has never used substitutes. I am not even sure how it would work. If your group uses subs, let me know how it works on The Bunco Game Shop’s Facebook Page.
The holiday season is quickly approaching. With all the busyness of the holidays, it is fun to take a break and play Bunco with the girls.
One year in November my Bunco group held a Formal Bunco. It was so much fun! We all dressed up. Some of us were fancier than others but we all wore dresses. Our potluck was done differently as well. We had people sign up for food which included a variety of appetizers, salads, bread and dessert. The hostess provided pasta as the main dish. For added fun we had a sit down dinner instead of our usual buffet.
For dessert we had a chocolate fountain. People brought decadent dippers for the fountain. Cheesecake pieces, cookies, pretzels, strawberries, marshmallows and dried fruit all tasted delicious dipped in the chocolate. For my small fountain, it takes two packages of chocolate chips melted and mixed with 3/4 cup of vegetable oil. I love a mix of premium bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate, yum!
Typically we use paper plates, plastic utensils and plastic cups at our Bunco games. Formal Bunco is the time to break out the fine China, actual silverware and glasses. It really was nice for a change. We spent extra time socializing and enjoying each others company.
Whenever someone rolls a Bunco we pass around a necklace, usually one that pertains to the theme. At this Bunco we passed around a feather boa for a more formal touch.
The prizes were for pampering the Bunco Babe. Bubble bath, shower gel, mud masks and nail polish were some of the items that people won that evening. Formal Bunco was a fun time for all. It was a nice change from the casual approach we usually take and a wonderful indulgence, especially for a busy mom like me.
Have you ever attend a Formal or even a Black Tie Bunco? If so, please tell us about it on The Bunco game Shop Facebook Page.