Parlor games used to be the primary way for groups of people to entertain themselves at home. Advances in technology--from the radio to the Internet games--have put quite the damper on these fun games. The nice thing about playing these games is that it can get bleary-eyed kids away from their video games and even make them use their brain as they are laughing themselves silly.
One of the oldest parlor games around is still fun to play. Charades is simply the act of pantomiming the words found in titles of movies, TV shows, books and songs. Some people mistakenly assume that the secret way to win charades is by creating an ultra-long title. The problem with this is that there are so very few long titles and at least a few words will probably be easy to figure out. A better strategy is a short title with a hard word to pantomime. Taking this approach, the relatively obscure movie "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" is far more likely to stump your opponents than "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."
"Who's Line Is it Anyway" was a TV show that introduced longstanding improvisational exercises to American audiences in game show form. Improv games essentially are intended to get the brain working quickly. These games can range from acting out ridiculous scenes like a dog, a clown and Richard Nixon appearing on Wheel of Fortune to simply sitting around in a circle and creating a story in which each person adds the next word. These games can become so addictive that you will have even the kids looking forward to family game night away from their video consoles.
Trivia games can become quite funny when people don't know the answer and don't listen closely to the question. The strange and even bizarre answers that are given in both these cases more than makes up for the fact that most players may find out they aren't quite as smart as they thought. There are plenty of trivia games to play at home, starting with the king of home trivia games, Trivial Pursuit. If you want to get a little more high tech, try the Jeopardy game that plugs into the TV with three separate controllers just like the game. Another option would be one of the Scene-It trivia games that show actual scenes from movies as part of the game.