10 Road Trip Games You Can Play in the Car


Have fun or bust!

Road trips can be fantastic memory makers, but they can also stretch out forever. (And forever feels even longer when a tiny voice pipes up to ask, “Are we there yet?” roughly every four and a half minutes).

Let’s face it. Hours of sitting in a small space only qualifies as fun for so long, right? However, if you’ve ever traveled with a creative parent, you know the right activities can make traveling in the car a fun, bonding experience that kids look forward to!

With that in mind, here are ten fun games that don’t require any materials to play.

  1. I Spy – This one is a classic for a reason! One player secretly picks something everyone can see and gives a clue to what it is by saying “I spy, with my little eye something that begins with ‘A’.” Or, “I spy something blue!” Everyone else in the car looks around and tries to guess what it is they see. The first person to guess correctly get’s to pick the next object. (Note: If the thing everyone is trying to guess goes away, a new thing needs to be picked.)
  2. White Stretch Limo – The group picks four different colors and types of cars (red trucks, blue beetles, etc.). The first person to spot one of those cars gets a point and no one else can get a point from that vehicle. Set a time limit. Whoever has the most points at the end of the time limit wins. However, if anyone spots a White Stretch Limo, they get ten points and the game is immediately over.
  3. License Plates – Everyone keeps an eye out for the license plates of other cars on the road. The goal of the game is to try to spot a license plate from each of the fifty states. Once someone spots a license plate, no one else may claim it. If no one has collected all fifty states by the end of the trip, whoever has the most wins. (Optional: you can claim Canadian licenses from different provinces for bonus points!)
  4. “I’m Going to the Picnic…” – A memory game! One person begins with, “I’m going to the picnic, and I’m bringing [Item A].” Then the next person adds their own item and repeats the previous item: “I’m going to the picnic, and I’m brining [Item B] and [Item A].” The list grows as it goes around and around the car. Anyone who doesn’t remember all the current items on the list is out of the game. The list continues until only one player remains.
  5. 20 Questions – One player picks a person, place or thing. The rest of the group gets to ask twenty yes-or-no questions to try to figure out what it is. If someone guesses correctly, they get to pick the next person, place or thing. If no one does, the person who picked chooses the next person to pick something.
  6. Big Story – This is a game to unleash the group’s imagination. One at a time, each person tells one sentence of a story. The person after them adds another sentence to the story, without negating what the previous person said. The story continues until one person sees a way to wrap it up and adds “The End”. This is one where the more creatively absurd you get, the more fun it can be.
  7. Fruit Hunt – Pick a fruit with a distinct color: red apple, yellow banana, etc. Everyone looks out the window for a vehicle which is that color. The first person to spot a vehicle that is the proper color, gets points based on its size. (A red car might be worth 2 points, a red truck might be worth 5 points, etc.). Set a time limit. Whoever has the highest score at the end of that time gets to pick the next color.
  8. Who Am I? – One player secretly picks a person (real or fictional. living or historical) and the rest of the car has to guess who they are by asking yes or no questions. (Ex: “Are you from France?” “Are you a woman?” “Are you still alive today?”) The first person to guess correctly gets to pick the next person.
  9. Patterns – (Note: this one is best played with 5 or more players) Pick a category: colors, food, TV shows, etc. One at a time, everyone says a thing from that category, paying attention to the order everyone spoke in. Recreate this pattern a few times. Then make another pattern, with a different category, and a different order. Now do both patterns at once. See how many patterns your group can keep going at the same time, without losing one.
  10. Name that Tune – One person hums a favorite song. Everyone else tries to guess the name of the song (or what TV show it is from, if you want to include theme songs.). The first person to guess correctly gets to hum the next song.

Photo Credit: Epcy4

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