I’ve made the mistake of having my son use his Game Boy on an ENTIRE trip from Wenatchee to Seattle. I had it all planned out: Get there and park in plenty of time to eat fish n’ chips at the best place to get ‘em: The Owl n’ Thistle. The only problem is my then 11-year-old son, Matthew, had a really bad tummy ache from looking down at his device the entire ride.

Now, we play games and laugh a lot on long road trips.

Whether you’re a parent with young children or want to keep your BFFs entertained, with hours until your next stop… check out some of these fun, road-tested games. Slug Bug, 20 Questions, and more. Read, discover, and thank us later!

Slug Bug

Remember this game? Some know it as Punch Bug. It was popular back in the '70s, '80s, '90s & 2000s…back when there were a bunch of older VW Super Beetles on the road. In 1998, the new VW Beetle kept this game alive for another generation. Most families (not me) used the rule of seeing a Volkswagen bug, then yelling SLUG BUG!  as you punch your brother's shoulder into another dimension. 

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The now (2020s) version of Slug Bug is played the same way, only you shout out TESLA when you see the easy-to-spot, no grill, Tesla heading your way on the highway or city street. This game goes into hyperdrive if played in any of the Seattle area, specifically Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, or Issaquah.

The ABC Game

The instructions are easy. And it's more of a team game.

Look for signs, or license plates, that contain any letters with “A” (so, for example, seeing a street sign with “Wenatchee Avenue” would work.) Then you move on to the letter “B” and so on. Finish by finding the letter “Z” and everybody can relax and give out high fives.

I'm going on a picnic!

This game is similar to the ABC game above. It starts off with the phrase, "I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing a (something that starts with the letter “A” like an apple.)" Then the next person has to repeat what is in the soon-to-be stuffed picnic basket. They’ll then add something with the next letter (letter “B” um…a boiled egg!) Keep the answers entertaining and you might even get some belly laughs in the car.


This game works only after dark when the headlights come on. When you see a car missing a headlight, you yell out POPEYE!

The License Plate Game

Your family is tasked to find different plates from any U.S. state or Canadian province that you encounter on the trip. Whoever correctly calls out the state/province first, gets credit for a point.

I Spy

This game was my son’s favorite game when he was 3 to 7 years of age. If you don’t know how to play, it's pretty simple. You or your child look around for the mystery object and then, says “I spy with my little eye something red!” for the speed version of this game, they would also add the first letter of the name of the object. 

20 Questions

Each round starts with one person in the car thinking of a mystery item. Everyone in the car then asks “yes or no'' questions. “Is It an animal?” “Does it live in the sea?” “Does Uncle John like eating it on a holiday weekend?” Try and keep the game at the correct level of difficulty, depending on who’s playing.

Hoping you and your family have some fun with these games. Some of my favorite memories are road trips with fun friends and family.

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