The Perfect Opportunity for Fun Games

You had the most glorious day at Koloa Landing Resort yesterday with your family. After checking into your massive ocean-view villa, you spent hours in the pool, lounged in the sun with frosty piña coladas and played a rousing game of bocce ball on the grass.

This morning, however, you woke up to rain. Lots of it. And though you’ve been told that storms often pass as quickly as they roll in here on the South Shore of Kauai, this one doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. And the forecast calls for more — including some lightning.

“Let’s enjoy staying in today — at least until it clears up,” your spouse tells your kids, aged 10, 12 and 15. “But that doesn’t mean get on your phones. This is the perfect opportunity to play some fun family games together.”

They look at each other, then back at you.

“We’re down for some games,” your oldest son offers. “As long as no one cries when I beat them at everything.”

Your youngest son laughs a little too loudly and then counters, “You’re the one who’s gonna be crying!”

Your daughter rolls her eyes.

And it’s on.

Family Olympics

You didn’t think to pack any actual board games, but you do have a deck of cards, and the kids brought Uno for the plane. You have some other items that can come into play — and you have your laptop.

The first thing you do is get out your sketch pad. On a fresh sheet of paper you write FAMILY OLYMPICS across the top in all caps. You then write everyone’s name in a row under the title. Down the left side of the page you start to fill in the names of various games. You get your family to vote on which ones they like or offer ideas for activities you hadn’t thought of. Pretty soon you have a huge scoreboard with a long list of games for the whole family.

“Everyone gets points based on their wins,” you suggest. “Whoever has the highest score at the end wins all the glory!” All seem to love this idea, and it further ignites a little healthy competition.

Let the Games Begin

You pop open a bag of tortilla chips, grab some bottled drinks and get everyone to gather around the coffee table on your villa’s comfy couches and chairs. Your kids start dealing out the Uno cards as your spouse throws open the curtains on your massive floor-to-ceiling glass doors so you have a front row seat to the tropical storm. The palm fronds outside your villa are flapping like mad. It’s a pretty cool setting.

“Let the Uno begin!”

After many rounds, you get through the whole deck, and your youngest shouts out “Uno!” One more round and before you know it, he has won.

On the FAMILY OLYMPICS sheet you give him a check mark under his name next to Uno.

Next up: Bag Bowling!

You take the brown paper bag you brought some groceries in and fold down the top edge to keep it nice and square. You put the bag at one end of the hall with the open end facing all the players. Then you take turns rolling a coconut down the hall and into the bag. This is harder than it sounds because the coconut is just misshapen enough to roll a little unpredictably. Each player gets two rolls per turn and after three turns for each, you determine that dad got the most points. On the score sheet he gets a check mark under his name next to the row for Bag Bowling.

You now get out your phone and open the Heads Up app. By the time you do several rounds of this hilarious guessing game, you are all yelling out answers at the top of your lungs. Your youngest is on the floor laughing at the silly antics of his parents. You win this one, give yourself a checkmark and do a mini victory dance.

A Refueling Lunch Break

You order room service for lunch through the resort’s poolside Holoholo Grill before starting the next round of games. When the trays arrive, you are dazzled by the spread of wagyu burgers, smoked ribs, plates of mango and pineapple, Hawaiian flatbread, truffle fries and even a tower of succulent Zensai Unagi Crunch — the winning poke recipe from the resort’s Pokefest 2022 hosted by celebrity chef Sam Choy. The gang digs in and now all you can talk about is the food.

Games Galore and More

After lunch you continue to play game after game, everyone vying for the top spot on the Family Olympics leaderboard.

Here are some of the best games you played:

Minute to Win It: One of the many silly competitions using household objects includes putting a cookie on everyone’s forehead and seeing who can get it into their mouths without touching it with their hands. They can only move their faces and these contortions are the best part.

Go Fish: This classic card game is always fun for all and requires no bait, rods or reels.

Freeze Dance: Your daughter connects her current playlist to the bluetooth speaker and everyone dances! You take turns stopping the music to see who can stay frozen in place and who will topple.

Hearts: Another classic card game you’ve been playin with the kids since they were little.

The Category Game: You sit in a circle and take turns announcing a category. Everyone must chime in with something from that category until someone messes up. “Names of Airlines”, “Famous YouTube influencers,” “Ice cream flavors,” and “Street names in our neighborhood.” Someone tried “All the girls big brother has kissed” but you vetoed that category.

A Quiet Moment

The games continue but you and your spouse are ready for a break. You pad into your gourmet kitchen, brew a pot of Kauai dark roast and settle in to read your latest Taylor Jenkins Reid novel next to the window, the droplets pattering the palm fronds. Your spouse puts some Beach Boys on the bluetooth and settles in next to you with his Wall Street Journal. You enjoy the sound of your kids playing.

The Clouds Part

By the late afternoon, the rain subsides and the sun blazes through the cloud cover.

“Who’s ready for the pool!?” your spouse enthuses. But the kids are still having too much fun with the Family Olympics.

“We will be soon!” your oldest promises. He indicates the leaderboard. “I’m still trying to catch up to these kooks!”


Ready for your unforgettable stay on Kauai at Koloa Landing? Rain or shine, we’d love to help you enjoy everything the Garden Isle has to offer.

— Erica Karlin