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6 Fun Games to Play in the Car


Stuck in the backseat on a long drive? Here are some classic (and free!) games to help travel time go by faster.

Already a seasoned traveler? Take our Summer Vacation Hot Spot quiz


For long trips, the License Plate Game might be the thing. In this version, call out letters from the license plates you see, then make as many ridiculous phrases as possible. For example, AST = Aardvarks Singling Tenderly or After-School Trampolining. You get the idea.


The Alphabet Game is good along roads with a lot of signs. Find a word with an “A,” call it out, then look for a word with “B” and so on. First one to the end of the alphabet wins. You might want to skip trying to find “Q” and “Z.” Or not.


Use graph paper for a couple of travel games. With Lines and Dots, draw lines on the paper. Take turns drawing one side of a square at a time, trying to make boxes. When you complete a box, put your initials in it. Whoever makes the most boxes in 15 minutes or so wins.


Another game with graph paper is Infinite Tic-Tac-Toe. In this game, the first person to get five in a row wins, and there are no borders except for the edge of the page.

Share these summer vacation jokes for a break between games


In I Spy, pick out something you see nearby (that other players can also see), but keep what it is to yourself. Say, “I spy with my little eye …” and then provide one description of the object. For instance, with the windshield wipers you might say, “I spy something long” or “something black.” After each hint, players take a turn guessing what the object is.


Rock-Paper-Scissors and 20 Questions hardly need explaining. There are variations of these games, such as Foot-Cockroach-Nuclear Bomb, and 20 Questions about movies you’ve seen or books you’ve read, instead of some random object.

65 Comments on 6 Fun Games to Play in the Car

  1. we like to play the Gas Game, whoever spots the lowest (or highest) gas price wins šŸ™‚

  2. Agnergirl // May 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm // Reply

    We like to play the license plate game like so: this mostly works on long interstates. We look for all fifty states on license plates. We have gotten almost everyone of them on some trips! Kids get excited to find one we haven’t found yet

  3. fun games but not easy to play in the car

  4. Cazzaz217 // May 4, 2012 at 8:24 am // Reply

    these games look fun! :p

  5. ollie olly oxenfree // February 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm // Reply

    the game is called popeye the game is simple you look for a car that has a one headlight out you get 1 point for a car 2 points for a truck you have to say popeye as you see it you can even play in the day light, happy travels

  6. Nice Games šŸ™‚

  7. This was an outstanding website, in keep the kids entertained for the whole trip, cheers šŸ™‚

  8. I was on my way back from big bear today and we played game where you pick a category…we picked famous people.. the point was to say a persons name and the next person has to say another name but that name has to begin with the previous persons last name.. EXAMPLE: I start the game with, Christopher Walken…player b has to name a famous person starting with a, Winona Ryder the next person names a name with the letter R…Reese Witherspoon.. and so on and so forth : )

  9. gabbygirl123456 // July 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm // Reply

    Great for all ages to play when there is a long drive ahead!Games are great becasue it made my kids car ride go very fast with these easy games to play.Not only can you play these games in the car you can also play anywhere else!Keeps younger children busy!very good!

  10. I used to play a game where someone in the car gives you a quiz about your family and if you get it right you get a point and who ever has the most points at the end gets to pick where they want to eat.

  11. You could play my father owns a grocery store. One person says “My father owns a grocery storeand in it he sells…B.(you could use any letter) Then the rest of the people would have to say foods that start with B. The first person to get it right becomes”it”.(You may not ask yes or no questions.)

  12. tony the tiger // June 30, 2011 at 12:26 pm // Reply

    Not bad i’ve already played most of them

  13. DaltonC.P. // June 29, 2011 at 7:50 pm // Reply

    I like the idea.I might print it.

  14. i like i spy

  15. Yamaha dude // June 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm // Reply

    the games inspired (maybe created) by Volkswagen:
    Punch(or slug)bug: you make the specific rules, only Beetles to be called out
    Punch Dub is for other Volkswagen models

  16. heres one i made up: 2 people take turns looking out the window and saying the first thing they see. when someone says something related to what the other person just said, they lose.

  17. Mailburro+Alfalfa= Pedro // June 21, 2011 at 8:26 am // Reply

    Well I am going from P.A. to Ohio in 9 days and I could not belive my luck just my going on here to play games and then BOOM!!!!! I saw it at the corner of my eye road trip games, AMEN AMERICA

  18. Mailburro+Alfalfa= Pedro // June 21, 2011 at 8:18 am // Reply

    I L-O-V-E love it! <3

  19. Iron man (Kyoya (I'm not a boy) // June 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm // Reply

    Boyslife gives me alot of new ideas and one of them is to play these games!!!!!!!!! : )

  20. I love the license plate game!!! We do it all the time!

  21. i like the license plate game and we are driving from Missouri to Chicago. i know its only a boardering state but it takes 6hours to get there. and with my mom her friend my sister and her friend so i am pretty much gonna have to be a loner. so i need to find some good games to play šŸ˜›

  22. I like the sound of I spy.

  23. Elephant :) // April 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm // Reply

    name evry car that goes past with a suitable name

  24. The car game is good too. You get points for different types of cars
    Yellow car 1
    Convetible with top down 1
    PT Cruiser 1
    Hummer 1
    Lemo 10

  25. Thanks – I forgot about lines & dots.
    My family & I are driving to Florida from New Jersey.
    It’s one long drive.

  26. You can try “Escape Animals”.Here’s how you play,when you spot something that looks like an animal, you say it’s name.It helps to have a book about animals.

  27. PIZZA DELIVERY GUY // March 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm // Reply


  28. or you coul play C e y. It is a fun rock paper sisers game except letters and lower lettrs win

  29. We play “Roadside Cribbage” where each type of animal (cows, horses, buffalo, deer, birds, etc) have a point value. Your score depends on the animals you pass that are on your side of the road. You count them and figure out your score from there. An example would be: cows are 5 points each and deer are 50 points (they are more rare). You automatically lose all your points if there is a cemetary on your side.

  30. You can’t play i spy in the car because your moving and it would get boring spying stuff inside the car šŸ™

  31. Fourteen Hours Vacation Ride in Car, Troop 350 // February 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm // Reply

    One game to play in the car is a variation of the license plate game. For every state license plate that you see on a vehicle on the road, try to name the state’s official tree, the state’s official state motto, the state’s official state slogan, the year that the state was accepted into statehood in the United States and the state’s official breed of dog.

  32. the i spy game is boring

  33. The License Plate Game is awesoma!!! I played about a hundred times now, and it’s still fun!

  34. Hey how about a game where there is two people and you start at the letter “a” and go on and you are tring to find words out side of the car who have the letter “a”.

    • researchin momma // June 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm // Reply

      When I was little, we played that game. Once, my dad couldn’t find anything that started with J so he made up “Jairplane” LOL…it was so funny. From that day on, we have called airplanes “Jairplanes”. šŸ™‚

  35. makes time go by so fast in the small car

  36. this is awsome man! love it! do it every time in the car!

  37. awesome!!

  38. ilove it <3

  39. harry potter // June 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm // Reply

    or you can play metal-lava-d saw

  40. Yea but I’m good with just watching movies on the way

  41. or play slugbug……..

  42. Or you can play the VW game, when you see a VW you hit someone near you.

  43. the ideas sound fun

  44. i count and name all recue veicals and cop cars

  45. West TEXAS // June 13, 2010 at 11:09 pm // Reply

    What I would do is count how many 18 wheelers you see with/without sleeper cabs. Also if your near train tracks, count those freight cars and locomotives too, and what kind of cars you see. Ex. tanker cars, box cars, scrap metal cars, car carriers, and freight containers, etc. (and rarely cabooses)

  46. thats a good idea i like it šŸ˜‰

  47. How about counting the states of car plates and the one with the most ststes in a certin amount of time wins. All the other games are great for that trip to summer camp.

  48. darth jeffrey // June 11, 2010 at 4:35 am // Reply

    hopefully that’ll be usefull in my 12 hr. trip to ohio today!

  49. some are weird and fun

  50. you could do a license plate game where you try to find every state on lecense plates my family does that every year but we dont just do this on long car rides it is really fun give it a try

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