Most families have less money to spend on entertainment than they did a couple years ago, but they appear to be finding money to spend on board games.

Gail DeGiulio, founder and chief funster of SimplyFun, a company that sells board games, puzzles, and other family entertainment products through in-home parties, tells RISMedia that "Families are wisely scaling back their entertainment budgets, choosing to stay home and revisit traditional family pastimes. Board games and puzzles can be enjoyed over and over, giving families more quality time to spend together, without breaking their budget."

Her company's average party sales are on the rise and nationally, board games sales were up 6% in 2008.

It makes perfect sense: Staycations -- as overused as that word is -- are gaining popularity over vacations and they're a one-time expense, unlike going to the movie theater. They don't use electricity and they're social in a way that most video games aren't. If you're a parent worried about your kids' computer use, this can be a great way to "unplug" them.

You probably already have a large selection of dusty board games in your closet that are worth exploring. But if not, Amazon has a huge selection of new hits and timeless classics.

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