Sonoma County Board Game Club at Goblin Bros., Petaluma
At Goblin Bros. in Petaluma, board games bloom like a field of wildflowers, every variety of board-, card- and tabletop game for sale. Figurines and expansion packs abound.
Every Sunday, the covered back patio of this games store is made available for families to discover and play new games. These games are not cheap to buy, so the chance to try out games before purchasing them is appreciated, especially when games for kids are involved.
Hosted by Sonoma County Board Game Club using space donated by Goblin Bros., club members act as guides to help families navigate the setup and procedures of games.
On a recent visit, my son and five friends sat at a big picnic table and played through game after game. The guide ran them through Tsuro, Fluxx and Exploding Kittens.
Having the guide on hand is a great way to try out more difficult games, to help all the players up some steep learning curves.
Staff told me that they provide a bunch of board games so that Sonoma County Board Game Club can have multiple tables of games going.
Goblin Bros. provides the space for some community joy. My son and his friends howled in unison at the instruction of some card game. They were totally engaged the full two plus hours they played.
Fueled on hot chocolate from a coffeehouse around the corner, the kids dug into complex games like the conversational betrayal deduction game, Avalon. I am not sure I could have explained this successfully to six 11 year olds, but the Board Game Club guide had them all looking at each other side-long to see who was the assassin among them.
While in the store, it is always well worth your time to engage the staff on the kinds of games you are interested in. Everyone who works at Goblin Bros. is helpful and eager to share their deep knowledge of horrifying dungeon crawlers (not to mention provide biscuits for your dog).