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Mille Bornes for Family Fun with the Collectors' Edition & Game Table

Updated on November 2, 2013

Mille Bornes was fun back in the day, and is still fun! Family celebrations are rife with competition and rivalries for the drivers for day after day of travel in Europe, via the Mille Bornes play automobile.

If we can't be on scene watching the sportscars channel around the curves, and up and down the mountains we'd create our own little home grown races around the big old round oak game table.

Where does my love for European road races come from?

Could be, and very likely it is, it stems from my teenage visit back to my home state of Alaska. The state still wasn't a state back then. And we didn't go up there to gallivant with anyone from Europe either, far as I knew.

My grandpa, dad and brothers had already been up at the Alaskan mining camp weeks prior to the day the women in the family joined them. There were three of us, Mom, me and my cat, and we had driven a couple thousand miles over the mostly gravel Alaskan Highway by ourselves.

My dad had shaken off the farm dust

from his shoes when he left the Midwest for the University of Washington back in the late 1930s. Farming wasn't the thing for him. Dad had aspirations of becoming a mining engineer so he could put his love of minerals, of geologic formations, and the lure of gold in the ore to practical use.

He interned during the Summer after his Junior year in college at the very mining camp that my mom's father partly owned and ran. It was a real family affair, with an uncle or too also working the ground. Many people think that all gold mines are deep tunnels and warrens down in the deep rock, but this wasn't even a gold mine.

Grandpa didn't stay long at the

camp after Mom and I arrived; he had other mining interests to manage. It was a seven day work schedule, with all the men, teenagers in our family and hired miners, working the ground, and the women working the typical dawn to dusk schedule. This was Summer in Alaska, when the sun shone far into the night, and we worked similarly.

Saturday nights we romped

at the local roadhouse, where other mining families and some native locals gathered to eat, play pinball and card games, and dance after dinner. It was like a big family affair, with everyone together celebrating. Well, that was where I met the teenage boy from Switzerland and I was sure I had found the reason for that trip North.

We were destined to marry

- of that I was sure. We didn't even need to have any time alone. Sitting around the big cafe tables, playing cards and telling stories, I imagined how grand it was going to be to marry a miner in Switzerland. Of course we were going to live in a mountain cabin close by his mine. Dream on girl. Well, when Summer ended we returned to our home in The States, and my longings for the Swiss miner slept.

Then I found European road racing

and giggled at the thought of taking them in with Swiss Man, but decided I'd join in the game play around the table instead, as that was probably as close to watching the races in person as I would get. Oh yeah, I really knew that the likelihood of my actually witnessing the races on the European ground was about as likely as really marrying Swiss Man. I got really good at living my dream aspirations at our family room game table.

You can have such fun too

even if you already have your Swiss Man, or if you're still dreaming of him. Mille Bornes is rated 4.5 Stars on Amazon by 202 Reviewers who agree with me that this 50 year (2012) Collectors' Edition set is addictive. And the fun that results is much more lively than a roomful of family members with their heads in their phones and their hands on the joysticks for video games. Have fun!

Goal is to rack up the 1,000 miles on this trip across France. Get it? France butts right up to Switzerland, and someone lives and mines in Switzerland, and he's just waiting for me!

Fun for ages 8 & up. Game cards give the holder miles, or present barriers like flat tires or running out of gas, or give you the green light. But the opponent can block you if they hold the right card that runs you out of gas, or some other hazard. Solution: draw the roll card and make some more mileage.

Nice video tutorial makes the game clear after he shares his family history with the game.

Have you played Mille Bornes? or Have you fallen for a Swiss Man or Woman, or Have you been to an Alaskan Mining Camp?

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      @esmonaco: I love it when old things seem new again.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      We used to play this game all of the time with friends, I was thinking about it but couldn't remember the name of it... Thanks so much

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      I haven't done any of these things (and I never even heard of this game before) but I'd like to do two of those things. Hmmm, which two . .