My parents came to visit us for a week. Well, they really came to see their grandson but they had to see the parents as well :P And, while they aren't gamers, my mom and dad know they can't visit me without playing some games.
Dad and I got into a series of games of Pentago one night and all of us got in a couple games of Marrakech when the grandson went to bed early.
After all these years, I have a pretty good idea of what kind of games my parents will enjoy. Abstracts with relatively simple rules but room for depth. Marrakech was bending the rules a bit but I knew it would work well.
I was late to the party with Pentago. A five-in-a-row game where you rotate a quarter of the board each turn, I don't consider it to be as good as the GIPF series or Hive (Pentago just isn't as deep) Which isn't to say it isn't good. Pentago is very good and super accessible. It always been a hit when I've taught it.
I bought Marrakech in a whim and everyone in the group I was in was surprised by how good it is. You move a shared pawn across the board and place carpets down. You have to pay if you land on someone else's carpet. Simple rules with surprisingly nasty play.
It's not a revelation that games that are good for non-gamers can be fun and fulfilling games for those of us in the hobby. Ticket to Ride would hardly be such a hit if that wasn't true. But it is good to always have some on hand.