Most parties revolve around seasonal and regional holidays. Christmas and New Years’ parties focus on bringing together a community and planning changes for the coming year. Super Bowl parties, on the other hand, are more about socializing with finger foods while the game runs in the background.
However, some hosts want to go above and beyond when it comes to planning a house party. Setting up a mini bar and clearing out the furniture isn’t enough—they also want a theme and a plan of action. And while it often requires extra work from the hosts, themed parties are often the most memorable—just as anyone who has attended Heidi Klum’s annual Halloween Bash will tell you.
Are you looking to find an idea for your next soiree? One that delivers on a theme and also an activity to keep guests engaged? Keep reading for five ideas that you can adapt to your needs.
The casino floor is one of the most recognizable images in pop culture. It’s associated with glamour, extravagant outfits, and a certain Man of Mystery. Get out the green felt for your tabletops and roll out the red carpet—just don’t forget to tell guests that this party is a black-tie event.
In terms of activity, choose a casino game and create a layout for players. Poker is a popular option, as most guests are likely familiar with how to play Texas Hold’em either online or at a table. For larger parties, consider setting up two poker stations for guests to join and leave at their leisure. For smaller gatherings, use one table to keep the focus on one game being played.
A casino night will deliver on glamour, both in terms of dress and in terms of cunning bluffs at the poker table. However, some hosts might want to host a rowdier get-together—especially those with boisterous friend groups. In this case, hosting a talent show is a seamless way to have fun without doing too much prep work.
Simply create a ‘stage’ where there’s plenty of light and room to move. Be sure to ask guests to sign up with their talent, as you may need to set up a microphone or other equipment. For added fun, let your guests score each participant and then name a winner at the end of the night.
Similar to a casino night, a murder mystery requires hosts to go above and beyond in terms of planning. To create a solid murder mystery plot, hosts can either invent their own stories or borrow from an online source. Just be sure that guests RSVP, as you’ll need to make plans for a specific number of attendees.
To add to the enigmatic evening, hosts can also provide basic costumes for guests that fit the theme. Costumes can be as simple as hats, glasses, or other smaller accessories. These also help create a more playful and engaging atmosphere, as party-goers are literally embodying the roles that they play.
Chef’s Night In
Hosts that aren’t afraid of investing a bit into their themed party might consider hosting a cook-in. In most cities, local chefs are available for hire to either cater a party or teach a small group how to prepare their own dishes. With the latter, the party doesn’t just end with a delicious meal but also teaches guests a few new cooking skills.
Before scheduling the evening, be sure to get a firm head count. After that, consider which meals are appropriate for the season, the duration of the party, the readiness of the kitchen where the night will be hosted, and the palates of those in attendance. Be sure to inquire about basic equipment like aprons—and possibly chef’s hats.
While a talent show-themed party is likely to include a few songs, hosts with vocal friends can also consider a karaoke competition. Those without a karaoke machine or a friend to borrow one from can look into equipment rentals from local electronics shops. Like larger mics and speakers, quality karaoke machines and microphones are often available for short-term rentals.
Once again, the host will need to focus on creating a stage. Don’t be afraid to use all available lighting to create a glitzy ambiance. From there, let guests choose their next song or live dangerously by hitting shuffle.