Many parties begin with a cocktail hour that helps guests get acquainted with others they haven’t had the privilege of meeting before. During this time, it is appropriate to play background music and serve light appetizers. The cocktail hour can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.
Whether a meal is to be served depends upon the starting time of your party and your budget. Dinner parties usually start before 7 or 8 p.m. The decision of a sit-down dinner vs. buffet depends upon number of guests along with the size, characteristics and logistics of the party space. Be sure to check out our catering supplies page for dinner party essentials.
After the appetites have been satisfied one way or another, here are a few ideas for activities:
• If you have more snow in your area than you need, hire an ice sculptor for a demo of his/her art.
• Hire a band or small group of musicians to entertain a formal dinner and dance.
• Indoor parties with this theme are naturals for games of trivia. Roll up various trivia quizzes and tie with ribbon to match your theme colors. Put them at place settings for a sit-down dinner, or into a decorative basket if at a buffet. Try for a range of topics and a range of difficulty levels within each quiz. Here are a few ideas:
1. Sports – who holds what record in what sport, or match famous sports figures with the correct sport. Ask a sports fanatic to help you pull this together!
2. Inventors and Explorers – Provide a list, and have guests try to match inventors and explorers with their invention or discovery. Much more difficult than you might think!
3. Music – Either have guests try to match artists with song titles, match song titles with the year the song was a hit, or match songs with the decade they were from. Spend 45 minutes at a music store with a pad of paper, looking at the backs of compilation and “best of” CDs, and you’ll have enough music trivia to fill the whole year!
4. Movie Stars/Movies – Provide a list, and have guests match as many actors/actresses with the films they starred in, or have them try to match movie titles with the year the movie was released. Another fun Hollywood trivia game is to see who can name the most films that have won an Academy Award for Best Picture.
5. Make a list of the 5-10 most influential/important people of the year…many periodicals such as Time™ Magazine will be featuring such articles between now and December 31st. Ask guests to decide what significant contribution each made in order to make the list. The prize goes to the person who has all 5-10 or closest to it!
A great prize to award the winner of any of these trivia games would be Trivial Pursuit™, a subscription to a news periodical, or a coffee table book chronicling the past year. Browse Favors for other prize ideas.
Tell us your party activity ideas!