Simple activities and games at your party help keep guests occupied or fill in those gaps when conversation or dancing lull. At a grown-up birthday party, activities don’t have to be anything elaborate. Here’s some of our favorites:
Name That Tune
You’ll need a CD player and some compact discs with compilations of songs related to your theme (Luau, 50’s, retro) or just some good favorites of an era appropriate for your party guests. Play the first few bars, and see which guest can name that tune the fastest. Keep track of points and award the winner a music CD. If your group is large, play a variation on this game. Using famous songs, list song titles on one side of a page, and the original Artists or songwriters on the other side. Make enough copies for all guests. Challenge guests to match as many as possible. A challenging but fun adventure!
Provide each guest with 5 small pieces of paper, and a pencil. Ask them to write down the names of 5 famous people…leaders, movie stars, authors, sports figures, politicians, artists, inventors, scientists, etc. Fold the papers, and put them into a hat. Seat guests in a large circle. Each round is limited to 30 seconds, so have a watch with a second hand available. The first player pulls out a name, and tries to get the person beside them to guess the name. After the name is guessed, the clue giver can continue pulling names out of the hat for the full 30 seconds. Here are the rules: They can talk, but can’t point to items. They can’t spell out the name, but can say the letter the name starts with. They can reference just about anything, but the person’s name. As an example, if the name is “Sammy Sosa”, the clue giver might say…”The guy who had almost as many homeruns as Mark McGuire in the 1998 baseball season.” “He plays for the Chicago Cubs”, etc. Both the clue “giver” and the clue “guesser” get points for as many names as they guess in the 30-second time frame. Have each participant track his/her own points. The turn then passes to the guesser, who now becomes the clue giver, and his/her neighbor becomes the new guesser. This game is a blast to play, and really is not as difficult as these instructions would make it seem! Give it a try!
Pass the Package
Use two props related to your party theme, or wrap two boxes to look like beautiful gifts (approximately shoe box size). Divide guests into two teams and have them form two lines. At the signal to “go”, the prop is to be passed from person to person. The catch is that guests can use any part of their bodies except their hands. If the gift touches the ground at any time, it must go back to the beginning of the line again. Whichever team manages to get the prop to the end of the line first wins the game. You may want to fill each box with little prizes or candy (enough for all), so that both teams can open the gift and be rewarded for their efforts. We have several very inexpensive prizes in our Party Favor Store. Giggling good grown-up fun!
As an alternative, provide one plastic spoon for each player. Divide guests into two teams, and have them form two lines. Have each player put the spoon handle into his/her mouth. To begin the game, put one piece of candy into the spoon of the first person in each line. Players have to pass the candy down the line – without using their hands! If the candy falls, it goes back to the start of the line. The team that gets the candy to the end of the line first wins!
Create a trivia challenge to see how well guests know the guest of honor. Format the game like a game show in which guests compete as individuals or on teams, or make up trivia quizzes for which the guest with the most right answers wins. Questions can include things such as where the guest of honor went to high school, what their favorite sport, food or beverage is, their mother’s maiden name, etc.
To Speak or Not to Speak?
Give each player a bag or goodie box with 10 small treasures in it (candy, chocolates, little favors). Have bags labeled with players’ names, so they don’t get mixed up. Let players know at the start of the game exactly when the game will be ending—this game can be played throughout an entire party if you so choose. The object of the game is to catch fellow players saying one of the forbidden words or phrases:
Choose 5 or 6 words or phrases related to the theme of your party.
For example, for a New Year’s party, you might select: MILLENNIUM, NEW YEAR, TWELVE, CENTURY, TIMES SQUARE
For a luau, you might select: PALM TREE, LEI, COCONUT, BEACH, TROPICAL
For a Retro Party, you might select: GROOVY, DISCO, FAR OUT, SMILEY FACE, PEACE, YEAH BABY
For a Wedding Shower, you might select: BRIDE, GROOM, GIFTS, HONEYMOON, RECEPTION
(Select words or phrases that would be natural for guests to say considering the occasion.)
To help players, post the words prominently on a board where they can be seen often. If someone is caught saying one of the words on the list, that person has to give up a treasure from their stash. The player with the biggest haul of goodies at the end of the game is the winner! Lots of fun!