Is there anyone who doesn’t love a great house party? We certainly do, because hosting a party at home is a fabulous way to enjoy yourself with a group of family or friends in a convivial atmosphere.
Unlike a nightclub, you don’t need to shout to make yourself heard above the music, there’s food, and you get to relax on the sofa. So, what’s not to like?!
However, great house parties don’t just happen. Creating a night to remember takes some planning and forethought. Music and drinks might form the basis of your party, but if you want to take it up a notch, you’ll need to think of ways to entertain your guests too.
To help you, we’ve put together a list of house party ideas that will inspire you to plan a fun-filled get-together that your guests will be talking about long after the party’s over.
Prepare to party!
- Think carefully about who you will invite. Choose a group of friends who know each other, or people who have something in common and are likely to hit it off.
- Be realistic about how many people you can comfortably accommodate – you don’t want to end up playing sardines!
- Let the neighbours know in advance if the party is likely to affect them.
With this out of the way, you can focus on the type of party you want to hold.
If you’re having a summer party, consider holding it in the garden. As the light fades, there’s something magical about fairy lights, and candles in jars create a fantastic ambience.
Enhance your guests’ experience still further by adding night-scented plants in pots around your seating area.
Why not hold a formal dinner party in the garden? Dress your table with some simple flowers in jam jars, or other containers, and add hurricane lanterns so guests can see what they’re eating. On that note, keep the food simple to ensure you enjoy yourself and have time to chat with your guests. And if you don’t have an outdoor dining table, transport your indoor table outdoors for the evening. Add music and enjoy.
Alternatively, go casual and have an evening barbecue. The great thing about this is that there are a lot of things you can prepare in advance.
Not unlike a pub crawl, but with food as well as drink! This is a great way to entertain on a limited budget as the costs are shared with your co-hosts.
You will need to collaborate with friends or neighbours who live within a short distance of each other to create a mobile feast. If distances require a car, agree designated drivers in advance.
Start with pre-prandial drinks at one house and enjoy each course at a different house, perhaps ending with mints and coffee / brandy at the final destination. When you’re planning, don’t forget to allow for travelling time between courses.
There are of course plenty of drinking games you could play, but if you don’t want to end up too tipsy, consider these alternatives:
Pictionary – play using a flip chart or easel and marker pens, or play Pictionary Air
Taboo – get your team to guess the word on the card without using any of the taboo words or clues.
The chocolate game
You’ll need a large bar of chocolate, a hat and scarf, oven mitts and a knife and fork for each player. Players take turns to roll a dice and try to get a six. When they do, they must don the hat, scarf and oven mitts and try to eat as much chocolate as possible using their knife and fork. Their turn ends when another player throws a six. Continue until the chocolate is finished.
If you’re holding a formal dinner party, you’ll want to ensure that everyone has a great time, and what better way than hiring a magician to engage and entertain your guests? You could have the magician perform between courses, or after the meal is over. If you’re based in Ireland, you can book a magician directly through our website.
Watching a film on your own is just not the same as watching it with a group of friends. The evening’s success will, however, depend largely on how well you pair the film with your guests, so spend some time selecting something that you know will appeal to everyone’s tastes.
For the ultimate experience, consider renting a projector and a sound system. If you are hiring equipment, ensure it supports the streaming service you intend to use.
With the film sorted, it’s time to turn your attention to the seating to ensure your guests are comfy. If you don’t have sufficient sofa space, add some beanbags, or floor cushions. During the winter months, provide a few throws or blankets that guest can snuggle up under.
It wouldn’t be a movie night without snacks. The classic choice is popcorn; serve it in red-striped boxes to add to the atmosphere, and make sure there’s plenty. Crisps, tortilla chips, marshmallows, chocolates, nuts and any small bite size snacks are also ideal. Or, if you want something more substantial, order in a post or pre-film take-away.
Drinks-wise, it’s probably a good idea not to have too much alcohol during the screening in case your guests fall asleep! In the winter, hot chocolate and coffee are good alternatives, while summer is the perfect time for fruit punch and mocktails. If you’re serving alcoholic beverages, make sure you have plenty of bottled water and soft drinks available too.
Turn the lights down low, press play and watch!
Murder mystery dinner party
This is a great opportunity to dress up and have fun. The first thing you’ll need to do is select a theme. Tailor this to fit your guests’ interests, using TV shows, books, or movies as inspiration. Ensure your final choice has sufficient characters to make it viable. Ideas could include:
- The Great Gatsby
- A Sherlock Holmes story
- Harry Potter
Create a storyline and make cards with a character description for each guest. If you want to avoid too much planning, these are available online in kit form complete with descriptions and evidence cards containing clues. A solution card is also included.
Next, invite the suspects! You’ll need to include a description of their character, costume suggestions and an RSVP slip. The latter is essential – you can’t have a murder without the murderer!
How to play
- The party host can act as the detective in charge if desired.
- Guests should stay in character.
- Announce the murder during pre-dinner drinks.
- Split guests into two teams and provide each team with information about the prime suspects.
- During dinner, teams interview their prime suspects.
- Guests, including the murderer, should stick to their script.
- Once all the suspects have been interviewed, teams must name the killer and supply the motive.
Match your food to the theme or era of your party.
Murder mysteries usually have a theme or are set in a particular era, so decorate your dining area accordingly. Candles or low lighting will add to the atmosphere.
We hope you’ve found these ideas useful, and that they’ve inspired you to throw a house party of your own. And why not mix and match our suggestions? Hold a movie screening in the garden, play games after a movie night, or combine a murder mystery night with a grub crawl.
We pride ourselves in working with the best entertainers and party services in each category: magicians, face painters, photo booths and more. In you’re interested in booking an entertainer, take a look at the PartyWizz website.