Being a party host is a big job. Whether it's a kid's birthday party, a 50th anniversary party for your parents, or bunco with a group of friends... the one hosting is sure to be stressed from beginning to end. Staying on task is key, and as mentioned in Part 1 of this series, organization and lists are your knights in shining armor! In Part 1, you learned the basics of planning for the big day. In this article, you will learn 3 important steps to keep you relaxed and your guests, big or small, entertained.
Don't expect your guests to entertain themselves. Sure it's nice just being in a room with lots of people to talk to, but that alone is often just about as much fun as a PTA meeting. Whether kids or adults, all will have a blast with only minimal entertainment... really! For adults, usually a mapped out dance floor - easy to create using duct tape or masking tape - and some good old fashioned music from the past is ALL that you will need! Have a dance off for prizes or bragging rights. For kids, simple games are inexpensive and easy. Keep them involved and excited by keeping a score board and prizes for the winners - cheap prizes such as $5 or $10 gift cards to their favorite places. Use Google to find fun games for all ages.
To make a big impression, just chips and dip from a jar won't do! Most homemade dips are super easy to make with minimal ingredients - and these are sure to be a big hit. There are also lots of simple finger foods that you can have available. Some examples are caprese salad bites and cheddar bacon potato rounds. Recipes for these and more will be available in a future article.
Stay on a pre-determined schedule. Kids birthday parties should generally last 2 to 3 hours, while evening parties - for anniversaries, adult birthdays, etc. - can be 3 to 4 hours. However long your party, you will need to plan specific events to happen at certain times in order to keep the party moving and ensure that it ends on-time. All guests will not arrive on time. For this reason, allow some time in the beginning for eating and mingling. Once you are approximately 30 minutes into the party, start the games or whatever entertainment you have planned. Cut and serve the cake/ice cream at the 2/3 point - 1 1/2 hour for a 2 hour party, 2 hours for a 3 hour party and 3 hours for a 4 hour party - with gift opening immediately following. After that, it's just mingling once again until it is time for the guests to leave.
You can be an organized and stress free party host! The most important things are to have a plan, work with lists and stay on schedule. For party planning or consulting, email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org .