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Easy Home Entertaining

Whether you’re hosting a girls’ night in or a casual get-together (game night, perhaps?), try these crowd-pleasing appetizers, fun party ideas, and easy cocktails.

Bottoms Up!

Stock Your Cocktail Bar
Entertaining expert A.J. Rathbun picks the liquors and mixers to splurge (or save) on.

10 Fun Party Cocktails
Strike a lasting impression at cocktail hour by serving a festive signature drink.

Woman in a yellow dress at a picnic

Easy Party Food Recipes and Tips

You may start out with a Holly Golightly attitude…but then the ice begins to melt and the bugs begin to circle. This essential guide will help you stay cool (with a fabulous cocktail!) when hosting your next summer gathering.
Photo: Joyce Lee

4 Easy Dinner Party Recipes

Guests due in 20 minutes? That's plenty of time to throw together one of these company-worthy meals.
Photo: Marcus Nilsson

100 Ways to Use Everyday Items When Entertaining

Clever new ideas for cake stands, drink stirrers, and more.
Photo: Photo: Erica McCartney; Styling: Kristine Trevino

6 Outdoor Dinner Party Essentials

The secret ingredients (that don’t involve the food) for hosting an unforgettable bash.
Photo: David Meredith
Woman in a yellow dress at a picnic
Striped table with four plates and a flower
Washi Tape as Cocktail Flag
Blue metal outdoor chair

Wine and Cheese Night

Server pouring red wine

6 Types of Wine to Try
Move over, Chardonnay. These under-the-radar wines are every drop as good as your regular bottles.

Cheese board

How to Create the Ultimate Cheese Board
Get expert tips on types of cheese, crackers, and accompaniments.

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White wine bottle

Dinner Party Checklist

Follow this step-by-step guide to plan a party that’s as much fun to host as it is to attend.

  • Choose a theme, if you want one. Decide whether it will be an elegant soiree or a cozy supper, then think about a theme in terms of season, occasion, and guest list. Make, buy, or borrow any related decorations you might need.
  • Extend invitations. Mail, phone, and e-mail invites are all acceptable; the more formal the dinner, the more appropriate a written invitation, perhaps tied into the theme. Include such details as the date and time (typically 7 p.m., which allows an hour for cocktails, appetizers, and mingling), the deadline to RSVP (a week before party day), your address, and suggested attire if formal.
  • Plan the menu. Keep it fairly simple, including make-ahead dishes if possible (so you don’t spend too much time running in and out of the kitchen), and take the weather into consideration.

View The Entire Checklist

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