Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Party Guests Entertained
A last-minute party might sound like a good idea—until you realize that, after setting up the logistics of the gathering, the task of keeping all the guests entertained falls to the host. (That little chore might have fallen off the party planning checklist.) To host a party well, you'll need to create a comfortable atmosphere and energized ambiance using everything from the music to how the guests interact. The goal is to make guests comfortable and familiar with one another; once that happens, they'll be able to entertain each other, leaving you to enjoy yourself, too.
Need a little help? Try these tips, and pick up a few party games and activities to have on-hand for the next soiree. With this guide, your guests are sure to have a ball.
Pick Your Playlists
Music-streaming services make it simple to keep a playbook of playlists. DJ Taiga of Remixologists, an events company in New York and Philadelphia, recommends the playlists "Indie Dinner Party," "Jazzy Dinner," and "Feel Good Dinner" on Spotify. You could also try Pandora stations like "Hipster Cocktail Party," "Classic Soul BBQ," and "Brunch Cafe." Spotify even has "The Cleaning Playlist," which is full of sing-along classics that make pre- or post-party cleanup more bearable. If you don't have time to queue up a playlist, ask a willing guest to play DJ, suggests Michael Smith Boyd, an Atlanta-based designer and the star of Buying It Blind on Bravo.
Break the Ice
Help get the conversation started by setting out some games. A deck of trivia cards left on an ottoman can spur discussion. "Someone will draw a card and ask, 'Who was the 40th president of United States?,' and then it just draws people in," says San Francisco designer Allison Pickart.
Your smart home hub may also have crowd-pleasing games to choose from. On the Google Nest Hub Max ($229; store.google.com), try a classic such as Truth or Dare or a trivia game such as I'm Feeling Lucky. Or check out Alexa's true-crime games (for mature audiences), in which your group solves a murder together. Bosch: A Detective's Case is exciting and just challenging enough.
When it's time to eat, don't be afraid to ask people to sit next to or across from at least one person they don't know well. The directive feels impromptu, but guests will appreciate the opportunity to branch out.
For party games and activities for all ages, try one of these entertaining finds: