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By PatriciaDelisha On 09/14/02  

Very soon I will be hosting a small (10 - 12 people) cocktail party and I want to make it as fun for my guests as possible. I will be making and serving cocktails with as many ridiculous garnishes as possible and I'd like to have fun things like Jello shots and whatnot. I'd also like to do fun things like giving my guests toys and candy, having them fill out questionnaires about themselves and leaving puzzles and/or coloring books on tabletops, etc.

Does anyone have any suggestions for:

- fun decor?

- fun drink garnishes?

- fun finger foods or snacks?

- fun games or themes? (i.e. should it be a 'pajama party' or something similar?)

Thanks in advance!

By stella On 09/14/02  

i really like squirt guns, but that might not be a good idea... dollar stores usually have fine selections of cheap and amusing toys. my mom just got some see-thru plastic men with brightly colored plastic internal organs at the dollar store. i think the best decor is cheesy party shop decor. the last one i went to had all different lame themes, like hawaiian crap, and pirate stuff (which isn't lame. i got a plastic pirate hat swag.) and so forth... and you can stock up on balloons. it's always fun to fill a room with balloons to waist level, and frolic in it.

the only group game i like is Cranium. i think it's super fun. but i'm a nerd....


By bunny On 09/14/02  

mmmmm party snacks

hummus is good because it has protein and that's good when you're drunk. but that might just be my opinion as opposed to an actual fact . . . and have carrots and pita for dipping.

cookies are good. home made or otherwise. i've gone through 2 bags of soft batch very quickly at parties in the past.

chips! i usually do tortilla chips with dip: cream cheese slightly warmed with salsa poured over top. very yummy. people are hesitant at first then they start digging in. the basic french onion dip with ruffles is always a good standby, too. there is a reason why party staples are staples, you know.

i made artichoke dip at the last party and people really dug it:
2 cans of artichokes, drained and slightly cut up
1 cup parmesan
1 cup mayonnaise (i know it sounds gross, but i honestly was shocked when i found it had mayo in it--you can't tell, i think because of the parmesan)

mix the artichokes and mayo (maybe not the whole cup, use instincts here) and half to two thirds of the parmesan in a pyrex type dish. then sprinkle the parmesan all over the top. bake in the oven at 350 until it starts to brown. about 30 minutes, i believe. it's sooo good.

candy is good to have around too. dumdums, m&m's, and little packs of pez have been hits at parties.

the best though is mints! people are pleasantly surprised to look at the coffee or end tables and see a little bowl of breath refreshment sitting there. life savers or peppermints will do. nothing too fancy is necessary.

i hope yr party is a hit!

By gadgetgirl On 09/15/02  

I second that artichoke dip recipe, I have made it several times and its always a big hit. you can also sprinkle some paprika on the top before you put it in the oven and it gives it a pretty red colour on the top.

also, make sure you know people's diatary needs, if they have any. I have a friend who is really allergic to wheat and whenever she goes to dinner parties she has a hard time eating what is put in front of her.

other than that, just be flexible, you might have a bunch of games set up, but if everyone is having a great time just chatting, so be it.

also, have some non alcoholic drinks. Some people just don't want to drink for one reason or another and you don't want to leave them out.

By heathertea On 09/15/02  

I posted a little over a month ago and got some great ideas for food to make... >

my party was a success! =) I especially reccomend Lacey's ravioli skewers... everyone was impressed. I even stuck a black olive at the end of each skewer!

By chriskalen On 09/15/02  

Cranium rocks!! And the BEST game of them all is called O'Really.... here's how ya play. Get a bunch of little slips of paper the same colour and size, and pencils. put everyone in a circle and have one person be the guesser (you can take turns being the guesser). he or she picks a topic (a random aspect of human life like "your love life" "underwear" "bad habits" etc.) and each person has to write down a true fact or story about themselves regarding the topic (for example: if the topic was "your love life", you might say "ha! mine is like public property or something!" if *everyone* knows about it). Then all players hand their slips to a designated reader (who can't be the guesser, haha) and he or she reads them aloud, one by one (without saying the names, duh), to the guesser who has to try and match up each one with the person who wrote it. Each player must receive the slip that the guesser says is hers with a straight face so as not to give the guesser any hints. Then, once they've all been doled out, you can say which is yours to see how many the guesser got right (or wrong). *Such* a fun game, especially when the guests sort-of know each other (or even more fun when they REALLY know each other because you have to try to write down facts that you don't think they know about you and you wind up going "really??? i never knew that about you!!" .... and sometimes you can tell just by the way it's worded whose it is).

Christina, who all of a sudden wants to have a party so she can play :o)

By PatriciaDelisha On 09/16/02  

Thank you for the suggestions! I will definately be keeping the dietary needs and drink preferences of my guests in mind-- it's a small group so I pretty much already know everyone's do's and don'ts in terms of food and drink.

I'm going to go out and buy all sorts of little umbrellas, cherries and bendy straws to stick in the drinks. Another fun idea I read somewhere was to get a disposable camera and label it so that you give it to someone, they have to take the funniest picture possible and pass it to someone else who has to do the same, and so on, until the end of the night when they give it back to you. Something else I've done before is to buy a large pack of the tackiest fake tattoos possible and make everyone pick one to wear in a really conspicuous place.

I've got to go to the dollar store soon!

By marvy On 09/16/02  

Personally, the best place to get decorations, paper umbrellas, stirrers, favors and cool give-away prizes is Oriental Trading Company- and it's soo cheap- they have a website and a mail-order catalog-and Inflatable monkeys!


By CynMonkey On 09/16/02  

One thing that has become kind of a tradition for my "anti-Valentine's Day" parties is heart shaped jello shots. Just make a flat pan of them, and then cut them out with a cookie cutter. (You also end up with a lot of jello shot goo, which is fun.) You could make them any shape, really.

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