I recently threw my first house party since I moved into my house. And I think I can safely say it was the party of the year… so I thought I would share a couple tips on how to throw a fun party.
- Make Lists.
- Shop in advance – You don’t want to do all the shopping on the day, you will be too exhausted to enjoy it.
- Prepare for spillage. Cover your couches in throws and remove breakable things. Even if things don’t get too out of hand, the peace of mind is worth it.
- Set up areas for activities but allow your guests to discover and enjoy them on their own – You can’t force people to have fun.
- Make sure there is good music playing on decent speakers, and arrange a dance floor area.
Nice social activities like beer pong and darts are always a good idea. Even for the people who aren’t playing it is often fun to watch and for everyone to get involved. If you don’t have a ping pong table you can use a dining room table or something similar.
If you have a swimming pool or somewhere for people to swim buy a few of those cheap blow up tubes and some pool noodles. It just creates a nice vibe.
A fun, tasty shooter is always a good idea. 2 or 3 rounds is all that is necessary throughout the night. And it’s a great way to create a buzz. My shot of choice is a chocolate cake: Half Vodka, Half Frangelico. Except with mine I add a nectarine slice on top instead of an orange slice. I couldn’t find oranges once so I bought nectarines and now I prefer it.
Zones. Set your seating areas up in zones but keep them out in the open. People like to chat and socialise in smaller groups, rather than sitting in a huge group around one large table. Unless you are playing some kind of drinking game that requires this.
Place rubbish bins and recycling bins in convenient locations. This will save on the post party clean up, and it saves you having to answer the question, “Where is your rubbish bin?” 20 times. Try set things up intuitively so people won’t be asking you where things are the whole time. Things like making sure there is a bottle opener and ice readily available and you have a generous supply of toilet paper.
Snacks. You don’t have to go all out. But a few packets of chips can go a long way. If the party includes a braai, try making some of my Garlic Bread. It will be a smash hit.
Plastic cups. You do not want to be worrying about broken glass. Also, you can use them for the beer pong.
Lastly, remember to enjoy yourself. Hosting a party can be quite daunting. I like to step away for a minute or two to take in the moment and regroup. Often things will happen that are out of your control and those things don’t have to ruin your night. Just take everything in your stride. And if you get your friends to help you clean up the next day, that’s a bonus 😛