Fun 102: How To Throw A Party

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Parties are designed to have fun

Parties can be whatever you want them to be

Your overall happiness and productivity determines how successful your party will be

Throwing a party can take plenty of work, but is usually worth it

Everyone should enjoy themselves, you should provide enough seating, and your event should never run out of food

  • Make the conversations more meaningful by placing the seats close together

Parties often cost more money than you may expect and often require some creativity to stay entertaining and within the budget

Planning a party is relatively straightforward

Ask a few questions to clarify your expectations

  • What is your event budget and what parts do you want to spend the most on?
  • Should guests bring their friends or is your party invite-only?
  • Are you serving alcohol?
    • Alcohol at a party adds plenty of fun, but drunk people make gigantic messes and break objects
  • Can or should others bring alcohol, food or drinks?

If you need any significant planning, set your party at least two weeks out

  • Immediately advertise the date, time, ending time, and location

Advertise party events that might interest your guests

Track the people you invite

You might offend some friends and family if you’re not careful whom you invite

Observe your venue’s physical limits

  • About 70-80% of your guests will attend, but often not at the same time
  • Advertising through social media yields closer to 50% attendance
  • People don’t need much space but do need room to move around

The larger the party, the more unpredictable and fun it can be

  • If the event has more than twelve members, inform or invite your neighbors

If you’re using an RSVP system, don’t expect people to respond until as early as a few days before the event or when you establish an early deadline

If you have an entrance fee, have a plan for people who won’t pay it but still show up

Set a theme for your party

Make creative themes to interest people in the event

  • Even in a professional party, you can still have some silliness
  • Get a powerful enough projector for a group play video games or watch movies
  • Have a costume party or a dinner theater
  • Use your friends’ talents to make creative and exciting games or decorations

Find music that fits the theme

  • Always make an upbeat and energetic playlist that occasionally slows the tempo for people to relax and ends on a memorable song
  • Fit the music to the mood you want and the culture of the people you’ve invited

Make or buy decorations

Make entertaining methods of displaying your food

  • Boil water before freezing it to make transparent ice
  • Cut a hole in a carved-out watermelon or pumpkin and insert a spigot to turn it into a drink dispenser
  • Carve out a watermelon and make it a fruit bowl
  • Cut the top half off of a pumpkin, remove all the insides and put a glass bowl inside it to make a drink cooler
  • Tonic water has quinine, which glows in the dark with a blacklight
  • Serve apple cider in cut-out insides of apples, stir with cinnamon sticks
  • Glue wood paneling on the outside of an old refrigerator and rotate the compressor 90 degrees to turn it into an ice chest
  • Pour chocolate over a filled balloon while holding a bowl under to catch the drips, turn upside down after it’s dried and deflate the balloon, then fill with strawberries
  • Serve condiments in a muffin tray
  • Make a serving tray out of peppermints by baking a tray with peppermints in rows for ten minutes

Make interesting-looking food

  • Make decorative hard boiled eggs by cracking them lightly with a spoon, pouring dye on and then rinsing with water
  • Use condiment bottles filled with icing to decorate cookies and cakes or set it out for the guests to do it
  • Use the bottom portion of an empty 2-liter bottle to make flavored ice that looks like a flower
  • Cut ice cream through the paper container with a knife for easier serving

Make your decorations and recruit friends to help

  • All seasons
    • Put a glow stick in a balloon
    • Cut open a glow stick and shake the contents into a glass jar, add diamond glitter, seal the top of the lid and shake
    • At night, throw glow sticks into a pool or put white Christmas lights around the inside edge of the pool
    • Stake balloons to the ground with golf tees
    • Spray glow-in-the-dark paint on rocks and line a walkway
    • Cut slits along the sides of an empty can, push the ends together to fan the can out, remove the labeling and turn into a unique Chinese lamp
    • Apply Rain X in a design to make an image or text that only shows up when it’s wet outside
    • Cut a rose stem into four vertical stalks and soak each part into a different food dye to make a rainbow pattern
    • Make a homemade Tiki Torch by sticking a shoelace into an alcohol bottle, then sealing it up with the lace sticking out
    • Tape differently colored glow sticks to your ceiling fan and turn it on
  • Cold weather
    • Fill balloons up with water and food coloring, freeze, then cut the balloons off to make giant marbles
  •  Halloween
    • To make creepy-looking ice, put a frozen rubber glove in water with red food coloring and freeze
    • Make “night eyes” by cutting eyes into toilet paper rolls and putting glow sticks into them
    • To make decorations that look like faces, draw faces on upside down plastic cups and put LED tealights under them
    • Halloween pumpkins can be carved out and cut in half to be a drink cooler
    • Make Jack-o-Lantern Cheeseburgers by putting hamburger patties onto a bottom bun, then cutting out American cheese into Jack-o-Lantern faces
    • Make spider cookies by drawing legs with a toothpick on cookies while the chocolate chips are still warm

Prepare your pool for a party

  • Make a pool by placing bales of hay around a flat area, dropping a waterproof tarp over the bales to the ground, securing the tarp with rope and filling it with water
  • Throw a tennis ball in to pick up oils in the pool
  • Heat a pool by putting black trash bags over hula hoops and throwing them in
  • Tape pool noodles to the outside of a plastic container or string it around with rope to make a pool cooler
  • Tape pool noodles to the edge of a board to have a floating drink table or beer pong table
  • Float a children’s pool inside a full-sized pool

Get your food and decorations a week before the event

  • Buy all the non-perishable food and drinks you’ll need
  • Borrow, rent or buy utensils and dining pieces you still need
  • Arrange your music playlist

Prepare the house before the party day

  • Cleaning house a few days in advance keeps you low-stress
  • Set up every decoration
  • Prepare all the food in advance

Put markers next to disposable cups and attach different-colored rubber bands to bottoms of wine glasses to help people keep track of theirs

Relax for the event

  • Your mood and mental state determine how much people enjoy the event

Parties should balance between engaging events and relaxing

A great party keeps people interested but doesn’t wear them out

Inspire people to connect more

  • Place a basket at the door and require people to put their phones in it
  • At the door, have everyone grab a glow stick (Green = single, Yellow = it’s complicated, Red = taken)
  • Make an icebreaker game where people have to learn about someone they don’t know and recite who the other person is

Have competitions

  • Run a rope through the bottom of a tissue paper box and fill with ping pong balls, have someone wear it on his or her backside and time someone shaking all the ping pong balls out
  • Have one person coat their face with shaving cream and others have to throw cheese balls onto it
  • Load a pinata with candy

Try drinking games if you’re bringing alcohol

  • Beer pong is quite familiar to many people
  • Play chess or checkers with shot glasses, a pizza box, and markers
  • Make the ultimate Beer Pong table by cutting holes in a board
  • Make “Beer Battleship” by cutting out foam ships with cup holders as the slots and playing a regular Battleship game next to it
  • Play chess with a checkered tile floor and drink cups
  • If the event is on your front lawn, place a sign that says YOU HONK WE DRINK
  • Play spin the bottle with shots where some of them aren’t alcoholic
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