Cheap, creative party fun

by Patty Templeton

Praise be to pleasure and all hail the get-down! There are more ways in heaven and earth, Horatio, to have a good time than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Ain’t nothing wrong with Netflix, but get some variety! In fact, here’s a splendorous list of fun crap to do with your friends that’s always sounded fab but you’ve never done.

Beer tastingPick a house, any house, then fill that house with snacks, Spotify, and a few iced-up coolers. Tell folks to bring a six-pack of an awesome craft beer and expect to share. Have enough glasses on hand for your guests so that everyone can try “tastes” of all the beers brought.

Bloody Mary bar Have a lazy Sunday porch party with a build-your-own bloody Mary bar. This can get as complicated as you want to make it. General fixins to have on hand: Homemade bloody Mary mix, one or two store-bought bloody Mary mixes, pickles, and vodka. Everything else is a bonus, like: Pearl onions, green olives, blue cheese-stuffed olives, celery, jalapeños, bacon, mozzarella cheese, and spicy pickled asparagus. Heck, some people even balance whole sliders or grilled cheese halves on their glass.

Casino nightI see your cards and raise you a … you won’t know until you throw a casino party and play me in poker. Games to have on hand: Blackjack, poker, scratch-off lotto tickets, friendly sports event betting, dice, and darts with a Rat Pack soundtrack.

Dessert potluckOh my freakin gawd. All desserts, all the time. Everyone who steps in the door hands the host a dessert. Red velvet cupcakes, Jell-O shots, caramel corn, carrot cake, Rumchata cheesecake, peanut M&Ms, popsicles, whatever. Just bring the sugar.

Era partyFlapper party, anyone? How about a 1980s dance night? You could have a 1800s masquerade! Too much work? Take it down a notch to a mod 1960s cocktail hour. Other ideas include a 1950s beatnik night, a ’70s disco, or ’90s grunge.

Fort nightHave a big enough space for as many forts as you have people coming over. If this is a bigass, grown-ups-making-forts party, everyone needs to bring extra fairy-lit tent or pillow kingdom supplies.

Game nightEveryone has at least one card or board game. Tell your friends to bring one over. If you have only a couple folks, draw from a hat what game you play first. If a hellton of people are at your house, separate off into groups so some folks can play dominoes, Jenga, Catan, Cards Against Humanity, charades, or whatever.

Host a salonCommon in the 17th and 18th centuries, salons were gatherings dedicated to showcasing the talents of guests in the literary, musical, or philosophical arts. Invite friends over to give readings, talk refined politics, play music, or do whatever they do to amuse the rest of the group.

Host a séanceYou don’t have to get dark and spooky about it, or you could. Invite over a spiritualist, if you know any. If you don’t, bring out the Ouija board and relearn how to play “Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board.”

Karaoke partyYou may or may not have a karaoke machine. You don’t need one. You need a YouTube karaoke channel and pizzazz.

LuauWeather is getting dang fine out. Get a few tiki torches, dress the tables in grass skirts, lay out tropically-infused food, set up some coconut bowling, and put on exotica lounge tunes.

Music clubEveryone has book clubs these days, but few think to do it with music. Invite folks over who nerd out to music and talk about your all-time favorites and new finds. Have everyone tell you their current top-rotation song to put on a party playlist.

Murder mystery nightPinterest is full of overachievingly gorgeous murder mystery dinner ideas. You can also buy a kit for about $30 or Google for a downloadable free kit on how to kill your friends and have them love you for it.

Postcard partyYou can get postcards at Walgreens, Maria’s, Amazon, all over the damn place. Put on music, figure out who you’ve lost track of, and commence the letter writing or drawing campaign!

Pool partyKnow what hot days need? Kiddie pools full of cool water that you and your friends lounge in.

Strain exchangeTell your pals to bring their favorite strain, edible, or cannabis product. You can all exchange for someone else’s favorite or set up a tasting bar of new weed to try.

Tea timeGet your floofy crinoline and top hat on – or go uppity and put on your poshest frock or suit, it’s high tea time! Have a variety of traditional teas, fancy teapots, (thrifted or fancy) teacups, bite-sized sammiches, and adorable desserts, like lavender tea bread.

TV partyGet extra on this. Instead of just marathoning a TV show with friends, theme your whole night around it. Have pals dress up like characters from whatever show you’re watching, like “Stranger Things,” “Game of Thrones,” or “American Horror Story.” Then have food that captures the show, too. Like massive GOT turkey legs or ’80s candy for “Stranger Things.”

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer


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