When you’re a kid, any party has the potential to be the “party of a lifetime”. All it really takes is a few board games, a couple pizzas and an extended bedtime.
But as you get older, and as you start attending party after party, the whole thing starts to lose its lustre after a while. You get into a routine of meeting at a friend’s house or going to a bar, chatting about the same old topics and complaining about the same old hang-ups. Whereas when you were a kid, parties were new and exciting, now they’re each an exercise in jumping through hoops.
But they don’t have to be. It is well within your purview to throw an epic, inspiring and memorable party – but you can’t do it by relying on the same old conventions. In order to spice up your next party, you need to spice up every element. That means tackling the 6 essential elements of any party:
- The Venue
- The Drinks
- The Food
- The Music
- The Décor
- The After Party
In this article, let’s tackle each of these 6 elements, and offer sage party advice on how to spice them up!
Throw Out the Old Venue
Forget going to your friend’s house. Forget meeting at that Irish bar downtown, or that small plates restaurant, or the club. Meet somewhere that is going to break the ice, crank up the fun and get everyone out of their comfort zone – spice up your next party with axe throwing at a nearby facility.
This sport has popped up all over recently, and owes its ultra-popularity to the fact that it makes a perfect party game. Get your friends together, learn how to throw axes at wooden targets, and then face off in a round robin competition. It’s exciting, different, and it makes for an unparalleled photo opportunity.
Shake Up the Drink Selection
Beer and wine are fine for the first portion of the evening, when you’re at an axe throwing facility (many of which sell beer and wine), but if you want to shake up the drinks situations, you have to literally shake it up.
Come up with a couple signature cocktails, buy the requisite booze, break out the cocktail shaker, print out the how-to-make instructions and set up a station where people can make their own cocktails. It’s an interactive way of sharing drinks, but don’t be surprised when, toward the end of the night, people start going off-script!
Get Personal About the Food
It’s fine to just lay out some snacks. It’s fine to order in food or go out to a restaurant. But none of those options are particularly exciting. If you want to spice up the food portion of your party, set up a do-it-yourself bar.
Choose a type of food famous for its customizability – like pizza, mac n’ cheese or even fresh ramen – and set up a bar for people to make their own personal masterpiece. It takes a little prep beforehand, but since people are helping themselves, there’s nothing you need to do “a la minute”, meaning you can kick back and enjoy yourself.
Choose a Dynamic Playlist
Rather than have the same style of music throughout the night, tailor the music to match the action. That means creating a dynamic playlist, one that plays upbeat, exciting music, during fast-paced portions of evening like axe throwing, and mellower music during times like dinner.
If you want, you can just save a few different playlists on Spotify for use throughout the evening, but if you really want to spice things up, try creating the playlists yourself.
Access Your Inner Kid
Kids get all the great party games: piñatas, pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs. To spice things up, access your inner child.
Fill your adult piñata with little liquor bottles and party favors (in addition to candy, of course – no one’s too old for candy) and take turns swinging at it. Play pin the tail on… whatever you want really, as long as it’s not too mean. And play musical chairs with some hardcore rap music.
Know Your Late Night Options
As the night winds down, you’ll have people that want to leave and people that want to keep partying. Have a plan for the end of the night, whether it’s packing up and heading to a karaoke bar, or just settling into a board game. Regardless of what you choose, it avoids that awkward “should we leave” feeling at the end of the night.
Tonight, party like it’s 1999 (or whenever you were a kid). Spice up your party by shaking up each element of the party, and create a gathering to remember.