The Anatomy of a Theme Party

So you finally picked the ideal theme for the party that you are planning. You sent out the invitations and are sure of what the decor is going to be. You have the ideal menu for the party planned and then after all the planning you are at the big day. So how does the party go? It will all depend on how you set it up.

When you put in so much planning you want the event to be a success so plan out the progress of the party as well. Set up fixed time slots to move from one part of the party to the next. Factor in some flexibility, but remember things tend to take longer than you thought they would. On the whole if you follow these tips your party should stay right on track and rock.

The Entry - As guests come into the party venue they need to be pushed into "Theme Mode". Some themes will involve costumes that already make them look the part, but you have to make them feel the part too. This is easiest done by giving them something related to the theme as they enter. For instance if you are having a Vampire theme give them a pair of fangs. If you are having a Casino night pass out some playing cards. You can use these handouts in a party game later.

The Games - Try and keep the first game a simple ice breaker. Even of the guests are comfortable with each other, allow them to get used to the theme. Opt for simple games which have few rules and incorporate an element of the theme. Then give the party some time to digest the first game before you move into the next party activity. Remember to have fun is the object of the party, even when you are sticking to your agenda. Explain the rules to the games well in advance and organize any material that you will need to conduct the games before hand. Have them ready in a cardboard box with you. One box per game is a great idea.

The Prizes - Keep theme appropriate prizes for the games where possible. Also make sure you cater for a few extras as the games tend to end in tie breakers and you may want to hand out a few more gifts. Also if you have to have another game because its just too early to serve the food, you need to have spare prizes available.  Try and pick things that are not too expensive and that you may be able to return if unused. Also try and give out as many small gifts as you can. Nothing boosts a guest's mood as much as winning a prize at the party.

The Food - The snacks should flow freely all through  the party, even during the games. Get some help with the serving. If its a formal venue you will have waiters to help, but if its as home make sure you enlist the help of at least two friends to help you out. Also make sure that you have enough variety of drinks and beverages available. Do not run out of ice. Stock up and make your neighbor stock up too! When you serve the actual food, make the plates as close to the theme as possible. The food itself will be inspired by the theme and you can set up menu cards which spell this out.

The Take Homes - After an evening of fun and frolic a small token to take home will be the icing on the cake. While children expect take homes at a birthday party, the adults at a theme party do not. So it will be a good surprise for them. Again it does not have to be something very expensive. You can buy in bulk and wrap them up individually. Try and give something that goes with the theme and that will serve as a memento as well.

Plan a Theme Party

There are many themes that you can plan a party around. The party food and games must match the theme that you choose. Of course the theme must be age appropriate. So here is a list of Party Themes that you can use based on what the average age of the guests will be.

Let us begin with a list of themes that can be used for a gathering of all ages and full families.

Black and White Theme Party
Costume Party
Dessert Party
Hawaiian Theme
Hollywood Theme Party

Now let's talk about party themes for adults only.

Arabian Night
Casino Theme Party
Poker Party
Wine Tasting Party
Cheerleader Party

For a gathering of only women you can try out these party themes

Bingo Party
Arts and Crafts Party
Game Show Party
Pajama Party
Karaoke Party

Here are some party themes for teenagers and other young adults

Vampire Party
Western Party
Fortune Telling Party
Murder Mystery Party
Sci-Fi Space Age Party

For the tweens we can have some fun party themes

Tarzan Party
Sleeping Beauty Party
The Simpson's Party
Peter Pan Party
Treasure Hunt Party

For the preschoolers you can have simple party themes which involve cartoon characters that they know and love

Tom and Jerry Party
Dora Party
Disney Party
Bob the Builder Party
Barbie Party

1. How do you pick the perfect party theme? You figure out the theme based on who will attend the party and what they will be comfortable doing. Also some themes work better in smaller groups while others need a crowd to be more fun. So the number of people you plan to call will also affect the theme you choose.

2. The themes decide the party activities but the number of activities needs to be fixed. Usually three activities is a good number to go with, although you should have a fourth one up your sleeve just in case you have more time to kill.

3. The food, table ware, and invitations must all be related to the party theme that you choose. In fact the invites should clearly spell out to the guests what they must expect. At the same time don't go for expensive stuff that will cost you the earth. Go for creative stuff that will have a great effect.

Throw the Perfect Party

It is more than likely that you will at some point of time or the other, have to oversee an event ranging from a simple meal to a cultural event or even a convention.

Here is a simple checklist of how to do it in a well-organized manner.

1. Plan well ahead, down to the last detail. Prepare everything as much in advance as possible.

2. If you are going to cook yourself try out the dishes once before hand. Do not experiment with new dishes on the day of a big party. Leave time to relax and entertain your guests properly.

3. Send invitations that include your address and telephone number making it easier for the guest to find the place. Mention the type of party it will be example Buffet Lunch, Supper, Cocktails, Barbecue, Child's Birthday, etc.

4. Keep place settings ready for a formal sit down dinner. They should be pretty but not over-elaborate. Make sure guests have all the necessary crockery and cutlery available to them.

5. Keep the lighting soft and subtle. Don't bring in harsh disco lights and strobes or keep the room very dimly lit. Cater for entertainment during the party, depending on the event anything from soft music, to party games and dancing can qualify. For childrens' parties have attractively wrapped gifts for prizes for the games. Also have a small token gift for all the children to take home.

6. Drinks can include Aperitifs before the meal including aerated drinks, fruit juices, spirit based drinks such as gin, vodka, whiskey, Campari, vermouth, Madeira, etc. Wine is traditionally served during the meal. A general guideline is that white meat and fish is served with a red wine while red meat and game are served with a white wine.

7. Make sure you have enough ice for drinks. A choice between Brandy, Port or Coffee is availed after the meal.

8. Eat away, but not too far away, from the kitchen so that food is eaten warm and not served ice cold. Make full use of sideboards and side tables to save clutter and legwork.

9. The meal menu will depend on the kind of party it is. If it a cocktail then have heavy snacks. If it is a dinner, conventional menus can be followed. If it is a picnic, sandwiches are your best bet. Be extra careful if you are planning an outdoor barbecue with fire. Ensure basic fire safety precautions are taken and have an extinguisher on hand. Warn children present to stay away from the barbecue stand.

10. Presentation is everything. Garnish the food to make it look attractive, garnishes and decorations should be edible so use lemon twists, tomato roses, spring onion tassels, cucumber wheels, carrot noses, etc.

11. Ensure that you inquire about the eating habits of your guests before you invite them. It can be embarrassing to have vegetarians over for a pure chicken and meat barbecue. Plus it will save you last minute hassles of having to cater to their meal.

12. Desserts should complement the food. For instance a dessert tray should follow a Continental meal while an Indian meal can be followed by halwas, pedas, barfis, and other sweetmeats. If you do not wish to go through all the trouble to set up assorted dessert trays, just have Ice cream. It is popular with adults and children.

Don't panic if things go wrong. Keep smiling and improvise. Your guests will never know the difference. Most of all enjoy yourself and your guests will too!

Welcome to Party Food and Games

Are you looking for easy to make party food?
Or fun to play party games?
You have reached the right place.

This site is a direct result of a number of parties and events that I have hosted. Being an employee of an Event Management Company allowed me to see first hand that having a party is fun if you are well organized. Be it a gathering of close friends at Christmas in your home or a Corporate Event at a Convention Hall we always want the event to be a success.

It all boils down to preparation!

To make sure that you have the ideal event you need to know what you want to do in it. Is it just a gathering of friends out to play some games and eat good food? Is it a birthday celebration for a preschooler, or a high school teen? Is it the silver wedding anniversary of your parents? Or is it just a romantic dinner for your spouse and you? A company picnic which includes a pot luck? Be clear about the logistics and everything else will fall into place.

Here's a set of ideas that you can use:

Venue - This is the basic and most important decision you will make. It can seriously affect the success of your party. The weather plays an important role in your choice. If the party is slated for the winter months it would make sense to have it indoors. The garden is best used in the summers. Also the number of people will have to be considered. If the number is far greater than you can comfortably deal with at home, hire out a hall or restaurant.

Food - Check out in advance if you have vegetarians in your party guests. Cater with adequate food and snacks for them. Also if it is a theme party you may want to go along with the theme in the food you serve as well. Just make sure that it is not something too exotic and that your guests will be comfortable eating it. Being creative is good, but a guest going hungry is not!

Drink- Naturally the age of the guests will determine the drinks that are served. Make sure that you have a lot of ice. That is the first thing that usually runs out at many a party leaving the host no choice but to go buy some more in the middle of a party. Also make sure that if your guests have a drinking preference for a particular beverage it is easily available to them.

Games -The success of your party in no small measure depends on the entertainment that you provide. While music is a given, the games must also be age appropriate and fun. Don't pick highly complicated games with a whole lot of rules, unless your friends really like such games. The games that work best in parties are easy to play and can be played by all members present.

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