40 Fun, Easy, and Totally Wacky Party Ideas to Try

published Nov 21, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Welcome to Easy Untertaining! It’s a term we coined here at Apartment Therapy to describe those get-togethers that just kind of… come together.

Inside scoop: The team here at Apartment Therapy are a bunch of homebodies. We know the joy of spending a night in on the sofa, curled up with a craft or book or a particularly sprightly Twitter feed. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy your space.

The other best way to enjoy your space is to have people over. There’s something about a gathering that gives a home dimension. Seeing your friends gathered in the kitchen, or family curled around each other on the sofa? Magic. Your chair isn’t just a chair—it’s the chair where dad fell asleep for hours and missed the entire movie. Your rug transforms from a weekend-sale scoop to the place where you watched your friends sit cross-legged playing Scrabble and fighting over whether “Za” is a word (it is).

Furnishings give a home style. But people are what give a home its heart.

We know it’s hard to host people as much as you want to, though. But no matter your hosting hangup, remember this: your get-togethers don’t have to be capital-p Parties. Sometimes it’s enough to start with one silly/fun/creative idea.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

To help you get some life into your space this season, here are 40 entertaining ideas. Pick and choose one (or a few!) that speak to you and your friend group, then set the date and start your year off with warmth and cheer (and Cher karaoke).

  1. Bye Retrograde: Celebrate the end of Mercury Retrograde with good people, good food, and bad stories about what went wrong.
  2. Tea Tasting: Buy a variety pack of teas and invite friends over to taste and compare favorites.
  3. Fort Fest: Gather all the pillows and blankets and get to fort-building, just like when you were kids.
  4. Crowdsourced DJ: Pick a theme for a playlist (like holiday songs, or songs with a body part in the title), then ask friends to contribute a song each. Then everyone comes over to listen and hang.
  5. Coloring Book Party: Print out free coloring pages, then get some colored pencils and wine for everyone to enjoy.
  6. Kara”broke”: Fake a karaoke night by pulling up lyric videos on YouTube and streaming them to your TV. Pass around a hairbrush as a microphone!
  7. Catch-Up Club: Everyone just brings a craft or mobile task they need to catch up on (sending thank you cards, an embroidery piece that they haven’t finished) and you drink and do those things.
  8. Time Travel Party: Everyone dresses in a costume appropriate to the year that corresponds to their house address. If your house is at 1530, dress in renaissance gear. If you live at 116, dress in a toga. And if you live at 21370, you get to imagine up some futuristic garb!
  9. Guess That Candle: Everyone brings their favorite candle with the label covered, and everyone needs to guess the scents.
  10. Pantry-Clearing Party: Everyone brings an unopened snack food they already have in their pantry.
  11. DIY Marathon Weekend: Set up camping chairs along a popular running trail, then get a group together to cheer people on as they jog through the cold. Share coffee or hot cocoa.
  12. Reading the Stars: Everyone comes over with Co—star downloaded and everyone connects/shares their findings.
  13. Store-Bought Faves Dinner Party: Everyone just brings their favorite grocery store snack or meal to share and compare.
  14. Dip Party: Everyone bring their favorite dip over, whether it’s packaged or homemade, and dive right in.
  15. Self-Care Sunday: Come in sweats, have face masks or nail polish handy, put on a good movie, and sip on some tea and cider.
  16. Indoor Camping: Set up a tent, tell ghost stories, make s’mores… all without worrying about the elements.
  17. Netflix, No Frills: Put on a Netflix rom-com and tell your friends the dress code is “pajamas only.”
  18. Leftover Party: Did you host the holidays or get sent home with a bunch of leftovers? Have everyone bring ’em and make something new.
  19. Do-Nothing Book Club: Everyone brings a book they’ve finished and would love to exchange.
  20. BYOC (Bring Your Own Cheese): You provide the wine and crackers.
  21. Seltzer Tasting: Everyone brings a pack of seltzer to taste and judge. The best part? No hangovers!
  22. ABC Party (Anything But Cups): Everyone brings a non-cup to drink out of for the night, like a dog bowl, flower vase, or the skin of half a grapefruit.
  23. Clothing Swap: Grab some like-sized friends (or invite friends of friends for size variety) to swap gently used clothes and accessories and get a new wardrobe for free.
  24. Sundae Funday: You provide ice cream, everyone else brings toppings.
  25. Cookbook Club: Pick a cookbook and have everyone make and bring a recipe from it.
  26. Holiday Card-y Party: Everyone comes over for hot chocolate and to write and address their holiday cards.
  27. The Great Outdoors: It’s just a fire pit, plus everyone brings a chair, plus bourbon tasting.
  28. Un-Board Game Night: Order a pizza and pick a party game to play that requires no board (like Heads Up or Pictionary).
  29. Throwback Night: Pick a movie from your childhood and snack on Rice Krispie Treats, Dunkaroos, and other staples from when you were kids.
  30. Singalong Night: Pick a Disney+ movie with sing-along subtitles to watch and sing together.
  31. Best Of: Everyone shares their favorite episode of a show and you watch them together.
  32. Report Night: Each person comes prepared to talk about something they find interesting—visual aids encouraged.
  33. Cher-aoke: Everyone dresses as Cher and sings their favorite Cher song.
  34. Pizza Party: Have dough and sauce on hand, and invite everyone to brings their favorite (or the best yet weirdest) toppings.
  35. Get Knit: Start a knitting circle, and be ready to teach newbies how to cast on and off.
  36. Vision Board Building: Provide the poster board and glue sticks, and have everyone bring old magazines to manifest their goals for 2020.
  37. Insta-Party: Set up some photo booth props and a background and have everyone take turns being a photographer and model.
  38. Souper Bowl: Everyone brings their favorite soup, so you can all enjoy and swap the extras.
  39. “Rocky Horror” It: You know how the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has all those audience participation bits? Create your own script for a different movie, and invite everyone to participate.
  40. Make-Believe Matrimony: You know murder mystery parties? It’s like that, but a wedding. Give everyone a role—like brides or grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, mothers and fathers in law, the uncle who had one too many, the ex-boyfriend who wants to stop the marriage—and act out a whole wedding day from ceremony to reception.

If you do (or have done!) any of these, share it with us on Instagram by tagging #apartmenttherapy or leaving a comment here!