This week, I’m talking all about the importance of relationships and providing some fun party ideas that will help foster those relationships!
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a firm believer that relationships are super important. Not only are relationships important to your vitality and well-being, but on a much deeper level, they offer us support, happiness, comfort in times of need, accountability, encouragement, and love. Humans were created to live in community with one another and to connect, so investing in those important relationships in your life is critical to battling loneliness and low spirits.
But super often, we don’t spend time investing in our friendships. Not because we’re choosing to isolate ourselves necessarily, but because busyness and stress take over. And I totally get that! Back when I was teaching, I literally had zero time to invest in my relationships. I saw my relationships (both with friends and within my marriage) start to struggle because I wasn’t investing in them and I was feeling frustrated and lonely. But once I had a chance to step back from my overwhelming schedule and began to prioritize time with my favorite people, I immediately saw a difference. I was more filled up and had more energy. That time was life-giving and encouraging. In the midst of my busyness, I had forgotten how fulfilling good friendships could be!
And let me just say – There’s no simple recipe that magically allows you more time to invest in friendships. We’re all going to be busy and often overwhelmed. But I hope that this post can be an encouragement to you. If you’ve ever experienced one of these life-giving moments with friends (a refreshing coffee date with a friend, a hilarious game night with friends where your face hurts from laughing, a deep and encouraging dinner with friends), then you know the feeling of your spirit being lifted. And isn’t it great?! Like I said, I don’t expect anyone to read this post and instantly have large chunks of time for their friends, but I hope this reminder can help you prioritize your favorite people sometime soon. Even if it’s just once a month for now. I know it’ll be good for your soul!
So, along that theme of investing in your friendships, one of my personal favorite ways to do this is by hosting parties in our home. I’ll be honest: I haven’t been the best at this lately, so I’m speaking to myself in this post as well and am hoping to motivate and inspire myself to plan another party soon!
|| Fun Party Ideas for Hosting Your Friends ||
Below, I tried to categorize some fun party ideas that I’ve either done myself, hope to do one day, or have seen somewhere else that look like so much fun! We’re all about fun, creativity, randomness, and frugality over here at the Howard household, so all of the ideas listed fit under the umbrella of those things (aka, there’s nothing boring or crazy expensive!).
Also note, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are literally a million fun party ideas in the world, but these are a compilation of some of my favorites!
|| SEASONAL ||
This list includes ideas of seasonal parties you can have that coincide with the season you’re in and the holidays associated with that time. I won’t list the traditional get-togethers (Christmas parties, 4th of July, etc.) because I feel like those are sort of a given.
- Random Holiday Party || Since we’re all about fun and creativity, one of my most favorite things to do is look at this website of random holidays for inspiration. Once you’ve decided on a few possible weeks for your party, take a look at this website and see if there’s anything fun during that time (i.e.: National Pizza Day, National Play-Doh Day, along with SO many others!). I did this last year, and our party fell on “National Just Because Day”, so we told everyone we were throwing a party “just because” and asked everyone to bring any sort of dish to eat “just because”. Super random, but super fun!
- Pi Day Party || This one’s on March 14th (Get it? Pi being 3.14…). How fun would it be to throw a party that focuses on math and eating pies?!
- Easter Egg Hunt || I’ve always wanted to do this with adults. It was so much fun as a kid, and I can only imagine how much more fun it’d be now with adults that are competitive, crafty, and simply crazy!
- Cince de Mayo Party || A fiesta-themed party with delicious food, piñatas, and margaritas? I’m sold!
- Pumpkin Carving Party || We did this in college every year with our girlfriends and it was a blast! If you’re super competitive, you could even make it a competition to see who gets voted “best pumpkin of the night”!
- Friendsgiving || We’ve done this several years now with good friends, and it’s so special to gather around a table with your favorite people and simply appreciate each other and your friendships.
|| CULTURAL ||
This category is similar to seasonal, but I’m talking more about those big cultural events that everyone celebrates regardless of whether or not they’re actual holidays.
- Super Bowl Party || I’m assuming most people already do this one, but I have to list it because it’s one of mine and Jay’s favorite parties of the year! Football, funny commercials, entertaining halftime shows, being able to snack for 4 hours straight – There’s something for everyone!
- Oscar Party || Jay and I are obsessed with movies and media and try to see all of the “Best Picture” nominees every year. We’ve gotten together with friends in the past for Oscar parties and fill out our predictions for all of the categories and drink champagne like we’re celebrities.
- Shark Week Party || We hosted a Shark Week party a few years ago and it was such a fun excuse to gather all of our friends together. I went all out for this one and I even have a How To Host a Themed Party blog post from when I was first getting started blogging if you’re interested in some Shark Week party ideas.
- Olympics Party || Obviously, this one can’t be done very often, but the Olympics are such a big world event, and it’s fun to get together and watch them. We did this last year and planned our party around some of the most popular events like track and swimming. We kept it low-key and just had a normal dinner, but you could totally go all out and make it themed with gold medals!
- Tailgate Party (to celebrate the kickoff of football season) || This one would be fun since Jay and most of our friends are super into football. In our house, football season also indicates the start of fall, so it could even be a celebration of your fall decor and candles if you’re into that (I am!). I envision outdoor grilling, beers, and the game on in the background.
|| FOOD & DRINK ||
Yes and yes to food and drink at our home, so I’m always looking for fun ideas in this category!
- Blind Wine Tasting Party || We’ve been to multiple parties like this, and they’re a blast. Even though Jay and I have traveled to Napa and Italy, we’re still hopeless when it comes to wine. But it’s still fun to try to guess the type of wine, identify flavors, and name your favorite of the night. And anytime I can eat charcuterie boards, I’m down.
- Make Your Own Pizza Party || This one’s fun, but you can’t do it with too many people because you’ll be there all night cooking everyone’s pizzas in shifts. Things to think about: How many ovens you have, how long the dough (or pita bread, etc.) will take to cook, how many pizzas you can fit in the oven at once, and how to organize your cooking “shifts”. As long as you have it planned out and people know that there will be a little bit of a wait for their pizza to cook, then you’ll be good to go.
- Tea Party || Um, how fun would this be with your girlfriends? I envision it being just like in the movies with finger sandwiches, hot tea, and macaroons!
- Potluck Party || Simple, but another great reason to get together. Everyone can just bring their favorite food and drink to share. You get a wide variety to choose from and it helps save you money so you don’t have to provide as much!
|| JUST RANDOM! ||
Yep, these don’t necessarily fit into one of the above categories, but they still deserve to be mentioned!
- Game Night || We do these often with friends. You can pre-choose your game and notify everyone of the game you’ll be playing ahead of time (i.e., a Monopoly party), or you can have everyone bring their favorite game and vote on a few to play. This is seriously one of my favorite parties because they’re always full of laughs!
- Movie Night || You can make it a casual movie night in your living room, or you could go big with a projector in your backyard. I also love the idea of getting those cute popcorn holders and keeping that theme throughout the night!
- Pet Party || This one’s coming to you courtesy of Jay! Most of our friends have fun dogs, so he thinks it’d be fun to get together with everyone and do a backyard cookout while all of the crazy (and cute!) pups run around. He’s especially fond of this idea when anyone gets a new puppy!
One of my new things on the blog is asking for y’all’s input about my weekly blog post topic and sharing your fun ideas! This week, I asked my friends on social media what some of their most favorite parties have been. Below, I’ve compiled a few of those ideas that I loved or were mentioned several times. Thanks to everyone that gave input!
- Era themed parties || Specifically: 60s cocktail party, roaring 20s party, 80s-themed party
- Murder mystery party
- Girls only dance party (just like you’re back in middle school!)
- Arabian nights party
So there you go! Regardless of whether or not you go all out with these themes and do themed food and decorations, I hope this list is a fun excuse to get together with your friends and invest in those relationships!
What are some of your favorite fun party ideas? I’d love to continue adding to my list, so let me know your ideas in the comments!
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