Entertaining friends at home is a lot of fun and saves a lot of money compared to dining out in a restaurant. However, with much of the evening spent in one location (your home), it’s important to keep people engaged and not let the evening fizzle out. A great way to ensure social interaction between all of your guests and maintain a good level of energy throughout the evening is to introduce some games. These can be played before dinner, between courses and after dinner. In fact, having a selection of games can help to drive the evening forward and prevent it from stalling.
The next thing to avoid are clichés that your guests might associate more with childhood parties or afternoons with their family, so charades and Scrabble are out. Instead, why not mix things up and try one (or more) of the following games when you’re next entertaining?
Okay, so this one isn’t for everyone! But don’t be put off by images of seedy back rooms and old men getting their kicks while the women in the room lose more and more clothing. Strip poker can be a fun game with a lot of laughs, providing you play it with a group of people who you are comfortable with and who are comfortable with you! Alternatively, playing it with a group of complete strangers can be fun, especially if you never have to see them again.
Strip poker rules are simple: Play it like any other poker game you’ve ever played but replace chips with clothes! Losers shed an item of clothing when their hand fails them and those least naked at the end of the game are those that would have had the highest stack of chips in conventional poker.
This one might be best left toward the end of the evening when everybody’s had a couple of drinks!
With a little bit of imagination, it’s not hard to set up an escape room in your own home and keep your guests engaged for as long as it takes them to solve a series of clues.
We recommend setting between 4 and 7 puzzles in the room, with each puzzle’s outcome revealing a portion of the information required to leave the room, such as a series of numbers that unlock a combination lock or a series of letters that spell out a password.
You can add extra layers of fun by tying in drinking games or adding penalties if a task takes longer than a set amount of time.
Lastly, to avoid worrying about your room getting torn to pieces, set clear guidelines for the game. Such as, “There is nothing IN the sofa cushions or underneath the furniture. Clues and all necessary equipment can be found on surfaces, in cupboards and draws or in plain sight”.
The Couples Game
As the name suggests, this one works best if you’re only (or primarily) inviting couples to your party. Although single guests aren’t an issue as they can act as quizmaster or be paired with another single guest if they know each other well.
Start by preparing a list of questions to ask the couples, such as:
“What’s your partner’s dream holiday destination?”
“What would your partner say is your best feature?”
You’ll need a selection of small whiteboards or some pads and pens and these should be handed out to your participants.
How you play the game is up to you, but there are two main ways:
- Send one half of each pair out of the room and ask the questions in their absence, bringing them back into the room to check the answers of their partner.
- Sit one half of the partners on one side of the room and the remainder on the other, asking the questions and getting them to reveal at the same time.
Points should be awarded for correct answers and, at the end of the game, the couple with the most points wins!