Skip the stuffy supper and make fun games a part of your night. We have three easy to follow tips that will ensure your dinner guests are never at a loss for entertainment.
Keep it simple. Since eating dinner is the main attraction at a dinner party, games with too many or overly complicated rules will only lose the group right off the bat. Get rid of extra props and superfluous steps and let the personalities do the work.
Be relaxed. With food and drinks coming and going, the host should be prepared to go off point. It’s important to remember that it’s called a dinner party for a reason--being too bossy or rigid to keep conversations focused won’t be fun for anyone.
Break the ice. Dinner parties set the stage for intimate conversations, and work just as well with well-acquainted attendees and those who have never met, as long as the games work to include everyone equally and introduce them to the bunch.
Once you've got that in mind, it's time to plan some fun. Here are our 3 favorite dinner party games to play with friends.
Board Games & Cards
Dinner parties make for the perfect excuse to break out family favorites or discover new, lo-fi group games like Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples, Taboo or Scattegories.
Though not technically of the "board" variety, Catchphrase is also a perennial crowd-pleaser--but apartment-dwellers might want to warn--or invite--the neighbors beforehand, as these games are known to invoke frequent shrieking!
Cards mark another classic ripe for a dinner party revamp. Once plates are cleared, bring on the poker, high stakes or none at all--chances are, every bunch likely has at least one person well-versed in the many variations of the game, from five-card draw to Jacks & Trips. More innocent games include Uno, Gin Rummy and Go Fish--and everybody knows how to play those.
The best way to spark conversation among guests, whether they be old chums or newly introduced, is to quiz them.
The possibilities are endless and easy. For general, thought-provoking competition, play Trivial Pursuit, and take the board out of the equation by dispersing piles of cards across the tabletop.
If the party has a theme, questions can follow suit--a romantic Valentine's Day couples gathering might instigate a Newlyweds Game-style test, foodies might want to eat and challenge each other’s knowledge of ingredients, or a country's cuisine can be accompanied by a discussion of its current events.
Simplest of all are Table Topics--boxed sets of cards for a fun, young spin on dinner conversations.
Guess the Celebrity
You just need a hat, paper, pencil and lots of celeb-savvy friends to play this party game. It's a three-round circus that starts with clues and ends in charades, which, after some wine, guarantees a lot of laughs.