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Hey ladies! So I was dreaming this last weekend about coming out of winter quarantine in (only) another two months or so. Living in Minnesota, we’re used to consistent below zero temperatures, but that doesn’t mean that we love it. The winter ick seems to have been quite the animal this year too, everyone we know has been sick multiple times this season. Yuck.
Anyway, I like to think of unexpected reasons to get together with people. Being an introvert that only comes out once in awhile, I want it to be worth it and memorable. I wanted to put together a list of fun, unique and unexpected party/get together ideas that are all family friendly…because if there’s two things that will get my friends somewhere, it’s the ability to not pay for a sitter and curiosity over how a new idea could possibly turn into a hilarious train wreck. Hey, we have to keep people guessing, or life is boring.
Here are the ideas I’ve come up with, found, or heard about over the years. If you’re wanting to get friends together but are feeling totally uninspired or sick of the same old thing, hopefully one of these will drive inspiration your way.
Chili Bar / Taco Bar party
I have a lot of picky people in my life, as well as some who love some really weird combos (my opinion). Hosting something like this would totally give hostess with the mostess status, everyone could customize what they eat. And since great food brings people together, they’ll have no choice. 😉
I want to do this for one of my daughter’s birthdays, but Cathy at Our Mini Family wrote about doing it as a ladies Galentine’s get together! Or, we could just bring little girls and their mamas together for a classy time that gives an excuse to get dressed up!
I wrote an entire post on this, and it is a very fun get together idea for the fall and winter, and even on Pi Day! My mom is going to start doing a savory pie hike (or sledding) for Pi Day this year, in addition to the dessert pie hike she does every year in November. It’s basically a pie potluck, tied to some other activity or event. I’m not a fan of pie, but I always find one or two that are amazing, plus the great conversation.
You might have heard about this idea, centered around spending time with friends for Thanksgiving when family isn’t available (or in addition to!) Honestly, I think we all just need some more friend potlucks in our lives.
Canning / Freezer Meal party
I’ve done several freezer meal parties, and recently heard of a canning party. There are a lot of different ways to do these, with a lot of resources online. Essentially, someone hosts and someone buys all of the ingredients, everyone meets at the host’s house and makes a certain number of freezer meals. For example, if there are five people coming, the host might pick five versatile recipes and have someone grab all of the ingredients (pick the couponing friend, and make sure to reimburse her!) Then everyone comes and makes five different meals to take home. I have done it where everyone brings their own meat in a cooler, or leave the meat out to be added later, in case deals are found or restrictions are needed. For a canning party, I recommend the friend with the most canning stuff and know-how to host, and everyone brings their own jars and at least most of the supplies (extra canner or pots for can baths…)
Book Club / Kid Book Club
Gather an old-fashioned book club! You could incorporate any of these other party ideas into it, if you wanted. I found this great idea for kids over at MrsLadyWordsmith, and I think it’s genius for over the summer.
Vision Board Party
Moms and kids can get together and make vision boards, whether it’s for the New Year or in the middle of the year as a means to refocus. Vision boards are boards full of things you want to focus on that are put in a prominent place. Studies show that they work – since you see what you want often, you basically perform short term goal setting exercises throughout the day that unconsciously move you toward your goals. There’s tons of vision board ideas on Pinterest, but in the end they’re unique to you. Doing it as a party, have guests bring magazines to cut up, mementos that mean something to them, maybe a quick list of goal ideas, and anything else that can be thought up. Spend time sharing resources and making your boards, and in the end everyone can briefly talk about their goals (add a little extra punch to those goals by verbalizing them to friends who can hold us accountable!) Kids can easily participate in this too by bringing their own ideas of what they want to improve on and be intentional with. By helping your child, great discussion can be opened up.
Nancy Drew mystery party
I hope my daughter will want one when she’s older, I certainly did when I was little! Although this could be a great birthday party for an eight year old, don’t sell it short. I could be an easy way to incorporate parents with kids in a clean mystery setting (sans murders) I found this very cute setup over at the Party Teacher that I’d be happy to use as inspiration.
Letter or color themed party
My daughter’s first birthday was themed as The Letter O. Her name starts with an O, she turned one, it seemed obvious. The color was orange (I sprinkled some lavender in there), and everything from food to activities started with the letter O. I even bought an origami pack, which was fun for the adults attending to sit around the table chatting and having something to keep their fingers busy. Letter or color themed parties can work for anything…choose the letter S and friends can bring sangria and sandwiches, or choose red and have everyone wear red and enjoy fruit punch and Clifford. Have it for a baby shower or just for fun, the possibilities are endless with this one.
Decade or movie themed
This is so perfect for when an awesome movie is coming out! People come up with some really wild and cool outfits. Twentieth high school reunion coming up? Dress your kids in what you wore when you were their age, and invite friends over in their own outfits to talk about “back in my day…”
“When I grow up, I want to be”
This one could also be so hysterical. As an adult, ever feel like you were meant to do something else? Or, would it be surprising for friends to know that you wanted to be a teacher all through school (hand raised here)? What do your kids want to be when they grow up? Pretend, if only just for a day!
I love picking a foreign cuisine and making a night of it. Listen to the music of the location, try different spice combos, and maybe even dress up. Fun for date night, Friday night with the kids, or as a potluck with friends!
Cookie Decorating Party
In the winter or spring, having kids help make sugar cookies to decorate is always fun, albeit messy. Make it extra memorable for kids by having plain aprons they can decorate for themselves while the adults get settled.
DIY Décor or Craft Party
These are so fun, and everyone brings something new home! It’s easiest done with someone a little experienced in whatever is being made, but they don’t need to be an expert. Sometimes, the memories are in trying to figure out the best way to accomplish something together. Similar to the freezer meal party, someone picks up the supplies for as affordably as they can, and are reimbursed by the others (it’s simpler that way, and nothing is forgotten at someone’s home). It’s like taking a community ed class, but usually a lot cheaper.
Favorite Things Party
This is essentially a gift swap. If it’s a big group, everyone decides on something at a determined value (let’s say $15), and buys three of that thing. If it’s a smaller group, feel free to have everyone pick up enough for everyone. After everyone has shown what and why it’s their favorite thing, swap. In the case of three, take turns until everyone has chosen three new things from what others brought. If they’ve brought enough for everyone, simply swap so everyone gets one of everything. I usually do it with $5 caps, and have found some really great natural chap stick and planner supplies this way.
There you have it, the 15 Unique party ideas that I have found over the last several years. Hopefully one of them inspires you to get out and see people as we begin to thaw!
Do you have any fun get together ideas that you’ve been a part of? Comment and tell us below!
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