Party games: you either love them or hate them! And as you’re reading this page you probably love them!
As we’re talking cocktail parties, we’re assuming you want games with a little bit of style and decorum, so we’ll concentrate on those with just the raising of a glass to a straightforward drinking game!
If you’re intending to have a number of team games, divide your guests into teams at the beginning of the evening, separating couples, and mixing the sexes – unless you want to see real war! Keep a note of which team wins which game and, at the end of the evening; the members of the overall winning team each get a prize.
Have plenty of paper and pens ready. And prizes! The first two make good ice-breakers if you’ve a mix of people who don’t know each other well.
Who’s who? Before the party, ask each of your guests for a photo of themselves as children. Pin the photos on a board and let everyone guess who’s who.
Celebrity Couples Before the party, write the names of celebrity couples on postcards (one person per card). When your guests arrive, pin postcards onto their backs, not allowing them so see what is written on theirs. The guests then need to mingle and question each other to try and establish who they are. To make it more difficult, instead of using couples, use unrelated famous people. If you have a theme to your party, use appropriate celebrities.
Star Gazing! Find photos of famous people and pin them on a board. Your guests have to name as many as they can. Like Celebrity Couples, this can be themed accordingly, e.g. Bond girls, or movie stars of the sixties.
Name that Song You’ll need a CD player and a collection of appropriate CDs e.g. James Bond movie themes or Sinatra songs.
Divide your guests into 2 or 3 teams and play the first few bars of a song. The team that is first to guess the title, gets the points. If no-one gets it straightaway, play a few more bars and so on. Or play it as they did on the old television show, where the teams compete to Name that Song in 5 seconds/4 seconds and so on. The team that says it can name the song in the quickest time is played that length of time of the song. If they can’t get it, they forfeit and the other team can hear more.
Not the Six o’clock News Each team is given a copy of the same magazine (Hello or OK). You read out a series of questions relating to stories in the magazine. The first team to find the answer gets the point. Now a couple of less refined games!
Crackerjack This is an All Play game. Divide your guests into pairs. Give each pair an apple or a tennis ball. Hands behind backs, they have to hold it between their foreheads, then you – or a reluctant participant can – call out commands, which have to be obeyed promptly and to the caller’s satisfaction. Calls such as “Jump 3 steps to the left!” “Squat!” And the very difficult one, “Jump backwards!” Dropping the apple disqualifies the pair.
Racing Daiquiris For this you need frozen Daiquiris and spoons. Divide your guests into pairs. Half will sit on one side of the room, while the others feed them frozen daiquiri, which is on the other side of the room and can only be transported a spoonful at a time. Oh, yes, and without using hands! The winner is the pair that finishes their Daiquiri first. You might need to play this twice so both halves of the pair get to be fed Daiquiri!
And finally, a drinking game! Answer Me Not The premise of this game is simple: when it’s your turn you ask another player a question. But you must specify the name of the person to answer and the question must have a yes/no answer.
That person then asks someone else a question without answering the question just posed. If you: hesitate; answer the question; ask a question that doesn’t have a yes/no answer; start laughing; forget to add the person’s name; or do anything that doesn’t strictly follow the rules, you have to take a drink.
Questions can’t be repeated or rephrased and as host you are rule-master! A good question to include would be: Is your zip undone? Guaranteed to distract! Of course, if your bar is very well-stocked, you could have an Invent a Cocktail game!