How to Get Your Party Going

Anyone who has ever hosted a party is familiar with the anxiety experienced as the guests first start arriving.  Awkward silences and breaking off into "familiar" groups of friends do not do much to add up to a fun evening.  People enjoy parties for the chance to relax and get to know new people, but crossing the line from standard social inhibition to a party atmosphere is a challenge.  A great way to help your guests relax with each other is to introduce icebreaking party games.

Games for All Ages
Games aren't just for children.  Letting the proverbial inner child out is the first step to the relaxed mood you strive for when hosting a party.  Some party games are silly, some are competitive, but the ones listed here are neither too complex nor too time consuming to risk "taking over" the event.  Try some of these proven icebreakers at your next party.  While it's not necessary, having an inexpensive novelty "prize" on hand for the winner is a nice touch.

The Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Most people are familiar with the idea of a scavenger hunt.  The players receive a list of items they must collect in the shortest amount of time.  An indoor scavenger hunt works on the same principle; but rather than seeking items, your guest will be hunting for information about each other.  This game will work for small or large groups.

Pre-Party Set-Up

  1. Create a list of your party guests.
  2. Now go back and add an obscure piece of information about each one.  (Facts about each guest should not include personal secrets or confidential information—it's not that kind of game!)  Examples:  Jennifer was President of the Student Council in high school, Bill once visited the Pyramids in Egypt, etc.  Be sure to make certain that the facts are specific enough that they apply to only one guest.
  3. Now take out the guests names leaving just the list of facts.  This will be your scavenger list.
  4. Make enough copies so that every guest will get a list.

Playing the Game:

  1. Distribute the lists to your guests
  2. Explain that they have 15 minutes to find the person that goes with each fact without directly asking other guests if the fact applies to them.  Example:  Jennifer can't ask Bill if he visited the pyramids, but she can ask if he ever traveled to Egypt.
  3. Let them loose!  Your guests should now spend the next 15 minutes finding out about each other within the context of the game.

Winning the Game -- The person who has matched the most facts to the correct guest is the winner of the game.

Sticker Tag
This is a fun game for prank-loving friends.  There is very little set up required for this amusing icebreaker.  There is no set time limit for this game as it can be played throughout the event.  This game works best in groups of 8 or more.

Pre-Party Set-Up:  Purchase inexpensive stickers in enough quantity that each guest can receive a block of  10.  If you are hosting a theme party, be sure to get stickers that match the theme of your event.

            Playing the Game

  1. Give each guest a block of stickers.
  2. Explain that the object of the game is to use up all of their stickers by surreptitiously sticking them on other guests. 
  3. If a person is caught trying to "sticker" someone else, it doesn't count and the sticker is returned to the original owner.
  4. If a guest is falsely accused of trying to sticker someone, they get to place one of their stickers on the accuser automatically.

Winning the Game:  The winner is the first person to use up all their stickers without being caught by their victims.

Hollywood Couples
This is an energetic game that requires a little bit of space to enjoy.  The game is best played with an odd number of guests totally 9 or more.  If you have an even number of guest, include one celebrity single on your list.

Pre-Party Set-Up:  Create a list of current celebrity couples, enough so that each guest will be matched with one celebrity name.  The gender of the celebrity does not have to match the gender of the guest.  (And it's sometimes funny when they don't)  As an added bonus, you can create name tags for each "celebrity" if you have the time.

            Playing the Game:

  1. Assign each guest and yourself a celebrity name from your list.
  2. Have the guests line up in a circle standing at least one person away from their celebrity couple match.
  3. Ask the players to name a movie in which their celebrity appeared.  The last person to come up with a movie title moves to the center of the circle.
  4. The player in the center starts the game by calling out the names of a celebrity couple from the list.
  5. When their name is called, the players representing the celebrities called much switch places in the circle giving the center player an opportunity to take one of the vacant spots in the circle.
  6. When the center player successfully moves into the circle, the person who lost a spot becomes the new caller.

Winning the game:  There is no overall winner for this game.  The game can end at your discretion when the guests are sufficiently warmed up.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.