Dinner parties aren’t just about the food. It’s a vital part, but you need to have a backup plan should your chosen dishes fail to impress your guests.
If you overcook the chicken or under season the pate, ensure your guests forget about the food by bringing in some quality entertainment. We’ve gathered a list of the best dinner party entertainment ideas to take your evening from zero to hero.
Games are a party classic, a sure fire way to have your guests laughing and bonding with each other.
The games you play will depend on the guest list, obviously, Mr and Mrs isn’t going to work out if you have asked your girlfriends round for the evening.
Take a look at these suggestions from old classics to some new introductions:
An old favourite! Act out your favourite movie, book, play or tv show and get the rest of your team to guess what it is! The concept of charades is nothing new, but there’s a way you can make it more fun for your guests by creating a list of suggestions before the game starts.
Tear up some bits of paper in a bowl, that way, if they can’t think on the spot there are some options to choose from.
The last thing you want is your guests sitting around struggling to spark up ideas of what to do, so give them as many fun choices as possible to keep the game moving.
Pictionary is the classic drawing guessing game. Select something to draw against the clock and have your fellow players guess what it is.
Again, you can make things easier here by writing some suggestions in a bowl so that your guests aren’t stumped for ideas.
As well as this you could get a paper flipchart and some coloured markers to make it all look a bit more professional.
Try and think of funny hard to draw suggestions to keep your guests guessing and make everyone laugh; this list is handy if you’re out of ideas.
Who Am I
Who Am I is the classic guessing game where every player has to have the name of somebody else written on a post-it note on their head.
Each player then takes turns asking yes or no questions to try and guess what their post it says. Make it funnier by putting the names of people you know or obscure celebrities you’re sure it will be hard to guess.
Try not to make it too obscure you don’t want to be sat playing for hours trying to guess the name of someone who won Pop Idol 15 years ago. Even though it will keep the game going on for a bit longer while you rectify the souffle that didn’t rise, it might not be much fun.
Mr and Mrs
Obviously, this one is only suitable if you’re having a couples evening. Test your guest’s knowledge of their significant other by pitching them a series of questions.
It helps to have whiteboards like these so that both parties can sit with their backs to each other and turn their board around when it’s time to reveal their answer.
There’s a full list of great questions here to keep your coupled-up teams competing against each other to find out who knows their partner the best.
We don’t mean it’s time to get your hammer and nails out, do it yourself can take many forms! This dinner party entertainment idea will let your guests be a part of your evening, whether that’s making exciting drinks, cooking up a fun dessert or washing up. (That last one was a joke!)
If you’re all up for drinking alcohol and making a mess, this could be the entertainment for you. You don’t have to be huge drinkers as you can easily substitute a cocktail bar for a mocktail one.
Set up some shakers, as well as various fresh fruits, fruit juice and some fancy tumblers like these.
This can be done as a welcome way to settle your guests into the evening or as an after-dinner party starter! Take a look at books like these or print some classic recipes off and gather the ingredients together.
You can even encourage the guests to create their own concoctions and then judge your favourite one and award them a prize.
If cocktail making is not your forte, you could have your dinner party attendees concoct their own magical desserts instead.
Think of a dessert that you can easily deconstruct so that they can create their versions like a unique Eton mess or an ice cream sundae with a selection of toppings and flavours.
Create a dessert table like this one so that you have space to let everyone be creative with their pudding choices. If a sweet tooth isn’t something your guests have in common a cheese fondue is always a show-stopping option.
Of course, you can switch that our for a chocolate fountain and make it the highlight of your after-dinner entertainment.
If you don’t fancy food-related dinner party entertainment ideas, the simple answer is to break out the karaoke. Luckily gone are the days where you needed a full karaoke machine and were restricted to whatever Cher CDs you had in your collection.
This lucky voice machine plugs directly into your PC and can play music through your TV or speakers. Plus it comes with a golden microphone and what’s more showbiz than that? It also comes with over 9000 songs, so you’re sure to find some party classics to get everyone excited.
You could even conduct an X Factor style competition and crown a Karaoke King or Queen at the end of the evening.
Another simple way to create an entertaining evening for your dinner party guests is to select a theme for the night. This could mean dressing up or simply adding decorations and food from a particular country/culture. Here are some theme ideas for you:
Swinging 60s? Disco dancing from the 70s? Or maybe the early noughties is more your thing! Whatever it is you can start with decorating your house with memorabilia from your chosen era, and then invite the guests to wear fancy dress to match the theme. We’ve listed a few decade-themed ideas to get your brain ticking:
Spread the peace and love with some tie-dye themed decor for your 60’s dinner party.
The sixties was all about peace and love, so put on a Beatles playlist and get groovy baby!
Disco Fever! Add a disco ball to your living room and crank up the night fever!
Send out your invites and make sure your guests look the part, no glitter catsuit? No entry.
Dust off those shoulder pads and put Duran Duran on your playlist.
The 80s theme is a little easier to dress for, and it makes for some exceptional karaoke performances; cue Bonnie Tyler — Total Eclipse of The Heart.
You can be more specific with this one say, for example, singers from the 80s or actors from the 70s, or you can go totally broad and see what imaginative ideas your guests come up with.
Bring out your competitive streak and host a fancy dress competition to see who comes out best dressed.
This theme is pretty self-explanatory, if you host your dinner party around the time of a holiday, it could be an excellent idea to embrace that as the theme. If you are throwing a New Years Eve dinner party give everything that extra sparkle! Put a sparkler in your dessert, get glittery hats, and welcome in the new year with glitz and glam.
If it’s a Christmas party, put your Santa hats on and get the crackers out. You can theme your games into the Christmas spirit or even develop a quiz for the most significant moments of the year gone by!
5. Murder Mystery
Another way dinner party entertainment idea to spice up your night is to have an old fashioned murder mystery game.
You can download lots of free ones online or upgrade and pay for a fancy pack. This is bound to get everyone involved and bides the time between courses!
6. Take things outside
Sometimes the best entertainment is just having a good dance into the night! Think about ways you can use your garden by putting up tents and gazebos like these.
If you don’t have an outdoor space, you could transform one of your indoor rooms into a dance haven, clear the furniture and let your guests have a boogie.
You don’t need to spend a fortune hiring someone to entertain you when the possibilities you can create are endless.