Entertaining is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Here are 10 cheap but awesome entertaining ideas to get you started!
1) Host a BYOB Party.
BYOB stands for “bring your own bottle”. This entertaining idea requires guests to bring their favourite wine or spirit, and you’re required to provide the glasses. The only other thing you need is to have some snacks on hand.
Here’s how it works:
- You send out invitations that include instructions on what kind of bottle they need to bring (and also let people know if there will be food).
- Once everyone arrives with their bottles, set up a table with all your glassware that matches the theme of your party (you can buy them online).
2) Potlucks are great for entertaining.
A potluck is more fun than a sit-down meal. Everyone is to bring a dish (or two), so participation is guaranteed.
You can make it even more casual by having your guests get something that takes only a couple minutes to prepare or cook, like appetizers or party snacks. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can ask everyone to bring a main dish along with their side dishes. It’s also possible for the party host to provide all the food but allow guests to pick from those options; this would be most appropriate if you find yourself hosting an event with many vegetarians or vegans in attendance.
Another thing that makes potlucks super fun is theme parties where each person brings something related to one particular topic (for example: “Potluck Party Theme Ideas”). This could be anything from foods with red colours inspired by Valentine’s Day (think cherry tomatoes!)
3) Host a Netflix party.
Netflix is a great way to entertain on a budget, and you can also use it to host a party. You’ll need some snacks or drinks and maybe even an appetizer.
Here are some Netflix party ideas for what to watch:
- A horror movie (make sure your guests can handle it)
- Some funny TV shows
- A documentary
4) Pick a random theme to get guests excited about.
If you’re unsure what party theme to pick, try picking one that’s random. Instead of choosing something specific to the season or location (like a beach party for summer), choose a theme based on your guests’ interests. If a friend loves to sing and dance, plan an operetta-themed party where guests dress up in their favourite costumes and perform songs from shows like The Sound of Music and Oklahoma! This can be an as elaborate affair or simple as you want it to be—you need an open mind.
If your friends don’t particularly care about the theme, consider going with holidays instead. Halloween parties are usually well attended across all ages. Still, Christmas parties are also popular among adults and kids alike—especially if you have lots of decorations from past holidays!
5) Host a 90s music night.
The way to get everyone in the mood for this one is to play some good old-fashioned 90s music. You can do that through a Spotify playlist or YouTube video, or maybe even by getting someone to DJ! If you want to go all out, make it a fabulous costume party and get everyone dressed up as their favourite stars from the decade.
Get a themed menu with your friends (or just buy one). Having some snacks on hand will help break up any awkward silences between songs—and they’ll also give people something fun to talk about during their break from dancing!
Who knew? A lot of us are actually well-versed in 90s trivia! So why not put your knowledge to good use by asking some questions during the evening? It’ll be an excellent way for guests who don’t know each other well enough yet feel more comfortable interacting with each other than simply standing around awkwardly waiting for another song.
6) Host an outdoor movie night.
You can buy or rent a projector and screen and get comfortable chairs that are easy to move around and take down. Sci-fi movies are great for this. Prepare the popcorn and nachos, and some drinks. Get some blankets to wrap up in too!
7) Throw a cocktail party with wine and cheese tasting.
If you love wine and cheese, the theme of your party can be focused on them. It’s essential to set the right mood for this kind of event—it should feel like you’re going on a little journey with your friends and learning something new while enjoying yourself simultaneously!
Make a list of your favourite wines and cheeses: This way, as a hostess, you won’t forget anything important when it comes time for purchasing supplies or preparing food for guests (or even just buying gifts). You can also prepare some appetizers before everyone arrives—think nuts with dried fruit or smoked salmon with crackers—so that people have something in their hand when they arrive at your home!
8) Host a family game night.
You can buy many free games online and cheap ones at the store.
A few ideas for games include:
- Bingo – It’s easy to learn but still challenging enough that adults can enjoy it too!
- Pictionary – This is not only fun but educational too! The person drawing has to draw clues so the other team can guess what they are trying to describe.
- Charades – Who doesn’t love charades?! This is another one where people can act out clues so that others guess what they’re acting out.
9) Plan a scavenger or treasure hunt
Plan a scavenger hunt with clues that lead people around your neighbourhood or city (bonus points if you can find one where people can stop off at local businesses between clues).
Make sure to have a prize for the winner and some extra rewards for people who get stuck.
Try a treasure hunt instead if you’ve got a lot of people attending and you are looking for something less competitive. You could even do both and make it an “open treasure hunt”, where everyone gets their list of things to find, but all the clues point towards one final prize/location at the end.
10) Cookout with Neighbours
Cookouts are fun and easy to plan. All you need is good food, friends and family, and outdoor space. Burgers and hot dogs are easy to make, and usually, everyone loves them, so it’s easy to entertain people without spending too much money.
If you have access to a grill or fire pit, it’s even easier—just get the burgers ready beforehand and set up some chairs around the grill for people to sit in (or on).
We hope these ideas helped you feel inspired to entertain. They are fun, affordable and easy to plan. You can start with any of them or even all of them!
Whatever type of activity for entertainment you choose, remember that it doesn’t have to be fancy—just follow your tastes and preferences. If you want to make everything yourself, go for it! If not, find creative ways to incorporate these ideas into your plans so they feel unique but within your budget.
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