I am planning on throwing a surprise birthday party for my boyfriend's 21st birthday on New Year Eve! My problem is, I want his family to come and also his friends, but I don't want this to become a purely drinking party or his family will be uncomfortable (a lot of them are Morman). So does anyone have any ideas of themes or activities that I can plan that can keep people occupied and not drinking all night? And also I need ideas for foods for people to bring.
Why not invest in some of the newer DVD games? Like Scene-It. A speciality, like the Disney edition is most certainly LDS friendly. Music, charades, (corny? depends upon point of view, but better than drinking) Trivial Pursuit... there are so many editions out there, why not rent a series of movies.. like the entire star wars or harry potter, and do all of the above? What about Shout out (Like Scene it, but no board) Also, asking your boyfriend (in a roundabout way) what he likes at parties... Or if you are brave enough, talk to the Bishop of the church (like a pastor, or priest. He may help you with ideas. or even better, talk with his mother and/or father) Nothing expensive, and ask friends to bring pot luck, one main dish and one either side dish or dessert. Keep a list of that, so you don't have one or two main dishes and umteen dozen desserts and side dishes.
Make punch. You can offer one with alcohol and one without, but you may need to label them. (This can be served in a pitcher if you dont have a punch bowl..) Buy a How to Host a Murder game or another board type game... or play charades or Scattergories. Check online for good deals... Try to have more than one activity because it can be a long night... You can even have several games for small groups of people ... like 2 -4 players. WE used to play a game where beforehand you prepared a tray and with several different objects (maybe 20?) on it. You passed the tray around the room. Then take away the tray and ask the players to write down as many as they can remember... Maybe you can find a book of such games at the library... good luck.
About the drinking issue, the easiest way is to minimize the amount of drinking is to not serve alcohol! Bring out the champagne for toasting at midnight, but otherwise just don't have any alcoholic drinks available. We have alcohol-free parties frequently, and no one ever seems to mind the lack, especially when there are fun activities to participate in and interesting people to talk with.
The activities you choose will be dependent on what types of people you have coming. Some folks are the flamboyant karaoke types, while others are the more quiet chess types. Try to have a mix of both kinds of activities.
An inexpensive game that our family likes is Dictionary (not Pictionary, Dictionary). All you need is a big dictionary and some pens and paper scraps. The person who is "it" finds a word in the dictionary that he/she hopes no one else knows, and reads the word aloud (not the definition, just the word itself). Then on the scraps of paper, each of the other players writes down a definition for the word, either a real definition if he/she knows it, or a made-up defintion. The person who is "It" also copies out the correct definition. "It" then collects all of the definitions and reads them out loud. The not-"it" players vote for which one they think is the right one (and no fair voting for your own definition!). Player A wins a point when player B chooses player A's definition as the correct one. Folks can also win points for choosing the correct definition. Whoever wins the most points then becomes "it" for the next round, or you can just pass the "it"status around the table in turn. This may not sound like a very interesting game, but I assure you that it soon gets quite hilarious. The made-up definitions get extremely inventive! And all types of people seem to enjoy this game. The flamboyant types like to come up with wild, funny, and sometimes risqué definitions, while the more introverted types like to quietly slip in a zinger now and then.
Oh, and a good ice breaker game that I like to use is to (ahead of time) come up with a theme (say, birthdays, or New Year's, or the year in review) and then think up a bunch of key words related to that theme. Write one key word on each label, and when guests come in, stick one on each person's back. The object of the game is to have them ask yes-no questions of the other guests to figure out what it is. The catch is that each person may only ask 3 questions of any other person. No fair asking 25 questions to just one other guest. The point is to get folks circulating and talking with people that they might not otherwise interact with at all. And the game gives them a conversation opener.
Make sure someone doesn't spike the punch!!!!!!
If you have a punch bowl, serve immediately directly from it if there is a special beverage you are making. Otherwise, if you let it sit out on a table, something might easily be poured into it.
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