With COVID-19 restrictions slowly easing, we look forward to finally catching up with our friends in the flesh. Keeping to the 5 visitor limit, there is no reason why you can't turn your standard home hangout into a fun party! Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary or just gathering the gang for a COVID-safe catch-up, we’ve pulled together some genius party ideas – including everything from décor to dining – to throw a party your guests are guaranteed to rave about for years to come.
Genius Party Ideas
Set Up Your Own Cocktail Station
Alternatively, if you want a more hands-on experience, call on Cocktail Porter – they’ll send you a handy little cocktail box that comes with all the ingredients you need to mix up all your favourite tipples. It’s a subscription service, so you’ll get a new cocktail delivered every month – think Espresso Martinis, Bloody Marys and Treacle Old Fashioneds – complete with recipe cards, spirits, mixers and fresh garnishes. Can you think of a better way to impress your party guests?
If you want to drink without over-indulging, fill the bar with low-alcohol spirits and liqueurs. That way, guests can try a bit of everything without going a sip too far. One of our favourite tipples is St Germain Elderflower Liqueur. With a low alcohol volume and 1,000 handpicked elderflowers in every bottle, this elegant French liqueur tastes delicious on its own, with soda and citrus, and complements a range of spirits, making it the perfect cocktail companion.
Here are a few of our favourite recipes to take inspiration from:
Image Credit: The Blonde Butler
Call in the Caterers
Yes, you can prepare your own, but if someone can do it for you, that means more time for bubbly. An essential entry for our party ideas round-up. Whether you want canapés, cured meat platters or a full-on festive spread, we’ve pulled together a list of Sydney’s finest caterers, guaranteed to give you and your guests an unforgettable party spread. For Melbournians, the caterers du jour are Fred & Ginger- the perfect team for any occassion at home.
Fill Up With Finger Food
Fancy doing it all yourself? Impress your guests with a homemade selection of delicious delicacies. Finger food is always a winner at parties, and even more impressive when you can tell your guests that you made them yourself. Here are a few of our favourite recipes and party food ideas to take inspiration from.
- Honey Thyme Sweet Cherry Grilled Brie
- Cheats Blinis Jamon Figs
- Fig and Chevre Canapes
- Roasted Red Pepper Meze Platter
- Horseradish Blinis, Buttered Beetroot and Smoked Mackerel
- Baked Brie and Proscuitto Rolls
Image Credit: Pexels
Stock Up on Wine
An essential party ingredient. Every party ideas list should have a dedicated drinks section. Make sure your wine list is on point with a selection of red, white and rosé for your guests to help themselves to. Oh, and don’t forget the fizz. Grab a mix of Champagne and prosecco – by the end of the night your guests probably won’t know the difference!
Image Credit: Love Maegan
Set the Scene With Party Décor
You don’t have to blow the budget, but a few party decorations never go amiss when you’re hosting a gathering. Indoors or out, grab a few balloons, table centerpieces – we love a pineapple or two – even a few simple flower arrangements will add a thoughtful and decorative touch. Fresh foliage, candles, colourful cakes, prosecco and candy stations – let your creative minds run wild. Here are a few decorative party ideas to get your started.
Image Credit: Carla Choy @ Style Me Pretty
Create Your Guest List
Don't forget the guest list! Prepare your party ideas list by inviting your best gang. Make sure your gathering is full of your favourite people, to guarantee optimum party time fun. (Of course, keeping in mind COVID restrictions).
Send Out Invites
Image credit: Pexels
Prepare a Party To-do List
The key to a successful shindig is all in the planning. You might get carried away planning your party ideas. So you don’t forget anything, write down a to-do list with all the essentials: shopping list, decorations, food prep etc. And turn it into a schedule so you know how to plan out your entire day in the build up to the main event.
Image Credit: Niki De Saint
Create a party playlist
Music is a must for any party. Set up a sound system to play all your favourite tracks. If in doubt, make a Spotify playlist that you can play in the background – that way you won’t have to worry about changing the tracks.
Looking for party ideas music inspo? Find your perfect neighbourhood playlist. These epic playlists have been curated to suit the suburb you live in. Genius!
Image Credit: Style Me Pretty
Set Up a Photo Booth
Ensure your party is Instagram-ready with some carefully-curated props – think wigs, giant glasses, and silly inflatables. Giant paper corsages and lanterns make the perfect backdrop for photos. And don’t forget a bucket of strategically-placed sparklers for post-sundown snaps.
Image Credit: Lights.com
Party planning 101. Add ambience with hanging lanterns, candles and tea lights, or even a few stylish table lamps to set the scene. Fairy lights look particularly magical if you’re hosting a garden gathering.
Introduce Party Games
Get the party started with a few adult-themed party games. Channel your inner child with a game of Twister, Pictionary or charades, or a few drinking games are always a good conversation starter. Heads Up is hilariously funny (particularly when paired with a few vinos) – you can download for free on your phone – or get the gang in trivia mode with a fun pub quiz. You can always bring in some old school board games too, for added party kicks.
Loved our creative party ideas? Party planning is always fun, but if you'd rather be out and about, there are plenty of places to keep you well fed and entertained. Sydney's bar and restaurant scene is always buzzing, but if you want underground cool, Melbourne has everything from grungy speakeasies to cheffy Michelin-starred menus, for the intrepid foodies of the group.