How to throw a good house party

Updated March 23, 2017

Throwing a successful house party involves more than tidying up and inviting a bunch of friends over. To make it enjoyable for everyone involved, put some time into planning and preparations. Consider the guest list, the food and drinks, the decorations and the entertainment. Have a plan to keep the party area clean during the event. As the host, its your job to create a festive, fun-filled and safe environment for your guests.

Determine the size of the party. Nearly everything about your party depends upon how many people attend. Don't invite more people than the location can hold. For example, don't ask 50 people to show up to a small house; there won't be enough room to accommodate everyone.

Choose a time that will fit with most people's schedules. Hosting a party on a weekday could limit your attendees to people who don't work a Monday through Friday job--while having the party on the weekend will allow for more people to attend.

Serve alcoholic drinks ... or don't. But decide ahead of time and let guests know so they don't bring alcohol if you don't want it. Alcohol is synonymous with partying, but you don't need to serve it if your guests don't drink--or you are concerned about keeping the party under control. If you do serve alcohol, have rides home for partygoers who have had too much to drink.

Create a party environment with decorations. Use streamers, balloons, banners, lights or seasonal decorations to signal guests that your event will not be mundane. Table decor, such as coloured plates and napkins and centrepieces, also helps set the mood.

Create a menu and buy more food and drinks than you think you'll need. Determining how much people will eat is difficult, so err on the side of having leftovers. Include a wide variety of foods, and find out if your guests have dietary preferences or restrictions--your menu will be different if you know most of the guests are vegetarians. Include snacks or appetizers, desserts, soda, coffee and tea if appropriate.

Provide entertainment. Whether or not you plan games, your house should be equipped with audio equipment to play music, and a TV if there are sports on, such as football or hockey, that your guests will enjoy. Music is a key element at parties, so choose popular songs with energetic lyrics and rhythm to keep the party in high gear. Have a pool table, air hockey table, dart board or other activities available for guests as well.

Mingle with all your guests. No one wants to be left out, so make a point to spend time with every guest, especially those who know few other people at the party. Be available to offer guests food and drinks, to handle problems and point people to the rest rooms. Pick up trash throughout the party--it will keep the area nice and make clean-up easier the next day.


Have a plan for minors if you serve alcohol at the party. Stamp their hands, give them wrist bands or devise some way to differentiate them from adults and tell them you will not allow them to drink. If you see a minor drinking alcohol, immediately take their keys and call their parents, if the parents are not at the party.


Be aware of how loud the party is. Either invite the neighbours or warn them of the party. If your neighbours complain, the police can come and close down the party.

Things You'll Need

  • Food and drinks
  • Entertainment
  • Games
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About the Author

Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.