If you’ve always had a hankering to grunt, “Me Tarzan, you Jane,” or if you grew up wanting to live with gorillas like Dian Fossey, indulge your fantasy by throwing a grown-up Jungle Party. Use decorations to set the rainforest tone, serve food and drinks to get everyone in a tropical mood, and let your inner animals out to play at a party your guests will be talking about for a long time to come.
Jungles are green, so use as much of that colour as you can in your decorating. Green crepe paper strung with abandon is a good starting point, especially if you drape a few streamers down the walls and over the windows and doorways. Add vines made of raffia or twisted brown paper; if you have stuffed animals (like monkeys or tigers), pin them to the vines. Party stores sell cutouts of palm trees and tropical flowers, or you can make them from crepe paper. Bring all the houseplants you have or can borrow into the party room--the leafier, the better--and keep a CD of jungle sounds playing in the background. Trade your white light bulbs for green and blue ones to give the room a tropical glow.
Serve huge trays of tropical fruits, like pineapple, bananas, mangos and pomegranates. Finger-foods are good also, such as shrimp kebabs or chicken skewers. If your guests are particularly adventurous you can buy edible insects, like chocolate-covered crickets or BBQ-flavoured worms. Another idea would be to serve “regular” food but give it jungle-sounding names like “monkey burgers” or “tiger tots.” For dessert, serve fruit-flavoured sherbets or ices with coconut macaroons.
Almost any mixed drink that can be served in a coconut shell would be appropriate to serve at a jungle-themed party. Try whipping up a pitcher of frozen banana daiquiris or fill a punch bowl with Tropical Sangria (your favourite sangria recipe filled with sliced pineapple, mango and cherries). Mai Tais or Mimosas would work too, and Pina Coladas and Rum Punch are both good jungle drinks.
Greet your guests by throwing a couple of leis over their heads (you can obtain inexpensive silk leis at party or dollar stores) and announcing that for the duration of the party the word “birthday” (or “animal,” or “drink,” or whatever fits your party) is off limits. If someone catches them saying the word, they will have to give up a lei to the person who caught them. Whoever has the most leis at the end of the night is the winner. Assign a few guests to be judges and have a Tarzan Yell contest. Wrap things up with Safari Karaoke, performing jungle-themed songs like Guns-n-Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” or “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens.
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