When many people think of dinner parties, they imagine stuffy, black tie affairs with multiple courses. However, dinner parties only have to be as formal as you make them. Casual dinner parties can be fun ways to entertain friends and family. All that's needed is a creative theme and a tasty menu, and you can host a great dinner party at home.
This dinner theme involves lots of planning in order to be pulled off well. Murder mystery dinners are a popular way to spice up normal dinner parties. This dinner party requires lots of guest participation. Write out a murder mystery plot, including the murder weapon, circumstances and any alibis that may be needed. Fill a packet for each guest that comes that includes the plot and their role in the game; one guest will be the killer and another will be a victim. As the guests eat, have the lights go out so that when they come on again, the victim is found dead. Then, the guests must try and figure out which of them is the culprit.
Dinner in the Dark
Several restaurants make a gimmick of this, but you can recreate this from the comfort of your own home. Dinner in the dark consists of serving diners their meals in the dark, preventing them from seeing what they're eating. The fun part is having guests guess what it is exactly that they're eating. In order to do this, setting the table beforehand can help. If you own any night vision equipment, you can use it to help your guests to their seats. Otherwise, simply blindfold the guests, help them to their seats, then turn out the lights. It may help to have a black light in place, as well as offering cups with lids to minimise spills.
A dinner fakeout consists of preparing a menu filled with items that are not what they seem in order to confuse and startle taste buds. For example, Nerfect.com describes crab cakes in the shape of waffles. Cakes can be baked to look like a number of different things such as meat loaf. It may take a bit of thinking to come up with a menu of food that looks like other food, but guests will likely enjoy the effort.
Dressing up is not just for little kids. Try throwing a dress-up dinner party for your guests. Pick a historical era and base the costumes and menu on this. For example, a medieval dinner party would involve plenty of meaty dishes and ales. You could also go more modern with a 1950s style dinner party. For a 1950s dinner, foods can be served in frozen dinner style containers with guests dressing in their 1950s best. With a number of different eras to choose from, you can have a different dinner party theme for quite some time.