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How Do You Keep Adults Entertained at a Party?

There’s nothing more frustrating than throwing a party and seeing all the adults bored out of their minds. They’re standing around in clumps, talking in low tones, looking desperately for something to do. You’ve tried offering them drinks and snacks, but that only seems to make them more restless. What can you do to keep them entertained?

A party is not a party without a great theme. Themed parties allow guests to dress up, enjoy creative décor, and embrace the party spirit. Whether it’s a Roaring Twenties party or a Hawaii-themed luau, a great party theme can make any gathering unforgettable. For adults, themed parties are especially popular and offer a chance to let loose and have fun.

Themed parties can also be tailored to any budget and can be as simple or elaborate as you like. So if you’re looking to throw an epic party that your guests will be talking about for years to come, don’t forget the power of a great party theme.

In this guide, I will talk about the fun or cool things adults love to do at a party. I’ll also enlist some of the best party games that will have people talking about your party for days.

Picture of a group of adults at a party.

Fun Things to Do at an Adults-only party

We often have family parties, which include a bunch of kids, but this time we are having a gathering of adults. The food is planned; next, we must ensure everyone has a good time.

When planning a party, you can do a series of things to pull it off without a hitch, but stressing about it isn’t one of them. Your goal shouldn’t be breaking the bank to try to make it the most fantastic party ever. But rather your goal is to have fun, stay within your budget, and help your guests be entertained.

Here are six fun themes to consider for your next party for grownups:

Retro Theme Dance

A retro theme such as the 60s/70s/80s is bound to be memorable. Simply play music from the decade you choose. Ask your guests to dress up as people in that era. Play music that was a hit then.

Have the guests do the steps that were popular then – such as the Twist in the 60s and 70s. Later, you can sit down to play some retro games like Monopoly, Scrabble, etc. These are available in special retro series here. We went to a 1970s disco theme party and had a blast. The host hung a disco ball, and we jammed to Village People, Donna Summer, and other greats.

Sing-along Game/Karaoke

Everyone enjoys sing-along parties. You can take the simple sing-along/karaoke and add a fun twist. Examples include:

  • Rewrite that tune – In this game, you divide your guests into two or more teams. Each team is given a song and 15 minutes to rewrite that song’s lyrics and present it. The best team wins.
  • Guess the tune – Players/teams need to guess the song that the other member/team hums.
  • Roulette – place the guests’ names in a hat. Randomly scroll through a song list and pick a guest’s name from the hat. The chosen guest has to sing the song that comes up randomly.
  • Add alcohol– All participants have to drink between songs. This kicks up the entertainment.

Spa-theme

You can jazz up women-only parties with a spa theme. After all, who does not love pampering with manicures and pedicures? Transform your home into a comfortable and tranquil space – diffuse some essential oils, play relaxing spa music, light some candles or tea lights, and offer your guests relaxing eye masks and treatment options.

Don’t forget to hand out these cute hand cream tubes for your guests to take home at the end.

Murder-mystery Party

You can always play Clue – the murder mystery/whodunnit game. The other option is to go all out and arrange a murder mystery. Here are the steps:

  • Choose a theme – it can be based on fantasy, period, etc. For example, you could have a ‘wizard/witch theme’ or a monster theme. The Halloween theme is also popular. Have your guests dress accordingly. Make sure the theme is age-appropriate.
  • Decorate the venue and serve food according to the theme.
  • Once you have the RSVPs and know the exact number of guests attending, assign characters to each guest. Help each guest get into their character by handing out character sheets/booklets.
  • The murderer is the only one who can lie; all other guests may change the subject, but they always need to tell the truth. As the host, you can read the detective’s speech aloud.
  • The game begins once the killer is aware they are the killer. Allow guests 30 minutes to talk with each other and mingle. Repeat two more rounds. Then let everyone decide on the suspects and vote.
  • Announce the result and award.

Fun Stations

Kids and adults can have fun at various stations like henna tattoos, face painting, cookie decoration, etc. This is great for outdoor parties.

Get Guests To Decorate Cup Cakes

Instead of decorating the cake, make simple cupcakes and ask guests to decorate their own batch. You simply provide icing, edible frosting, and other decorations. Younger guests can take home their decorated cupcakes.

Cool Things to Have at a Party

Here are some cool party favors for adults that will have your guests gushing and complimenting you:

Kate Aspen 18187GD Metallic Champagne Bottle Container (Set of 12) DIY Favor, One Size, Clear, Gold

Champagne Bottle Party Favors

These cute champagne bottles make wonderful take-home gifts for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. They have a removable base, so you can customize and add your own candy, M&Ms, etc.

Lightup Shot Glasses

You will be the coolest host when you bring out these attractive shot glasses. This is a set of 24 glasses, each holding about 2 oz. liquid. Each glass has a battery concealed in its bottom. Simply press the bottom to activate the flashing colored lights. This is an excellent item for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, holiday events, etc.

Inflatable Food/Drink Holder

If your home is a summertime party venue, your guests will love this inflatable food/drink holder. Don’t let the fun stop when you or your guests need a drink. This inflatable holder holds several drinks and food items so you can continue soaking in the pool/hot tub without getting out.

Magnetic Bottle Opener with Cap Catcher

With this wall-mounted bottle opener, you will never misplace a beer bottle opener. Simply stick this on the refrigerator, brick wall, or wooden wall. The magnet also collects all the bottle caps in one place.

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Discoball

These are sound-activated, although you can also control them via remote. They come with seven color patterns, three lighting modes, and six lights.  Use it for your next DJ night, Karaoke, or dance party.

Fun (Abusive) Balloons

These fabulous balloons with their ‘abusive’ phrases will have your guests smiling at the next birthday party you organize for your loved one. They are made with high-quality latex, so they remain filled for a long time.

Best Games for People to Play at Adult Parties

Below is a list of some of the best indoor games for adult parties – you simply can’t go wrong with these – they will have your guests laughing hard. (If you want to take the fun outdoors, check out my list of Best Yard Games for Kids and Adults Outdoor Parties.) 

Charades

No. of players

  • Three or more

What you need

  • Pieces of paper
  • Pen/pencil
  • Container

How to play

  • Someone who isn’t playing can write down popular movie titles on paper pieces. Place all the pieces in the container.
  • Divide the guests into two or more groups.
  • One member from one group picks up one paper and acts out the title. Alternatively, individuals can act out the titles, and everyone can guess. 
  • Set a timer for 2 to 3 minutes to up the fun.

Related: Dumb Charades: How To Play It

Show-and-Tell-Memory Game

What you need

  • A tray
  • Several small items like safety pins, soap, lipstick, earrings, etc. At least 20 items can be placed on the tray.
  • A large towel/cloth to cover the items on the tray.
  • Pens and papers for guests to enlist the items

How to play

  • Place items in front of the guests.
  • Players make an effort to memorize all items.
  • Cover the items with a towel/cloth.
  • Players use their memory to write down the items—one with the most number of correct items enlisted wins.

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity is described as a party game for horrible people. Its gameplay is relatively simple: in each round, one player asks a question from the black card, and everyone else answers it with their funniest white cards. They even have expansion packs for the game, so you can continue laughing all night!

These Cards Will Get You Drunk - Fun Adult Drinking Game for Parties

These Cards Will Get You Drunk

This fun drinking game will get your guests LOL-ing! You and your guests sit in a circle and, moving clockwise, have each player draw a card. There are simple rules on the cards that you follow. Examples include: 

  • Pick a person and guess the color of their underwear. If you guess correctly, they drink; otherwise, you drink.
  • Starting with you, say the name of a color and continue down the line until a player repeats a color that was already said. That person drinks.

Never Have I Ever

This is a wonderful party game to get everyone laughing about the crazy things you’ve done in life. It is suitable for players 17 and older and can be played by 2 to 12 people.

Follow the simple rules on the cards and laugh your face off. It is a hilarious way to learn some new things about your friends.

Beat That

This game is suitable for 2-8 players aged ten and over. You bet on your ability to complete nearly 200 whacky challenges. There is a lot of variety, so you and your guests will never get bored.

Poetry for Neanderthals

This exciting game comes from my favorite cartoonist, Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. You pick a card and describe what’s written on it using simple words in single syllables. No long words are allowed – if you use them, you get hit with an inflatable stick!

For example: to describe a comb, you’d say something like, “you use this to keep your hair neat and tidy.” Caution: Poetry for Neanderthals is designed to make you sound dumb!

That’s What She Said

This hilariously twisted party game will have you and your guests in splits. Note that it has mature content, so it is suitable for people over 17. It is designed for four or more players, and gameplay takes around 30-45 minutes. Spice up your birthday/Holiday parties with this hilarious game.

Picture of adults having fun at a party.

Small House Party Ideas

You don’t need much space to have fun and host a great party. By thinking outside the box, you can maximize space, avoid clutter, and put together a great party in a small apartment or studio.

Make some legroom

Push the sofa onto the balcony and place pillows and rugs on the floor so guests can sit down. If that is not an option (or if you do not have a balcony), then take away all accents and decorative pillows off the sofa.

This will create more sitting space for your guests.  Place your guests’ coats in the bedroom to avoid clutter in the living room. Any decorations you go for, think up, up, up! Do them on the wall. Avoid bulky centerpieces.

Have several stations for drinks and food

Instead of keeping the bar and food stations next to each other or on a single table, divide them around the room. This way, guests won’t crowd in one place, and the stations will keep them moving. It will allow for better flow.

Reconsider the guest list

It is best only to invite a number of people that can fit in your small apartment. Also, consider the time of the event – daytime parties mean you’ll need a seat for every guest. For cocktail parties, you could have more people. For seated meals, it is best to only invite those many people that can be comfortably seated at the table or in your living room.

Simple Elements 2.5 Gallon Galvanized Beverage Tub - Multifunctional Ice Bucket - Beverage Tub for Parties, Events and Home Decor - Farmhouse Decor - 1.72 Lbs - 15.25" L x 10.15

What Are Must-Haves at a Party?

Every party should have some must-haves or basics. I like to call it the party pantry. When you have this stuff on hand, you are ready to party anytime.

Chilled champagne

Life can give you moments to celebrate without notice. So, always keep a bottle of chilled bubbly in the refrigerator for life’s unexpected celebrations.

Vases

Keep an array of vases in different sizes and colors. You especially need smaller ones that can comfortably hold a few stems. That way, you can easily create a pluck-and-play display at a moment’s notice. This 10-piece vase set looks elegant and is versatile enough to put it to great use.

Ice bucket

A galvanized ice bucket like this one will hold the drink bottles neatly and create a welcoming decor. It comes with handles on the side for easy transport. Add some tongs and a scoop, and you’ll look like a party pro!

Ribbons

Ribbons are so useful and versatile, and you can put them to myriad uses – from decor to hanging party banners, to napkin rings, to creating bows on return gifts; there is so much you can do with ribbons. 

Tableware

Your party pantry must-have glasses for various drinks, a stack of plates for cake/hors-d’oeuvres, paper plates, and napkins in multiple designs.

Candles

Candles and tea lights are must-haves for birthdays, holidays, New Year, etc. If you’re worried about fire hazards, go for the flameless ones like these, which will enhance your birthday/Holiday celebrations safely.

Music

No party is ever complete without good music. Create a playlist that is appropriate and will get people dancing.

FAQs – How Do You Keep Adults Entertained at a Party?

How to keep people entertained at a party?

The best way to keep people entertained at a party is to have a themed party or give them something to do. It can be a dance party or a game night. Add some mood lights and good music, and serve delicious food – and people will be happy!

How to throw a memorable party?

Be creative. Plan your refreshments and the entertainment wisely. Ensure the guest list includes a mixed crowd so people can start conversations. Provide different activities to give people something to do. Finally, you simply cannot go wrong with a themed party.

How do you spice up a house party?

Use lighting creatively to set the mood. If possible, hire a DJ. Serve delicious bowl-and-finger foods and stock up on plenty of drinks. With the games listed above, your guests will never have a dull moment!

Conclusion – How Do You Keep Adults Entertained at a Party?

There are many ways to throw a killer party for adults. You can choose a theme with appropriate food, entertainment, and music. Games are always fun, and some of the best party games like Cards Against Humanity and These Cards will Get You Drunk are sure to up the excitement and fun considerably.

We hope these ideas help you throw a killer party that everyone talks about for days.

Below is a YouTube video with some popular theme party ideas.

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