There’s plenty to celebrate about getting older but it can be tricky to find the perfect way to mark another year around the sun. These fabulous ideas will keep your guests entertained and – best of all – they’re fun for all involved!
Put on your best sleuthing hat for a killer night of intrigue and suspense – all in the comfort of your own home. Rather than dusting off your old Cluedo board though, host a murder mystery game night with your friends and family and watch as your party works itself into a frenzy trying to find the killer. There are many websites, such as Night of Mystery, that allow you to purchase, download and print murder mystery games, rather than having to buy a board game version (of course you may prefer a board game version, in which case you’ll find them at most game stores). You can assign characters to your guests ahead of time so they can work on their cover stories and dress the part.
Set the scene at home with dark rooms dimly lit with candles, and if you really want to go all out, splurge for props such as mug shot cards and magnifying glasses and make numbered evidence tags to mark items around the room. Prepare for a night so fun it’s almost criminal!
This is a fun activity that suits many budgets. If you’re looking to keep costs low, purchase your own materials from a craft store, set up a table at home and let your guests create their own accessories throughout the afternoon over a few glasses of bubbly. You can purchase jewellery-making guides or find free tutorials online that’ll tell you what you need to know to create everything from delicate earrings to bold necklaces.
If you’re looking to splash out, find a jewellery making class in your area and book it out for you and your friends. This way all your materials are supplied and you’ll have a professional guiding you through every step. Many classes offer a complimentary glass of champagne and some even allow you to bring your own drinks and food platters for a truly memorable afternoon.
Feeling lucky? For the ultimate girls night in, gather a group of your closest girlfriends and hire a tarot card reader to come to your home for the night. There are many psychics and fortune tellers that offer this service around Australia for a range of prices. Sip tea while you hear what the cards have in store for your future and enjoy an easy dinner of takeaway (and a few wines) while you decipher every detail of your predicted destiny. If you’re looking for a fun party favour to hand out at the end of the night, a mini tarot card deck makes a great on-theme gift.
The wine crawl is the over-60s’ more sophisticated version of the raucous pub crawls of their youth. Australia is home to some of the best wineries in the world, and luckily, many of them are a stone’s throw from our major capital cities. Plan your route and hire a mini-bus, or coach, depending on your group size, to charter you from winery to winery over the course of the day. Depending on the season, tasting rooms can get crowded, so call a few weeks in advance to secure a time and space for your group to sip the offerings. Many of the larger wineries have restaurants on site, so book a spot to refuel for lunch so you can carry on the fun into the afternoon.
Gin is having a moment and what better way to enjoy it than to host a tasting evening at home. Ask each guest to bring a bottle of gin – one they think looks special and delicious – and set the scene with beautiful glassware to sip from, cheese platters to gorge on, and comfortable seating to lounge on while you go around the room tasting each other’s gins. Give the event some structure with homemade tasting cards for guests to record their tasting notes and score each bottle, and hand out a prize at the end to the person who brought the highest scoring gin.
Re-create the excitement and adventure of the drive-in cinema at home with a movie night under the stars. Hire a projector and speakers (many local companies do package deals) and set up in your backyard. You can connect a laptop, USB or gaming console to the projector to play your movie of choice. String up fairy lights, lay out blankets and pillows for your guests to lie on, and position a few low-set coffee tables around the edge for food and drinks.
If you really want to take the experience to the next level, hand guests fake movie ticket stubs on arrival and keep the food on theme with bowls of chocolates, lollies and popcorn for people to help themselves to throughout the night.
Of course sometimes you just want to celebrate with a good old-fashioned party with friends, family, food and a brimming cup. Turn up the fun factor by theming your party with a decade (perhaps the decade you were born) or a specific year, such as the year you were born. If you were born in the 1950s, guests can don their best rockabilly outfits and spin each other around the dance floor all night. If you’re going with a particular year, say 1956, guests can dress up as popular celebrities or news stories from that year: think Elvis, who had his first number one hit with ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ that year, the Melbourne Summer Olympics (coloured hula-hoops make great Olympic rings), or Dame Edna Everage, who first appeared on television that year.
Serve food that was popular in the decade you’re celebrating (you can’t go past cheese fondu for a ’70s-themed party) and serve a signature cocktail to kick off the party. If you really want to make the party something special, hire a karaoke machine for guests to belt out their favourite tunes and send everyone home with a classic party bag filled with your favourite sweets from the decade.
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