15 Inspiring Ideas For Small Parties With Your Friends

Let’s face it, nothing beats having a good laugh with our friends and loved ones, right? And you often don’t need a lot of money or lavish experiences to get the most out of the bonds you have. Just a few fun ideas for small parties can do the trick.

If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that it’s important to cherish the relationships you have and to build on that intimacy as much as you can. You’ve got to make the best of every moment, even if you’re hanging out with a few drinks and food.

Start feeling good with each other with our ideas for small parties.

Intimate DJ

Do you ever get tired of listening to the same old music at parties? If you’ve ever felt this way, it’s probably because nobody gave any thought to the songs. Music can set the tone and vibe of any event, so why not swap out the radio this time with a playlist of your friends’ favorite tunes.

To set this up, ask your friends way in advance of your party to bring their favorite records with them or send you their top tracks so you can create a playlist. You can also have live concerts of their favourite bands playing in the background. A record-sharing activity is something else you can create, with everyone sat around the laptop and taking it in turns to talk about their favorite bands and singers, which concerts they’ve been to, and why they love their music so much.

Dust Off Your Books

If you’ve got a few old books lying around, chances are there’s someone else who might enjoy them. A book party is a fun way for everyone to empty their bookshelves while also sharing their love of books and any favorite authors they like. You can trade by books by genre (horror, romance, sci fi, etc) or by type of format (comics, text books, novels…). If you’ve got budding writers amongst you, then a story-creating session you do together is another way you can indulge in books.

You can also host a mystery book exchange. This time round, wrap each book in newspaper or wrapping paper, and present them as gifts to arriving guests. Get everyone to share what they’ve received later on in your party.

Simply Cake

If you’re looking for fun foodie ideas for small parties, then cupcakes has you covered. Cupcakes are not only the easiest type of cake to create, your friends get to customise the toppings and make something of their own. Check out our article that will show you what equipment you will need as well as some cupcake party ideas you can try out.

If you’re not cake fans, then you might want to try a warm fruit pie instead. Pies can be store-bought or also homemade and come in a variety of tantalizing flavors including plum, apple, raspberry, rhubarb, peach, blueberry and more. You can choose to eat these with a side of custard or generous dollops of ice cream.

Cool Down

Throwing a pool party is a fun way to relax and enjoy any sunny weather you’re having. Being out on the water can offer your friends a refreshing respite, especially if the summer heat gets too much.

If you don’t own your pool, you can meet at a friend’s or find one in your town or city. Be aware, if you use this option, you won’t be alone at a city or town pool. Wherever you’re relaxing, make sure to add a few fun pool party games to drive up the excitement.

Explore Flavor

If your friends enjoy a glass of wine every now and then, why not put their enjoyment to the test with this unusual experience? The objective of a wine tasting is to educate everyone in the art of flavor. It isn’t about drinking wine, but about tasting it; and if that sounds terrible, don’t worry, you will get to drink all the wine after the tasting is over. During the tasting, however, everyone swirls the wine in their mouth before spitting it out.

Wine tastings are done as blind tastings. Each bottle of wine is presented with the label removed or covered up while everyone is given a scoresheet. Line up your bottles along a table, each one with its own set of empty glasses. Tasters pour a bit of wine into a glass, give it a swirl, spit it out, and then writes down their thoughts on their scoresheet for discussion at the end.

Wine tastings err on the more expensive side of ideas for small parties. To cover the wine costs, charge everyone at least $5. You will also need to provide food and water after the tasting is over, to stop everyone feeling drunk.

Spring Cleaning

It might sound a bit cheeky to invite your friends over to your spring cleaning, and yet it doesn’t haven’t to feel like that. If you want to replant your garden or finally repaint your living room you’ve left ugly for ages – but haven’t had the time or energy – your friends will only be too happy to help you out. Plus, it gives them the feeling of pride in helping you improve your home.

To turn things into a party, you will need to provide the music, drink and food. Ask everyone to come dressed in overalls or clothes that they don’t mind messing up. You can combine this idea with the book exchange, but extend it to include old clothes, knick-knacks, and old records.

Explore Your Digs

Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get everyone out of the house and exploring your local digs. A day or two before your hunt, you will need to put together a list of fun items you want people to look for, e.g. Something yellow, a couple kissing, a cat, a cake in a window front, the sound of flying.

Split your friends into pairs or trios, give each team a printed copy of the list, and set a time limit for the hunt. You should also decide how far away teams need to travel in your neighborhood to fetch the items, e.g., Up to 50 metres away, or a bus ride away. The team who collects most of the items on the list (done so via photos of the items), or perhaps has the most inventive list, is the winner.

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Private Space

When we’re thinking about ideas for small parties, most often or not, we think we have to enjoy them at home. But there is a second option: renting a place with your friends. Having a place of your own for the day or evening, or weekend can remove the pressure of being in a restaurant where you can’t hear each other.

Find out if your local bar, restaurant or hotel provides private spaces for events. You can also book an Airbnb in your local area.

All A-Board

Excuse the pun! If you’re getting together for dinner or drinks, then adding a board game always feels like the right thing to do. Whatever type of game you choose will depend on the type of crowd you’re hanging with and also the time of the day of your party.

If you’ve got nerdy friends, then a game of strategy such as chess might be up your alley. Games such as Trivial Pursuit are the perfect combination of teamplay and general knowledge. Scrabble, on the other hand, might go down well with competitive friends.

Drink n’ Play

While we’re on the topic of games, drinking games are another fun activity that can add excitement at small parties. The objective of drinking games isn’t actually to get people drunk, as is often thought, but to avoid having to drink, as the drinking is usually the penalty in the game. 

Drinking games can get people a bit tipsy quite quickly, which is why we always advise you eat a good meal first and keep cooked food on hand. You want to aim for everyone to having a good time throughout the night, not get drunk in the first hour.

Get Cultural

For culture fans among you, buying tickets for a play might be the option for you. If summer is coming, make sure to look out for what concerts and festivals you could go to and coincide your party with these events.

Dinner Challenge

While eating out with friends can be fun every now and then, there’s quite like cooking at home. If you all enjoy cooking, then making dinner together should be at top of the list of your ideas for small parties.

There are many kinds of dinner you can make, for example, meals you had as a child, a recipe from YouTube, your favorite restaurant dishes. You can turn these into challenges by having friends race each other to reproduce a dish against the clock.

There are also 2 fun dinner-making challenges we’ve played in the past that you should know about. The one is called Cupboard Meals. There is where you challenge your friends to create a meal together using only the existing food items in the house. Whether that’s tinned goods, frozen vegetables, and staples, everyone will be forced to think creatively on what they can cook. If you don’t have another stuff at home, drop by the supermarket but make sure what you buy fits under $5 max.

Another game is based on the TV show Ready Steady Cook. Everyone is split into 2 teams and each given 4 food items: one carbohydrate, one protein item, one meat, one vegetable. Along with herbs already in the house, they get 90 minutes to create a starter and main course using these ingredients.

Get Artistic

If you and your friends enjoy painting and making stuff, then a paint and sip party should definitely be on your list of ideas for small parties. Paint and sip parties have been around since 2007, and while you can book these at local art studies, it’s just easy – and more budget-friendly – to set up your own paint party at home.

To pull off a paint party, you will need to provide materials such as paintbrushes, paint pots, canvases, artist paper and easels. To help you set up the perfect event, check out our post on how to throw a private paint party at home.

Eating In Nature

For those of you lucky enough to live near a beach, forest or large park, having dinner with your friends there is something you should take advantage of. You will need to some planning in advance: what food take, how to store perishable food items, how many blankets to take, travel time, weather forecast, games and activities to do.

Go Bowling

Sometimes we forget that simple ideas for small parties is all we need to have fun together. Meeting at the bowling alley is one such idea!

Bowling is actually a lot harder than it looks; for starters, trying to pick up the ball (which weighs around 16 pounds) can be a major tasks all of its own! Bowling alleys come with food, drink and arcade machines, so you will have plenty of entertainment to keep your friends happy.

Laugh Until You Can’t

Are you good at telling jokes? Is there a class clown among your group of friends? Why not crank the laughs up a notch by signing all of you up to a comedy club open mic? While the thought of being a standup comedian for 5 minutes in front of a live crowd might feel daunting, you don’t have to worry, your friends will support you and supply the laughs if no one else will.

If you’re prefer to watch a professional do this instead, then check the papers for any comedy nights in your local area. Poetry evenings and local musican gigs are other activities along these lines.

Friends are the glue to help hold our lives together. Nothing beats spending time with them, and if you’re stuck for inspiration, our roundup of ideas for small parties are just the thing you need. Wish you a great time ahead!

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