Cool New Ways to Spice Up Your Dinner Parties

We’ve all been there! Getting dragged to another family dinner party during the holiday season. The same old meal that your grandma prepared is losing its taste and you just can’t wait until dessert. Of course, it’s the winter so you’re forced inside the whole night socializing with aunts and uncles who keep nagging away at your life. Well, what if I told you that I had a solution to your unfortunate suffering! These fun new dinner party ideas may finally give you a reason to kill your least favorite cousin (kind of)!

The first dinner party idea is a murder mystery dinner, hence the opportunity to kill your cousin. If you’ve ever played the game of Clue, you know nothing has the potential to tear apart or bring together a family more than a good old murder mystery. At this party, everyone shows up dressed and in character as who they were told to be on their invitation(potentially being the murderer). You are not allowed to break until the mystery is solved, so have a lot of fun with it. Over the fancy dinner that everyone enjoys, you can introduce your new persona and start to make alliances and accusations. The host will come up with a scenario and hide clues around the house, so after dinner it is the attendees’ job to answer the age-old question, Whodunnit?

If you want to have the thrill of a mystery dinner but not necessarily spend quality time with your family accusing them of murder in the first degree, then a simple mystery dinner is another fun choice. This dinner puts all of the mystery out of the people and into the food. The host will give everyone coded menus with inside jokes or catch phrases and allow guests to mark these “meals” to be corresponding to different numbers, usually 1-4. After everyone has given back their menu, the hostess will take everyone’s marks for number one, or the first round. My family and I did this a few weeks ago at my aunt’s house, and some rounds my grandmother would get a drink, a fork, a meal item, and a dessert, while my aunt would receive a knife, chopsticks, and two drinks at the same time. Basically, you have no idea what you just signed up to eat and you have to make the most of what food, utensils, and drinks you have for each round because they are taken away before the next round begins. It’s a great time for laughs, anticipation, and eating spaghetti with a spoon.

The last and final suggestion for a dinner party is to make it a competition. Obviously this won’t work in large family settings unless your Aunt Marge happens to have eight ovens, so it’s great for a close group of friends or only some of you family. Basically, a few of the people at the party decide to be the judges and stay away from the kitchen for a while. Both teams are told to make an appetizer using a specific ingredient, a main course using a different ingredient, and a dessert again making sure to include a common element. Now depending on how much trust you put in your family’s cooking abilities, these key ingredients can be something simple like chicken for the entree, or completely bizarre like broccoli in a dessert. After each round is up, the group will go to the table and eat, not revealing who made what. While everyone is enjoying the food, the judges will deliberate and decide which dish was the best of that round. The courses will yield a champion, and full bragging rights and any other bet in place are accomplished.

These ideas are a fun substitute for just standing around and eating a lackluster meal, but the most important thing is to make the most of your time with your friends or family, whether it be as Sherlock and Watson or as aunt and niece. Though all three ideas require a lot of planning and preparation, the fun is most definitely worth it.