Hostess with the mostest

Next time you hold a party, surf the Net first for tips on making it memorable, writes Cotton Ward.


Print out free colouring-in posters of dragons, unicorns and fire trucks and connect-the-dots pictures for children’s parties, courtesy of Birthday Here you’ll find a party planning wizard, customisable checklists and recipes. It suggests keeping children’s parties to no longer than 2.5 hours as “young guests will be excited” and “mishaps may occur”. Best to put those cherished Franklin Mint pieces out of reach then.

How to throw a party

“Don’t use a sheet,” warns Ron Turner, of Texas, who loves throwing toga parties. Follow his step-by-step guide on how to tie a toga correctly, and then accessorise (such as with plastic swords) and G-rate it (“wear gym shorts underneath”). Take note of his rough guide for calculating beverage consumption: simply determine whether your guests are mainly “normal” (allow 2.5 drinks per person for the evening) or “alcoholics” (2.5 drinks per hour).

Go straight to the Party Animals section to find the top games, as judged by this UK-based hospitality company. Highlights include “the Psychiatrist” (where you ask each other a lot of raunchy, rude and tactless questions), toilet games (“Mummy wrap” – the site advises that you have the video camera handy for this one), various drinking games and “games to annoy the neighbours” that involve a lot of shouting and rapid jumping up and down.

Party 411

Outwit, outlast, outplay, outparty. Yes, Survivor is one of dozens of themes outlined at, where every detail is included. For example, Survivor party guests should only be allowed to bring along two “luxury items”. Then they can play immunity challenges where they have to eat gummy bugs. The site advises that if you ever want to see your friends again you’d better make sure they don’t have to vote each other off, or else you could be left standing alone with the winner at 9pm.

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Make a grand entrance by carrying a kazoo and announcing your arrival, advises Elvis Terrier, who has written this guide for the eHow site. He suggests you should flirt a lot, but “don’t end up alone in a room with someone” because then you’ll miss “your chance to shine”. Also, avoid anyone lurking by the food or doors because they’re not “likely to be interested in conversation”. Hmm, sounds like the ideal spot so you won’t be approached by anyone following these guidelines.

You’re organising a buck’s night, so you have to get the groom legless, strip him and handcuff him to a lamp post, right? Not so, say the folks at Bucks, who fancy themselves as “Australia’s premier buck’s night organisers”.

A choice of packages combines paintball, fishing, golf, scuba diving and outings to the races.

Take the Super Saver option (provide your own transport) and save $45 per head. The site wears like a badge of honour a review it attributes to this paper – “every bit as crass as you might expect” – and one glance at the home page justifies the comments.

What’s Going

Nothing good on this weekend? Then visit What’s Going, which lists the best parties and events worldwide. Each event features ratings such as: “do it before you die”, “down and dirty” and “potential to see blood”. Recommended events when we visited included the “Love Parade” in Berlin and the running of the bulls in Spain. Or pop over to Finland for the “Wife Carrying World Championship”, in which you can win your wife’s weight in beer.

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Hand out name tags that look like welcome mats, suggests entertaining expert Dana Christine, then encourage guests to wander throughout your new abode by placing appetisers in the hallway, the main course in the next room and coffee in the kitchen. For dessert, treat your guests to a frosted cake that features a picture of your new home created out of icing. Easy.


For dinner party ideas, visit the American doyenne of domesticity, Martha Stewart, who has built a $1.2 billion media and mail-order empire on home hints. The “entertaining 101” section has food and drink menus for every occasion, and graphics to show you how to fold table napkins correctly and make table decorations. There’s a right way and wrong way to do everything, and Martha knows best.


Wear as many different types of clothing, shoes and jewellery as possible, stuff your handbag with bizarre items and be prepared to lie a lot whenever you attend a Tupperware party. Why? Because they always play those games where you score 20 points for wearing gold, 40 for athletics shoes, 75 if your name is Pat, and so on. And for what? One of those plastic mats that open every jar and bottle. Tip: you can buy the mats for about $2 at Woollies.

Making a date

Plagued by fickle friends who can’t agree on a time and place? Ask them to take part in an online poll from ( where they can vote and agree on details. Then send an electronic invite from the same site.

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