How to Throw an Olympic-Themed Party
Make a Strong Start
Get everyone in the mood for your Olympics party by sending invitations with an Olympics theme. If you're feeling creative, you can make your own. If not, you can buy them from a party store. Online invitation programs such as Evite also offer Olympic-themed party invitations that you can email to friends and manage digitally.
Which Olympic Event Do I Represent?
Here's a party icebreaker that will not only put your guests in an Olympics mood, but also help everyone get to know each other. Print the name of Olympic events on pieces of paper (match the number of events with the number of guests) and pin or tape one event to each guest's back. Then, send your guests off to ask each other as many yes or no questions as they need to figure out which event they represent. Continue until everyone has solved their personal mystery.
Host a Backyard Olympics
Get the kids involved in putting together your own backyard version of the Olympic Games. To make sure everyone gets to compete, plan a variety of events that cater to all ages and skill levels. And because everyone likes to be a winner, be sure to have enough prizes on hand (and enough prize categories, including gold, silver and bronze medals for best effort, most creative approach, best teamwork, and so on) so that everyone takes home a prize.
Share Your Favorite Olympic Story
When you send the invitations to your Olympic-themed party, ask each guest to research and bring their favorite story from any previous Olympics. Whether it's a heartbreaking loss, an inspiring win, or a funny moment from the games, sharing favorite memories of past Olympics will get your guests in an Olympics mood.
Decorate with an International Theme
It doesn't take much money to buy Olympic-themed party decorations, and they will go a long way toward setting the mood. Look for small national flags from various countries and Olympic medal replicas, and print your favorite photos from past Olympics to use as place mats or wall decorations.
Serve International Party Food
Do a little research ahead of time and plan to serve finger foods from several different countries represented in the Olympics. And don't forget Great Britain, host of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. A little English pub food might be just the thing. Shepherd's pie, anyone?
Don’t Forget the Refreshments
Keep your Olympics theme going by serving gold, silver and bronze cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks in the same palette for party guests of all ages. Look online and in drink recipe books for ideas or, if you're feeling creative, try inventing and mixing your own winning combinations.
Organize an Olympics Trivia Game
Trivia games are great party icebreakers; create your own Olympics trivia game and divide your guests into teams. Look online for hundreds of Olympics trivia questions you can choose from, and award small prizes to each member of the gold, silver and bronze teams.
Everybody’s an Olympic Judge
Chances are your Olympic party will include some time spent in front of the big screen, watching the games as they happen. Check for scheduled events and print judging forms so guests can score the athletes on categories such as winning attitude, most appealing underdog, best hair, best smile, most outstanding crowd pleaser, and any other offbeat categories you can dream up.
A Sweet Time Was Had By All
As guests leave, give them something sweet to help them remember your party -- their own Olympic medals in milk or dark chocolate. Look online for great buys or check with your local candy shop.
Larry West is a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.