How to host a regular party in a way that’s easy and fun
July 17, 2022 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I’m interested in hosting parties, maybe in some sort of regular way (monthly?), as a way to socialize, and meet new people. I’m interested in ways to to this are as low-effort as possible. Have you done this? I welcome any tips, suggestions, resources, etc, both on how to make this fun and how to make it easy.

I don’t mind spending a bit of money to make these happen (maybe $100 to $200 each seems fine). But I really want to spend at little time as possible organizing/cleaning/whatever

I’d like these to be, I dunno, 15 to 50 people I think.

I’m in Toronto

I have some ideas. I welcome yours. Some of my ideas:

- Do a very low-key open-house type thing. Make it potluck and/or BYOB. Order a few pizzas and have some wine. Get a housecleaner before/after.

- Invite a bunch of people to a bar. (Not sure how to make this work, as a private room or whatever…)

- Invite a bunch of people to a park, while the weather is nice. Invite them to bring snacks, etc.

- Host a meetup on

I welcome any ideas, suggestions, etc...
posted by ManInSuit to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
House parties would be a lot easier at the 15 person end of the spectrum than the 50 person end. At that point, it’s pretty easy to have a few friends and their guests for a movie night or something. Episodic TV, like a weekly reality show, is an easy way to make this regular. My wife and I hosted a weekly Bachelor watch party, for example. Sports are another classic example, if you and your potential guests are into sports.

If you can find another host or two, a hosting rotation would make things easier for everyone. The regular schedule could proceed even if one of the hosts were sick or out of town, and no one would feel overwhelmed by constantly having to clean up. I used to be part of a regular rotating movie night like this.

I’ve done regular bar meetups, but unless there’s a formal relationship with the bar, you have to be pretty nimble - if you get to the bar and it’s busy, you can text 10 people “let’s get to this other bar instead”, but it’s harder to do for 25. Bar games (pool, darts, etc.) are a helpful way to have some structure so it’s not awkward for new people, but not so much structure that you can’t socialize.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:47 AM on July 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

Every other month, at your house, 30–50 people, two performances a party, one at 9pm, to get people to show up, and one at 11pm to signal the beginning of the last third. Wine and good bread, don't get involved in providing too much food. Performances given by poets, writers, musicians, artists, activists, whoever you know that has something to share. Pay them, either money or a bottle of nice wine, and ask them to bring moral support.
posted by einekleine at 10:01 AM on July 17, 2022 [4 favorites]

we hosted a board game night about once a month, which is fun and low key, but after doing it for a long time, I would almost suggest that having MORE structure and planning to a get together is better.

A general invite to a list of 50 people will make every person on the list feel that there is no pressure for them, personally, to come. People will come to your first few, and then maybe one a year or something when they literally have nothing else to do. General invites don't really feel like invitations, they feel like options. When we do a board game night, there's like 70 people on the invite list (all of who have expressed interest in coming), and in general we get 9-10 people. 5ish of them are the same people every time. So in reality, we probably get 4 people out of 70 who actually come to the general invitation parties.

The pandemic was a good excuse for us to stop doing general invites, and we have started instead to invite a select group of people to do a select activity. If you invite 5 people to do something you're suggesting, they will almost always actually come unless they have other plans.

So my suggestion would be that you, I dunno, break your friends into groups of ten or something where it seems like they'd be people with good vibes together, tell them to bring any friends they'd like, and then invite that group to do something - think of fun, easy things!

-picnic (you bring fried chicken, everyone else brings a salad or snack or drink?)
-book club
-cookie exchange
-hire a sommelier or get a good wine-friend to walk a group of people through the notes in different bottles of wine to educate and expand your palette
-backyard bbq (bring your own meat/grill thing, you supply some corn and potato salad and beer) or if you don't have a backyard sometimes parks have a spot you can reserve for this.
-guided bird watching/nature walk/day hike/u-pick berry harvesting
-waffle breakfast with mimosas (may I suggest these, the most incredible waffle I've had)
posted by euphoria066 at 10:09 AM on July 17, 2022 [5 favorites]

I used to do game nights where I invited friends and asked them to also bring friends—it’s a nice way to get new people into the mix. I usually provided an easy dinner entree (chili, barbecue sandwiches, etc) and then people brought sides/desserts/drinks to share. Or sometimes everyone brought an appetizer and we made that the meal. We usually did games like Scattegories, trivia games, stuff like that. I think it was kind of a “standing invitation on the third Sunday of every other month” kind of situation—so people could have it on their calendar, but if someone couldn’t come it wasn’t a big deal. Very fun, low key, easy, and relatively inexpensive.
posted by bookmammal at 10:30 AM on July 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Nick Gray just wrote a decent book about this.
posted by shadygrove at 10:42 AM on July 17, 2022

Cultivate a relationship with a friendly, not too busy bar to have regular drinks nights there. I organise monthly drinks with a friend. At first we used to vary the bars but now we have sufficiently developed a relationship with one bar that they are relaxed enough to reserve a nice area for us and put on free food. They know we can have anything from 10 - 50 people and are cool with the variation in numbers. They get a lot of repeat business from people we introduce to the bar with our gatherings and at this point many of us are very friendly with the bar staff so everyone has a nice experience. Newcomers have said it's a 'Cheers' like experience for me and my buddy because when we walk in everyone knows our name.
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:34 AM on July 17, 2022

I've been intrigued by "Friday night meatballs" since I first read it. I think having a regular gathering is a fabulous way to start getting folks together. Sometimes you'll have 3 other people; sometimes you have 33 - both are great.
posted by hydra77 at 12:04 PM on July 17, 2022 [4 favorites]

I did this with a friend for a few years. Every month, we would do a regionally themed dinner. It was BYOB, and everyone contributed with ten dollars and sometimes fruit or something. In the beginning we would invite a special guest with knowledge about the region or who perhaps originated there, who would do an informal Q&A at some point during the evening. After a while, we dropped that for just informal socializing. I don't think we were ever more than 15, with a group of regulars that was more like 8.
It was usually a weeknight, to inspire a relatively early night.
But the main thing was that we did it together. I am very happy at the stove, my friend is very outgoing and entertaining, so it was a win-win for both of us. It looks like you would be the "host" of such a team, rather than the "cook". Both of us were single parents, and it was a great way for us to have a manageable social life on nights where our kids were at their other parents.
posted by mumimor at 2:57 PM on July 17, 2022

I’d also love to do “Friday night meatballs,” though just one Saturday a month.
posted by bendy at 9:42 PM on July 17, 2022

We successfully do this sort of thing pretty frequently, in a couple different incarnations.

-“crappy dinners” (patent pending!). One of a small group of us texts the others and says “up for crappy dinner tonight?” Typically, just a couple hours notice. The rule is you cannot go to the store. You bring whatever you can from your house and cook together if necessary. Eg a half bag of frozen shrimp, a Caesar salad mix, s’mores fixings, etc. always end up with delicious meals.
-two or so day notices for larger gatherings, again with a pretty regular group of friends. Eg we are barbecuing ribs Sunday, we bought a huge pack at Costco, so who wants to come and potluck it as there are way too many for just us.

Now, we are pretty extroverted and our friends are used to our house being often messy. Good food and drinks smooths it all over.
posted by purenitrous at 2:14 PM on July 18, 2022

« Older Looking for social services in Athens, GA   |   Korean multigrsin rice advice Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments