Housewarmings are fantastic ways to meet neighbors and new friends. They’re also a great chance to let your friends and family support you in your new home. Typically, housewarming guests bring gifts designed to save you some of the cost of outfitting your new place. They use their experience to give you things you’ll inevitably need, whether kitchen supplies or clean sheets.
Whether you’re throwing a housewarming party for yourself or you’re hosting one for your friend, housewarming parties can be super fun. You can create a friendly atmosphere without too much effort where people let down their guards and mingle with new people.
One of the best ways to get ready in time and get your party off the ground without a hitch is to pick a theme. With a nice theme, all your ideas for decorations and food will tie in smoothly for a fun day or evening.
If you’re stuck, we’ve compiled a list of fun housewarming themes and ideas to get you started. Here are a few creative ways to throw a memorable housewarming party for family, friends, and neighbors.
1. The Housewarming BBQ
This is a classic housewarming theme that doesn’t require a ton of preparation. However, you need a grill, some meat, desserts, drinks, and snacks. In addition, you’ll want to set up some indoor and outdoor spaces that match a BBQ theme. Think paper plates, open ice chests with chilled drinks, checkered tablecloths, etc.
Everyone’s happy at a BBQ, and you’ll be freer to chat with guests throughout the day. Ask a family member or good friend to manage the grill while you walk around offering everyone fresh summer cocktails.
2. Throw a Wine Tasting Party
Many people use housewarming parties to stock their wine and liquor cabinets when moving into a new place. Everyone typically brings a bottle as a housewarming present, and at the end of the night, you have years of booze on your shelves.
Knowing that people love to gift a nice bottle of wine, why not make it the theme for your housewarming party?
You can set up some nice appetizer trays with fancy cheeses and crackers. Invite a friend who loves wine to present different bottles and talk through why each one you crack open is special.
With a vineyard theme, you and your guests will feel fancy and have a relaxed time together.
3. Celebrate Taco Tuesday
Everyone loves tacos, and throwing a taco or fiesta-themed party is super easy. You can either arrange a taco bar where people can build their own tacos or take things up a notch and make your own al pastor on the rotisserie.
No matter where you live, you can buy some basic decorations and turn on some mariachi music to set the mood.
4. Bring Everyone Together to Watch the Big Game
What if you’re not an enthusiastic party thrower? Some people hate the thought of hosting a party focused on them, so finding another reason to have people over eases the anxiety of having a large crowd in your new house.
A great way to make things low-key but still host a housewarming party is to synchronize your party with a big sports game. You could send out invitations telling everyone you’re having a combo housewarming/game-watching party at your place. People will still bring a small gift, but you can shrug off the attention by saying you are happy everyone’s there to watch the game with you.
To prepare, you can build a spread of things like nachos, pigs in a blanket, or grilled burgers. Keep it simple.
5. Play Some Games to Break the Ice
Housewarmings should be casual. However, if you invite the neighborhood, there will be people there who don’t know each other. Using games to break the ice is an excellent idea.
However, be careful to avoid games that force people into awkward interactions. Raffles are great games that don’t put people on the spot. When people come through the door, give them a ticket and have some small prizes that you’ll raffle off throughout the evening. Prizes can be things like a bottle of wine, small gift cards, or a small box of chocolates.
You can also play games like bingo or have a Jenga game out in the yard for people to play casually as they talk or eat.
6. Throw a Potluck
When you’re hosting a housewarming, it’s totally fine to ask people to bring food to share. A potluck takes the massive burden of cooking for a large crowd off your shoulders and spreads the love to guests.
People generally love to bring dishes to potlucks. It gives them something to show off and feel like they’re contributing to the party in a fair manner. Instead of asking people to bring whatever they want, find out what they like to cook or assign them a specific item so you end up with the right combination of appetizers, salad, sides, main dishes and desserts.
7. Send Guests Home with Party Favors
Party favors or gift bags always leave a terrific impression as you say goodnight to guests as they leave. Most of the time, people won’t expect to receive a favor at a housewarming party, so they’ll be pleasantly surprised when you present something to them.
There’s no reason to get fancy or spend much money on your parting gifts. Lots of people love to give a small candle to guests or a homebaked treat wrapped nicely in a bag. It’s the thought that counts.
8. Offer Activities that Get People Involved
Once you have your theme down, it’s time to think about what your guests will do when they come to your party. Ideally, you’ll have things around your house that will keep guests occupied as they mingle and meet new friends. Remember, not everyone will know each other, so having activities is recommended.
Here are some activities you can try:
- Corn toss
- Video games
- Board games
In addition, you can arrange some food activities to get people involved, including:
- Cupcake decorations
- Building ice cream sundaes
- Cookie making
9. Ask People to Sign Your Guestbook
A guestbook is a time-honored tradition at housewarming parties that has disappeared somewhat. Nowadays, some people think having a guestbook in the foyer is a bit old-fashioned, but we still think it’s a nice touch!
Throughout the evening, your guests can leave their information as well as write a nice note wishing you well in your new home. The guestbook is a lovely way to get neighbors’ contact information, so you can send them a thank you note or get in touch with them if there are any issues in the neighborhood.
While we know there are social media groups for neighbors and other modern tools, handwritten notes are still welcome at any housewarming party.
10. Have at Least Two Cocktail Options
Why not come up with a custom cocktail specifically for your party? Give it a funny name that’s a twist on your last name, the street you live on, or the evening’s theme. When guests walk in the door, offer them a choice of either. People will feel more comfortable once they have a drink in their hands. Not everyone drinks, however, so make some non-alcoholic options as well.
Custom cocktails will be a nice touch that people will talk about throughout the party. You can share the recipe with your guests or send them home with a pre-made cocktail mix as a party favor!
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