How To Throw A Party In A Small Space

5 Feb

Last Saturday night I hosted a surprise 61st birthday party for my fella’s dad, at my house. My place is a little on the small side, maybe 750 square feet. And almost half of the square footage is taken up by my bedroom and the little room attached to it where I keep my drums. It’s plenty for me and the dog, but 20 people is something completely different. Also it is February and the temperature was in the 30’s. That made my large patio completely off-limits. I knew this was going to be tough.

I had an immediate plan of action. I remember reading somewhere once that in a small space you need to set up different stations for food and drinks to keep people from gathering in one spot. That was my only plan. I do love to throw parties, and I love to cook, so this was going to be fun!

First I decided on a menu that was going to be wallet-friendly, easy and good. I immediately thought of tacos. I cooked and shredded a whole chicken and I got a few cans of black beans. This allowed me to pre-cook the food and use my chaffing dishes to keep everything warm. (I had no intention of spending the party in the kitchen!) I thought I could put chips and salsa in one room, guacamole in a another room and queso dip on a little table in the kitchen. I found a recipe for enchilada meatballs that I was eager to try out, and I wanted to use my punch bowl for margaritas!

I asked the guest of honor’s life partner if he would help me with a couple of simple games. Things that weren’t really organized, but would be fun. The first game was all about the guest of honor. It was titled “Who knows Danny the best?” I thought it would be fun for the guests to fill out  questionnaires about Danny and bicker over the winner. The second game was based on actors born the same year as Danny (also an actor). I put the names of the actors on blank white labels and stuck them on guests backs. They were encouraged to ask each other questions and guess at the name on their back. These were both fun games!

Someone else brought a cake and I made a large pot of coffee to go with it (and encourage my guests to sober up). I also made sure I had an entire case of bottled water arranged on the counter to encourage hydration. I left permanent markers by the waters, the punch cups and the disposable coffee cups so people could mark their own.

I love to take care of people and make everyone feel comfortable and at home. Never once did my small space feel small. They key was to keep people moving from room to room, with plenty of seating and surfaces for sitting and such. Also I just did regular laps around the house talking to people while picking up empties and dropping them off in the trash. I played records all night because I feel like the sound gives more of a party vibe than my iPod dock.

This is my first post since I got a new (newer) Macbook. I am actually scared to drink around it, I just take shots in the kitchen and then come back and sit down. Not really,  but I do have my drink on a little table beside my table that the mac is on to keep another accident from happening. This newer one is quite fast though, and it makes me think that all those times I thought my internet connection was slow it was actually my computer. Everything happens for a reason right?


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