A night in with your pals, with good food, fun, life chats, and an overall sense of rejuvenation (even if you end up staying awake far too late) can create the recipe for a perfect night. The following will explore some of the things you might want to consider when planning a night in with your friends. Of course, every friend group is different; if face masks or mudding or Skyrim are musts in your circle of friends, be sure to include these things. No one knows your friend group better than you do.
Don’t Be Married To The Plan
Before we dive in, it’s important that you don’t become glued to the idea of your plan panning out perfectly. Some of the best memories arise as a result of serendipity or random ideas followed through to the end. It’s fantastic to have a basic plan: this way, if nothing comes up or is going on, you’ve got all your bases covered. This being said, be ready to go with the flow and adjust the plan to the surprises of the evening.
We all have that one friend (we’re not going to name her here), but she likes to take over the role of DJ, and the brutal secret is none of the rest of us like her tastes. Get ahead of the potential problem by creating a few playlists. Have one full of music you guys tend to listen to a lot, have a throwback playlist in case that’s the mood, and finally, throw together something with a bunch of new music you think the gang would like. This way, you’ll be ready for whatever music needs you and the group has. Of course, read the room; you don’t have to have music playing all the time if that doesn’t fit the vibe. Be ready to pivot.
Food is crucial to any lengthy gathering. People get hungry, and then they get cranky, and then things stop being fun. If people are going to be drinking at this party, it’s even more important to ensure that there’s food for everyone.
A general rule of thumb is to have snacks available the whole time with a big meal at standard meal times and a smaller meal ready every four-ish hours. And, the cardinal rule is: always have more food than you think you’ll need. Someone might bring a friend. Someone else might have just gotten back together with that partner we all despise. Someone else might bring their sister. No matter how prepared you are, keep handy a few websites that deliver in case your crowd is hungrier than you expected them to be; www.swagbucks.com/shop/gopuff-coupons even offers coupons for deliveries from the 24-hour convenience store goPuff. Be sure to keep in mind when things are open for delivery and how long it will take to arrive when making your plans.
Keep Everyone Informed
Are you all planning on jumping in the lake at midnight? If so, everyone needs to bring swimming clothes or a change of clothes. Also, do you have enough towels for everyone? Will there be a bonfire in the backyard? People might want to bring bug spray, camp chairs, or a big sweater. Are people welcome to spend the night but need to bring their own pillows and blankets because you don’t have enough? Let everyone know what all the options are ahead of time so that everyone brings the right clothing for whatever comes up in the evening.
There’s no such thing as too old for games. Something like Spike Ball, charades, Cards Against Humanity, sardines, or manhunt works no matter how long it’s been since you graduated. Peruse the internet and prep a few games for the group. It doesn’t matter if you don’t end up playing them or if you make your way through all of them in succession; you just want to have some fun options ready in case everyone is feeling like a game. Make sure to be aware of your group’s charades skills if you’re putting some tougher book titles into the charades hat. Start simple if you don’t know how everyone’s abilities stack up.
Movies And Video games
For many of us, there comes the point in the night where everyone needs to wind down a bit (or a point the following morning when everyone is hungover and wants to laze on the couch drinking Gatorade). Be prepared for this by keeping a list of movies and video games that might work well for the group. This way, if everyone’s too exhausted to make a decision as a group, you can just throw something up on the tv and let everyone veg out for a couple of hours.
The following morning everyone is going to be sleepy, sore (from sleeping funny with three people piled onto the only couch), or hungover. Be the best host in the world and sort out coffee, tea, and breakfast. Nothing gets people up and moving faster than pancakes. Nothing.
What do we mean by stragglers? We mean that one friend who sticks around for a whole other day (or even another night after that). When we have big group gatherings, someone always is stuck without a ride or gets far too hungover to drive the next day, or sleeps until 4 pm in the basement. Be prepared for this when you have a group of friends over for the night and try to avoid needing to be out of the house by a certain time the following day.
The above tips should help you plan a memorable evening with your buddies. Again, every friend group is different, so feel free to tweak these suggestions to fit the activities you guys normally enjoy. Keep in mind that spending several hours outside tends to result in people being hungrier than usual. If you want to push the boundaries a little and experiment, why not have a “no phone rule” for the party. Everyone pops their phone into a bowl at the start of the evening, and we all have fun like it’s still the 90s.