Throw an Academy Awards Party
From irresistible treats and mocktails to creative projects, see below for memorable and award-worthy Oscar party ideas perfect for the entire family.
When it comes to awards season in Hollywood, there is no show more sparkly, more spectacular, and more Spanx’d up than the Oscars! I love the Oscars. Always have, always will. In fact, I don’t even need to have seen all the Best Picture nominees or even Best Documentary Short to get excited. Does anyone ever see those, by the way? No matter what, and no matter how long the acceptance speeches are (musical cutoff and all) I eat up every second of it!
From the two-hour lead-up on the red carpet to the Governor’s Ball, it’s one of the best days of the year. (Hey, my husband gets the Big Game. I get three hours of Red Carpet arrivals and the hope of a handsome George Clooney sighting. It’s a win-win trade-off, I think). Well, this year, as luck and babysitter availability would have it, I was able to see a ton of the movies, big and small, so I’m feeling invested. I know it’s going to be a great show. Sounds like a reason to host a party for me!
Kid-Friendly Oscar Party
Oscar Parties are geared toward being “adults-only” fêtes. But since the Oscars are on a Sunday, and everyone I know has kids under the age of 9, the days of lounging around the house in sweats, glued to the television for eight hours (with copious cocktails present), are a distant memory. That said, this is still very much a part of my DNA and a tradition that I can’t entirely shake. So this year, I’m turning my Oscar party into a fabulous and family-friendly event with both the cocktails and activities for the kids.
From the moment guests walk in, I want them to feel at home and know that it’s okay to talk, walk and move around. It’ s a kid-friendly zone, and no one will say “Shh!” during speeches (assuming, of course, that my boyfriend, George Clooney isn’t speaking). Even though kids are welcome, and therefore chaos is required, it’s still the Oscars and important that those elements of glitz, glamor, and all things bling are conveyed.
Oscars Photos For Kiddos
As much as I would love guests to walk a red carpet rolled out in my foyer, I had visions of children tripping, not to mention hunks of red felt scattered throughout the house. Instead, I decided that guests could walk in through a “Who Are You Wearing?” Red Carpet Photo Booth. With my iPad standing nearby, I just chose a door by the entrance and created my own floor-to-ceiling red carpet. I had props like feather boas, sunglasses, masks and even some superhero gear (Spider-man is fancy, you know!). I also made signs like “Chanel, baby!” for guests to hold up.
I downloaded Pocketbooth on my iPad so guests could upload their photos into a setting that looked like a real photo booth strip. From there, they could share photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or for my privacy-minded “celebs,” email and print their photos on home computers.) This was such a fun way for us to get silly with each other and the kids.
Food For The Party
Nowadays, no starlet rocks the red carpet without some seriously tight undergarments (yup, even the most svelte stunners wear Spanx!). So I chose fun names for the food we served, like Pigs in a Spanx Blanket, Leading Lady Lasagna, and Perfectly Dressed Chopped Salad. I used chalkboard labels on a folded cardstock to write the signs and put the food on a large dining room table, which I covered with a gold-and-cream chevron table runner. I had a local cookie “artist” make movie slates with different movie names and awards and Oscar statue-shaped sugar cookies decorated with 14kt gold icing. Of course, kiddos need more than just cookies. So I set up a pretzel-dipping station with more sprinkles than most frozen yogurt bars.
Here are some recipes to get you started on your Wolfgang Puck-worthy fare. Dress them up or down accordingly and name them however you like; my names are just suggestions:
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Chopped Salad
- Easy Lasagna
- Rolled Sugar Cookies (use a Director’s Clapboard Cookie Cutter and an Oscar Statue Cookie Cutter to get the shapes you want)
To me, Oscars call for a good bottle of bubbly! I set up a champagne bar for the adults and a sparkling cider bar for the kids. For the adults, for each champagne glass, I wrote the best actor and actress nominees on bejeweled tags. (I also threw in my guy GC—that’s George Clooney in case you haven’t been following). For the kiddos, I carried the bejeweled elements through and bejeweled their initials on mason jars. I had fruit cut up in mismatched crystal punch cups and mini vases and for kids, fun little candies to add to their bubbly. For an additional pop of glitz and gold, I used the same gold Mylar burlap that I used on the champagne station and photo booth to wrap tin vases filled with bright flowers.
A DIY Project For Kids
Another fun DIY project was the Do-It-Yourself Hollywood Walk of Fame that I set up for the children. Using a roll of Kraft-colored butcher paper, I let kids stamp their hands in gold and silver washable paints then glue foam stars to make their “mark.” It turned into a fun (and messy project), but the kids loved it!
No movie experience is complete without popcorn, so I think the real pièce-de-resistance were the popcorn party favors. I put popcorn kernels and a baggie filled with sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a mason jar. Using the same fun chalkboard labels from the food labels, I wrote: “And the Popcorn Goes To…”. Then, of course, I finished each label off with a jewel.
Adult-Friendly Oscar Party Ideas
Everyone’s got one sparkly gown that just hangs in the back of the closet, waiting for its day in the spotlight. Well, the wait is over. Since all the celebrities will be wearing their finest couture, why not turn your Academy Awards get-together into a costume party? Encourage guests to dress up in their own gorgeous frocks and glammed-up costumes. It won’t take much more to give your shindig that exclusive Hollywood vibe.
Lights, Camera, Decorations
Keep the film theme rolling with props that recall a classic movie set. There is an entire section of decorations dedicated to a Movie Party Night. Don’t miss Hollywood-themed goodies like director clipboards, a camera piñata and your very own red carpet for the entryway.
And the Winner Is…
Want an easy way to keep your guests entertained? Create an Oscars-themed bingo game that everyone can participate in! Fill in the blanks with nominated movie titles and generate a card to print out. Make sure you create several different versions of the cards otherwise all the guests will be yelling “Bingo!” at once. To play the game, have guests mark the appropriate space for each movie that wins during the ceremony. The first card that creates a row of marked spaces wins a prize.
Film fans always think they know which movie will take home the Oscar. Introduce some healthy competition to your party with an Academy Award guessing game. Make a printable ballot that lists all the award nominees. Have your guests mark their picks and drop the guesses in a box before the ceremony starts. At the end of the night, whoever made the most correct guesses goes home with a fun party favor.
Well, I hate to toot my own horn, but the critics are buzzing with nothing but glowing reviews about this party. Folks, I think it’s safe to say, the Oscar for the Best Party goes to…. (Um, cue the music to cut her speech off…)