All of us have childhood memories of sitting around in a circle and playing those dreaded “icebreaker” games to get to know people.
Whether the first day at school, summer camp or college orientation, we’ve all been there. Remember the game Two Truths and a Lie? I was horrible at that game. I would come up with something brilliant like this: “I was born in NJ. My middle name is Michelle. I walked on the moon with Neil and Buzz.”
But as adults, it turns out, icebreaker games still come in handy! Think about those awkward first moments at a cocktail party where you only know one other person. If you’re hosting a party, here are some ways to help your guests break the ice that aren’t so lame:
What better way to break the ice than talking about food? Have each guest bring a food or drink that’s representative of where they’re from or where they recently took a vacation. For example, if you live in New York but are from North Carolina, bring fried pickles like your mama used to make. It’s a good bet the native New Yorkers have never tried fried pickles! Just came back from a trip to Jamaica? Bring jerk chicken skewers! The next thing you know, you’re sharing funny vacation stories and have made some new friends.
If you're looking for some ideas to help you get the convo started, maybe you have a story around one of these fun recipes:Grilled Georgia Peach LemonadeNew York CheesecakeSlow Cooker Southwest Chicken NachosMiami Black Bean and Corn SaladKentucy Bourban Bacon Chex Mix®
Make Your Own _____ Party
Any type of party that gets people to interact naturally is a good idea. Whether it’s a DIY pizza party
, a crepe soiree
or an ice cream sundae bash, you’ll see people start talking and pairing off as they prepare their food.
Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, heck, even Parcheesi: good old-fashioned board games aren’t as boring as you think, and they’re even making a comeback. Games give strangers a natural structure, and an excuse to speak up. Before you know it, everyone will be laughing at how terrible Johnny is at Pictionary. Not that I encourage making fun of others, but some light ribbing never hurt anyone. The possibilities for game night are endless.
Make sure to keep your guests properly fueled to play the night away with awesome party snacks and bevvies:Spicy CashewsSweet and Spicy Honey Nut Chex Mix®Pesto HummusSalsa GuacamoleRaspberry Beer Hard LemonadeBeergaritaBlow Pop Martini Cocktails
Formula: Combine acquaintances in one room with a television showing the finale of a gripping show like True Blood
or Mad Men
. Result? Nonstop conversation about why Sooki threw a fit, and what the heck happened at the end of Lost
. We are entertainment junkies, after all, and nothing bonds people together like a cliffhanger.
Don't forgot to have good nosh on hand! Check out our Party Food Collection
or try out these party food faves:Pesto Chicken PizzasPizza PinwheelsMini Rainbow Fruit PizzasTeriyaki Turkey SlidersEasy Hamburger Sliders
The point of all these strategies is to get people talking naturally – no need for sitting around in a circle! In short, you can break the ice without your guests knowing you’re trying to break the ice! Who knows, you might be responsible for the beginning of some beautiful friendships. Good luck and have fun!
Got a good party icebreaker? I'd love to hear about it!