I am a firm believer in having activities at parties. While it is fun to snack, drink and socialize, there is no better way to get a party going than to give all the guests a common goal or task; it's a great conversation starter, allows people who don't know each other to mingle more easily and provides a stellar way to set your event apart from all the countless other cocktail parties people have been attended.

We put together some striped red and white fabric from Ikea and cut it down to roughly five by seven feet. I tacked it over some windows in our house and turned some nearby ceiling spotlights onto the backdrop (if you don't have that option try using standing or table lamps just out of reach of the fabric and turning the flash on your camera on). I then set my dslr on a tripod and attached this handy cord which allowed the photo booth subject to snap their shot at will. Last but not least we pulled together a wacky selection of props, including two chalk board speech bubbles I made for the wedding (cut them out of foam core, spray with chalkboard paint, and edge with washi masking tape), this captain's hat and this lifesaver.
two activities for my Dad's party. One was a photo booth—my favorite party starter. Photo booths are surprisingly easy to set up; with a little prep and some creativity they can look downright professional. Here we bought

The second activity was a multiple choice quiz with fun facts and silly stories about my dad. These varied from the types of cars he had owned, the facial hair he had rocked and the silly things that have gotten him in trouble while traveling (like trying to smuggle a two-day-old tuna sandwich through international customs). I laid the whole thing out in InDesign and printed it on card stock to make it look extra designy, but you could easily do this in Word or another text-editing software. It's a great opportunity to get your guests giggling and your family reminiscing. I tell you, everyone loved it!

Let's keep the party going, shall we? More party posts tomorrow!

Oh, I almost forgot! The best activity you can arrange for a party, in terms of posterity at least, is a guest book. I whipped up this quick little accordion-folding book from this PaperSource kit (I keep a couple on hand, they are quite handy!) and this wrapping paper I had stashed away. I added some of this ribbon to tie it all closed and asked guests write fond memories and sweet notes to my dad throughout the night. It all turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself, and only took ten minutes to put together.

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