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Party Entertainment Ideas for Adults to Guarantee an Awesome Time

Want to throw a party but need some adult party entertainment ideas to get the planning process started? Here are lots of great ideas for a good time that are all starting points to help you decide what kind of party you want to throw.

Themed Party

Theme parties are popular for a reason! They’re a great way to get your party guests involved before they even walk in the door. With a themed party, your guests are usually given a dress code or need to bring something to the event to set the atmosphere for the party. 

How do theme parties work?

First, decide on a theme for your party! These kinds of events are best with large groups. There are an infinite number of options, but here are a few to get you started thinking: 

  • Color party. Choose a color or color combination and have everyone wear it and use it as the inspiration for your decorations. Call it a “black and white party.”
  • Pick a time period and have your guests dress for the decade: the 1920s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s and on and on. 
  • Hawaiian Luau: great for summertime! Adults love a great luau complete with tiki decorations, tiki drinks and lots of good Hawaiian inspired food. 
  • Letter party. Have your party guests bring something starting with a certain letter or the first letter of their first name
  • Mexican fiesta
  • Pajama party
  • Dress like your favorite celebrity
  • Casino night
  • Disco
  • Toga party
  • Trailer park dress-up
  • Glow in the dark
  • Fancy Dress
  • Pool Party
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Dance party
  • $2 prom – full of thrift store ugly dress fun! 

Once you decide on a theme, you can plan for invitations, party props, decorations, and food that matches the theme. It really makes the rest of the party planning a lot easier! Any of these ideas can be made into an adult birthday celebration that’ll really make the guest of honor have a happy birthday.

Hire a Live Band

Live music is sometimes all the entertainment a party needs. You’d be surprised at how affordable a live band option may be–call around to the musicians in your area and check out your particular market’s prices.

Don’t know where to start? Find a live band to hire over the internet at websites like or to search for available musicians. At these sites you can plug in your zip code, the type of band you’re looking for and sometimes event the budget and party size to find the perfect live music option for entertainment for your event. 

Sometimes your local music store will have some good recommendations as they know the local musical community well. Or find a bar band that you’ve seen and liked and look up their website. Give them a call and see how much they are to hire. 

Another option is to find a small band or artist that is just starting out and would love a shot to perform. Again, your music store might have some choices to suggest, or contact your local high school jazz band department–you’d truly be surprised at the talent that’s hiding in the band room! 

Live Band for a House Party? 

If you’re throwing a party at home, don’t rule out the live band. If you’ve got space in your backyard or can clear out furniture for the band to set up in your living room, you’ll be able to make live music a memorable part of your party. Consider an acoustic one-man show if your space is truly limited. 

LOUD live music in the backyard might require some cooperation from the neighbors if your houses are close. Be sure to chat with them about your event, or invite your neighbors to make sure they are part of the festivities and can enjoy the adult party entertainment in person instead of through their windows!

Cover Bands and Tribute Bands

If you’re looking to provide some quality party entertainment for your guests that gets them out on the dance floor in a serious way, a rocking cover band or tribute band is the way to go. 

These kind of bands are perfect for theme parties. 

For instance, If you’re doing a decades theme party, find a cover band that does primarily 80s or 90s music. A live band with a good front man will also keep the party moving and your guests engaged as well as entertained as they work the crowd. 

Low-Key Live Music Options

If you’re having a more sedate sort of celebration, find a string quartet or jazz band to set the mood. If you’re on a budget, keep your local high school band program in mind. In my area, there are several programs that have jazz band and string quartets that assemble the best student musicians in the school to go out and perform in public. These students operate professionally, but since they are students, they are a bit easier on the party budget. 

For string quartets, contact your local symphony or orchestra. Both will be able to point you in the direction of any member musicians who are accepting gigs on the side. 

Karaoke Machines to bring out Inner Rockstars

We all may make jokes about karaoke machines, but they’re generally great party entertainment for adults in particular. It’s always fun to see that friend or family member you think may be shy and retiring channel their inner rock star while they belt out a party anthem. 

The best part about karaoke machines is that they don’t generally take up a lot of space and when people are not actively singing, on many machines you can set it up to DJ while you’re having fun at your party. 

A few karaoke machines to check out for your event:

Or–hire someone to come and host karaoke for the evening! They’ll bring all the equipment, set it up, make sure it works, and keep the party spirits high. Great adult party entertainment! 

Entertainment for Parties with Your Closest Friends

Large chaotic parties with a large group of people can be extremely fun. But so can small intimate gatherings with your close friends. Providing some party entertainment for adults in attendance can make a regular friend gathering into a fabulous night to remember. Bring out your best friends competitive sides with some games, or create an environment to chillax in together. Either way, here are some ideas to get you started on planning your small event sure to be a total hit. 

Game Night with Board Games

There is something to be said for low tech games that require face to face interaction. Board games are a great way to get people talking, strategizing, and teaming up. When we mention “board games,” these games don’t necessarily need to have a board. Here are some classic game choices that are good for a handful or room full of people:

  • Pictionary
  • Taboo→Just One is modern update
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Disney Villanous
  • Spontooneous
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Throw Throw Burrito
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Uno
  • WordSlam
Tropical palm tree anniversary party inspiration

Host a Dinner Party

As we’ll go over later, food is always always a big part of entertainment at a party. And there’s no better way to make food the entire focus of the evening than hosting a dinner party where everyone knows they are there to eat.

Dinner parties don’t have to be fancy or difficult–do yourself a favor and make things EASY so you’ll actually want to commit to having one. A fun idea or two: have a big pot of chili with the fixings, grill out or have a taco night. You don’t need to go overboard to have friends over for dinner! However, if you want to make dinner the party entertainment for the evening, I have a few ideas! 

Dinner party, with guest help!

Want a true bonding experience for your party entertainment? Have a dinner party. But don’t just serve dinner, involve your party guests in the kitchen and make dinner together. This evening in with friends can take many forms, whether it’s just good together time or a learning experience for everyone. It’s a fun way to get everyone on the guest list involved and have a great time.

Host Led (Making) Dinner Party

If you’re the host of the dinner party and are pretty confident in your guest’s abilities to make a recipe, you can lead the crowd in making the meal for the evening. You just have to do a little prep!

  • Plan the recipes
  • Buy the ingredients
  • Prep items that may be time consuming
  • Evening of the event, assign recipe tasks to each guest, making sure all tasks are covered so dinner comes together at the end!

Enjoy your time in the kitchen together making a meal! Before your guests show up, be sure to have some appetizers and drinks ready for snacking.

Host Led Share-a-Skill Dinner Party

This is a great way to share a family recipe or how to make one of your specialty foods. Host a dinner party where you demonstrate making something you the host are great at. In my family, we love making recipes from our Southern Louisiana roots like red beans and rice, jambalaya and gumbo. 

While these recipes are fairly simple, there are a few flourishes that really amp up the flavors that never get written down. Hosting a few friends for a dinner party to make one of these recipes together is a great way to spend time together, build in party entertainment and share something special. 

Host a Private Cooking Class at Your Home

You can hire in a chef to come teach a private cooking class to an intimate group. Every area has at least a few personal chefs that are usually open to this sort of experience. Also, there is always learn something new and useful in the kitchen from a pro! A big benefit to the professional leading dinner party is that they will do a majority of the planning for you, assembling recipes, doing the shopping and directing traffic in the kitchen during your party. 

Murder Mystery Night

If you have an enthusiastic group of adults, a murder mystery night can be super fun for everyone. Typically, you can purchase a kit to help throw one of these parties that includes everything you need. The kit should include a cast of characters, plot points and clues. 

When you invite your guest to your event, you assign each of them a role to play for the evening and a little background information on the game you’ll be playing. Some people really LOVE getting into the spirit of the murder mystery and come dressed as their characters to get into the mood, but it’s optional! 

As far as the rest of the evening goes, follow the instructions that come with the murder mystery kit, with your guests using the given clues to solve the murder. Party entertainment at its finest!

Scavenger Hunt

If you have a competitive group, a scavenger hunt is a great idea and can be all around fun. Divide your guests into teams and let the team members loose filling out the scavenger hunt list! 

When it comes to deciding on what kind of scavenger hunt to host, there are a lot of options that range from really easy (have the hunt, then all get together and hand after) to super involved that might take a few hours. 

  • Hide a list of objects to find
  • Hide clues to take the participants on a trek
  • Make a list of funny photos or videos to take (paint a portrait with your nose!) 
  • Make a list of tasks to accomplish or build

There are tons of printable scavenger hunt lists on the internet to find, and check out my favorite photo scavenger hunt, GISH, for some silly inspiration for a home scavenger hunt with adult friends. Be sure to have a trophy for the winning team for bragging rights!

The popcorn bar at this backyard movie party

Movie Night

Movie night parties are the perfect way to get together and chill. Technology has made it so you can host a small group inside, or take it to the backyard for an outdoor event. Pick one of your favorite movies for party entertainment, get some beverages and snacks together and enjoy!

Party Game Ideas for Adults

Sometimes having a great game or two under your hat can be the best way to break the ice at a party and get people interacting and enjoying themselves.

Here’s a list of fun party games to consider for your special events:

  • Giant Jenga
  • Beer pong
  • Minute to win it games
The appetizer table at the Midsummer’s party

Good Food for the Party WIN

Don’t forget the party food! As with any party, you want to be sure to set up a good selection of delicious food and drinks. This is party of the party entertainment. People love mingling over snacks and shaking up drinks. Food is a social lubricant! 

Brews and BBQ party courtesy of Southern Belle’s Charm

Depending on the number of guests, be sure to have a range of alcoholic beverages and non alcoholic beverages available along with appetizer type items like a charcuterie tray, cheese plate, fresh fruit tray and veggie tray. Pick a carby appetizer to put effort into cooking and your spread is well rounded. 

You can also make food the theme of your party to give you a starting point for inspiration for a party for adults:

  • Taco bar for a taco night party
  • Wine tasting party 
  • Chili cook-off
  • Beer tasting party
  • Bruchetta bar dinner
  • Backyard campfire cooking
  • Mediterranean
  • Food on a stick
  • Hawaiian luau
  • Pizza party
  • Retro dinner party
  • Crawfish boil
  • Mardi gras
  • Pizza party
  • Tailgate party
  • Italian night
  • Sushi Party
  • Morrocan
  • French
  • Whiskey tasting
  • Fondue

Party Entertainment Ideas for Adults – So Many to Choose From!

There are so many ways to entertain the adult guests at your event. Pick a theme or type of party, and start planning your next party! 

Paula Biggs

Owner at Frog Prince Paperie
Paula Biggs is a party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party, craft and lifestyle ideas.