Give each guest a party hat and explain that they can only take it off once you take yours off. Warn them that it could happen at any point of the night so they need to stay alert. The last one wearing a hat must do a forfeit and carry on the game.
Who's my partner?
Write down the names of famous pairs from history on sticky notes – from celebrity couples to double acts (throw in some red herrings, too) – and stick them on their backs. The aim is to find out who you are, and then find your partner, only using the traditional rules of yes or no.
Make bingo cards with fun facts about your guests, or a description about how you met them, and hand them out as they arrive. Their goal is to find out who’s who and get the conversation flowing - a great icebreaker for guests who don't know each other.
Play Auld Lang Syne and see whose hips can keep a hula hoop going the longest. The one who can make it to the end of the song wins. Don't forget to record the performances, giggles and frustrations to watch back later!
News for you
Look back at big news stories from the past year and write the headlines on slips of paper. Get people to act them out – in pairs for extra laughs – using the traditional charades rules.
Write lines from famous songs (past and present) on strips of paper. Then, cut them in half so you have half a line on each. Give each person one half and ask them to find their duet partner only by humming the tune. Once everyone has matched up, it’s time for a humming duet of the song.
It's only a minute
Get each guest to write down a random topic, phrase or word as they arrive (e.g. Elvis Presley) – the sillier the better. Later, draw one of the subjects out of a hat and challenge someone to speak about it for one minute without hesitation or repetition.
Collect a bunch of random items – a spatula, £2 coin, shoe lace, orange etc. – and hand them to your guests as they arrive. Tell them that they have to come up with a party trick using that item during the night. Reward the best party piece with an extra glass of champers.
Hand out handmade prizes to the winners, such as mini bottles of homemade limoncello, jars of hot chocolate or these funny novelty gifts, that are quick and easy to make.
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