On February 28, everything Hollywood does best comes together: movies, awards, glamor and epic parties. Hosting an event around the Oscar telecast removes a lot of the elements a host may worry about: guests have something to do (watch the show), they have easy conversation starters (debates about the worthiness of the nominees and the winners), and party themes are readily available. But, there is one element that can derail an Academy Awards party: bored kids.
If you're hosting an all-ages party, here are some suggestions for keeping the younger set entertained:
Roll out the red carpet. As guests arrive, greet them with a microphone in hand and ask "Who are you wearing?" Once a couple of kids arrive, hand them the mic and let them do the interviewing.
Play "paparazzi." Have a dress-up station full of fancy clothes like feather boas, costume jewelry, play makeup for the girls and scarves, clip-on ties and fake mustaches for the boys. Also throw in clothes appropriate to the nominated films. The kids can take turns taking pictures of each other and everyone on Instagram will think you’re throwing the greatest party ever.
Go for the gold. Reinvent the Mummy Wrap game where, instead of racing to wrap themselves up to the neck in toilet paper, kids use gold-colored wrapping paper (look for marked-down Christmas gift wrap).
Set up stations related to the one Oscar category kids can get into: Best Animated Picture. For instance, try out this fun bingo game that includes many of this year's family favorites.
Hire a babysitter to wrangle the kids while the parents enjoy the party. Maybe our favorite idea on the list?
When it comes to food, owner and event planner Cheryl Perez of Los Angeles-based Cheryl and Angelo Catering says it’s tempting to be ambitious in creating an Oscar menu, but when the party involves kids, keep it simple. For instance, she recommends a popcorn bar where kids can serve themselves and a few movie-inspired specialty drinks for adults and nonalcoholic beverages for kids. As for food, Perez says, "Do the same menu for kids and adults – finger foods like pigs in a blanket, sliders, French fries – but then add different dipping sauces inspired by the movies so you can do something fun and fancy."