Planning on watching the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, from the comfort of your couch? We’ve got five easy ways for you to make the evening a night to remember for both you and your movie-loving crew.
Oscar Option #1: Go fancy
This only works if you’ve got friends who are game, but parties in which guests are invited to show up looking red carpet ready always intrigue us. Set up a Star Peel-N-Place Decoration ($3.50 at Oriental Trading) or a Red Carpet Backdrop ($7.99 at Shindigz) and take paparazzi shots of your guests as they arrive at your house. Serve up finger foods (assorted appetizers from Sam’s Club couldn’t be easier) or get menu inspiration directly from the Academy. Serve your bubbly in plastic Champagne flutes (12 for $4.89 at Factory Direct Party) so you won’t sweat any breakage. Once everyone has had enough to drink, take turns making your own long-winded, rambling acceptance speeches. (Through February 28, save 20 percent off the red carpet backdrop with Shindigz coupons.)
Oscar Option #2: Cook a feast together
When we asked well-known party planner Chad Hudson of Chad Hudson Events for a cheap way to host an Oscars party, he suggested inviting your friends to cook with you during the preshow red carpet footage. Assign each guest a course (appetizer, salad, etc.) or suggest everyone make his or her favorite finger food. Ask them to bring the necessary ingredients, and you’ll handle serving plates, bowls, drinks, paper goods and dessert.
Oscar Option #3: Plan a drinking game
Skip the food and go right to the good stuff: booze. Here’s one drinking game to try, or you could make your own up as a group (for example, every time someone jokes about Ben Affleck being overlooked for a directing nod, take a slug!). These James Bond–inspired Vesper Martinis look smashing, but they’re possibly strong enough to knock you on your butt. Then again, what better excuse to buy these awesomely cheesy L.E.D. Martini Glasses ($4.15 at Windy City Novelties)? (Get 10 percent off your glasses with Windy City Novelties coupons.)
Oscar Option #4: Play for cash
Get serious about things with a pool. Have your guests fill out a printable Oscars ballot ahead of time or at your house before the first award is given out. Then, have everyone kick in $10, and the winner takes all at the end of the (long) night. Buy a big old tub of Popcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn ($39.99 at Costco) and some treats. Candy.com has an awesome array of Movie Night Candy, including five pounds of Choco Silver Nuggets for $40.99. (Through October 31, get 5 percent off your order with Candy.com coupons.)
Oscar Option #5: Get technical
Maybe getting together with your nearest and dearest isn’t feasible—or particularly appealing (because then you’d have to share the Ben & Jerry’s Liz Lemon. Fuggedaboutit!). Get your own party on via social media. Follow the many major media outlets that’ll be live-blogging the event (last year, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and NPR were just a few of the pubs that covered the proceedings in real time). Or head over to Twitter where they’ll be snark aplenty courtesy of hashtags #Oscars and #Oscars2013. Ahead of time, see what the academy or host Seth MacFarlane has to say, or download the official Oscars App for free on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android or Kindle Fire.
For kid-friendly inspiration, read our Monster High party ideas.