Pajama party! Host a slumber party for you and your best pals — or your kids and their pals — using our how-to guide.
Start planning your slumber party by sending out an Evite invitation, like the premium “PJs & Pancakes” invitation below, a premium tent sleepover invitation or a free “Sleepover Soiree” invitation. Check out Evite’s full invitation gallery for more designs.
Slumber parties don’t require much in the way of elaborate decorations, but they do require a lot of space. So push back the furniture and make way for the sleeping bags! Gather extra pillows so guests are comfy on the floor while watching movies or playing games.
Hang white Christmas lights along the ceiling to create low, intimate lighting (bright overhead lights are not a conducive environment for viewing DVDs, gossiping or telling spooky ghost stories, as it turns out). You can even leave them on after the kids go to sleep, since they’ll also act as a nightlight.
If you want to keep the work and expense of the party to a minimum, set the start time for an older child’s sleepover at 8 PM. That way, kids can have dinner at home before they arrive (they’ll still be at your house for a good 14 hours!). Younger children sometimes feel anxious about staying overnight away from their folks, so if the party’s for someone under the age of 10, start the party earlier and consider offering parents the option of picking up their kids at bedtime.
When parents drop their children off, be sure to ask them for their phone numbers and any allergy or medication info for their kids. As guests arrive, show them where they can put their sleeping bags and where the bathroom is, give them a towel and let them know that they can ask you to call their parents anytime if they need to.
Got warm weather and a game-for-anything child? Let the kids camp out in a tent in the backyard or on the back porch!
When it comes to slumber parties, you snooze, you lose — after all, half the fun is just staying up late. Keep the kids busy until the wee hours with this tried-and-true list of sleepover to-dos:
- Rent a movie (for young kids, preferably a comedy; for older kids, preferably a horror movie starring a drool-worthy heartthrob)
- Have a sleeping bag race, where kids have to wriggle across the floor in their bags to the finish line
- Make up a line dance to a hit song
- Put on a “news report” that you tape
- Have a pillow fight
- Decorate provided plain pillowcases with fabric markers
- Play board games
- Play charades
- Give each other makeovers
- Play “Truth or Dare”
- Ask the Ouija board whose crush will be reciprocated
- Tell ghost stories
Encourage guests to fill up on relatively healthy fare by offering pretzels, baby carrots and grapes at the start of the party. If you do decide to serve dinner, order a pizza or have the kids make mac ‘n’ cheese. When they pop the movie in, bring out the popcorn and theater candy faves like Milk Duds® and Junior Mints®. Later, let the kids make microwave s’mores or Rice Krispies Treats®, or pile scoops of ice cream in bowls and top them with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry to create super-duper sundaes (check out our ice cream sundae bar for ideas!).
And don’t forget eats for the AM. Keep it simple with a spread of donuts and bagels with toppings, or serve pancakes, waffles or French toast for a fancier breakfast almost every kid will love.
Have plenty of soda and juice on hand, but later on, whip up a pot of hot chocolate with a dollop of marshmallow crème on top for a sippable pre-slumber treat — yummy for breakfast the next morning too!
Hot Chocolate (serves 4)
- 8 cups milk
- 6 ounces chocolate chips
- Dash of salt
Heat the milk and chocolate chips over medium-low heat in a large saucepan, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and heated through. Add salt and serve.