Author Topic: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18 - UPDATE Post #41  (Read 7273 times)

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Oh Joy

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2012, 11:59:53 AM »
Exciting!  One question, if you don't mind my prying: how do you all know each other?  Is it family, or the parents were in a certain activity together, or old neighbors, or a bunch of people you know that don't know each other?  OK, second question: is this just a general fun social event/housewarming, or is there another purpose?

Only asking to guide the entertainment angle.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2012, 12:07:20 PM »
Exciting!  One question, if you don't mind my prying: how do you all know each other?  Is it family, or the parents were in a certain activity together, or old neighbors, or a bunch of people you know that don't know each other?  OK, second question: is this just a general fun social event/housewarming, or is there another purpose?

Only asking to guide the entertainment angle.

These are my DH's friends from graduate school and their spouses and kids, so they all know each other well.  It's a general social/housewarming party - we just moved into the house a couple of months ago.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2012, 12:07:59 PM »
I googled how to create a time capsule for the basics.

We are a simple group. So, DH found some PVC-type pipes he didn't need any more. I went to home depot & got end caps that were extremely snug.

Told everyone to bring small items to put in it.

Day Of, kids & adults wrote letters to put inside. I labeled the time capsule on the outside so whomever finds it will know what it is & the date it was buried.

I put a newspaper, the letters, & special trinkets in the time capsule.

DS dug a hole about 1.5 feet deep. He really got into it - used "pirate-speak" for fun.

Kids threw time capsule in hole & DS covered with dirt.

I got GPS & noted the lat/long for the kids so they can come back w/their grand kids to dig up.

Kids ages from 16 to 7. Big kids 55-29.

Everyone loved it. They say they want to do another one.

How interesting!  I'll definitely keep this in mind. 

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2012, 12:09:11 PM »
I have another question: can someone suggest the best way to keep drinks cold for such a large group?  We'll probably have some beer, sodas, juices for the little kids, and water.  Our refrigerator is definitely not big enough to hold all the drinks we'll need. 

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2012, 12:10:59 PM »
Honestly we just have multiple ice chests packed w/ ice for the drinks.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2012, 12:18:27 PM »
For the beverages, I'd have at least two coolers.  One with the beer and another for sodas and water.  For the little ones, I always threw in some juice boxes.  Clearly mark what is in each one on a sheet of paper and tape to the top of the cooler. 

If not doing an outside grill, I usually like to do a baked pasta dish for large groups with bread, a green salad, and sliced fruit.  I can make them up earlier, put in a disposable foil casserole for baking and serving.  I would do one with pasta, spicey italian sausage, cheese and red sauce and another more kid friendly with pasta, sliced grilled chicken breast, cheese, and red sauce.  Another idea is to roast vegetables like zuchinni, yellow squash, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers and onions and serve them in place of the green salad. 

Put any toys away you don't want played with and we always locked the bedroom doors for the rooms we didn't want the kids wandering into. 

Harriet Jones

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2012, 12:20:59 PM »
I have another question: can someone suggest the best way to keep drinks cold for such a large group?  We'll probably have some beer, sodas, juices for the little kids, and water.  Our refrigerator is definitely not big enough to hold all the drinks we'll need.

If you don't have big enough coolers for this, I've seen ice-filled baby pools used for this

WillyNilly

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2012, 12:36:39 PM »
Oh and since you brought up cold drinks, here's an easy suggestion to save money and hassle - start making ice a week in advance.  Make several trays of ice, dump into a bin or large ziplock bag, repeat, repeat, repeat.  It takes several hours to make ice, so starting several days in advance really reduces stress.

cicero

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2012, 12:38:19 PM »
you got some great ideas.

for the kids - when i had a house with yard, i would just pick up some yard toys from a dollar store/sale items at dept store - things like beach balls, jump ropes, frisbees, paddles etc and let the kids play. Also - if you are OK with this - sidewalk chalk and bubble things.

for the cold drinks - as someone else suggested - an inflatable pool filled with ice.


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GlassHalfFull

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2012, 12:47:22 PM »
Though it seems to buck the norm, I typically stay away from grilling meats for larger groups, as I find it to be a time-intensive and time-dependent activity.  It can end up being you (or another) stuck at the grill flipping burger after burger, and then you factor in the timing of the done-ness....well, it can get tricky.  Plus, if it were to rain, transferring a grill-plan for a larger group to a cooking-in-the-kitchen plan can be logistically difficult.  So I usually go with a crock pot (or two) of something or another (a beef roast with red wine poured over and spices of your choice, then pulled apart or sliced, is delish on buns with fixings if you desire), along with a baked pasta dish, as my main offerings, and then have various sides (I second the bean salad idea, and corn on the cob always goes over well, with butter, spices, and Parmesan cheese to top it if desired).  I always have veggies, fruit, chips, cheese, etc. out (simple stuff) for constant noshing opportunities, and this also helps with picky kids....there's always at least something they'll be happy with.   I'm also not much of a dessert person (or baker), but I know others love the sweets, and have found that sliced pound cake with fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce for people to add to it is always a hit.

On keeping drinks cold, we go with a couple of coolers, one with nonalcoholic, one with.   I always have several ice bags (and refills) standing by and try to keep them relatively full.  I usually have throw away cups with a permanent marker handy (but high enough that the little ones can't get to it) for people to mark their drinks.

Add some badminton, a bags tournament, and some music and we're good to go!  Have fun!

GlassHalfFull

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2012, 12:48:23 PM »
I have another question: can someone suggest the best way to keep drinks cold for such a large group?  We'll probably have some beer, sodas, juices for the little kids, and water.  Our refrigerator is definitely not big enough to hold all the drinks we'll need.

If you don't have big enough coolers for this, I've seen ice-filled baby pools used for this

Yes, I've seen this too and it works great.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2012, 01:08:16 PM »
If you have big buckets of any sort, you can fill them with ice for beverages.

As for the bocce, it is kind of like lawn bowling but we play what we like to call 'free range bocce'.  You throw the pelino, which is a little white ball about the size of a golf ball, then you have larger balls that get thrown or bowled towards the pelino.  I think if your yard is terraced, like you describe, bocce could still be lots of fun.  Throw the pelino down to the next level and try to get the larger balls close.
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StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2012, 03:03:36 PM »
Thank you for all the tips and suggestions!  I'll definitely be putting them to use. 

Kiara

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2012, 03:39:43 PM »
I have another question: can someone suggest the best way to keep drinks cold for such a large group?  We'll probably have some beer, sodas, juices for the little kids, and water.  Our refrigerator is definitely not big enough to hold all the drinks we'll need.

If you don't have big enough coolers for this, I've seen ice-filled baby pools used for this

Yes, I've seen this too and it works great.

Was going to post this myself - my friends do this every year for their Super Bowl party.

Oh Joy

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Re: Entertaining A Large Group - New Question in OP and Post #18
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2012, 03:44:06 PM »
I'm always a fan of a build-your-own-taco-thing bar for big groups in outdoor weather.  In short (otherwise I'd ramble on in great detail with options and ideas):
* A couple of crock pots or roasters of taco meat/chicken/seasoned rice/beans/etc.
* A few baskets of hard/soft shells, wraps, tortilla chips
* A small ice-filled kiddie pool with bowls of chopped veggies, grated cheese, salsas, and such
* Plates, forks, and a roll of paper towels

People can make their own taco/nacho/salads from the ingredients they like...more hot or cold depending on the weather...you can make it simple or a gazillion ingredients...almost everything can be prepped ahead of time and once it's set out you can just monitor the food and enjoy your guests...leftovers either freeze well or are very versatile to use in the upcoming week.

And another small kiddie pool of ice with drinks, a cooler each for adult and all-ages drinks, or just a few well-iced pitchers...if you use plastic cups be sure to leave out a marker or 'predecorate' the cups uniquely (great project for the early-arriving kids/young adults).

For the entertainment, I POD other posters who suggest some dollar-store-type outdoor toys just to encourage interaction and activity.  Bubbles, hula hoops, balls, jacks, jump ropes, individual craft kits.  A big roll of paper and some colored pencils or crayons can go a long way, too.

Have fun planning...if you're anything like me, the hard part will be to not get carried away!