How to Host a Birthday Party

Celebrate the special day with great food, fun drinks and easy entertaining.

Party Tips:

Keep It Finger-Friendly. Unless it's a sit-down dinner, finger food is the best way to go. Look for simple, elegant ways to present food, whether it's making crispy cups out of parmesan cheese or using endive leaves as spoons.

Make It Interactive. Assemble-your-own foods — such as tacos or summer rolls — give your guests a built-in conversation starter.

Keep the Crowd Moving. If you're not doing all finger food, be sure to arrange a buffet table with an eye for traffic flow. Make it easy for your guests to serve themselves: pre-slice larger cuts of meat; wrap utensils in napkins and place them at the end of the table; keep condiments all in one place with spoons. Clearly label foods to help alleviate any confusion.

Plan Ahead. No one wants a frazzled host. Do all of your prep work in advance (cutting crudités, assembling sandwiches, etc.) and keep whatever extra food you have on hand in marked containers in the fridge. When you have to refill the buffet and your kitchen is crowded (which it will be), it'll be much easier if you're prepared. Also, consider asking your guests to bring something, like beverages, desserts or appetizers.

Anticipate Ice Needs. If your fridge doesn't have an icemaker, buy ice. You'll almost always need more than you think.

Serve a Festive Dessert. Birthday cakes are always appropriate and appreciated. Just don't forget the candles.

Keep Reading

Next Up

50 Punch Recipes

Get dozens of punch-bowl recipes for your next big bash.

50 Confetti Treats

Everything is more fun with sprinkles!

POLL: How Do You Celebrate Birthdays?

Tell us how you celebrate your special day.

Birthday Parties for Kids

Celebrate their special day with favorite foods and friends

Condiment Caddy

Turn a six-pack into a condiment carrier!

Party Idea: Flowerpot Dip

Liven up a party crudités platter with a trip to the hardware store: Terra-cotta planters make great (and cheap) dip bowls.

Snack-Food Wedding Cake

Check out Food Network Magazine's snack-food wedding cake; it cost $115 to make!

How Food Network Stars Tailgate

Discover what Food Network chefs consider their most impressive game-day culinary feat then judge for yourself who deserves the bragging rights.

How to Make Perfect Buffalo Wings

Check out a step-by-step how-to for Buffalo wing perfection.

POLL: Tell Us How You Tailgate!

Take the poll below to share your tailgating tips, then pick up Food Network Magazine to see how your spread stacks up against the rest of America.

Latest Stories