Ideas for the Party Human

Hysterical History Party

Posted on: November 20, 2009

THEME:  History, with a twist    

Recreating History

"Fourscore and seven years ago . . ."

INVITATIONS:  Write in longhand on parchment and roll in a scroll, sealing with wax or an official-looking sticker.  The idea is to make it look like a historical document.  Use officious language, such as:  “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to find some diversion unrelated to that which has been our wont, we, (host and friends), have hit upon a plan which we believe will provide well beyond the required amusement.  Therefore, we hereby announce the Hysterical History Party, to be held on (date) at (time and place), to which you are most cordially invited.  Whereas this event is in celebration of history, we respectfully request your person to be attired in full regalia of any historic person of note.”  (And so on, and so forth . . .  get the idea?)

     This party works well for college students and adults.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Random props from famous tales from history, such as hatchet, old flag, lanterns, toy rifle, etc. (or you may prefer to let them pantomime their props); equipment to play folk games from history in ours or other lands; words and music to old folk songs, both foreign and domestic.

FOOD:  Famous foods from history will do here.  Search old cookbooks or history books for ideas.  You could do a whole formal dinner or just have desserts.  Some suggestions might be Cherry Pie, Lincoln Log, Lindy’s Cake, or Sweet Potato Pie.  This is where some actual learning might come in!

DECORATIONS:  Decorate the party room with anything that looks historical–antiques or pseudo-antiques, flags from different countries or items significant to the history of ours or other countries.  You could use tapestries, Native American blankets, Japanese lanterns, African masks, or other curios.  Some fake cobwebs leftover from Halloween could make the stuff look really old.

 BLOW-BY-BLOW:          As guests arrive, you (the host/hostess) have them play an icebreaker game similar to “Who Am I?“.  As they mingle, they ask yes-or-no questions of each other to detect which historical figure each person represents.  When everyone is acquainted–historically speaking–seat them for the dinner.  If not doing a dinner, begin the activities by dividing the guests into several groups and giving each group an assignment to reenact a famous historical event.  You may give them props, if desired, but ask them to act out the story as they think it might have really happened!  (The emphasis is on humor here.)  Give each group about ten minutes to plan their skit, and then–lights, camera, action!  (Actually, making a videotape of this is not a bad idea.)

            After the rewriting of history, you may wish to play some old folk games from ours and other lands.  (Look for some in future posts on this blog, or you may want to do some research at your local library.) 

            Cool off with some refreshments, and finish the evening by singing some old folk songs, accompanied by piano or guitar, if possible.


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