Planning an Oscar Party

28 February 2024

On Sunday, March 10, we will again be treated to the annual televized event from the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, commonly known as The Oscars. This can be a great excuse for a party for just family members or friends. Since the program is shown on a Sunday night, parents need to be aware of bed times and noise, but especially for adults, it is an excuse to pull out the fancy dress worn on New Year’s Eve and get more value for the money invested in it. The other option would be to designate “creative” dress and see what your friends can concoct from their closets that are theme related.


Start by deciding how many people you can accommodate and prepare your guest list accordingly. If you have a theme, like black and white, etc. (more about that later), you can design your e-vite with that in mind. Otherwise, there are tons of clip art options on the net.

Be sure to state the date (although it may be obvious), start and end times, attire recommendations, and special notes, such as BYOB or that you will be serving small bites only.

Red Carpet

If your layout permits, you may want to consider a red carpet area. You can get a length of fabric from a fabric store or find something close at a thrift store. Just be careful that it will not create a tripping hazard.

You could put up a back drop of movie posters or a display of your initials and create a photo area. If possible get volunteers to operate a camera to take shots of your guests as they pose or people can randomly take selfies.


Stick to a single theme and no more than three colors. Then go wild with flowers, candles, napkins, and other accessories. Think black, gold, silver, cream. Long strands of ribbons or beads (look in your Christmas stash).

Glitter and confetti are always exciting until (1) it gets in your food and (2) you need to clean the next day.

Be cautious with lighted candles or votives.


You may want to have some minor activities available for during the commercial breaks. There are a number of options including a ballot for each guest and see who gets the most correct. There are also downloadable Oscar Bingo cards, which can be fun. You can supplement with Oscar trivia questions.

The official event is known for its swag bags that the nominees and presenters get at the end of the evening. You can do the same with small items from the dollar store, like jigsaw puzzles, bottles of bubbles, nail polish, pocket-sized amenities like hand lotion.


If you serve a full fledged sit down dinner, pull out the good china and stemware and even cloth napkins.

You may want to consider small bites, appetizers, and simple finger foods. Keep it cute with toothpicks that are topped with stars or with the theme color.

An easy way to go is with a savory charcuterie board that you can just keep refilling. Cheese boards are also fun; they just take a little more work since cheese left out over time will get icky.

Kebobs are a fancy finger meal and you can customize for carnivores and veggies. Just fire up the grill outside the patio door and you can keep ’em coming. Or go with ham and cheese sliders, which can easily be made in advance.

If you are keeping it simple with the family, popcorn is the way to go. Try Old Bay seasoning instead of salt or some colored chocolate swirled in for fun.

Think about a buttercream board for the desserts. This is a large tray with buttercream frosting piped in a specific design and then surrounded by small cookies or fruits, or even something salty to complement the sweetness of the icing.

You can also put out bowls of Whoppers and other favorite candy treats that you normally see at the concession stands in movie theaters.


There are lots of options here. Apple cider, spiked and straight; punches; specialty drinks; wine; mocktails and cocktails. Just remember to have a pot of coffee ready for the end of the evening so that your guests are awake enough for the trip home.

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