The heat is on, the torch has been passed and the streets of London are filling up – the 2012 Summer Olympics are officially here! If you won’t be making the jaunt across the pond to London to view the games up close and personal, the next best thing is to host a party. Inspired by the games, we’ve put together a viewing party worthy of a gold medal.
To get started, you’ll want to send out invitations to your party. Create invitations that have a traditional, non-location vibe such as the Olympic Rings, or opt for site specific stationery featuring one of London’s many touristy attractions!
There are some really festive, fun and practically done printables available online – enter your event specific deets, print and send. These printable invites feature popular host sites such as the London Towers, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. Click here to see our faves designed by Paper Perfection.
Need ideas for a cover greeting? How about “Let the Games Begin”, “Join the Dream Team” or “You’re Invited to the Official Party of the 2012 Summer Olympics!”. Get creative and have fun with it!
OK, let’s talk experience….
If you prefer hosting away from your home, sports bars and lounges offer a great atmosphere – particularly because they typically have several teles (what they call TVs across the pond) that will be broadcasting the Olympics. If you opt to host at home, consider the great outdoors! If you have a swimming pool, that’s even better! Consider hosting a pool party while watching the swim competitions. Either way, be sure to setup a tele or two outside. This way guests can enjoy the games…even while lounging on a float.
You’ll want to be sure to show your pride for Team U.S.A. (or your respective country) in official colours. Deck out your venue in red, white, and blue, of course! Hang a U.S. flag as a focal point in the space, affix colored hula hoops together to create the Olympic Rings, and setup a tiki torch to represent the Olympic Torch. You may also opt to represent all competing nations by displaying multiple country flags. Another idea would be to purchase an international flag banner that you could use to accent the bar or food display.
Decoration Tip: Making your own Olympic Rings is easy. Buy a red, yellow, green, blue, and black hoola hoop, lay the rings on the ground and arrange in the layout of the logo, tape them together using clear tape, display, and let the games begin!
Sports equipment fitting to the summer games is also great for décor. However, the Olympics aren’t only about sports competitions. The games are also about celebrating different cultures, so keep this in mind when considering décor. Use the idea of celebrating other cultures by incorporate miniature flags from the different countries represented in the games. Another idea would be to create different centerpieces inspired by a various countries. For example, use Matryoshka Dolla (traditional nesting dolls) to represent Russia, a small branch tree with miniature Chinese paper lanterns for China or a USA flag soccer ball on a stand for team USA.
Since the Olympics are being held in London this year and most of us can’t make it across the pond to watch the games in person, consider bringing Londontown stateside! Deck your space out with large decals of the Tower of London, Big Ben, double-decker buses, and red telephone booths on your walls. Don’t forget to put out small pails of mini flags of various countries so guests can cheer for their favorite team!
Food and Drink
When many people think of eating in London, pub grub is the first thing that comes to mind – which translates perfectly for this type of event. Among the most popular item, Fish & Chips. Here’s a sample menu to consider for your Olympic Viewing Party:
Fish ‘n Chips
Hot Hounds (sausages/dogs – we like to serve up minis for easy eats)
Crispy Potato Skins
Hummus of Olympic Proportions with assorted crisps and crudités
Olympic Rings or lollipops
Gold Medal Cookies
Pair the menu with themed cocktails. A few libations that we recommend: Go For The Gold and The Olympic. For drinks that give a nod to the English, try the London Cocktail, The BrambleBerry, or a tea cocktail. We also recommend offering apple cider, ale, stout…and even a grog if it suits your fancy. And of course stock bottled water and soft drinks (or sports drinks for a sports-appropriate twist). Another fun idea: Offer Flaming shots at a specific point in the evening (we recommend this only for events staffed with a professional bartender). For a list of flaming shots recipes, click here.
What to wear:
There are several great options for party attire. You can encourage guests to dress to suit the particular event you will be watching, costumed as though they are competing, such as a swimsuit for swimming, or running shorts and sneakers for the running races (you get the idea). You can ask guests to come as their favorite athlete, to wear team colors, etc. For an extra special Team USA touch, you yourself (the host) can even dress in the official Team USA opening ceremony uniform by Ralph Lauren available at Bloomingdales!
Once you’ve put together your look and taste of the Olympics, now you need the sound for the finishing touch. You can put together your own soundtrack, or better yet, use the official playlist for the Olympics’ opening ceremony leaked (although officials won’t confirm its accuracy), and your ready to go.
To view the unofficial official playlist, click here!
You’re now ready to compete in the best summer party Olympics! And stay tuned! We’ll be sharing some of our fave recipes that we will be serving at our own viewing party.