by Marian
(Maine)

One of our popular activities is to have a pickle tasting party. Especially if you have people in your group who make pickles (or know how to). And we don’t limit ourselves to just the cucumber type pickles either!

Many senior groups have members who make (or used to make) pickles as a hobby or family tradition. Otherwise, there are lots of various kinds you can get at grocery stores and gourmet shops. We use both dill and sweet types. And of course there are all kinds of other pickled items, such as peppers, olives, tomatoes, also sauerkraut and even watermelon, eggs, and herring. Anything pickled goes! So lay out your table with a big variety, or you can even have another pickle party for the more unusual kinds.

What we do for a pickle tasting party is lay out the various pickles or pickled products for tasting on plates, along with a variety of crackers. If you’re going to do a beverage, beer always seems to work well! We have a little sign along side each plate telling what kind of pickle it is. When people bring in their own recipes for tasting, they also have a recipe card by the plate to share it. And make sure you do some fun decorating – green is always a good color!

There’s something about pickles that seniors really enjoy, maybe the “old world” feel and traditions – and a pickle tasting party makes good conversation too.

We’ve also had a local vendor from a specialty store come in who specializes in pickles and has a lot of information about making them. Various countries make pickled products different ways, and it’s interesting to learn about it – i.e. the German traditions. There may be people in your group who have made them at home in the past who can tell about it too. About their families and cultures and how they made them. It’s a really fun show and tell kind of activity.

We try to have a pickle tasting party every year and its’ always a big hit. People come and go and move around on our campus, so there is always someone new that wasn’t here last year, so it is always popular. I highly recommend having one if you’re looking for something unique (and foody) to do. Food activities are always well attended it seems.

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Cupcake snowman on skis

Our holiday treats for seniors are easy and creative! You’ll see Santas, snowmen, trees, snowflakes, cookie ideas, more… brought together here from all over our web site so you don’t have to hunt around.

The winter holidays are a perfect time for party theme ideas, so we have many treats on this page that are great for snacks, parties, gifts, give-aways, and more!

See how you might modify the basic ideas to fit your group and needs.

Our Holiday Treats for Seniors

Snowman Treats

Along with the cute cupcake snowman on skis shown at the top (you could also turn him into a Santa too), we have a variety of snowmen to make as holiday treats for seniors. Below you will see a coconut snowball snack cake snowman, and one with chocolate covered strawberries. Fun to do with kids too.

Snowman treats

You can make these ideas as simple as you’d like too. For instance, eliminate some of the accessories, arms, or costumes, if desired. You may get your own ideas when viewing the pictures and reading the instructions. Full directions for these snowmen can be found on our snowman crafts page.

Marshmallow snowman

Santa Treats

On our page about Santa crafts, we have a few fun foody craft ideas to make as treats. Below you will see an apple (or red pear) Santa with frosting and coconut beard. And also a marshmallow on a kabob stick, with candy eyes and frosting-coconut beard. So follow the Santa link to find all the details for these holiday treats for seniors.

Santa treats

More Treats…

Hershey Kiss Mouse

Among the very popular holiday treats is the Hershey Kiss mouse. Perfect for hanging on a tree (mine have lasted for years)  or from a wreath, or at place settings.

We have easy directions on our mouse crafts page. And you may get more ideas to modify for the holidays. Mice seem to be a favorite theme at holiday time.

Coconut Haystack Trees

Holiday treats for seniors wouldn’t be complete without a winter evergreen tree. Or two. Making haystacks with melted white chocolate, a couple drops of green food coloring, and coconut is easy.

Just mold them into tree shapes while still warm, and top with a candy and some sprinkles. Perhaps white frosting snow on top too. See more on our food activities page.

Also on the food activities page, you’ll see how simple it is to make decorative chocolate swirls, which can be place on cupcakes or cakes, even hung. Pink is popular at Christmas time, but they can also be done with green food coloring, or just left as white chocolate.

If you want to get fancy, make them in a snowflake shape. Below is a snowflake template that can be printed to your desired size, then placed under wax paper to follow the lines. You can change the basic design as needed.

snowflake template

Burlap Candy Jars

Any kind of red or green jar or vase can be used with various holiday treats for seniors. This one is a masonite jar from a thrift store. Just fill with candies or treats you have made.

Then cut a length of burlap, glue it to the jar, and tie a couple strands of raffia around it. Raffia can also be found in colors at the craft store. You can also insert a twig of greenery, or hang a tiny ornament.

The jar above is filled with chocolate covered pretzels and candies. Learn how to make the pretzels on our creative dipping chocolate page.

All-Natural Gingerbread

It is said that ginger is really good for digestion and the autoimmune system! Both gingerbread cake and cookies are traditional holiday treats. Our gingerbread cake recipe features all-natural ingredients and is sweetened with honey. No sugar.

To make it especially festive, add food coloring to the whipped cream, or top it with a holiday candy and/or sprinkles.

And an excellent beverage with gingerbread (or another favorite treat) is…

Holiday Cookie Tree and Mini Gifts

cookie tree

It’s easy to bake and decorate a batch of star-shaped cookies. Stack them so each cookie is a little off-center from the next one, to create the effect of branches.

Stacking — You can either stack them by applying a dab of frosting between each cookie, as “glue.”
…Or use a stick with stand. Before baking, make a hole in the center of each. The size of the hole will depend on the type of stick you will use… Then either stack them on a kabob skewer, or a narrow wooden dowel.

You will probably also need to make a stand. (Sometimes the stack will stand up by itself, however. Especially if the bottom cookie is a bit larger). Anyone handy with wood can certainly drill a hole in a block of wood and glue in the dowel.

Or insert the entire construction into a nice, large piece of cake, as a base. Push about 2 inches of the bottom of the skewer into the cake, then stack the cookies. The bottom cookie will rest across the piece of cake and stabilize the tree.

Tie a ribbon around the tree to help stabilize and decorate it. Top it with another cookie or large candy (jumbo gumdrops and truffles work well too). These trees make nice centerpieces, gifts, prizes, or give-aways.

The mini gift stacks are just smaller cookies in a stack tied together with a ribbon. They’re fun at place settings or for dessert.

Mulled Wine

This sweet and spicy traditional drink has a rich flavor and can be make with either regular wine or non-alcoholic. There is also a version made with white wine, but red is usually the favorite for winter holidays.

Excellent with many desserts and also chocolates. So learn how to make mulled wine the easy way at our link.

Mom’s Famous Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is another favorite during the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. My mom had a wonderful all-natural recipe made with pure maple syrup (honey is good too). So again, no refined sugar at all. And the consistency is excellent too.

Dress it up with holiday plates or a colorful candy on top of the whipped cream.

Get the full recipe on our easy pecan pie page.

cookie ornaments

Cookie Ornaments

Ornaments can be creates from a variety of cookie shapes. Making them a little thicker works the best. Make a hole in each before backing. Decorate according to you preference, then tie a ribbon through the holes.

These holiday treats for seniors look wonderful hung on a table-top sized tree in the center of a table. Participants can then each take them as desired. A small tree with cookie ornaments is also popular as a prize or give-away. Even at a silent auction. The entire tree can also be wrapped in plastic wrap, gathered it at the top, and tied with a bow.

And don’t forget the gingerbread folk! (We love to use candy eyes from the craft store).

gingerbread folk

Also see:

December Senior Activities
— We could hardly believe what we found for December besides the holidays! Full of surprises.
Delicious Healthy Dessert Recipes – Our web site stresses natural and healthy too. Many from family recipes. 

to Party Theme Ideas

by Frank
(New York)

We found having an easy karaoke evening is a big hit. I was surprised how many of our elderly residents loved to sing. And watch others sing. Our age group ranged from 70’s all the way up into the 90’s, and even some of them wanted to share the limelight! Some participated in pairs so they didn’t have to sing alone. And often those watching in the “audience” ended up singing along. We keep it very informal, so it’s lots of fun.

The group leader or activities director should be prepared to do the first song or two him/herself. Or have it planned for someone to start out. Just to get things warmed up and break the ice.

A really easy karaoke evening is to have a volunteer pianist (other musicians too if available) with a whole lot of songs. You’ll also of course need a microphone. You can get lyrics to the songs online and print them out, in case someone doesn’t know them by heart. Or print them out from the musician’s music so the singer has something to look at. Whatever ideas you have to provide music – you may already have a music book. Then we put the names of the songs on pieces of paper and put them in a basket. Whoever in the group wants to sing can pull out a paper out of the basket to choose a song. (If they don’t like that one, they can always put it back and draw another).

You can also get some favorite music on karaoke CD’s from popular eras (you can find them online) that include the lyrics, and print them out in really large print. It’s easiest to just play the songs in sequence, with a large print list, chart, or poster to let everyone know what’s coming up next. Then they volunteer to be the singer at the microphone.

If you want to go high-tech and “official,” another way to do an easy karaoke evening is to rent a karaoke system. You can look it up in your phone book – it’s easy to find just about everywhere. They’re easy to use too.

We’ve done a karaoke party with songs from different eras, and also hymns. Very popular.

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by Rebecca
(NJ)

Here are some top luau ideas for a good party that we’ve had with our group. A luau is perfect to have any time of year, especially in the winter. Some guests may have lived or traveled to the South Pacific including Hawaii and will have some authentic ideas. Elderly love to have parties, and help plan them also. So I like to ask people what ideas they might have. Here are a few favorites from the folks at our assisted living community.

Ambiance
First of all, make your own invitations, which can be a group project. You can use stickers too. Or take a rectangle of colored paper and cut fringe at the bottom like a grass skirt. A pineapple or fish or bird are other good shapes to use.
Have a host or hostess greet the guests dressed up in a costume.
Guests should also wear at least one thing Hawaiian.
Leis can be provided on hand in case someone doesn’t have a thing to wear.
How about those removable tattoo type stickers kids like to put on their cheek or arm or hand, with a floral or tropical bird theme.
Island music can play in the background. Better yet, see if you can get a live band. Anything that gives off a coconut scent is really nice.
Once we had a visitor bring in their pet parrot for the party. It was a real hit.
If you did an RSVP and know who is coming, you can make a name tag with their real name and also their name in Hawaiian. You can find this online like at http://hawaiiannames.hisurf.com .
If anyone has a grandchild who has made one of those paper mache volcanoes for a science project, they are really popular to have at a party. And you stage a little ceremony when it erupts, maybe before dessert.

Decorations.
Have the room decoration with lots of streamers, candles (battery candles are best), large flowers (you can make large tissue paper flowers ahead of time as a group activity, and can put them in hair too).
You can also use those tiki torches and put battery candles in them instead. A wad of putty or clay will keep them in place, if you need it.
Have a least one specialty theme balloon, like at a buffet or prize table.
Use brightly colored table wear. If it’s in your budget, get at least the cups and napkins in a tropical theme print from a party store.
Have some wall decorations such a hula fringe made with long pieces of brown paper on a roll, then cut fringe on the bottom, about two-thirds of the way up. You can curl it a little too. Along the top you can glue a strip of crepe paper like a waist band. These long wall hangings can be stuck up here and there on the wall. They also make a cute table skirt.
For projects ahead of time, besides making large flowers, you can also make tropical fish to hang on the wall (with bubbles), or from the ceiling. And tropical birds.
One of those large inflatable palm trees is always great, or make a couple from poster board to hang on the wall.

Refreshments and Food.
Have tropical drinks or punch available right away (complete with umbrella drink stick).
Iced tea with a little fruit juice added in. and a mint leaf or piece of fruit.
Use ice cubes made from colorful fruit juice. And freeze a chunk of pineapple in a few.
Fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, strawberries, apple slices, orange wedges, etc.
Banana bread with a little fruit jam on top, if desired.
This is a perfect party to serve a fruit bowl, such as in a watermelon.
Macadamia nuts are good to toss in with other treats, or have in a bowl.
For meat, anything with pork, ham or chicken, with teriyaki, barbecue, or a tropical type glaze. Kabobs are also nice, and easy to eat. Just about any kind of seafood or ocean fish will work as well.
Or try a Hawaiian style pizza with ham and pineapple on it (it is really good!).
Sweet potatoes are a vegetable often found at a real luau.
A theme cake is excellent, especially if you have someone who can really decorate. Good flavors include banana, pineapple, and coconut.
A coconut or banana pudding is another option.
You can also make homemade ice (a good activity) and serve sundaes or ice cream floats.
Another option is to fruit smoothies.
If you want something small and light, do chocolate covered strawberries (and you can make them yourself).

Entertainment.
Make sure you have some things to do, like games with prizes. Good ones are tossing something into a basket, or passing type game maybe with a coconut, batting around a balloon, or a version of Simon Says (the name for Simon in Hawaiian is Kimona), and guess the number of candy (etc.) in a vase or jar.
If your guests are ambulatory, have a simple cake walk.
Other suggestions, having a raffle with some themed items included.
Make a gift basket or two to raffle off or for a silent auction.
Get some dancers to come in to perform a hula for your guests.
If you know a group of young people to have help with the party, they can also put on a limbo contest, which is really fun to watch.
As mentioned before, have a live band. Guests can also join in with the maracas or a bongo.
Have a sing along, like to Don Ho songs. Even a little sit-down dancing.
Watch the movie South Pacific.

If you ask friends, staff, or participants for ideas, you will get lots more!

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A wine and chocolates party is very well attended – and quite versatile to fit your needs, including with non-alcoholic selections. It can be either casual yet elegant, or more elaborate.

Whatever way you choose, these parties are popular activities for seniors. And also make great events for the public, including as promotions for your group or campus, or with fund raising.

This party is simple to include within other themes too – such as different holidays like Valentine’s Day, winter holiday traditions, anniversaries and birthdays.

Or just for no particular reason at all! And of course with chocolates, one needn’t feel quite as guilty indulging, since there are actually health benefits of chocolate, as you may have heard. Great for family settings, clubs, or if you’re an activities director, for a group or campus.

Wine and Chocolates Party Ideas

Decorating

Get out your best tablecloths and fancy napkins for a wine and chocolates party — or purchase nice paper goods at a party store.

Also get out your best wine glasses, dishes and platters. (However, if you’re not able to use glass wine glasses, nice plastic types will be fine).

Displaying the chocolates adds decorative ambiance. Perhaps you have special dishes. If you have a tiered serving platter, it’s a striking way to display and serve your chocolate desserts.

Candles always add ambiance – I prefer the flameless battery kind for safety. If you or one of your group have fancy table lamps or candelabras, they can be an added touch.

A fancy chocolate cake can also serve as a centerpiece.

The Wine

At your wine and chocolates party, be sure to offer at least a couple kinds of white and red wines, both dry and sweet, some light and some more heavy bodied. Here are some examples:

  • Light body wines – Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Reisling
  • Medium body – Merlot, Zinfandel, some Chardonnays
  • Heavy body – Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, some Chardonnays
  • Champagne or sparkling wine – There are many to choose from and vary in price. Perfect for holidays too.

Other nice additions are a red port, sweet sherry, sweet Marsala, or framboise (French for raspberry), which is actually a raspberry flavored liqueur or brandy. (One of my favorites!)

Be sure to also offer non-alcoholic juices and sparkling beverages for guests who prefer them.

Consider asking a local liquor store (or winery!) to come out and give a presentation. They may require a guaranteed minimum attendance, and they may also want the option of selling wine at your event.

But it will be very instructional as well as fascinating, and many varieties of wine will be available to taste (and buy).

The Chocolate

You can, of course, buy a variety of candies, cookies, and cakes at the store or bakery to serve with your wine. Chocolate can come in a variety of colors – white, brown, pink. And specialty colors for holidays. Colors will make your tables look very festive.

Another easy option for a wine and chocolates party is to do it pot luck style — just have each guest bring a favorite chocolate concoction and share them.

Offer at least 5 or 6 chocolate desserts. Here are a few favorites: chocolate mousse, truffles, mints, brownies, fudge (including white chocolate), bundt cakes, German chocolate cake, and chocolate-cherry cake.

And chocolate dipped items like strawberries, nuts, and pretzels (see links below for making them). You could also have everyone bring a chocolate recipe along too, then swap!


Want fun food activities?

Learn to make chocolate covered strawberries, or dipping chocolate, (i.e. pretzels and fruits).

See some more delicious chocolate recipes on our web site submitted by our readers:
Brandy Chocolate Custard — An excellent somewhat indulgent dessert!
Rich Chocolate Cheesecake — Cheesecake lovers will certainly love this one; easy to make too.
Fabulous Fudge — This fudge recipe has all kinds of goodies in it.

Don’t forget some sugar-free items too. You can find sugar-free candies and chocolates in most grocery stores and chocolate shops. If you are baking from scratch, be sure to make some items with a substitute sweetener for those who have dietary restrictions. They will really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

To really make a statement for any dessert type party…

Consider renting a chocolate fountain from a party rental service. They’re fabulous, come with full instructions and are easy to use. Or buy one – it will get a lot of use if you have parties. Prices range from about $30 up.

Just about everybody loves wine and chocolate – you might want to consider an RSVP for this party — it will be a popular one!

Our Kindle Books!

And do take a look at our Kindle books — especially “Fun Party Themes for Seniors”! (We even include lots more ideas and detail about a wine and chocolates party).

Be sure to also read:

Fiesta Party Ideas — See our fiesta party ideas and easy recipes, including for some delicious Sangrias and chocolate covered chicken (mole)! Fun projects for party decorations and centerpieces too.
Senior Activity Ideas — Need other activity ideas? A nice variety of senior activities, many easy to modify. Some great to do alone, and some in groups.
Elderly Activities — A wide range of activities for those who may need more assistance. Includes indoors, outdoors, games, food projects, crafts.

to Party Theme Ideas

balloon close up

Who doesn’t love a party?
Get great party theme ideas, party decorations, games, and more. Make your party especially easy and fun! Maybe add a costume? (At least a party hat of some sort)!

And most of these parties you can modify with no problem to fit the needs of your group, as well as for which season or holiday.  Planning creative party ideas can be an exciting senior activity.

For many of these parties you can simply make changes to colors and basic décor, and voila! You have another event! Plus we’ll point you to some easy craft ideas to go along with them. So take a look and see what you can do for your family, club, group or campus.

Keep in mind, just about any of these parties can be either a simple snack and beverage event; or a more involved dinner and entertainment occasion complete with appetizer, entrée, salad, and dessert. Make them as basic or elaborate as you’d like.

Our Party Theme Ideas

wine bottle and glass

Wine and Chocolates

Party theme ideas with chocolate are always well-attended. It’s perfect for any special occasion, and also for an open house, or anything the public may attend, including fund raisers. In fact, for many activities directors that I know, this has been one of the most popular occasions.

This type of party is ideal to incorporate into another party, such as birthday, anniversary, New Year’s, Christmas and winter holidays, etc. A party within a party, so to speak.

Get lots of wine and chocolate treat ideas including recipes, and more details on our page, Have a Wine and Chocolates Party!

English Tea Party

english tea set

And this is not just for women! During my travels in England (three times), Victoria, British Columbia, and on cruise ships (as well as local tea shops) I have experienced many a tea time. And I can say for a fact that party theme ideas with tea are definitely attended by men as well.

You generally do want to get out your best dishes, table linens, candle holders, vases of fresh flowers, etc. to set the ambiance. It’s always in order to have guests dress up a bit too. And don’t be too concerned if it is not totally “authentic” according to the manner in which the English serve tea. This is, after all, a party just for fun.

Serve small, delicate sandwiches, a variety of pastries, scones, jams, etc. If you have a tiered serving platter, it will look spectacular at a party like this. Plus lots of different types of teas, including herbal for those who prefer it. Also serve coffee, and consider hot apple cider too.

Gone Fishing Party

Party theme ideas with fishing can be held any time of year, even in winter (when you wish it was nice enough outside to go fishing). And even when guests can’t actually go fishing, for various reasons. Just bring it all indoors – it’s all in the ambiance you can create. Or in summer, bring it to the patio.

On our fishing party page we have some creative party ideas for decorating, even some craft projects too. And we point you to some fabulous fish recipes as well. This party is always a favorite, and one of the really fun ones to plan; there are so many options. One of the most creative party ideas I’ve seen was a bridal shower for my daughter. It was fishing themed – the groom’s family are really into fishing. So several of the concepts from that event are mentioned on our fishing party web page. It was very unusual and fun.

Patriotic Party

In the U.S., the main patriotic celebration during the year is the Fourth of July. But there is also Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Veterans Day. Plus a host of local and state celebrations for particular clubs and groups.

These patriotic party theme ideas use the traditional red, white and blue colors. But of course any colors can be used, depending on your state, country, or local event. The main thing is to create a colorful ambiance with your theme…

Food and the serving and eating tables are of prime importance in this type of party. Themed paper goods are always available at party stores, and you can get some really attractive ones. Or make your own! You can find all kinds of foods in red, white and blue, especially fruits. Punch, wine, koolaid and other beverages (with a few blueberries) are colorful too. Even ice cubes made out of punch. And, of course, do have some strawberries dipped in white chocolate (see our page on how to make chocolate covered strawberries.)

Painting clay pots (learn more at the link) with acrylic paints and stencils, and then adding foliage, red flowers and flags, is an easy way to dress up a patio or even use as a centerpiece on the table. See more 4th of July crafts at this link.

Be sure to have at least the host or hostess come in costume, but also encourage all guests to wear something to follow any party theme ideas. Entertainment is easy, (and it’s most ideal if you can get some live musicians) – Sousa marching music and patriotic songs. Also consider a dance, including a square dance. Other entertainment can include a pie baking contest or bake sale, and a raffle. And of course, when able – fireworks!

Fabulous Fiesta!

Fiestas make fabulous party theme ideas, whether for traditional celebrations or any time. All the bright colors really lift the spirits – and that is one of the secrets to a really great fiesta – vivid color. On our special fiesta activities page we have many ideas on how to do just that.

Plus some really great menu possibilities too (have you tried chocolate covered chicken?) Chocolate, after all, is originally from the Central and South American areas, and is included in many dishes.

You may have seen the amusing film, “Like Water For Chocolate” – it’s a good one to watch in conjunction with a fiesta, if you have time for a movie too. There also may be someone from a cultural center or a school who may be interested in doing some volunteer dancing or music for your festivities (in exchange for your fiesta feast, or course!)

We also have an excellent homemade sangria recipe, and dessert ideas. And don’t forget a little Latino music, an all-important feature of a fiesta. So if you’re looking for something lively to host, do go to this page.

Party Theme Ideas – From Our Readers

In the Share section of our Elderly Activities page, we have had several people write in with very interesting party theme ideas. So I’m going to share them below, with links to their pages…

Pickle Tasting Party

This one is one of the really unique party theme ideas, and was submitted by one of our readers. I am also familiar with a nearby campus that hosts a pickle tasting party from time to time. And not just the cucumber types either. There are all sorts of pickled foods you can use, as well as herring.

And what about a beverage? Beer is always good, but so is a more tame tea and coffee. It depends on your group. So see what our reader says about their Pickle Tasting Party experience, and how to do it.

Easy Karaoke Evening

Or afternoon. You would be amazed sometimes at just who ends up being the gutsiest when it comes to getting in the limelight at the microphone. And who has a really good voice. But the voice doesn’t really matter; music and singing party theme ideas are very popular even without a great voice.

See what one of our reader shares about planning their easy karaoke event. And remember, it can be as causal as you’d like, with either basic CD music or a pianist, or more “authentic” with renting a karaoke machine from a party rental store.

Happy Hour Activities

Happy hours can become so popular that some folks I know would have some version of these party theme ideas every week if they could. Again, one of our readers shares what they did for their Happy Hours.

You can do a series of Happy Hours as well – from margaritas, to martinis, to beer, to wine, to colored drinks, to drinks from around the world. The food can be from around the world as well, and either simple snacks or a more formal appetizer presentation. Be sure to always include something non-alcoholic. And you may also want to have a limit on how many drinks per person! Drinks can also be served in small glasses, if you sampling several things at a given party.

Luau

Luau party theme ideas are also really reviving for spirits during winter or in nasty weather. But they’re equally as exciting in the summer, especially out on a patio. Needless to say, there are loads of paper goods for your table and décor available in party stores.

And you can make some crafts too – such as fun napkin holders, even wine charms with colorful beads or mini leis. See what little trinkets are available at craft stores for this. Stickers and stencils are always to be had, and can come in handy for decorating just about anything.

One of our readers has a lot of great ideas for a luau on her page at this link, so be sure to read it. It’s sure to inspire you with possibilities for your decorating, activities and menu.

More Party Theme Ideas:

Have you taken a look at our ? We have a special book just for party themes and party planning. It’s all-encompassing! With loads of new ideas and tons of details, pictures, and instructions. Several of the parties on this web site are in it, and lots of new ones too.

Plus, the Kindle book is very much enhanced with much more info, and fun. And there are recipes to go with the themes (many are my Dad’s own specialties — he was a gourmet cook).

So if you need creative party ideas, this will be a life saver. Especially if you don’t have time to find ideas or even recipes. You can get more specific info about this book at

folk dancers

You may already have your own basic ideas for ambiance and food, and how to host such an event. So here are a few more theme ideas:

  • Folk Dance Demonstration – You may have a cultural center or two near your city or town. Or a dance studio or performing arts school. They may be willing to come to your event and give a dance demonstration, as well as speak a little bit about the traditions of what they are performing. Serve refreshments to follow the theme if possible.
  • Italian Night – Almost everyone loves Italian food. There are great appetizers available too, if you want to keep it simple. Then uncork a bottle of wine, put on a little Italian music (even light opera – think Anrea Bocelli, Il Divo; perhaps Josh Groban).
  • Fabulous French – How about an evening in Paris? Or afternoon on the patio, sidewalk café style? All you need is a little French wine or cafe au lait, plus some pastries…and voila!
  • A Cultural Dinner Series – Serve and study foods from other lands or areas of the country. Simple table decorations to fit the party theme ideas will complete the ambiance. You could have one different theme per month for 4 to 6 months. Play music from the area and display traditional crafts or handiwork, if available. People in your group who have traveled may be interested in sharing items for these parties.
  • Pirate Party – Again, make this as simple or fancy as you’d like. Making tri-cornered hats and eye patches out of black paper is easy. Add some silver, gold and black decor, pirate flags, skull and crossbones, and candy gold coins with some kind of treasure box. You can also find accessories at a party supply store. And don’t forget the swords. Get more ideas with an old-fashioned pirate movie. Perhaps “Treasure Island.”
  • Host a Prom – Remember prom days? Well you can have them again, maybe with a little different style. Have guests get dressed up, even semi-formal or formal, depending on your group. If you can get live musicians that is ideal, but classic dance music on CDs will work fine. Someone may also be available to give a few easy dance lessons. Food can be elegant but easy appetizers, and perhaps a bit of bubbly in your beverage area too.
  • Oktoberfest – Traditionally held in late September or October, this festival is all about lively German music and dance (anyone know how to polka?), beer, brats, German potato salad, and singing.
  • Cookie Tasting – See how many different cookie recipes you can get from different countries, and share pot luck style.
  • Spa Afternoon – You’ll need some volunteers for this one, ideally people who have worked in a salon. Relax with hand and foot massage, scalp massage, a foot soak, aromatherapy, heated lavender pillow (in the microwave), quiet music and candles (flameless suggested), etc. Men will enjoy this too.
  • Glamour Manicure Party – Ladies love a little pampering for their hands. Provide lots of scented lotion, nail polishes in both subtle and vibrant colors, and even some tiny rhinestones to press into the nail polish (then a clear coat or two over it). Someone artistic could also paint tiny designs on a nail or two.

Winter holiday parties are always popular, and if you’d like some special treats, see our page about holiday treats for seniors.

Whatever parties you decide to have, be mindful of your guests and any dietary or physical limitations they may have. Be sure to serve non-alcoholic beverages too if you’re serving alcohol, and some no- or low-salt snacks, as well as sugar-free sweets. It will be so much appreciated.

Party Games !

Are you looking for some great party games? Well do we a great Kindle book for you! See it at:

It’s got over 71 games, and is neatly categorized for ability levels and occasions. Plus, there are special sections for Party Games and Holiday Games (although many other games can certainly be adapted for these as well). Lots of games to go along with party theme ideas. So do check it out!

More help for party theme ideas:

Easy Craft Ideas — Don’t miss our “craft central” area that will point you to various crafts on our web site for your party theme ideas. Some great ones for centerpieces too!
Easy Healthy Recipes — If you’re looking for some recipes for your parties, be sure to check out our “recipe central” page that will refer you to various categories of interest.
How To Make Mulled Wine – This is a perfect party recipe for favorite occasions, especially in chilly weather (including in spring, summer and fall on those dreary days). Lots of helpful hints, and my friend’s (an excellent cook) favorite recipe.

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pinata

Elderly fiesta activities and parties are popular any season. Any time is a great time (especially in the winter when you wish it was warm out)! All you need are fun fiesta party items, plus Mexican food and recipes. Maybe some special party bags and party invitations. And, of course, pinatas. You can get many of your party supplies wholesale. Or make them yourself — we have ideas!

(Also see our “recipe central” page at Easy Healthy Recipes).

You can modify them for a special family dinner, celebration, or for small or large groups. Let your imagination go wild with decorations too – even make centerpieces yourself. These make great senior activity ideas. Also try hand-made invitations. See the end for decoration ideas.

How about a little entertainment? Does the local senior center, a school, college, church, Latino cultural center, or a theater group have talent who can come over to demonstrate dancing or music? You can definitely get music from the local music store or library. But live entertainment is always more fun!

Elderly Fiesta Activities

Menu

Build Your Own Taco Salad

A taco salad is a super-easy way to offer a large variety of food that is sure to please everyone – because they can make their own the way they want to, buffet style.

If you need to serve sit-down dinner style, you could put small bowls of various items on each table to choose from. Use fresh foods as much as possible with plenty of color. Our suggestions include a few items that are a bit out of the ordinary, to add interest.

You will need several bowls and platters, and any of the following food options:

  • Tortilla chips – Use a variety of colors, such a traditional yellow corn, white, whole grain, or blue corn.
  • Some people like to use a taco bowl as well.
  • Sliced yellow and red onions, or scallions.
  • Greens can include traditional lettuce, romaine, spinach leaves, or a spring greens mix.
  • Bowls of chopped or whole black and green olives – some with pimento.
  • Several types of cheese such as cheddar, asiago, or manchego. A Mexican blend is great too.
  • Bowls of black beans and pinto beans; refried is fine. Canned garbanzo beans are also very good.
  • Chopped red peppers, as well as yellow and green.
  • Chopped yellow and red tomatoes.
  • Fresh corn removed from the cob, or cooked frozen corn.
  • Cilantro and parsely.
  • Shredded chicken or beef – you can cook spices into the meat such as cumin, coriander, black pepper, and garlic powder. You can make it as spicy as you’d like.
  • Sour cream or fat-free yoghurt.
  • Guacamole.
  • Taco sauce.
  • Salsa.

Another menu item is unique and really delicious — have you heard of chicken with chocolate sauce ?? It’s both a little sweet and spicy! This is a traditional Mexican dish, and we have a great recipe. Just click to get our chicken with chicken chocolate sauce recipe!  Or try a great fish taco recipe  (with a few surprises) – it’s a yummy alternative to the standard taco.

Beverage – Sangria!

Elderly fiesta activities just must include Sangria — basically a wine punch of wine and fruit over ice. We have two excellent sangria recipes, one for red and one white. There are also suggestions for variations. Sangria can also be made with non-alcoholic juice such as Catawba, but the recipe may need to be adjusted a bit, to taste.

Just click on the link to our easy sangria recipe ideas. Make it with either red or white wine (or sparkling grape juice for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage). Remember, you can use a variety of fruits, fresh is best, and whatever is seasonal.

Dessert

We’ll make this simple: anything chocolate is wonderful with this type of menu. Chocolate, after all, is native to Mexico and Central and South America. Favorite elderly activities involve food (especially desserts!). Why not make dessert a special project for your elderly fiesta activities — do it up fancy or basic.

Try this really easy and fun chocolate covered strawberry project — complete with unique ways to decorate them! Use your imagination to decorate them with a fiesta them too. Take a look at our page on how to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Or check out lots of other healthy desserts at Healthy Dessert Recipes.

Decorations

Decorations are favorite elderly fiesta activities – with color, color, color! Bright colors are the theme here – choose a scheme of three or four different fiesta colors to mix and match.

Got a sombrero? It’s easy to get one – use it as a centerpiece, or turn it upside down and insert at bowl filled with tortilla chips. Or a flameless pillar candle. They have lots of uses!

Setting the table — Go to a dollar store and get a brightly colored paper table cloth, at least for the main serving table. Fiesta themes and Mexican decor are very popular, and you can often find these themed items in party stores.

If your budget allows, get a table cloth for each table, and contrasting paper napkins. If you have a yellow table cloth, try orange, yellow, turquoise, bright purple, hot pink, and/or green napkins. You can find sticker decals shaped like sun bursts or flowers to adhere to the corner of the napkins.

Piñatas — Naturally! And stuffed with treats make excellent fiesta decorations! You can get lots of no-sugar candies. Other fiesta party ideas include theme colored balloons, party bags with colored shredding and curly ribbon, and party favors — try making them. Small sombreros and tiny faux pinatas are also often available in craft stores; as well as small, Mexican style painted vases. You can put a tiny bright flower in them.

Napkin rings — These can be made by simply tying raffia or bright ribbon around the napkin and inserting an artificial or real flower. If you find the tiny piñatas in a store, you can also attach or hang them on the napkin. A bright sticker can be adhered to the corner of the napkin. Making napkins rings are fun but simple elderly fiesta activities.

Centerpieces — Putting together centerpieces are fun elderly fiesta activities to help prepare for the party. Collect empty plastic water bottles in advance. Remove the labels and fill the bottoms with natural stones or marbles to weigh them down.

Colored sand is fun as well. Fill the bottles about two-thirds with water. You can even add food coloring to make colored water. Then insert just one, big colorful flower and one tall reed or slender leaf into the bottle. If you do not want to use water in the vase, artificial flowers are fine too.

Or you may already have a favorite flower craft to make instead. Tie raffia or a ribbon that matches your color scheme around the top of the plastic bottle. If you have any squirt “puffy paint” (a.k.a. 3D paint) on hand, you can add decorative squiggle stripes around the bottom or middle of the bottles, or add dots.

Other easy elderly fiesta activities involve painting clay pots for many uses — for plants and flowers, as a pillar candle holder, insert a bowl for snacks, etc. Learn how to make one like the sample on the right. It’s the color scheme that makes the difference. Any type of easy flower design and some squiggles will do too.

Besides these elderly fiesta activities…
also see:

Chicken Chocolate Sauce — Want to go all out? A fabulous new Mexican recipe for your fiesta! Have your ever tried (or even heard of) chicken with chocolate sauce? It’s unique!
Easy Wine and Chocolates Party — A wine and chocolates party is very versatile: either casual yet elegant, or more elaborate. Whatever suits your event.

In addition to these elderly fiesta activities, we have lot more ideas…

Our Kindle Books!

Be sure to find out about our Kindle books page. In our “Fun Party Themes for Seniors” book, we have lots more suggestions and activities for a fiesta too, plus dozens of other party ideas (many with planning steps from start to finish, including the menu). And to go along with it, a special book with loads of games! Something for everyone and for just about every occasion — many fun games to use with your elderly fiesta activities.

Our Craft Book

Easy Crafts and Gifts  – Find out about lots more easy yet quality craft ideas, including some more for elderly fiesta activities – more than 120 projects!  For any season and ability. Plus a FREE booklet of templates to use for a variety of projects.

to Perfect Party Theme Ideas

by Roberta
(AZ)

Our group really likes to do Happy Hour activities. And we do use both alcoholic beverages and non. At this time we do it once a month. But they’d do it every week!

Each time we have a theme, like beer (especially at Octoberfest time), or margaritas, or wine, or tropical. We also serve a snack to go along with the theme, trying to include something both non-sugar and non-salt (or low) since several of our group are on restricted diets. We also include a special decoration of some kind to follow the theme, whether it be cute napkins, a few centerpieces, cups, etc. Our staff and any volunteers may also somewhat dress up for the theme too. And music of course!

These Happy Hours become a sort of mini party, but are much easier to do than a more planned and formal party. And the attendance is great.

Join in and write your own page! It’s easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Share Elderly Activities Forum.

Happy Hour Parties

by Marsha Sue
(Minnesota)

Seniors in over 55 housing love to have weekly or monthly happy hour parties. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages can be served. Having a theme for the gathering generates more interest and attendance; and table service and decorations can match the theme.

For example, “October Wine and Beer Taste Fest” with pretzels, sausages and different kinds of cheddar cheeses goes over really well.

“Champagne and Chocolates” in February is a great event to indulge a sweet tooth, a love for bubbly beverages and a date with a Sweetie!

“Holiday Cheer” with eggnog, hot chocolate and cream sherries, brandies and ciders with cookies and sweets warms the heart.

“Summer Cocktails and Smoothies” with chips and dips and burgers gets everyone outside and mingling. Dream up your own combinations and have a lot of fun!

Join in and write your own page! It’s easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Share Elderly Activities Forum.