Every four years, we gather with friends or family in our best star-spangled attire, stay up WAY later than we should and cheer on Team USA in the Summer Olympics. (Well…with the exception of 2020, of course!) Coming on the heels of a pandemic, the better-late-than-never Tokyo Olympics are sure to be one for the record books — in more ways than one!
Maybe you’re looking forward to this year’s new Olympic sports like surfing or skateboarding. Or, you’re simply ready to cheer on your favorite athlete (let’s face it… who isn’t obsessed with Simone Biles?!). But if you’re anything like us, you’re just excited for the watch-party gatherings among friends and family. We know a thing or two about entertaining, so we’re sharing our best tips to make sure your Olympics watch party is a gold-medal contender!
Host an Olympic-Outfit Themed Party
If you’re planning to get together on multiple days or nights to watch the games, why not show up in style? Throwing themed parties always ups the fun factor, and who says Olympics parties can’t partake? Themed watch parties can be whatever you’d like them to be, but our favorite idea is to have everyone come dressed as competitors in the main events you’ll be watching. Gymnastics? Bust out the leotards! Swimming, don the most outlandish swim cap you can find (or decorate one!) And, because the Olympics spotlight friendly competition, have your guests secretly vote on their favorite outfit. Winner at the end of the party gets a special prize!
Go for the Gold (or Red, White and Blue)!
It’s time to deck out your entertainment space with only the best Summer Olympics-themed décor! We can’t think of a more fun idea that going pure gold! You’ll need the basics: streamers to drape along door frames and around your ceilings, paper plates, napkins, whatever you can think of. But, if pure gold isn’t quite your thing, you can always bust out your Fourth of July party wares and snag some mini flags to scatter around your home.
Or, pick up some paper plates that match the colors of the Olympic rings….just get creative! (The birthday party section in your favorite grocery or party store will probably become your new best friend!) And it probably goes without saying, but have some gold medal party favors on standby to give your guests on arrival.
If there are young kids who need entertaining, this Olympic Ring-inspired craft from Living Well Spending Less will keep them occupied during the watch party: paper chains!
Cut and lay out several strips of blue, black red, yellow and green pieces of construction paper. Choose a responsible stapler-master to hook together each ring, or let them use school-grade glue. Before you know it, the kids will have contributed their own piece of Olympic décor!
Prepare Some Team USA-Approved Snacks
Every themed party needs yummy treats, and have we got the perfect snack ideas for you! For savory options, invite your crew to bring a plate of their favorite snack in accordance with the Olympic ring colors — bonus points for keeping it healthy with fruits or vegetables, like this option from The Kitchn. Display the snacks around the outer edge of circular plates, creating a ring-like effect, while leaving space for dips or sauces in the center!
Another thought? Host a make-your-own bagel bar (again, the Olympic Ring theme is so easy to incorporate here!) and only include toppings in the colors of the rings! Set out toppings that will appeal to all bagel lovers: fruits, veggies, deli meat and a variety of cream cheese spreads.
For your sweet tooth, create your own Olympic torches out of ice cream cones! Use the cones as the base and top with your favorite orange ice cream or sorbet. Add in extra orange flakes or slices to give an added fire illusion — and be ready for them to be a hit, especially during the Opening Ceremony!
For a non-dairy treat, sugar cookies are just as sweet, and can easily turn into another kids activity by providing icing and M&M’s in the Olympic ring colors to decorate them with.
Don’t Forget the Drinks!
If you plan to serve soda or sports drinks, consider brands under the Coca-Cola label, as they’ve been the longest running sponsor of the Games (starting in 1928!). For those of us those of us 21+, Summer Olympics watch parties are the perfect reason to try out some fun cocktails. In honor of host city Tokyo, try this cherry-infused Sakura martini recipe. Or, in a nod to the gold medal theme, try this Gold Shimmery Champagne Cocktail.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a Team USA Olympics party without red, white and blue options for guests, so make sure you have vodka sodas, red wine and even flavored syrups for the whole crew to enjoy.
Host Your OWN Summer Olympic Games
Who says the Olympic athletes are the only ones to have all the fun? Host your own set of games at home to tap into the competitive spirit of the Games. Think team relay races or strength competitions (tug of war, anyone?), individual skill challenges like an egg-and-spoon race or potato sack race, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, indoor games like Jenga or Olympics bingo. (Don’t forget to save some medals and fun grand prizes for the winners!)
Create an Outdoor TV Screen
Finally, whether you’re celebrating indoors or out, everyone needs a go-to spot to watch the action. This DIY backyard movie screen setup is the perfect way to watch all the action (and is a breeze to set up!). All you have to do is make sure to add enough outdoor seating for your guests!
How will you be watching the Summer Olympics this year? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back on the blog for more home entertaining tips!