Around the World Party Ideas
Need inspiration? Head to your local supermarket, stand in the international food aisle, and look at the packaging. Let the colors and designs guide your decorating scheme (and later, your menu).
Hang maps and atlas pages on your walls, and make signs with country names and basic facts on them. Flags make excellent wall coverings as well as festive pendant decorations. Mix and match traditional decorations from various cultures for a unique international flair. Some ideas to get you started: pinatas or celebration banners (from Mexico), stamped lanterns (Morocco) and paper globes (Japan).
This is a chance to see the American melting pot in action! Ask your guests to dress in a costume that represents their cultural heritage or to choose any culture they like.
If guests are short on time or money, suggest that they dress like a country's flag. To represent Denmark, for example, wear all red and use white tape to make stripes in a cross shape down your front or back.
Clothing and accessories for your around the world costume:
- Folkloric costumes and ensembles
- Hats, scarves and headgear
- Belts, obis and jewelry
- Boots, sandals, mukluks or bare feet
- Eye patches and moustaches
Keep kids occupied by letting them create an imaginary country, complete with a national anthem and their own language. Let them draw what their country looks like and create a colorful flag. Supply pens, colored pencils, paints and large sheets of white paper. When the flags are finished, hang them around the party, and give them back to the kids later as party favors.
Games are a fun way to introduce children to other cultures too, so bust out mancala (from Africa), mah-jongg (China) or even checkers, which is believed to have originated in Iraq.
Everything from your snacks to your main course should reflect an international influence. Choose one country and let that inspire your entire meal, or mix it up with favorites from lots of lands.
Pair chips and salsa with hummus and warm pita, or pappadums (India) with various chutneys. Flatbreads and pancakes are staples around the globe: Stuff crepes (France) with mushrooms and cheese, serve injera (Ethiopia) with curried potatoes, or prepare Mandarin pancakes and mushu pork (China).
Dessert can range from shortbread and baklava to tiramisu and gelato.
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2- to 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
- 1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
- freshly grated zest of 1 lime
- 2 cups ice plus additional for glasses
In a blender, combine all ingredients except ice. Add 2 cups ice and blend until melted.
Pour mixture into a bowl through a large sieve lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Discard solids. Stir and serve with additional ice.