(credit: Paper Source)

(credit: Paper Source)

Whether you’re hosting a party for 30 or 3, here are five tips to make holiday entertaining easy and fun. By Carly Petrone.

Liquid Lab

(credit: Instagram/liquidlabnyc)

(credit: Instagram/liquidlabnyc)

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One way to ensure that all of your RSVPs actually turn up is to make sure there’s something fun for guests to do at your party. A great way to ensure this is by hiring a mixologist to come show your guests how to create carefully crafted cocktails. The guys from Liquid Lab are happy to bring along their secret recipes to any party you may be having. Founders Gregory Lucas and Parker Boase offer private mixology classes where they bring the booze and all of the trimmings and all you have to do is follow along. By the end of the class you’ll be experts at muddling, shaking, and straining. Learn more here.

(credit: sprinklebakes.com)

(credit: sprinklebakes.com)

Party Favors

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Get creative and make goodie bags for your guests! It’s easy to throw your favorite candy in a mason jar and tie a ribbon around it. If you really want to be hands-on, you can create your own candy. One fun idea is to make rose wine gummy bears. All you need is your favorite bottle of rose, sugar, gelatin, and a bit of pink food coloring to really make them pop. Pour the mixture into gummy bear molds and refrigerate for two hours. This adorable DIY project will put you in the holiday party mood and your guests will love the thoughtful treat on their way out the door. Need other mason jar candy filler options? Try toffee, white chocolate bark, holiday M&Ms, or all of the dry ingredients for chocolate chip cookies!

Lighting

(credit: hellolumio.com)

(credit: hellolumio.com)

More: Best Places To Buy Holiday Party Decor In NYC

One of the most inviting ways to spruce up your space for a party is with great lighting. Buy an extra box of Christmas lights and string them throughout your living or dining room. Mix in some different patterned and colored lanterns for a pop of color – they can even be strung together with Christmas lights for an added effect. If you are looking for a stand-out piece, try the Lumio book lamp. This dynamic and multi-functional lamp conceals itself in the form of a hard-cover book – certainly a good talking point for your guests!

Photo Booth

(credit: Paper Source)

(credit: Paper Source)

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You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a fun photo booth for people to enjoy. Drape a piece of your favorite fabric to the wall, or make a collage with a bunch of patterned or colored paper. Hanging up a metallic foil curtain is the quickest way to set up a backdrop. For a magical look, dangle white Christmas lights over a plain white or black piece of fabric (you can even use a bed sheet.) Throw some oversized eyeglasses, Santa hats, and boas into a bin and you’ve got props for each photo. Stores like Paper Source also sell photo prop kits that include silly precut shapes like mustaches, bowties, and red lips. Happy snapping!

Games

(credit: Night of Mystery)

(credit: Night of Mystery)

More: Best Places To Host A Holiday Party In NYC

It wouldn’t be a party with some games! Apps like Heads Up! (charades cards), Party Doodles and Evil Apples make it easy to get your guest on board. If you want to be really elaborate, you can set up a murder mystery game using sites like Night of Mystery, where they send out character descriptions to your guests before they even arrive. Dressing up in a theme always livens up a party – add in murder and intrigue and your guests will definitely stay entertained. And when all else fails, break out the karaoke machine and just start belting out your favorite tunes.

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Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City.

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