The presidential election is a tense time for everyone, especially in this day and age. Relieve some stress by sharing the election-watching experience with friends and family. Turn the viewing into an entire event complete with food, drinks, and activities. These election watch party ideas will help you and your guests relax a bit during this time when emotions are running high.
Tip: To avoid fights, only invite those you get along with or can cordially disagree with (so maybe not your uncle who always starts heated political arguments at the Thanksgiving table).
1. Sweeten the day with political and/or patriotic sweets
Stressed spelled backwards is desserts for a reason. Serve treats like cake or cookies with your favorite political slogans (see The Sweet Feminist or Drunk Bakers on Instagram for inspiration). Or, simplify it with donkey and elephant cookies or an assortment of red velvet and blue desserts. For a patriotic treat, make these American flag fruit kebabs with strawberries, bananas, and blueberries.
It’s also the perfect day for some good old-fashioned comfort foods, like mac n’ cheese, lasagna, crescent rolls, pizza, and any snacks that were childhood favorites. You might also want to mix some themed drinks (let’s face it, you may need them). For more dessert and cocktail ideas, check out this blog.
2. Support a charity or meaningful cause
Give back to the causes that mean the most to you this election season, whether that’s healthcare, housing, the environment, education, or human rights. Because that’s really what it’s all about, right? You are hoping your candidate will help bring change because as a citizen, you can only do so much. How can you help at a party? Instead of asking people to bring snacks or drinks, request that all guests bring in kind donations.
With those donations, you can:
- Gather supplies for local teachers based on their wish list.
- Create care packages for homeless shelters or hospitals.
- Make eco-friendly living starter kits for other friends, complete with reusable bags, water bottles, and other zero-waste products.
It’s a positive, meaningful use of your time that will allow you to make a small difference even at a time when you might be feeling powerless.
3. Dress up!
It’s time to put on your power pantsuits. Dress as your favorite political figure of the past or present or the one you think is a style icon. The silliness of dressing up will help add some levity to the night. Complete your outfits with wigs and props. (It should go without saying that if you are going all out and dressing up as a particular candidate, do not include any costume elements that belong to a race or culture to which you do not belong).
4. Get crafty
For some people, getting creative and making arts and crafts is the best way to relieve stress. So host a crafting party! Crafts could include making buttons, T-shirts, stickers, or posters. You these items to decorate your party space as themed, makeshift decor. If you aren’t good with hands-on crafts, create relevant GIFs and memes.
5. Create your own campaign ads
Create parody campaign ads or ads for fictional characters like Baby Yoda and other meme characters, complete with slogans and attacks on other candidates. These could be filmed on smartphones or acted out in person. Then, vote on the best ones. Like with the arts and crafts idea, this gives you a chance to get creative and shake the nerves away.
6. Turn up the tunes on your playlist
Set the mood with a playlist of the best campaign songs of the past and present. Some are very political, others are just plain random. Here is a list to get you started. You can also opt to hire a band or ask performer friends to entertain the crowd if they’re interested.
7. Choose a comfortable venue
Don’t let your tiny apartment stop you from having a big watch party. With Peerspace, a spacious loft, mansion, historic home, or even a theater can be yours for the evening. You can filter local options by desirable amenities, like a kitchen, screening room, a patio, and a sound system. Just make sure your chosen venue has the capabilities necessary for playing the election coverage live and enough comfortable seating for all of your guests. If not, call the Peerspace Concierge service for assistance renting A/V equipment and furniture. You can even snag a space with a fireplace if it’s cold where you live, upping the comfy, cozy atmosphere that’s ideal to cultivate on such an occasion.
8. Chill out with some games
Break up the lulls in the election broadcast with games. Play charades by breaking into teams and acting out memorable campaign moments. Have the guests in the audience guess what is being performed. Another idea is to play trivia; quiz your guests with questions about the presidency in general, current and former candidates, and the election process. The history buffs in the room will love this, and it will be a nice refresher course for those who are a little rusty.
Lastly, try the game Guess Who Tweeted? This is the simplest game that requires only a smartphone, Wi-Fi, and maybe some good voice impersonations. Have everyone take turns reading tweets out loud and have guests guess which candidates tweeted them. Tally up the number of times each person guesses correctly (they have to be the first to guess for it to count) and crown your winner at the end of the game.
9. Host your own debate
Host a debate with really random or just plain silly topics to lighten the mood on this stressful day during commercial breaks.
Use internet debate topics like
- “Does pineapple belong on pizza?”
- “Should you bite ice cream or lick it?”
- “Which is better: Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?”
- “Is it pronounced GIF or JIF?”
- “Was that dress black and blue or gold and white?”
- “Could Jack have fit on that door in Titanic?”
Lay down some rules for the debate (you can steal them from the actual debate rules). The key is brevity. Set a timer on your phone for each speaker so that everyone has an equal opportunity to voice their opinion. Offer prizes for the game winners like stress-relieving candles, bath bombs, essential oils, positive mantra books, books with photos of cute animals, and adult coloring books.
10. Re-watch the Saturday Night Live political skits
Laughter is the best medicine. Take a break from reality and watch some Saturday Night Live political skits covering the debates and other big political moments. Think Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, and Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg. Don’t forget the classics, like Dana Carvey as Ross Perot, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, and Will Ferrell as George W. Bush!
No matter the outcome of the election, it’s important to be surrounded by those you love so you can celebrate with or be comforted by those who matter most. These election watch party ideas will help you turn the momentous night into a good time.