And the winner is… (How to host a family-friendly Awards party)

Back in my college days, when life revolved around such things as rushing home from class to watch soap operas and waiting around for Whattaburger to begin serving taquitos at 11pm (By the way, I sure do miss the metabolism of my early 20’s. I cannot even look at a taquito these days without gaining a pound or two), my friends and I would host an Oscar party every year. Ballots would be cast, food would be consumed, money  paid out to the winner  and good times were had by all.

These days those  college friends are in the  same parenting boat as the husband and me…the boat that involves bath times, time-outs and sippy cup refills as opposed to lots of time spent  palling with friends. Max and Ruby get more screen time on the family television than Oscar-nominated films. We do get to walk the red carpet on occasion…mainly because someone spilled juice on it a few months back and the stain has yet to be removed.

However, this year I am bringing back the Oscar party. Rather than sitting on the couch in my frumpy mom yoga pants to watch the glitz and glamour this award season, I am taking the time to create a family-friendly Academy Award party that adults and children will both enjoy.

Want to get your family in on the awards-party action? Below are some ways I set the stage at my house for some Academy Award fun.

  • Put on the Ritz. No Oscar ceremony is complete without some celebrity sporting a million dollar diamond. Do not be left watching all the glamor in a frumpy pair of sweats. Toss on that formal leftover from last year’s Caribbean cruise. Have the husband  slap on a tie and let the children raid the dress-up boxes. Arrive in style to the party…even if “arriving’ merely means entering the living room from the bedroom.
  • Create a cinematic spread. No party is complete without delicious food. Consider creating an entire menu based on this year’s nominated films or swing by Le Popcorn in Southlake and scoop up one of their interesting (Dill pickle and loaded baked potato) popcorn creations. Get kids in on the kitchen action by having them make “Red Carpet roll-ups”. Simply buy red colored sandwich meat (ham and bologna work well for this), spread with traditional sandwich toppings, roll-up and cut into bite-sized pieces. When considering food, do not forget the libations. Obviously, leave out the alcohol but be sure to make drinks fun. Consider serving Shirley Temples or Roy Rogers to keep everyone well hydrated during the show.
  • Enhance everyone’s viewing pleasure. Transform the traditional family room where everyone gathers on a daily basis for some TV time into something a bit more grand. Line the floor with gigantic stars cutout of poster board. Write each family member’s name on  a star, creating a personalized Hollywood Walk of Fame. Create a red carpet out of a red disposable table cloth (easily found at local dollar stores). Give every family member the chance to walk the red carpet and have their picture taken by “paparazzi”. Finally, make couches and floors a bit more comfy by throwing around some extra pillows and blankets. Television watching is often times more fun when the family can snuggle together.
  • Vote! The exciting part of award shows is seeing who goes home a winner and who leaves empty handed. Have each family member cast their votes before the show. Printable ballots are easily found on-line. Find ones that can be easily marked in order for young children to be able to join in on the action. Have a prize for the family member with the most number of correct predictions.
  • This award season do not merely watch the action from the sidelines of the family couch. Involve every member of the family in on the fun.  A family-friendly party  is a great way to spend some quality time together enjoying one of America’s cultural phenomenons.

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