Entertaining Ideas
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HELP! Last minute guests...

Ok, not absolutely last minute but last minute enough for me.  We've got 2 young kids and our schedules are so unpredictable right now it feels a little stressful but I'm looking forward to ther visit.

DH's cousin just called and will be in town on Sat., wants to come over and visit with his new girlfriend.  They'll be over here around lunch time and will leave who knows when.  I don't mind if they stay for a long time, I just don't know how to keep them entertained.  I've been known to show people my wedding video if they visit me all day--hee hee.  The only other experience I have entertaining is with close family when they stay with us and close friends for games nights and casual parties so this is a new one for me...a cousin who we really enjoy but don't spend a lot of time with b/c he lives out of town AND his new girlfriend we've never met.

So hopefully you've stopped laughing by now at my cluelessness :)  I just get this feeling if I don't plan something it will be awkward.  If there were another couple coming that would be easier, but it'll just be the 4 of us and my 2 kids (4 and 2).

Any suggestions on food, drink, anything? 

Re: HELP! Last minute guests...

  • You're not clueless! I'd also be stressing if I were in your shoes. I don't think you need to plan anything in particular. Maybe make something simple, like monte cristo sandwiches, to keep it casual. I think it'll be easier for you, and them, to chat over sandwiches or homemade pizza, rather than an involved meal. If they haven't seen your home before, you could show them around.

    You could also use it as an opportunity to get to know this out of town cousin and his gf better. It's okay to ask a lot of questions about where they work, what they do for fun, where they live, etc... That usually gets a conversation going.

    You could also try a few games. I know it sounds hoaky, but it usually works, especially if you play in teams. My favorite is Taboo, although that's not something your children will be able to play.

    Good luck! HTH!

  • I'd probably have some burgers, brats, and simple BBQ fixings on hand.  I'd also have some nuts, pretzels, little snack things around too.  If you have a yard, maybe invest in a game- croquet, bocce- something you can use later too.  I'd also have some cards and a board game handy. 
  • For us, BBQ is our way to go for entertaining.  We use our grill almost daily.  I love board games, and it is always a great icebreaker.  Cranium is super fun, as well as Taboo, and Scattegories.  As for the children, you can have a kiddie movie playing while you play board games?!  Not sure.
    -- Jackie
    "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane" -- Jimmy Buffett Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Yah, I was going to say lawn games- croquet, bocce, or this really weird ladder game that I don't know the name of- are usually a hit when I have parties. But I'm all for a board game, lawn game, or even breaking out the Wii if you have one.?
  • I would definitely keep it simple in terms of the lunch -- but if you don't know how long they stay, you might need to be prepared for dinner also.  Sometimes you are having such a good time that people don't want to leave.  For lunch, I would do burgers and dogs, or have sandwhich fixins' and let everyone make their own.  Have some baked beans or a pasta salad and chips and you are good to go for lunch.  If it looks like things will go past dinner time you could have a pot of soup, chili or spaghetti sauce simmering in a crock pot and then it will be very easy to say "how about staying for dinner".  I would have something that your family enjoys so that if the cousin and his gf bolt after an hour, then you will not be stuck with a pot of something you wont use. 

    If this cousin has never been to your home before, the "grand" tour will be appreciated, I am sure.  Just chatting over lemonade (or whatever) in the backyard is probably going to be fine.  Since you do game nights with your friends, you probably have them on hand and you can break them out if things get too tough.  If you don't spend time with the cousin then there will probably be tons of questions -- how's the job, how is aunt mary and uncle john, what about the siblings -- you can ask the gf, how they met, what does she do, etc.  You never know where these questions will lead.  And if all else fails, show the video Smile

     Good luck, and have fun. 

  • I don't see anything wrong with your DH calling his cousin back and asking him to be a little more specific with what his plans are.  Are they planning on having lunch with you?  Staying for dinner?  These are important things for you, as the hosts, to know.

    It would also be helpful to know what kinds of foods they like.  We can suggest things that we like/often serve, but that doesn't help you if your guests don't like what we like. 

     For activities - have a few board games and maybe a movie or two ready to go.

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • I agree about calling for a little more detail  The new girlfriend may be a vegetarian or not be able to have something due to an allergy.  I would keep the food simple and something that is pretty common w/yor DH's family.  Also, have something on hand if she is a vegetarian just to minimize awkwardness on both sides.

    Games or a movie may be good, but keep away from things that may be embarassing since the new girlfriend could be uncomfortable with her drawing or acting skills.  Keep the conversation flowing and ask them questions to determine what will be entertaining.  Stay away from the wedding video.  You don't want to put pressure on DH's cousin if he is not too marriage minded at the moment.  ;) 

  • Thanks everyone!  We settled on hamburgers and chicken on the grill with margaritas and beer.  She's not a vegetarian so the meat will be good.  For "appetizers" (ie. while we wait for the meat to cook) I'm going to have chunky guacamole, blue corn chips and celery (for DH and I, we're low carb!), then hamburgers, chicken and hot dogs (that way everyone will have a choice and my picky eater kids will be bound to find something appetizing) with green bean/almond salad  and then for dessert I have fruit salad and will bake chocolate chip cookies.  It's all about choice with my kids so it may seem like a lot of food but it'll keep the kidlets from fussing.

    We'll probably spend most of the afternoon in the backyard and when the kids get fussy/bored/wild I'll bring them inside for a dvd and then nap.

    Anyway, thanks again for everything!!!  I feel much more confident that we'll have a good time :)  It will be interesting to meet a new person, I like finding out about them.

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