6 Awesome Purim Parties and How to Throw Them!

 

Purim is a joyful Jewish holiday that is pretty synonymous with PARTY. In honor of the upcoming Purim holiday, we offer a variety of fun, practical Purim party ideas as well as exciting ideas for what to serve - suggested menus with wine pairings - and cool party games for each. It’s almost spring but not quite, so reds are more appropriate, but it’s not too early to tap into a couple of smooth white wines.

Whichever type of party you host or attend, your Purim feast will benefit from the best wine options that will go with your delicious Purim foods! There’s no such thing as too much wine on this holiday. So if you’re the host, make sure you know what wines are being served. If you’re a guest, be proactive and bring a few bottles of wine... or a case. Your host will love you for it. Because on Purim - the more wine, the merrier.


Purim Party #1: The Wild Purim Bash

Crowd: college students, grad students, young Jewish professionals, the young at heart

Whoever saddles themselves with planning this type of party, good luck! It will require a lot of planning and a ton of cleanup, but if you have a few good friends stay to fill garbage bags and mop the wine spills, it will be well worth your time and energy. Encourage everyone to come in Purim costumes to bring out the holiday spirit even more. You can also design your drinking games around the costumes, whether clever or cringeworthy.


Suggested Menu Ideas

  • Carbs to soak up the alcohol (for those who might need it) - challah rolls, pita chips, garlic bread
  • Design your own paninis or hoagies with a meat center. Choose burgers, grilled chicken, or shawarma. You’re going to want to avoid messy meats like sloppy joe or taco meat for this kind of crowd.
  • Salad bar - sesame pasta salad, strawberry mango spinach salad, crunchy purple cabbage salad, and cashew craisin broccoli salad.
  • 3 dessert options (choose one or all): 
    • Cookies ‘n cream pudding shots
    • Boozy Brownies
    • Amaretto Cake

Wine List

5 fun, hip, bold, spicy wines that are high alcohol content and hit varying price points.

  1. Borgo Reale Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
  2. Novel Carrera
  3. Flam Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  4. Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  5. Pacifica Meritage


Drinking Games

Depending on how many people show up, there are two routes you could take -- both will get you into the Purim spirit pretty quickly!

  • The “smaller crowds” drinking games

    • Two truths and a lie - If people figure out your lie, take a drink while they boo you like at Haman’s name during megillah reading. If they get it wrong, they take a sip while you boo them.

    • I Never - First designate a Haman and a Mordechai. Let them take turns turns saying “I never” statements that could be true. For example, “I never got pulled over by a cop for speeding.” Then all the people who’ve been pulled over for speeding have to take a drink. At random, Haman or Mordechai can call someone out to guess which is which. If they guess wrong, they’re out. If they guess right, the original Haman and Mordechai both take a drink and a new pair is chosen.

  • For larger crowds where people mostly just want to mingle, we’ve found the “house rules” kind of games to be pretty fun. Basically for anyone who wants to play, you post up house rules that tell people when they have to drink and how much. Here are some fun ones we’d recommend:

    • Drink twice if you came without a costume

    • If anyone comments on someone’s lack of a costume, both take a drink

    • Drink every time someone asks you what you’re dressed up as

    • Drink if you see a Purim themed costume

    • Drink twice if you see a political costume

    • Drink if you see a fairy tale themed costume

    • Drink if you see a pop-culture related costume

    • Drink if someone else is wearing the same costume as you.


Purim Party #2: Small Group of Friends

Crowd: 15-20 friends, friends of friends, co-workers.


Suggested Menu 

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try out this cool (and pretty cheap to make) Veggie Sushi.

That being said, you have to know your audience - this won’t work for everyone. If it’s a pretty flexible group, do something really different for your feast... like breakfast foods. Mini quiches or mini frittatas, pancakes and ice cream, omelets, hash browns,honey joys, blueberry muffins, corn bread, and homemade granola trail mix.


Wine List

3 varieties: one sweet, one bold, and one spicy

  1. Bartenura Brachetto
  2. Yarden T Squared
  3. Tzuba Metzuda Reserve Syrah

Party Games
  • The Newlywed Game - pair off and answer questions about the other person (who’s out of the room). Person comes back and answers the same questions. Hilarity ensues when you compare how well you really know your partner!

  • The Folding Poem Game - Click here for details on how to play. Challenge everyone to make it Purim themed.


Purim Party #3: Adults Only, Classy Masquerade

Crowd: probably 40-80 people

You don’t need a full dinner for this as it will be an after dinner “when all the kids are in bed” event. Remind everyone that Purim costumes are a must! Serve a fun menu of delicious finger foods that you likely wouldn’t see at a children’s Purim party. Except for the mini hot dogs of course. Because everyone loves franks in blanks.


Suggested Menu

  • Sushi

  • Hors d'oeuvres like mini hot dogs or franks in blanks, mini egg rolls, sliders, deviled eggs, potato bourekas and stuffed mushrooms

  • Classic toss salad with your favorite vegetables

  • Oriental coleslaw served in crispy edible won ton bowls

  • Bruschetta with tomato basil topping

  • Chocolate cream pie or trifle, topped with strawberries and blueberries


Wine List

3 Old World French and Italian wines that are classy and elegant, the perfect complement to this Purim party.

  1. Chateau Greysac Medoc
  2. Chateau Royaumont Lalande de Pomerol
  3. Terra Di Seta Chianti Classico

Games
Purim literally translates into English as Lots (the lots that Haman cast to determine when he would try to kill the Jews). What better way to masquerade than with a complimentary casino night?

Purim Party #4: Community Celebration

Crowd: A large celebratory mix of everyone

Plan a nice three course dinner and hire a sommelier to serve drinks by the bar. Be sure to arrange for a vegetarian meal option as well.

Community Purim festivals or parties are often themed by a particular culture of food to make it easier to choose a menu - options such as Hawaiian, Italian, Mexican, or Israeli foods. But you can go with other fun ideas, like Purim in the jungle - or Red, White, and Blue.

If you’re looking to keep it simple and delicious, we recommend picking universal crowd pleasers.


Menu Ideas:

  • Italian - spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, baked ziti, eggplant parm, or even ravioli if you want to get fancy.

  • Mexican - Tacos and/or burritos

  • Israeli - Shawarma, schnitzel, falafel

  • If all else fails when planning, just order a bunch of hot dogs, burgers,and french fries/mashed potatoes for a classic style American BBQ. This would be good for a red, white, and blue color scheme.

Include veggie burgers and veggie options for those who don’t eat meat. Try to get everyone to RSVP in advance so you know how much food to make.


Wine list

3 options under $15: a white, rose, and red

  1. Baron Bastis Chardonnay
  2. Baron Herzog Rose of Cabernet
  3. Duc de Pagny Beaujolais Nouveau

Games and Activities
  • Dress-Up Photo Booth

  • Kid-run Carnival

  • Who am I? Game

    • Ask for a volunteer. Choose someone to wear a paper crown (created in advance). Write a name on a sticker (celebrity, politician, person from history) and stick it on the crown. All the guests should see the name except the one wearing the crown. He or she has to ask yes or no questions that the other guests answer to help the person try to guess who they are. You can include names related to Purim or guests that are in the room. Repeat 5-8 times or as many times as you want.


Purim Party #5: Family Friendly, Kid-Centered Purim Party

Crowd: Neighbors, community members, family friends

Menu Ideas:

You can never go wrong with kid foods like mac ‘n cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or chicken nuggets for a meat option, with tater tots, chips, and pretzels as your sides, rice crispie treats and brownies for dessert. Just add a veggie platter with a creamy mayo dip or a diy salad bar for some healthy sides. And some alcohol for the adults, of course.

For added fun, make it a themed party. Find a movie or book series that most of the kids have in common, like Harry Potter, Dr. Suess, Disney’s Frozen, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (chocolate and candy!).


Wine list

Two low-alcohol sweet white wines under $25

  1. Herzog Late Harvest White Riesling
  2. Herzog Late Harvest Chenin Blanc


Games and Activities

  • Purim coloring pages and mask decorating - these are good intro activities for kids of all ages

  • Balloon burst - an alternative to musical chairs

  • Ping pong toss - instead of the usual bean bag toss

  • Four Corners - good indoor party game for grades 1-4

Click here for instructions to play Balloon Burst, ping pong toss, and four corners.


Purim Party #6: Relatives-Only Purim Seudah

Crowd: The mishpacha!

If you’re fairly short on time you can make this a potluck dinner. Splitting the dishes afterward will make it easier on whoever’s hosting the party.


Suggested Menu

Start with bread - onion rolls or garlic knots, and dips - roasted eggplant, hummus, guacamole. Then move to a hearty stew/soup like chili, a simple salad that most people like (caesar or greek), and decide between a dairy or meat main - personal pizzas or make your own paninis or veggie-cheese wraps - chicken wings or pre-marinated chicken skewers, 2 sides - potato/sweet potato wedges and collard greens, and something light and fresh for dessert like lemon meringue pie or choc chip cookies.

Two courses plus dessert should be enough - and if you really want, make a big veggie stew with barley for an easy middle course. Switch up your dishes between healthy veggie options and hearty comfort foods. Couple of salads, bread or crackers with 4-5 dips (mayo dill, pesto, salsa, olive dip), and then some protein like grilled chicken, mini meatballs, or meat deli roll. You’ll also need a delicious side carb (mashed potatoes, wild rice, quinoa), roasted veggies (asparagus, peppers, green beans) and 2 dessert options. Make a pie or bars - it’s quick prep and easy to slice - pumpkin or apple pie, peanut butter mousse, lemon bars, or oatmeal jam bars. Do whatever’s easiest, don’t go crazy, and you’ll still have plenty to go around.


Wine List

3 exquisite red wines from vastly different regions for the adults to enjoy - The Upper Galilee in Israel; Bordeaux, France; and Napa Valley, California

  1. Galil Mountain Yiron
  2. Chateau de Jad
  3. Hagafen Merlot

Game ideas
  • Wits & Wagers Family Edition - the perfect game for all ages!

  • Say Anything (a variation of Apples to Apples)

  • If there are a number of kids present, have them put on a skit acting out the Purim story!



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