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Throw an Olympic-themed party

The Summer Olympic Games are a perfect reason to throw a party! Not only do you get to hang out with your family and friends, you also get to celebrate and cheer on Team USA.

Fish and chips at Summer Olympics party

Here are some tips to host an Olympic-themed party that will have everyone in a gold medal party mood.

Olympic theme

Obviously the theme for this party is the Olympics, but take it a little further and have a secondary theme celebrating the Olympic locale or the globalness of the event. Decorate in red, white and blue and feature an English pub-inspired or international menu.

Olympic decorations

  • Mexican, American, Canadian flagsOlympic flags and rings. Hang flags from around the world on your walls, banisters or railings, being sure to have the American flag as a centerpiece to support the home team! In addition, hang a large cutout of the Olympic rings on the wall.
  • Olympic greats. Print and frame photos of Olympic legends and today’s current star athletes and see if your guests can identify them.
  • Olympic tableware. Make a large 3-D Olympic torch out of Styrofoam and use it as a centerpiece on your buffet table. Use sports and Olympic-themed paper plates and partyware (for easy clean up) and serve your beverages in red, white and blue glasses to show your home team support.
  • Olympic gold medals. Hang Olympic gold medals around the party area and set them on the tables. At the end of the evening, use them as prizes to give out to the guests who participate in the Olympic-themed party games.
  • Olympic sports banners. Hang banners representing different sports events around the party space and design games and activities relating to those particular sporting events. Related trivia or charades are easy games to play, while actual fitness competitions are hard core!

Olympic menu

  • London 2012 mugOrder in. If you have the budget, ordering take-out from your favorite British pub or American restaurant is the simplest way to go. Or you can create your own renditions of your favorite fish and chips or bangers and mash specialties.
  • International flair. If you’re really in the mood to go global, create your own Olympic pavilion with egg rolls from China, a Greek salad from Greece, hummus from Israel, stuffed shells from Italy, a variety of French cheeses from France and, of course, don’t forget the all-American hot dogs and hamburgers.
  • Don’t forget the beverages. For drinks, serve a variety of liquors, beers and wines. Offer a British cocktail such as a gin and tonic, Pimm’s cup or a Dubonnet cocktail or opt for an international selection of liquors. For example, serve Greek ouzo, Italian or French wines or Japanese sake. You can also create your own gold, silver and bronze medal cocktails (recipes below).

Olympic games and activities

To get even more in the mood, during the commercials or before the night begins, host your own mini Olympic games.

  • MedalClear a large space. Clear a large area indoors or hold them in a spacious area outside to avoid injuries. Simulate track and field and gymnastics events and give out gold medals to the winners. If you have a pool, pool games can be played as well.
  • Improvise. To simulate shot put, use a softball (being sure to have a very large area to throw). For javelin, use a pool noodle instead of a real javelin. You can also make your own hurdles out of a few pieces of glued Styrofoam or wood. Make sure they are low enough to avoid injuries from crashes.
  • Friendly competition. To create a gymnastics area, lay down a large mat and have a selection of music for your guests to choose from. Have each guest create their own routine with dance moves and tumbling. Have the rest of your guests serve as the judges.
  • The easy games. If you are not in the mood for strenuous activities, have an Olympic trivia session and give out gold medal chocolates to the winners.

Olympic cocktail recipes

Gold medal cocktail

Makes 1 serving


  • 1 shot Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps
  • 1/2 glass chilled apple cider
  • 1 shot caramel liqueur


  1. Pour Goldschlager schnapps in a cocktail glass.
  2. Fill the glass almost to the top with apple cider and top off with a shot of caramel liqueur.

Silver medal cocktail

Makes 1 serving


  • Edible silver powder (available at bakery/cake decorating outlets)
  • 2 ounces Malibu Coconut Rum
  • 2 ounces seltzer water
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedge


  1. Sprinkle silver powder on the bottom of a martini glass to coat the bottom.
  2. Shake together the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Strain into silver-coated martini glass.
  4. The silver powder should float to the top.
  5. Sprinkle with extra powder to deepen color and garnish with lime wedge.

Bronze medal cocktail

Makes 1 serving


  • Edible bronze powder (available at bakery/cake decorating outlets)
  • 1-1/2 ounces Kahlua
  • 2 ounces Monte Cristo
  • 1/2 ounces Grand Marnier
  • Coffee beans


  1. Sprinkle bronze powder on the bottom of a martini glass to coat the bottom.
  2. Shake together the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into bronze-coated martini glass. The bronze powder should float to the top. Sprinkle with extra powder to deepen color and garnish with coffee beans.

More Olympic-themed party ideas

Olympic party ideas for kids
10 Cool facts about the Olympics
5 Crafts to celebrate the Olympics

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