give your guests something to talk about: DIY food stations

I’m a big fan of entertaining. I love to host dinner parties, brunches (I love brunch!), holiday parties, anything really. Most of these types of parties don’t have much built in entertainment (we don’t hire a DJ to provide the beats for for our dinner parties, believe it or not), the conversation and the connections is what it’s all about. But sometimes, adding a unique food and beverage station (or bar – not that kind of bar, although that’s often suggested as well) can help facilitate conversation.

Here are some of my favorite ideas that are relatively easy to pull off:

An olive bar and olive oil tasting. Specialty grocery stores sell fancy olives, plus you can grab a few bottles of higher end olive oil, cut up some bread, and have your guests try and taste the difference.

Photo via  Style Me Pretty

Photo via Style Me Pretty

If you’re serving margaritas (and I love a good marg), why not complement them with a salsa bar? Very easy (and affordable)!

Mimosas are my favorite brunch drink. Make your own mimosa bars are becoming more popular at bridal showers and brunches, but any brunch can use a mimosa bar. I’d take this a step further and offer more interesting juice options, such as mango or peach.

Photo via  Catch My Party

Photo via Catch My Party

For something a little more casual, what about a make your own snack mix? Everyone has the stuff in snack mix they love, and the stuff they pick out. The sky is the limit – you can go sweet or savory. If your event has a theme you can complement the theme with the type of containers you use, for example if you were hosting an outdoor event, you could use flower pots.

Photo via  100 Layer Cakelet

Photo via 100 Layer Cakelet

For a dessert bar, I love make-you-own candy apples, especially in the fall. But rather than doing whole apples, which can be messy and difficult to eat, how about offering the same fun toppings but for apple slices?

Photo via  K and K Designs

Photo via K and K Designs

This just scratches the surface – you can take almost any food and drink and turn into into a fun activity for your guests. Do you have any ideas to share?

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