Our family LOVES the Olympics! We love the pageantry. We love watching the highest-caliber athletes compete. And, of course, we love the heart-warming underdog stories.
As Olympics fanatics, our family hosts big parties to celebrate the games. What started out as a few friends and games in our kitchen has transformed into a big block party. The more the merrier! But you don’t have to go all out to have fun with an Olympic-themed event.
Here are 6 ways to celebrate the Olympic Games at home
Set up tailgate games, fire up the grill, and host a backyard party. One of our favorite Olympics parties was when we turned our backyard into an unofficial USA headquarters. We decorated everything in red, white, and blue. (PRO TIP: Stock up on party supplies between Memorial Day and the 4th of July for patriotic plates, napkins, tablecloths, and decor.)
For dinner, we had a hot dog bar. It’s easy to grill large quantities of hot dogs for a crowd. And we set up a table with dozens of toppings and sauces so everyone could create custom hot dogs. Complete the menu with typical BBQ side dishes.
Also, we live in the Midwest, so save space on the counter for your guests to bring salads and desserts. Because even if you tell them not to bring anything, they will. #iowanice
World Food Festival
One thing we love about the Olympics is learning about other countries. Create a culinary experience and invite friends over for an international potluck. As the “host country” you can provide some staples from the country hosting the games. When the games were in China, we had egg rolls and stir-fried dishes. It’s fun to see what international favorites your friends bring, and the sampling is always delicious.
The opening ceremonies (July 23. 2021) are like my Super Bowl or Oscars Night. It is an event NOT to be missed! During the Winter Games, we host an adults-only soiree. This gives us a better chance to enjoy a drink and watch the parade of countries.
Admittedly, the parade can take a while. Make it more fun at a party or at home with the kids when you play BINGO as the competitors walk through the stadium. We especially love cheering for countries with just a handful of athletes!
Download an Olympics Bingo card and see who will be the first to fill their card.
Create your own games for the kids—or kids at heart—with a series of competitions. You could go with traditional track and field-style games or get creative and have them compete in silly sports such as water balloon toss, pool noodle relay races, and potato sack races.
Everyone is a winner when you stock up on Gold Medals, juice boxes, and snacks. (So many snacks!)
Single Sports Fan
Do you have a budding swimmer or gymnast in the family? Is someone obsessed with skateboarding or soccer? Plan an event around the sports you really care about and skip the others. Make it a team event and invite other swim team families over to watch a big race together. It will make it more inspiring to see young athletes cheering on their favorites!
While the Olympics are not without scandals or politics, there is something magical about watching athletes from all over the world stand side-by-side and compete in sport. Celebrating the Olympics is a great way to show pride in your home team (GO USA!), and to cultivate curiosity about the world we live in.
You don’t have to throw a party to connect with your kids over the spirit of the Olympics. Google countries you’ve never heard of or grab a globe and see how many countries you can find. Learn about new sports together. How do they score synchronized swimming anyway?
Impressed with an athlete’s performance? Learn more about their story together and talk about what adversity they may have faced to reach this achievement.