Simple, Fun, (and a Bit Quirky) Hospitality Ideas

Simple, Fun Gatherings with Friends | A Simple Haven

It’s no secret that I love a house full of guests. There are few things that make me happier than having people in my home to cook for and hang out with.

But because I have small children and we’re in a pretty full season of life , in order to sustain my hospitality habit I have to keep it simple.

I remind myself that hospitality is about more than fancy dinners and themed parties: It can be inviting my neighbor over for coffee, a friend and her kids over to play, or feeding my husband’s friend who happens to be in town.

It can be my daughter asking our college-aged friend to stay for lunch. It can even happen outside my home.

So, simple. But I also like to make it fun.

Simple, Fun Hospitality Ideas

The Baby Sprinkle

What I'd like to receive at a baby sprinkle for #3. :)
What I’d like to receive at a baby sprinkle for #3. 🙂

Apparently, these are little-known north of the Mason-Dixon line. Or at least no one (except me) is calling them “sprinkles.”

Here’s the deal: it’s the mom’s second or third+ kid. And while she’s pretty set by way of baby paraphernalia, she’s still growing a little life worth celebrating.

So you keep gifts to a minimum (unless she’s not had a baby of this gender before) and decor low-key.

Brew some hot drinks or make lemonade, have a few guests bring a dish, and spend a couple hours making mom + new baby feel loved.

(P.S. In case it wasn’t clear: it’s called a “sprinkle” because it’s like a shower, but smaller. Cutsey, but apropos, right? 😉 )

Game Night


Playing board games with friends, particularly Balderdash, brings me loads of joy. Unfortunately, having babies and friends with babies limits my game nights.

But occasionally, when the stars align (read: everyone can get sitters or we can figure out how to make all the kids take naps in the same house), I’ll have a few friends over to play Settlers of Catan--or if it’s my birthday, Balderdash.  Because no one can say no on your birthday, right?

And I try to make it worth everyone’s while with good snacks :).

The Talent Show

My love affair with talent shows dates back to college when I convinced myself that meowing in a burlap sack constituted a talent and signed up to perform in a campus ministry’s annual talent show. Three years in a row. Ahem.

But seriously. Think Dan in Real Life, where the whole family participates in a talent show. How great is that?

So round up some peeps.  Include the kids or get a couple of sitters for the group of them.

Some people may have legit talents, others may just sing entire MacDonald’s commercials from circa 1990 (true story).  Either way, it’s gonna be a fun time.

The Gender Reveal Party

gender reveals

I’ll admit: back in ’10, when there was no Pinterest to inform me otherwise, I thought I invented these. I thought to my pregnant self, “how can I make finding out what kind of baby we’re having more fun and dramatic?”

Answer: Finding out with friends. And eating cake together.

Thus was born our tradition of taking a card with baby’s gender to a bakery and then celebrating the surprise with friends. Clearly, I’m not alone in this (see: Pinterest).

But what I love about it is that I’m celebrating a life event in my home with people I care about. And I’ll use any excuse to do that.

The Viewing Party


Gathering a group around a shared love of a show is always fun. Make some easy snacks and hot drinks and pop in Anne of Green Gables, Downton Abbey, P & P, or whatever suits your fancy.

I hosted an Anne night last winter; we probably talked as much as we watched, a friend taught me to knit, and we all enjoyed the hilarity of Anne’s signature drama.

What is your favorite type of gathering to host? And how do you keep it simple? (Really, tell us. I want more ideas! :))

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About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • brenda v.

    Where’s the reveal photo for #3???? 8 days to Bloomtown….. yea!!!!
    Don’t forget to check out Bella Baby Photographer too… let’s do it!

  • Love the baby sprinkle idea! So adorable 🙂

  • I highly recommend the game Wits and Wagers for your next game night. It’s a Smith family favorite and I normally hate games.