7 Fun Icebreakers to Help Your Guests Get to Know Each Other
No matter how great your party venue, menu, or decorations, the success of your event hinges on if your guests are out mingling and having a great time. While some guests might be more than comfortable striking up a conversation with strangers, most will likely need a little help breaking the ice.
Luckily, as the party host, you have the power to set them up for success by facilitating party activities or simple icebreakers to help your guests to get to know one another.
Here are our favorite ice breakers to get your guests mingling:
1. Human Bingo
Create a list of 25 characteristics unique to your guests ("plays the bongos"," lived in Japan for two years", etc.). Fill Bingo cards with these traits and pass them out to your guests upon their arrival. For the first 30 minutes, your guests will mingle and try to find the individuals that correlate to the unique characteristics. The first guest to complete a row and shout "Bingo!" wins the game.
Tip: If you don't know your guests very well, use generic traits like "Owns a cat" or "Loves chocolate".
2. Trivial Pursuit On-The-Go
Place Trivial Pursuit cards around the event venue along with notes instructing people to pick them up. The various cards will force your guests to move around the party, mingle and start conversations.
If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can create your own custom trivia questions to match the theme of the event. For example, if you’re throwing an 80s party, write up some 80s trivia. If you’re hosting an anniversary party, share some fun facts about your relationship’s milestones over the years.
3. Two Truths and a Lie
This game is pretty standard and self-explanatory, so it'll be easy for your guests to catch on. It also works well for in-person or virtual events if your event is on the smaller side.
Have everyone take turns stating three facts about themselves, one of which is false (but somewhat believable). Then, everyone in the group will discuss and decide which of the three facts is a lie.
Tip: If your event is ongoing like a corporate retreat or bootcamp, look into QuizBreaker as a team bonding tool that prompts members to answer questions about themselves and guess other members’ responses. This works well for a small size group of about 20 people or fewer.
Feel free to go classic here and simply set up a few jenga towers throughout your event. This activity will likely cause some natural pairing up and mingling.
You can also kick things up a notch and create a list of random questions like, "If you could be any animal, what would it be?", print out the list, and cut the questions out individually. Then, tape the slips of paper to individual Jenga pieces and build the tower.
The questions will give guests something to laugh about and definitely start conversations. We especially like the larger piece versions of this game, which feel higher stakes and work really well for outdoor events.
5. Puzzle Pieces
Before your party, assemble a puzzle. Select pairs of pieces from the puzzle (leaving the rest assembled) and place the selected pieces in a bowl individually. As guests arrive, have them select a puzzle piece and find the guest with the correlating piece so they can place them back into the puzzle. When the puzzle is solved, the game is finished.
6. This or That
Give your guests a handful of prompts like “Tacos or pizza?” “Lakes or oceans?” “Salty or sweet?” Then ask guests to find another party guest that agrees with your answer. There are plenty of variations for this game including the “Mindreader” variation where you are partnered up and you have to guess your partner’s preference. This works well for guests who know each other decently well as a test for how well you know each other.
Another variation is “Debate.” Can you get anyone to change their knee-jerk response with your powers of persuasion?
7. M&M Game
As the name suggests, this game is typically played with M&Ms but you could use pretty much any colored candy here like Skittles, Starbursts etc. Put out bowls or small packages of candy on the tables and print out prompts so guests answer questions about themselves based on what color candy they chose.
Feel free to make the prompts your own or use these:
Red candy: What are your favorite hobbies?
Green candy: What are your favorite foods?
Yellow candy: What are your favorite movies?
Orange candy: Where are your favorite places to travel?
Brown candy: What’s the highlight of your year?
Blue candy: What’s your favorite animal?
Ready to break the ice at your party?
Even if icebreakers aren’t a central part of your party, having a shared activity or two for your event can go a long way in making sure your guests feel comfortable with an easy way to get to know each other. Our 7 favorite icebreakers from this list are all extremely simple and easy to execute so that they serve as an easy jumping-off point rather than the focus of your event.
Have any fun party games or ice breakers that helped guests get to know each other? We’re all ears! Share your best ideas in the comments below!Author: Miranda Paquet