Host an Oscar Party for Kids

boy and girl watching a movie
Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

Remember the last time you got really dressed up and went someplace fun to sip wine and nibble fancy appetizers while watching the Academy Awards? Me neither.

When you become a parent, you tend to trade in things like extravagant Oscar parties for movie nights that include pajamas, a shared bowl of popcorn and a film whose actors were generated by a computer. If you feel as if you’re missing out on the Academy Awards, but don’t want to hire a babysitter and head out for a viewing party, you can host your own, family-friendly version with some of these ideas for an Oscar party for kids.

Roll Out the Red Carpet

Get the kids excited for the party with an entryway that mimics the pre-awards-show tradition of walking the red carpet. Use a red runner, sheet or tablecloth to line a path to your Oscar night party room.

Dress for the Occasion

Before they step on the red carpet, make sure they’re dressed to the nines. Have guests wear their most “elegant” attire. At the start of the red carpet, place a bunch of accessories such as hats, boas, gloves, sunglasses and anything else they can use to help create a “Hollywood” look.

Bring on the Paparazzi

Have someone on hand to snap photos of the kids as they walk the red carpet. Or, set up a photo booth where they can pose for pictures of their Oscar night fun.

Set up a Theater

Make your Oscar party more fun by hosting it in a makeshift movie theater. This could mean lining chairs up in rows in the living room, using a projector in the basement or setting up a backyard movie theater (if you are in a climate where the weather is warm enough).

Make the Food Fancy

The kids might not want to dine on caviar and goat cheese tarts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve up some kid-friendly fare in a more mature manner. Finger foods or even tea sandwiches can become elegant cocktail foods when served from fancy platters, along with sparkling cider or juice in champagne glasses.

Create an upscale buffet tablescape or have some adults walk around as cocktail waiters, serving guests from trays as they mingle. Place some of your finger foods in foil cupcake wrappers to dress them up in sparkling style.

Some suggestions for an Oscar Party Kids Menu:

Play Oscar Night Bingo

Before the party, print out your own Academy Award Bingo cards. The boxes should contain people that are expected to appear on the program, such as the names of stars nominated or those likely to be spotted in the audience, along with things that may occur, such as “host changes outfit” or actress cries during an acceptance speech.” Hand out the Bingo cards at the start of the show, and play as the program airs. Have some miniature trophies or trinket prizes on hand for players who get a bingo during the presentation.

Play a Movie for Younger Kids

The activities leading up to your Oscar night party will be fun for all, but when the show starts, young children are likely to become bored. Set up another room in the house as a place for them to go, relax and watch a movie of their own. To keep with the Oscar night theme, you can choose an academy award winning kids’ movie. Since the awards show runs very late, you can even have them change into pajamas and watch while snuggled under blankets.

Give Out Swag Bags

Get inspired by Hollywood swag bags when planning your Oscar party favors. Make your own version using gift bags filled with candy and trinkets. Include some movie-themed items such as 3D glasses and bags of popcorn.