Ever since I was a little girl, when election day rolled around every fourth year, I would bring home a United States map and color each state either red or blue once the returns came in. It was always a great excuse to stay up way past my bedtime. My mom still continues the tradition with a fresh map and a new box of crayons each election year.
But if you’re looking to take election night festivities to a new level, the red state-blue state coloring game may not cut it. Never fear; there are plenty of creative ways to have fun with friends and family as you wait for the outcome.
1. Presidential Trivia
Do you know which five Presidents served in the Civil War? How about the only President injured in that war? In what year did the President’s salary increase from $25,000 a year to $50,000? If these sorts of questions intrigue you, check out Potus to find out more about every United States President.
If you’re hosting a party, come up with a set of questions before the guests arrive. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even make a patriotic game board for the evening! Bonus points if you create a ballot to keep score.
2. Election Night Catch Phrases
Before the party begins, write down as many election night catch phrases as you can think of. Things like “100 percent of the precincts reporting,” or “too close to call,” or the infamous “we are now projecting …”
Once your guests arrive, give everyone a set of red, white, or blue poker chips and assign them each a catch phrase. Every time their phrase is uttered, the owner of that phrase throws his/her colored chip into an appropriately American-themed hat. The person with the most chips in the hat at the end of the night wins a fun prize.
If you’ve got more than three people in attendance, you can add some other chip colors into the mix, or make Bingo cards with a random mix of the phrases, à la Palin Bingo.
Of course, either game can easily be made into a drinking game for those “mavericks” out there who want to step it up a notch.
3. Political Charades
This is your basic charades game with a political twist. Each guest draws a political character or scenario out of a hat, acts out the clue, and the rest of the room guesses what it is. You’re sure to get lots of laughs if you choose characters like Ross Perot, Sarah Palin, or Howard Dean. And for some political scenarios, there are a ton of possibilities. How about the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair? Who would you guess for foot-tapping in a men’s airport restroom? You get the idea.
4. Elect Your Own Party Master
This game is only for the serious political partier! A mock debate is held on the virtues and vices of every aspect of the party. Are the appetizers too colorful? Are the drinks strong enough? Each “candidate” gets five minutes to say what he or she would change about the food or drinks at the party, and to argue his case.
Once the “debate” ends, the “polls” open, and the guests elect their “Party Master.” Acceptance speech is mandatory.
5. My VP Is …
Every guest gets a blank piece of paper and a pen. Each guest has to nominate his/her own VP and write the VP’s name on the sheet of paper. Guests also have to explain why they chose who they chose. VP picks can’t be anyone else in the room, and the funnier the better, so celebrities, neighbors, and coworkers who aren’t present are all fair game. Each guest then tries to match the other guests with their VP picks and the person with the most correct matches wins a fabulous prize.
Regardless of whether you’re supporting Obama or McCain, election night can be a great excuse to kick back with a few friends and let the good times roll. But if past experiences have taught us anything, it could be a long, dramatic night, so you might as well make the most of it.