8 Entertaining Trends To Embrace In 2017 (Slideshow)

8 Entertaining Trends to Embrace in 2017

We're officially 10 days into the new year, and with the holiday season far behind in the rearview mirror, that means it's time to start planning your first parties of 2017. If you don't want your events to be so 2016, you need to know what party planning trends you should embrace in the next 12 months.

Alternative Activities

Not everyone at your party wants to make small talk or cut a rug on the dancefloor, so having planned activities to get your event rolling will be huge in 2017. Theming your parties around a central activity, such as playing board games, baking the best pies, or singing karaoke will be key to getting all of your guests engaged this year.

Classic Cocktails

Long gone are the days of the convoluted signature cocktail starring eight different ingredients and a week's worth of sugar. Standby cocktails, such as the hot toddy, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Dark and Stormy are making waves in the bar scene and in home entertaining.

To learn how to make a hot toddy bar for your winter party, click here.

Cooking Everything Yourself

Say goodbye to catering your party from your local fast-food joint or grocery store. You don't have to go all out with your self-catering, but even making staple party foods such as pasta salad, cake, and pizza yourself will go a long way in making your event feel personalized and special.

Neutral Colors

Shades of gray and beige may not seem like an exciting way to decorate your party or wedding in 2017, but trust us: It's all about the neutrals with a few pops of bold colors. If going gray is a little too dull for you, try embracing nature with Pantone's color of the year, greenery. This particular green, which is found in grass and leaves, can also be a background shade for your brighter accents.

For more on how to decorate your wedding with 2017's color of year, greenery, click here.

Party Planning on the Go

Even if you're constantly on the go, you can plan an incredible party for your few free hours on Saturday night. Of course, everyone knows about Pinterest, but there are apps that will help you with every step of the planning process from cocktail recipes to seating charts — even coming up with topics of conversation will be a breeze with your smartphone.

For the 14 best party planning apps, click here.

Photo Booths

Yes, photo booths and sharing your party on social media with a hashtag were huge in 2016 (and even before then), but this trend is not going away any time soon. In 2017, having a photo booth and a variety of fun props isn't really optional; it's sort of essential.

For three food-focused photo booth props, click here.

Serving Vegetables

One of the biggest coming culinary trends for 2017 is embracing the vegetable as a main dish. Set aside that chicken and fish and serve healthy, locally sourced dishes filled with fresh veggies to make sure your party menu is chef-approved for the new year.

For the biggest coming food trends of 2017, according to 65 of America's top chefs, click here.

Quirky, Customizable Food Bars

Having a make-your-own food bar will give your guests an opportunity to customize their plates and have a fun, interactive activity to participate in. Don't feel limited to the make your own sundae or taco bar, either. Anything from making your own mashed potatoes to bloody Marys to doughnuts is fair game.