It’s easy and fun to throw an easy-going, relaxed party with these best kickback party ideas, games, and food. Hosting a kickback party should be all about spending an effortless, easy and delightful time with friends.

pictures of people at a kickback party eating drinking and games

Not every single party needs to be an over-the-top, elaborate, planned event! Sometimes you want to throw a smaller-sized party in a more relaxed environment but still, make it special.

Looking for more inspiration when planning your party? Check out my list of party themes, and budget-friendly snack ideas.

Just as the name implies, a kickback party is a low-key party where everyone knows each other, and the focus is to spend time relaxing with plenty of food and drinks. The activities for a kickback party may include playing games, dancing, or floating around in the pool.

Kickback vs Party

Kickback parties are stress-free versions of parties. It’s easier to host a kickback party because the focus is on simple and easy entertaining without the hassle and drawbacks of a big party.

A kickback party is usually a small band of friends rather than big group bashes with tons of party guests.

Often parties require a lot of preparation, expense, and clean-up for a hostess. However, a kickback party is a low-key affair that requires minimal preparation and clean-up for the hostess.

What Do You Do at a Kickback Party?

A kickback party focuses on having a relaxed time with close friends. The activities you choose to spend time on can vary, but they will all be low-key activities. Here are some ideas.

  • Play games
  • Sit around and talk
  • Watch a movie
  • Enjoy a meal or snacks together
  • Cook something together
  • Float in the pool and talk

What Do You Need to Throw a Low-Key Party?

The beauty of a kickback party is that you don’t need much to have a great party. Put on some good music, provide enough chairs for a group of friends to sit around and talk, prepare a few delicious recipes or choose to order takeout, and you will have the perfect party.

How Do You Host the Party?

It’s so easy to host an impromptu kickback party or casual get-together. The theme is all about keeping it simple and relaxing with close friends.

Discover below everything you need to do and some inspiration to throw a fun and easy kickback party.

Invitations

No fancy invitations are needed. All you need to do is provide your guests with the details and ask for a response.

  • Send a group text with a fun party gif to everyone.
  • Send everyone an email invitation from a service like Evite. It will be delivered right into their inbox, and they can RSVP easily with the click of a button.
  • For a more personalized approach, call your guests with an invitation.

Be sure to give them the date, time and what they need to bring. Also, don’t forget to ask for an RSVP back so you can easily plan how to set up your party and how much to serve.

Party Theme Ideas

It’s easier to host a party if you pick a fun theme. This helps you narrow down your activities and menus. It also gives your friends an idea of what to wear and bring.

kickback party ideas, games and food with people enjoying the party
  • Movie Night: A fun way to spend an evening with friends that will really allow y’all to chill is to host a movie night. Provide a few snacks, such as maple glazed popcorn, some drinks, and a good movie, and you have the makings for a fun night.
  • Potluck Dinner: Host an old-fashioned potluck dinner. You provide the main dish, and everyone else brings sides and dessert.
  • Dance Party: Host an outdoor dance party night. Set up some speakers outside and clear an area for a dance floor. String some fun light around the dance floor. You could serve easy snacks and plenty of beverages since everyone will get thirsty.
  • Takeout Party: In this easy idea, have everyone bring their favorite takeout food. Set them all out and let everyone have a sample from each dish brought. It will be fun for everyone to try new things and maybe find some new favorites as well as super easy for the hostess.
  • Cocktail Party: Have everyone bring the makings for their own signature cocktail. Make a game out of it and award prizes for the best cocktail, the most unusual, or the prettiest.
  • Pool Party: A pool party with a focus on relaxing is sure to be a hit with your friends. All you need is some great music playing and a few snacks and drinks to serve. Oh, and be sure you provide enough floats for everyone to relax and enjoy a sip of their drink while floating around.
  • Birthday Bash: If someone is having a birthday in your group of friends, throw them a birthday party. Remember, keep it simple. Pick up some of their favorite take-out food and serve their favorite cocktail, beer, or wine. For activities, play a game they really enjoy or watch their favorite movie. The whole evening could be centered around this friend’s favorite things.
  • Pizza & Beer Night: This couldn’t be easier; order some delivery pizza and have everyone bring a six-pack of their favorite beer to share.
  • Cuisine: A laid-back party with a theme around a popular type of food is one of the easiest to put together. I’ve got ideas for Indian, Mexican, Greek, and Mexican which you can explore below but really any type of food goes!
  • Scavenger Hunt: Create a clever scavenger hunt with clues for your guests to follow taking them on a hunt to win a prize! You can have everyone end up back at the house for dinner and drinks.

Party Games for a Laid Back Get Together

When it comes to kickback party games, focus on fun party games that everyone will think is a good idea and easy to play.

people playing kickback party games
  • Video games: Everyone loves a good competitive video game.
  • Board games: Be sure and pick one that everyone can play or have several different games going at one time.
  • Card games: Cards are always a fun party game and economical because all you need is a deck of cards.
  • Outdoor games: Cornhole, croquet, and volleyball are all fun games for a crowd.

Discover more ideas for fun party games your guests will love in this Party Board Games Ideas collection.

Kickback Party Food

When throwing a kickback party, keep the focus on making it easy for you and relaxing for friends. Choose easy-to-make recipes that won’t keep you in the kitchen when guests arrive and remember a takeout is always a great option!

Food Bar Ideas

Food bars are ideal for kickback parties because you can simply set everything out and let everyone fix a plate or their dish just how they want it.

Ultimate Gourmet Hot Dog Bar
Grilled hot dogs are an American favorite but take it to the next level with a lot of different toppings so everyone can create their own fancy hot dog?There's nothing more fun that making a specialty hot dog using different ethnic toppings!
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Ultimate Gourmet Hot Dog Bar

Don’t forget to add on some easy sides such as potato chips and potato salad. Be sure and have plenty of topping like Mexican Coleslaw, relish, diced onions, cheddar cheese, homemade yellow mustard, and ketchup for toppings.

Vegan Food Bar Ideas
Check out these Vegan Food Bar Ideas, they're perfect for easy and fun entertaining.
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vegan food bar ideas
Fun Food and Snack Bar Party Ideas
Create some fun and easy get-togethers with friends using these Fun Food and Snack Bar Ideas.  Food bars create an informal atmosphere that you can prepare before your guests arrive, which allows you to relax and enjoy spending time with your guest.
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12 food bar party idea covers
Build Your Own Flatbread Bar
Similar to a pizza bar, this food bar allows your guests to create their own combination of toppings for a customized crispy flatbread pizza! Get creative and add lots of fun, unique toppings for everyone to enjoy.Using naan or pita bread instead of pizza crusts allows everyone to create a small individual pizza with a crispy crust.
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Unique Party Food Ideas

These party food ideas are centered around a central theme and range from classic cuisine favorites to something a bit out of the ordinary.

When using these ideas for a kickback party, consider having everyone bring something that goes along with the theme, opt for takeout or some type of combination to take the pressure off the hostess.

How to Throw a Color and Sip Party
This fun event combines an activity along with some delicious food and drinks. You and your guests will color or paint their own piece of artwork as a group. It's fun to do and also gives your guests something to take home with them. You can use paint by numbers to keep it easy for everyone to easily create.r.
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How to Throw a Color and Sip Party
Mexican Dinner Party
Everyone loves tortilla chips & salsa to start a party off! Discover lots of ideas for what to serve for a dinner or to make a Mexican food bar for your guests.
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Collage of images of Mexican food dishes with text "Easy Mexican Dinner Party" on top.

For more inspiration for your Mexican-themed event, check out Mexican Party Theme Ideas and Mexican appetizers.

Italian Dinner Party
Your friends will love coming over and enjoying a slow, relaxed Italian dinner. Takeout makes an easy option as well or you can have friends over to help prepare the meal together. Don't forget to grab a few bottles of Italian wine to enjoy with dinner.
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a group of Italian meals with italian flag overlaid
Greek Dinner Party
Hosting a fabulous Greek Dinner Party is easy to put together using some inspirational menu ideas, easy printable decorations, and even a printable fun Greek game, your guest will have a blast playing. To make it even easier, give each friend a recipe to make and bring.
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greek dinner dishes and party decor
Greek Meze Plates
Use a variety of Greek Meze Plates to blow your guests away! This type of spread offers up a selection of Greek appetizers that are perfect for a summer bbq party, holiday gathering, or a Greek party!Use these alone or in combination with the Greek dinner party above to create a truly memorable experience.
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Indian Food Ideas for a Party
Create a delicious dinner party with these Indian dinner ideas, cultural tips, and decoration ideas. To keep things simple order take out from your favorite Indian recipe and serve up a wide variety of selections for everyone to enjoy.
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Indian dinner party dishes

Easy Party Food

The whole idea of a kickback party is it’s super low-key and easy to prepare. What could be easier than filling your crockpot the morning of the party and having a meal all ready when guests arrive? Or using the air fryer or pressure cooker for preparing simple foods for entertaining.

Crock-Pot or Slow Cooker

Easy Vegan Slow Cooker White Bean Chili
This might be the easiest chili you ever make. If you can use a can opener, you can make this super flavorful vegan and gluten free chili.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Spaghetti
This hearty creamy Slow Cooker Chicken Spaghetti is set to become your go to dinner
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Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
Slow cooker chicken pot pie is the perfect meal for a busy day! Comfort food made easy, it’s packed with flavor and sure to be an instant family favorite.
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Air Fryer Party Foods

Homemade Frozen Taquitos In The Air Fryer
Homemade chicken taquitos cook up crispy and delicious for a warm snack, finger food for football parties and more! Easy to make ahead to store in the freezer so you can make a few at a time or a whole batch for friends!
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Taquitos in the air fryer are served up on the table with sauces.
Crispy Air Fryer Chickpea Recipe
If you want a quick and delicious crunchy snack, you will want to make this Crispy Air Fryer Chickpea Recipe. You will get a crunchy salty snack ready in 15 minutes, and all you need is a can of chickpeas, seasoning, and your air fryer.
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Crispy Air Fryer Chickpea Recipe Healthy Snack Idea
Buffalo Turkey Meatballs
Buffalo Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are the perfect quick snack or appetizer that you can make ahead and freeze in large batches. Then when you need a quick party snack just place them in your air fryer and bake. Sauce them up mild, medium, or extra hot.
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buffalo turkey meat balls with sauce, stacked on a plate

Party Food Ideas for Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

Quick Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili; Skyline Copycat
This homemade copycat recipe for authentic tasting Instant Pot Cincinnati chile will become a quick and easy family favorite. The sweet and savory sauce is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, garlic all infused with beef hamburger and tomato sauce.
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Authentic Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili on a plate with cheese and crackers on top
Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken Recipe
This quick and delicious Instant Pot pulled BBQ chicken recipe is perfect for sandwiches, BBQ plates, or tacos in just 30 minutes.
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Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken sandwich Recipe
Southern Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts Easy Recipe
Instant Pot boiled peanuts in the shell are a southern snack served traditionally in a brown paper bag that has a salty and sometimes spicy delicious flavor.
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Boiled peanuts in a bowl in front of the instant pot.

Other Easy Snacks

Dry Rub Ranch Chicken Wings
Cook up chicken wings in the oven for a simple party food everyone will devour! These easy chicken wings capture the tangy, herby, and savory flavors of a classic ranch dressing!
The oven makes them nice and crispy while an easy dry rub packs in the flavor. It’s the perfect game day recipe or popular party food!
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Casual Dinner Party

Here are some ideas to create a casual atmosphere for your kickback party and what to serve for dinner. Perfect for gatherings in the backyard or any outdoor setting.

Mocktail Party
Mocktail Party: A fun and relaxing party idea is a mocktail party. Here are over 40 MOCKTAIL RECIPES to try. You could purchase the ingredients or have each friend pick a recipe and bring the ingredients. Set out the bar area before your guests arrive, and be sure to have plenty of ice and party snacks.
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mocktail recipes sign with images of pretty cocktails in the background
Outdoor Party Ideas Dinner
There is something to be said about being outdoors for a naturally relaxing environment. This makes it perfect for a kickback party. Get ideas from decor to the menu for planning a small group outdoor party.
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Casual Dinner Party Menu Ideas
Relax and enjoy hosting your friends with these Casual dinner party menu ideas With a little planning, you can create a relaxed and easy dinner party for you and your friends.
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casual dinner party menu ideas
Backyard Dinner Party
Throwing a relaxed party in your backyard is a great way to spend time with friends. On cool nights make a fire pit your friends can gather around. Try some of these BACKYARD DINNER PARTY IDEAS.
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back yard party food and decorations
Summertime Garden Party
Enjoy the fresh flavors of summer for an afternoon garden party. Get a glimpse of how five bloggers created a relaxing and delicious event. Get lots of inspiration for food, drinks and decorations.
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Beef Tenderloin Sliders
These mini beef sandwiches work at just about any gathering—big, small, dinner party or potluck. Beef tenderloin sliders are a meat-lover crowd pleaser and they're super easy to prepare. This easy party dish is one you'll be asked to make again and again.
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beef tenderloin sliders
Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Pizza is one food that just about everyone loves and making pizza from scratch is easy for you to prepare ahead for groups large and small.Cook it up in a cast-iron skillet for an amazingly crisp cornmeal crust and a spicy-sweet edge.
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Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Easy Kickback Snacks

Kickback parties are perfect for snacking! Set up a grazing table instead of serving an entire meal that your guests will love! You can even have everyone bring something a choose a few of these snacks to serve.

Maple Glazed Popcorn
Maple Glazed Popcorn is an addictive treat with a naturally sweet buttery maple glaze made with maple syrup, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon.
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maple glazed popcorn
Copycat Gardetto Honey Mustard Pretzels Recipe
This Copycat Gardetto Honey Mustard Pretzels Recipe is a quick and easy snack with a slight honey-sweet tangy coating. Honey mustard pretzels are great for parties, movie nights, a school snack, or while watching the big game.
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Copycat Gardetto Mustard Pretzels in a white bowl with yellow napkin
Cheap Party Finger Foods
Check out 50 Budget Friendly Party Finger Food Recipes that will be a hit at your next get-together. Add these to a dinner party or create a full menu of these budget-friendly finger food recipes for a spread everyone will love.
Plus they will get you quickly out of the kitchen so you can enjoy mingling with your guests.
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Quick & Easy Cheap Party Finger Foods Recipes pictures of food
Sweet & Spicy Roasted Cashews
Sweet & Spicy Roasted Cashews are a delightful appetizer, snack or gift to give that is quick and easy to make.
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A pan of spicy roasted cashews on parchment paper that have just come out of the oven
Green Marinated Sicilian Olives Recipe
Bring a little Sicily to your table with this delicious Green Marinated Sicilian Olives Recipe. The olives are infused with fresh herbs, garlic, dried oregano, a pinch of chili pepper for heat all smothered in extra virgin olive oil and white vinegar dressing.
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Green Marinated Sicilian Olives Recipe in a bowl
Cauliflower Hummus
Cauliflower Hummus has a creamy nutty flavor, with hints of roasted garlic, cumin, and sesame. It is a nutritious snack that is paleo, keto, and vegan.
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cauliflower hummus ready to serve with a Sprinkle of sesame seeds and fresh herbs crackers on the side
Easy and Unique Slow Cooker Chex Mix Recipe
Kick up your next batch of slow cooker Chex mix with a unique flavor combination of spices, that is simple to make. It will be the hit of your next party or a low-key family night. Everyone is going to want this recipe from you.
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Easy & Unique Slow Cooker Chex Mix Recipe in a bowl with a serving spoon full
Whipped Ricotta Crostini
Make this simple party appetizer that's full of garlicky flavors and topped with a drizzle of honey for an addition to a dinner or appetizer spread. This light and creamy snack is a playful toss-up between savory and sweet.
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Chill Party Drinks

Ice down a bucket of soft drinks, beer, or water bottles in a festive Inflatable Party Cooler. You could also make ahead some refreshing Iced Tea.

The Pink Masters Azalea Cocktail
The famous Masters Azalea Cocktail recipe combines fruity sweetness with vodka to create a delicious, beautiful pink azalea-colored drink. It’s a favorite spring cocktail that is served all over Augusta during Masters Tournament week
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masters azalea cocktail with cherry and orange wedge sitting next to a masters hat and tickets
Making Easy Cocktails at Home: – Straight to the Hips, Baby
An amazing and balanced gin cocktail with grapefruit and basil. The first in a new series of at-home bartending posts!
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Cucumber Moscow Mule
Currently, I’m chilling on my sofa with my laptop (quite appropriately) placed on my lap, typing this post and wishing that I had one of these cocktails in my hand. There’s something about Friday nights
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Mai Tai Cocktail: A Nod to the Original
Mai Tai cocktails aren’t overly sweet, but they are deliciously potent. Two types of rum and bright flavors take you back to the days of tiki bars and vacays.
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Blue Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe – Blue Cosmo Martini
There is just something more fun about blue drinks and this Blue Cosmo is no exception. The Blue Cosmopolitan cocktail recipe is easy just as easy to make as the traditional cosmopolitan drink. It tastes
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Easy Dark ‘N’ Stormy Cocktail Recipe
Dark ‘n’ Stormy – just 3 ingredients and a glass full of ice is needed for this spicy refreshing cocktail!
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Spicy Peach Margarita – Flavor Mosaic
This Spicy Peach Margarita is sweet, tart, citrusy, salty, and spicy with that delicious peach flavor! A flavorful yet simple cocktail!
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Aperol Spritz
An Aperol cocktail recipe that has ruled summers, caused controversy, and ruled Instagram for several years: the Aperol Spritz.
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