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.
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.
Even when planning low-key events, you want to keep things organized and I've got just the thing!
Check out this free printable party planner! It contains several pages perfect for detailing your plans for your easy kickback party, such as a grocery list template, countdown to-do list, and menu template page.
What is a Kickback Party?
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
Air Fryer Party Foods
Party Food Ideas for Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
Other Easy Snacks
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!
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.
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.
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.
More Party Ideas
Get Your Free Party Planner
If you are a list checker like me then you will want to get my free printable party planner. There are several pages you could use for your easy kickback party like the grocery list template, count down the to-do list, or the menu template page.
This post was originally published in March 2021 and has been updated for content and photos July 2022.