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14 Fun Hanukkah Party Ideas, JIC You Need Some Inspo

Cosmopolitan logo Cosmopolitan 12/2/2021 Kara Cuzzone
Here, find 14 Hanukkah party ideas so good, your friends are gonna force you to host one every year. © Courtesy Here, find 14 Hanukkah party ideas so good, your friends are gonna force you to host one every year.

I’d like to file a formal complaint: When it comes to holiday parties, Hanukkah is *always* overlooked. Come December 1, my calendar is packed with Secret Santa gift swaps and ugly Christmas sweater parties but never a single Hanukkah bash. What’s up with that?

This year is gonna be different, though, because you, dear reader, are going to throw an epic Hanukkah party. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to invite me.) How, you ask? By setting a date, finalizing your guest list, and copying recreating some of these super fun ideas below.

But before you send that group message (let’s be real, who sends any other type of invitation anymore?), a quick reminder: We’re still in a pandemic, my good peeps. And it would be really irresponsible of us to not mention the CDC guidelines for personal and social activities, how you should make sure you're staying safe by following said guidelines, and how gathering while you're unvaxxed poses a lot of risks to both your health and that of others.

Alrighty, now on to party things! It’s time to plan a Hanukkah ~event~ that will put every other holiday party to shame. Here, find 14 Hanukkah party ideas so good, your friends are gonna force you to host one every year (sorry).

Set an Ugly Sweater Theme

Have everyone show up in their ugliest Hanukkah sweater (yes, they’re a thing). Make it clear there are no ugly Christmas sweaters allowed at this shindig, k? We’ve all seen enough knit reindeer to last a lifetime.

Mix Up Some Menorah Martinis

People love having a themed drank to sip on. My suggestion: Menorah Martinis. They look totally fancy and on-brand with Hanukkah colors, but they’re actually super easy to make. Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • ¼ ounce sweet vermouth
  • splash Blue Curaçao
  • blueberries for garnish

Chill two martini glasses and coat the rims in sugar. Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour in vodka and sweet vermouth. Shake and strain into the martini glasses. Add a splash of Blue Curaçao. Garnish with some blueberries.

Recipe from My Daily Find

Play a Dreidel Drinking Game

Drinking Dreidels © walmart.com Drinking Dreidels

$27.95

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The rules are simple: Spin your dreidel, follow the instructions it lands on, then pass it on to the person next to you. If you are too slow and end up with both dreidels, you’re out. P.S. You can totally play this with two classic dreidels too. Just make up rules for what each of the sides means.

Do a Hanukkah Harry Gift Swap

Happy Chanukah Hat © amazon.com Happy Chanukah Hat

$14.50

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It’s exactly like Secret Santa—but for Jews and their friends. Use Elfster to randomly assign participants a Hanukkah Harry, then set a price limit for the gifts and a date for the big reveal. Basic? Yes. Still super fun? Duh.

Have a Latke Cooking Competition


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Split your attendees into teams of two and have them go head-to-head to see who can make the most delish potato pancakes. Volunteer to be the judge so you can eat your body weight in latkes. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. 🤷

Make It Lit

I know, totally cringey that I just said lit. But Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, so you should decorate your place accordingly. Hang up string lights, add some lanterns, even set up some candles if you want. The soft twinkly vibes will be 10/10.

Break Out “The Chosen One”

a close up of a sign: The Chosen One Game- A Jewish Party Game © walmart.com The Chosen One Game- A Jewish Party Game

$31.93

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This is basically the Jewish version of Cards Against Humanity, so you know it’s gotta be fun. Reviewers say the cards are so hilariously accurate, even Bubbe will laugh.

Hang Up Some IG-Worthy Balloons

text: Hanukkah Balloons © etsy.com Hanukkah Balloons

$24.00

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Sure, you could be boring and hang up some simple blue and white balloons. Or you could go all out by stringing up this balloon sign and voilà, you have an Insta-worthy backdrop your frands will be dying to take some pics in front of.

Make It a Pajama Party

a girl in a dress: Women © amazon.com Women

$30.25

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A pajama dress code is the best kind of dress code. Tell everyone to rock their most ridiculous holiday PJs to your bash. Hopefully, that involves at least a few menorah onesies.

Chef Up Some Sufganiyot

Pronounced soof-gah-nee-oht, these are deep-fried jelly doughnuts topped with powdered sugar. 😍 And yup, they’re definitely best served warm so I’d recommend making them right before—or during—your party. FYI: The dough takes a couple of hours to rise, so plan accordingly.

Recipe from Frosting & Fettuccine

Play Poker With Gelt

a close up of a computer: Smilejoy 200PCS Casino Poker Chips Set,11.5 Gram for Texas Holdem Blackjack Gambling with Aluminum Case © amazon.com Smilejoy 200PCS Casino Poker Chips Set,11.5 Gram for Texas Holdem Blackjack Gambling with Aluminum Case

$39.99

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Challenge your guests to a good old-fashioned game of poker. But instead of wagering chips (boring) or money (stressful), place your bets using gelt. Eat some while you play too, obvi.

Host a Fancy Dinner Party

Spode Judaica Mazel Tov Plate © surlatable.com Spode Judaica Mazel Tov Plate

$13.99

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TBH, I just love a good excuse to get all dressed up—and I 'm sure your friends and fam do, too. Host a fancy Hanukkah dinner party complete with challah, latkes, kugel, brisket, and homemade gelt, if you’re feeling really ambitious. Or just order in, I won’t judge.

Serve Some Manischewitz Wine

a close up of a bottle: Manischewitz Concord Grape © drizly.com Manischewitz Concord Grape

$5.99

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Unless all your guests are Jewish, chances are they’ve never tasted this super-sweet kosher wine. Welp, now’s the time. No Jewish holiday is complete without it!

Do a Cookie Swap

3-Piece Hanukkah Cookie Cutter Set © amazon.com 3-Piece Hanukkah Cookie Cutter Set

$9.99

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Cookie swaps don’t belong to Christmas, okay? You can totally do a Hanukkah cookie swap too. Buy some festive cookie cutters, whip up some sugar cookie dough from the best holiday cookie recipe you can find, and your batch will practically make itself (but actually, you need to cut them out and bake them). Have everyone show up with a dozen of their own cookies so you can each try a few. Here’s hoping your friends are a little more creative with their baking….

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