If you bring up brunch in mixed company, you’re likely to hear strong opinions about the purpose of this glorious hybrid meal. Brunching is a sacred ritual for some. Based on decadence and relaxation, many swear that brunch activities are about taste sensation and slowing down. Others feel that brunch fun is about the company: who shares the meal, what the topics of discussion are, and how much joy was found. Still, others strongly feel brunch is about the weekend and the ability to sleep through breakfast and still get your “brekkie” in. Regardless of which camp you land in, you have to agree: brunch is where it’s at.
As for us, we don’t exclusively choose any of these theories listed above. Our answer to what a great brunch is borrows from all the opinions. Great food is a must, good company is essential, and legitimate fun is necessary to truly call it brunch. Your brunch setup can be as individual as you are.
Don’t know where to start to claim the weekend’s favorite meal? We’ve put together a bunch of brunch entertainment ideas to get you started. From providing ideas for a brunch party to sharing brunch games, this guide will help you gather your thoughts on throwing the epic brunch of your dreams.
How do you throw a casual and fun brunch party?
I once attended a brunch party that started at 2pm with a character dress code and menu items all inspired by Friends. The show’s greatest hit episodes played in the background and we ate bagels and drank coffee out of gigantic cups. Another favorite brunch was with a group of my most music-loving besties at an 11am blues brunch with live music, delicious cocktails and yummy french toast. I cannot understate this enough: both of these brunch themed party ideas were some of the best times I have ever had.
There’s a method to the madness in guaranteeing a brunch with friends turns into a legendary event.
- WHO: Who is coming to your brunch? As the saying goes, different folks for different strokes. A brunch setup for a group of aunties is a far different request than brunch games for your alma mater’s big game day with your college buddies.
- WHAT: What’s the vibe or theme of your brunch? Not all brunch entertainment ideas revolve around a big theme; most times we are just chasing a vibe for a good time spent with loved ones. So whether it’s the theme or vibe you’re planning, define it.
- WHERE: Are you hosting at home or going somewhere? There are benefits and drawbacks to both choices. At home, you have more opportunities to personalize, relax and let the day naturally evolve. At a restaurant, you have less personal work to do and typically everyone pays their own way. Both choices are correct.
- WHEN: Schedule it. Make that reservation. Get on your friends’ calendars. Do the work to commit to this idea.
- HOW…WILL IT TASTE: Okay, so we are twisting the convention to make it work, but does your brunch fun center on a specific menu? Is it really about the eggs benedict and Bloody Mary’s? Awesome, that simplifies things! Are you inspired to finally try all those Pinterest recipes? Now’s the time.
While there are some that may go to incredible lengths of planning to make it happen, for both of the favorite brunches mentioned above, only two of the big elements took great planning. For the Friends brunch, the theme was the big decision: everything else was simple. For the blues brunch, finding the corresponding time of the concert and friend availability was the big challenge. Everything else came into play as a result of that decision.
So don’t overthink it. Brunch activities are ready for the taking.
What are some easy brunch party ideas for hosting at home?
When you’re hosting at home, you have a lot of opportunities to personalize and really get into your cool brunch ideas. Okay, so using the scientific method above (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW), you’ve decided to host a brunch party at home. Fun!
First of all, make a guest list – then immediately following, make a budget. Those two tasks should be done in tandem as they dictate the other. No one wants to go to someone’s party that’s resentful of how much it cost them – it does not give Big Host Energy. So, don’t be surprised by how much it costs to feed a five-course Bridgerton brunch to 25 of your closest friends the day you do your grocery shopping. Let it inform your whole process.
Most of all, if the goal is easy and casual brunch, keep it that way! How? Let everyone know to wear comfortable clothes. Serve finger foods that support mingling with people and the ability to move around your home. Plan your playlist appropriately. (I personally recommend searching “Funky Brunch” on Spotify whenever a good mood is needed.) Keep the drink choices plentiful: coffee, mimosa, juice, seltzer, water, Irish coffee, you get the idea. Keep the brunch activities flowing and let the fun be had.
Planning a menu
Brunch parties are supposed to be a relaxed event and we should protect that reputation at all costs. Keep it easy by staying on top of your planning! There is no need to get meticulous, just have a plan. You have an opportunity to coordinate with your overall theme through the food. You also have an opportunity to share recipes that mean something to you. If twenty seasons of Top Chef has taught us one thing, it’s that nothing connects people like food.
Planning a brunch menu means planning a food and beverage menu. Some of our favorite ideas include:
- Coffee Station! Everyone knows how they like their coffee, so take the guesswork out: provide brunch fun in the form of coffee options! Coffee is a love language to lots of people (cold brew means “I love you” if you ask us), so have fun with it.
- Pancake Bar or Do-It-Yourself Donut Decoration! Double your menu as one of your brunch activities too. Pancakes are an easy base to keep fresh for your guests, as well as flexible for the amount you need on the fly. Donuts require a little more work for the real deal homemade version – but there’s nothing wrong with pre-gaming at Dunkin’ Donuts—a few dozen of their plain cake donuts to simplify matters.
- Brunch Boards! Q: What’s a brunch board? A: A massive charcuterie set up that’s been brunch-ified. This brunch setup includes bagels, spreads, fruits, avocados and hard boiled eggs, tomato and burrata. You get the idea. All of these items can be prepared the night before and then laid out beautifully for your guests to casually assess throughout your party.
Whether you love making egg bakes and fresh toast casseroles or are new to hosting, the food piece of brunch is actually pretty important. Pick your main dish and flesh out the rest of the meal with a massive fruit salad and pastries that are easy and yummy to munch, or if you are unsure, you can always go with Minnesota’s most popular dishes. You will never fail your party if the food is delicious.
Turn your brunch up with cocktails
As mentioned above, different brunch setup ideas hit differently with different groups of people. For casual cocktails, a good rule of thumb is two drinks per guest for the first hour of the brunch. Mimosas are arguably the most iconic brunch drink, with the bloody Mary, a close contender. Other natural choices for brunch with friends are greyhounds (grapefruit juice + gin), screwdrivers (orange juice + vodka), and Irish coffee (hot black coffee + Irish whiskey + whipped cream) or the Bootleg Cocktail, a well-known drink to all your Minnesota friends.
As always, make sure that enough time has passed and enough food has been consumed before your guests need to drive back home. Nothing ruins a great time like a big mistake.
Brunch games as ice breaker
If the company is mixed, you absolutely must plan some brunch games! Playing games is one of the best ways to make sure that everyone is engaged and on the same page about the brunch activities at hand. Games we recommend:
- Two Truths and a Lie. This is a classic icebreaker and the rules are in the game. This game is more fun with a mixed group as a way to get to know each other and invites folks to let their crazy stories be heard!
- Heads Up. You might miss Ellen on TV, but her easy app game, Heads Up, is eternal. This can be played in duos, as a full group or even have multiple smaller groups playing at the same time. It’s free and provides categories to choose from. One person holds the phone to their head with the word to guess, and the other people give them clues to guess it. It’s timed and the game can go on as long or as short as you want this brunch entertainment idea to last.
- Cards and Board Games. You’re at home, why not bring out the family game night barrage? Rummy, Cribbage, Connect 4, Pictionary, UNO…heck, Cards of Humanity could be great in the right group. These games have been iconic for a reason. Let them bring your brunch to life too!
Every home brunch setup needs to have an entertainment plan. Feel free to use these ideas if you decide to switch it up and need some brunch themed party ideas. Make sure you don’t overfocus on the menu and forget to bring the fun.
Ready for the post-brunch nap yet?
As you can see, there is a whole world of brunch activities to choose from when you’re dreaming of procuring the perfect brunch event. From planning the guest list to the menu, choosing a brunch themed party idea, or curating a decadent dessert bar – you are ready! The last piece of advice we’ll share with you is this: Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats the amazing nap you’ll take after your incredible brunch party. Good luck!