Forgot the Party Music? 10 Perfect Pandora Stations for Your Holiday Bash

Ditch your entertaining fears with these no-fail party playlists.
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As someone who generally uses our oven as an extra storage space, I need all the help I can get when it comes to entertaining. For me, that means I need some go-to music that I can count on to help distract people from realizing that all the hors d'oeuvres I'm serving are actually from the Whole Foods deli counter.

Couple celebrating new year's eve

Couple celebrating new year's eve

Couple celebrating new year's eve

Photo by: Graphic: Erica Reitman

Graphic: Erica Reitman

So I've put together a list of my very favorite and most used Pandora stations that you can count on for any cocktail party or holiday gathering. Side note: Pandora doesn't let you link to the actual station, but once you set up your account, you can simply search and add any of these stations to your profile. The next time you log in, they'll be right there waiting for you!

French Cooking Music

This one tends to be on the mellower side, so it would be a great choice for a more elegant or laid-back gathering. They play artists like Django Reinhardt and Madeleine Peyroux, and somehow it all just sounds cooler because everyone is speaking French. This is also a good one to play as your guests are arriving.

Hipster Cocktail Party

True, this station does have kind of a ridiculous name but the music they play makes up for it. Bill Withers, Nina Simone, Van Morrison and Ray LaMontagne are some regulars you'll find on this station, so I guess it's hipster for all of us that are not that hip after all. But it's a good option for mellow but slightly peppier music. Think: work colleagues or older family members.

Class of '93 Hip-Hop

This is my default station if I'm looking to turn it up a bit and really get the party started. Ice Cube, KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest and other early hip-hop superstars will definitely up the ante at your gathering. Don't be surprised if people start dancing (on your coffee table) if you have this station blasting.

Classic Soul BBQ

I realize that the leaves are changing and PSLs are on the menu at Starbucks, but you can still keep the summer BBQ vibe alive and well in your life with this awesome station. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin are the superstars that will keep your guests' toes tappin' when you have this station on in the background.

Beats for Studying

This station is geared toward people who are cramming for midterms, but hear me out: it's also the perfect cocktail party music. The vibe is sort of mellow as many of the songs are instrumental, so it's the perfect station to keep the party vibe going but still allow you to chat with your guests. The XX, The Dallas String Quartet and The Piano Guys are some of the featured musicians you'll find there.

Yacht Rock

This is another station with a completely silly name, but I still love it for more of a throwback, fun party vibe. They play Hall & Oates, the Doobie Brothers and Toto to name a few. Ahoy, sailor!

Dinner Jazz

This station features some of the jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck. This is the perfect go-to station if you're inviting your parents over or just want to keep things light and casual.

Radio for Kids

If the kids are invited over for some "mocktails," this station is a great choice. They play music from various Disney movies and Broadway shows, so everyone can sing along with Idina Menzel and Josh Gad. Don't be surprised if you hear the entire Frozen soundtrack by the time the night is over.

Solo Piano

Classical music is always a good option, but I love this station in particular because it specifically focuses on piano pieces. It sort of makes you feel like you're sitting in the lobby of a gorgeous hotel but still keeps the vibe lively and elegant for your get together. This is also a great choice for any end-of-the-party music.

Here's hoping you never have to be bothered with making a playlist again! (Unless you like that sort of thing.)

8 Tech Tools for Hosting a Party

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Bluetooth Speakers

Stylish speakers with great sound are a must. Bluetooth speakers don't need to be plugged in and sync with your devices within 30 feet. They're also easy to transport if you decide to move the party outside. Photo courtesy of Libratone

Hue Lightbulbs

These Wi-Fi-enabled light bulbs and strips illuminate a space in any color you imagine. You can control them with an app on your smartphone, so the party mood lighting options are endless.


Wish that cooking out didn't mean being stuck at the grill for the whole party? This smart thermometer monitors your meat's temperature and sends your phone an alert when it's done.

Instax Camera Printer

This printer brings back Polaraids with a modern twist. Send your smartphone photos to the printer wirelessly and instantly print party photos.


Host a perfect dinner party by bringing a professional — and affordable — chef to your place. With Kitchit, you select the chef, the menu and the number of guests, pay online and leave the cooking to a master.


Find the ideal cocktail for your party through this app, which features both pro recipes and shared recipes across social media. Trade recipes, then shake up a signature cocktail for your next event.

Block Party

These days, all guests take photos of your party with their smartphones. Make it easy for all the photos to land in one place with an app like Block Party. It will display a live-updated slideshow while the party's in progress, which will encourage your guests to take more photos.

Red Stamp

No need to run to the post office or address all those envelopes. Make and send instant invitations and thank you cards that pack paper-worthy style with Red Stamp. If you use paper cards, they'll stamp and mail them for you.

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