How to Host Trivia Night at Home
The fun of trivia night + the comfort of your home = perfection.
Originating in the U.K., the idea of trivia night, also called pub quiz, was established in the 1970s. Today, the activity is increasingly popular, with bars, restaurants and pubs across the U.S. joining in on the fun. When you're a diehard introvert like me, heading out to a bar doesn’t always sound appealing. If you’re a fellow homebody or maybe an entertaining extraordinaire, read on for a step-by-step guide on hosting trivia night from the comfort of your own home.
Cozy Reading Nook With Storage and Chalkboard Wall
Take a time-out from ping pong in this cozy reading nook with recessed lights and colorful pillows. Use the chalkboard to keep score, play tic-tac-toe or create your own art. Ample storage space under the bench keeps clutter out of sight.
Seek Interior Design
Prep for the Competition
When your guest list is finalized, break it down into even teams. Ask one friend (or designate yourself) to act as the MC for the night. Then, decide where you’ll source the trivia questions. The options are endless — you can find questions on an app, a website, a smart TV, a video game console, a board game, a book — or even from your good, old noggin. Prepare a way to keep score, whether it’s pen and paper or a score-keeping app. Establish the scoring system and basic ground rules ahead of time. If you really want to up the stakes, make a bottle stopper prize out of an old trophy for the winning team.
Set the Scene
Arrange seating for each team in the largest room in your home. If possible, create space between each team to allow for private discussions. If you don’t have enough seats, group cushions on the ground near coffee or side tables.
Indoor-Outdoor Floor Cushions in Living Room
Since games can last for several hours, make sure to keep guests seated comfortably by adding indoor-outdoor floor cushions around the perimeter of the table. Pick up more than youâ€™ll actually need so guests can stack them as needed for an extra boost of height.
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Make Some Munchables
Make snacking easy by offering foods guests can munch on while participating. Think low-key party foods. Laid-back eats will help set the tone for a casual atmosphere.
3 Perfect Party Foods 01:46
These tasty finger foods will satisfy appetites while keeping guests engaged.
Sweet and Savory Crostini
Crostini is the perfect appetizer to start out a casual party or get-together. Plus, you can get creative by using as many flavor combinations or assorted toppings that you like. Why not give some of these topping ideas a try?
Rotisserie Chicken Trick
Need to serve your guests protein-packed sandwiches, but don’t have the time or skill set to cook something up from scratch? Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket; then pull it apart and serve it as barbecue chicken sandwiches or sliders.
Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto
Chips and dip is always a party favorite, but for a variation on the classic standby, give eggplant chips a try. The beautiful color and sweet taste pair perfectly with fresh cilantro pesto. Get the recipe>>
No-Bake Gorgonzola Cheese Balls
Nacho-Stuffed Potato Skins
Crispy Tomato Chips
If you grow a summer garden, chances are you have tons of tomatoes just waiting to be eaten. Take advantage of your summer bounty with these tangy tomato chips — perfect for a crowd! Get the recipe>>
Bacon Cheese Balls
Want an instant party hit? Combine two of the world's most popular ingredients: bacon + cheese. Just mix 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 8 chopped, cooked bacon slices, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon. Form into balls and chill. Roll in chopped chives and more chopped bacon.
Roasted Pepper and Mozzarella Bites
It seems like such a pity to not take advantage of nature's bounty during the warmer months. Garden-fresh bell peppers are a must. This bell pepper and mozzarella combination could not get any easier, but sometimes the simplest recipes are also the most delightful. Get the recipe>>
Self-Serve Popcorn Bar
Always a crowd pleaser, popcorn is a budget-friendly way to feed a big group. Add gourmet toppings to take this oh-so-munchable snack to the next level. Find out how to set up a self-serve popcorn bar>>
Self-Serve Potato Chip Bar
Another fun option? Satisfy your guest's salty tooth with a serve-yourself snack station stocked with kettle chips, savory seasonings and gourmet toppings. Find out how to set up a self-serve potato chip bar>>
Feta, Mint and Watermelon Bites
Save money on food with simple, fresh watermelon and feta appetizers flavored with red wine vinegar and mint. With that extra cash, we recommend splurging on a bottle of champagne to go along with these delicious morsels. Get the recipe>>
French Onion Dip
Sweet caramelized onions and plenty of fresh thyme add bold flavor to brighten this hearty dip, inspired by French onion soup. Serve with cheesy baguette as the traditional soup garnish and endive for some pleasantly-bitter contrast to the richness. Get the recipe>>
Supreme Pizza Dip
This hearty dip has the works: pepperoni, onions and bell peppers stirred into a thick tomato sauce, all topped with gooey melted cheese. Serve in a skillet and let your guests pile their baguette slices high with toppings, deep-dish style. Get the recipe>>
Creamy Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
This tangy potato dip is loosely based on the classic Greek skordalia and gets zip from a hefty dose of blanched garlic and fresh lemon juice. A quick roasted red pepper sauce is spooned into the middle of the potatoes to add even more flavor to this crowd-pleasing appetizer. Get the recipe>>
Bacon Beer Cheese
Cook 6 chopped bacon slices in a saucepan; remove, leave the drippings. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with the drippings. Add 1/4 cup flour and cook over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 1 cup each cream and beer, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups grated cheddar until melted. Serve topped with chopped scallions and bacon.
Southern Pimento Cheese
Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., shares a Smoky Mountain-style recipe for pimento cheese fritters, ideal for serving at casual get-togethers or large dinner parties. Get the recipe>>
Three is not a crowd in this flavorful assortment of hummus. Using the same base for all three makes this an easy way to create variety. Just stir in different toppings right before serving. Whether your guests like their dip spicy, earthy or traditional, there will be something for everyone. Get the recipes>>
Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Dip
This savory dip features the classic combo of earthy broccoli and rich, tangy cheddar. Like most cheese dips it's best devoured immediately after it's prepared, while the sauce is piping hot. Be sure to use mild cheddar in this recipe since sharp cheddars tend to get grainy when cooked in this type of sauce. Get the recipe>>
Jalapeño Queso Fundido
Don't Forget the Drinks
Cater to your friends’ preferences when prepping your drink menu. Any type of drink works for trivia night — just be sure to choose one your friends will enjoy.
Beer Cocktails 3 Ways 01:06
Are your friends beer fans? Elevate their favorite brews into refreshing cocktails.
Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
Our twist on the classic gin and tonic combines muddled mint, fresh pink grapefruit and sweet elderflower liqueur for a refreshing summer brew that will prove to be a major party pleaser.
Make This: Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
The Lime in the Coconut
Made from coconut vodka, coconut water, pineapple puree, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of cherry-lime sparkling water, this refreshing big batch cocktail is a summery twist on the classic vodka soda.
Make This: Lime in the Coconut Cocktail
Coconut Mango Margarita
Not too sweet — but not too spicy — a blend of jalapeño, mango and coconut milk is a winning combination. You can make it in 10 minutes from start to finish, and no need for a high-powered blender because the recipe uses frozen mango cubes in lieu of ice cubes.
Make This: Coconut Mango Margarita
Coastal Citrus Punch
This refreshing punch can be made in a large glass jug and placed in a pail of ice for your summertime gathering. Place additional fruit and ice in glasses for a fun, decorative touch.
Make This: Coastal Citrus Punch
The flavors of this festive punch will bring you back to your childhood. Perfect for an outdoor gathering, bridal shower or Sunday brunch, this sunny concoction is easily doubled and great for a crowd.
Make This: Oranges-and-Cream Punch
Lemony Summer Shandy
This beer punch couldn't be easier to whip up, and its light, lemony flavor helps cool down hot summer days. Careful, though: The Canadian whiskey packs a punch.
Make This: Lemonade-Beer Punch
Rose and Lemon Sparkling Punch
Sparkling rosè and cranberry juice give this lemony punch its blush-pink hue, making it perfect for a summer picnic or bridal or baby shower.
Make This: Sparkling Rosè Punch
With equal parts Campari, gin and vermouth, this seemingly-simple cocktail is actually quite intriguing with a bittersweet taste that is both refreshing and complex. Orson Welles was once quoted saying, “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other out.” The Negroni is traditionally garnished with an orange peel and served on the rocks.
This colorful, bourbon-based cocktail is recognized for its prominent reputation. You'll often see a traditional Manhattan in the hands of New York socialites or among ritzy, fashion-forward movie personalities such as Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. And, of course, no Manhattan is complete without a cherry on top.
Known for its mature taste, this bourbon-based cocktail is best when mixed with fewer ingredients and garnishes. Skip the pineapples and umbrellas — all this drink needs is whiskey, sugar and lemon juice (and maybe a cherry and orange wedge for garnish) to give it a genuine look and flavor.
In cocktail language, “sidecar” actually refers to what’s left over after a bartender mixes a drink. He or she will then pour the remainder into a shot glass on the side, hence the sidecar. But the sidecar has evolved into so much more than a few extra sips. A tasty combination of brandy, triple sec and lemon juice, this incredible drink has definitely come into its own.
The Lemon Drop martini is the perfect combination of sweet and sour. Its lemonade-style appearance and flavor make it an ideal beverage for those that like to disguise the potent taste of alcohol. If you're making this drink for party guests, garnish with a fun and colorful lemon twist and add sugar around the rim of the glass for extra sweetness.
This popular and complex beverage can be as spicy or mild as you like. Flavorings such as Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper can be added according to your preferred taste. Bloody Marys are most often garnished with a celery stalk, lime wedge and olives, and are the perfect accompaniment to a casual weekend brunch.
Most often enjoyed in Mexican restaurants and to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the States, it might surprise you to learn that this delicious blend of tequila, triple sec and lime juice is not actually a traditional Mexican drink. In fact, the origin of the Margarita is still somewhat of a mystery. But there’s no doubt, it’s the perfect addition to a basket of chips and salsa.
Believe it or not, vodka hasn’t always been such a popular choice of spirit in the United States. So rumor has it that when a bartender couldn’t move it (along with several cases of ginger beer), the Moscow Mule was born. Served in a copper mug with a hint of lime, this refreshing beverage has been a bar staple ever since.
Originally a mix of rum, lime and sugar, the classic Daiquiri has since taken on many forms, including the popular strawberry variety. And though the winning combo was not the first of its kind, the use of Carta Blanca Rum from Cuba gave this drink a fresh spin. Originally served on the rocks, author Ernest Hemingway preferred his frozen and by the double.
The name Mai Tai actually translates to “out of this world” in Tahitian, and that’s exactly what it is. This summertime cocktail is actually quite intricate with a torrid history that originated in the 1940s. The tropical beverage got its start in California with the wake of tiki-bar culture, but the true inventor of the popular rum cocktail is a mystery to this day. But to enjoy this tasty concoction, all you really need to know is which dark and light rums you prefer.
It may be Brazil’s national cocktail, but Americans have definitely caught on to this refreshing drink that is actually made from a unique spirit known as cachaça (made from the fermentation of sugarcane juice that is then distilled). Add some sugar and lime, and you have yourself a delightful beverage with a kick.
End on a Sweet Note
Trivia can get super-competitive, but (I'm 99 percent sure) a delectable dessert will help everyone make amends at the end of the night.
Easy No-Bake Cookie Truffles 01:57
These three-ingredient, bite-sized treats are easy to make and easy to eat.
Goodness in a Box
With its endless flavor varieties and low price tag, box cake mix is easily one of the most versatile items in your pantry. Of course it's perfectly fine to use it to just make cake, but it has way more potential. Check out a few of our favorite ways to transform the humble box of cake into delicious sweet eats.
What's not to love about pancakes? Use your favorite cake flavor to make this breakfast staple even tastier! Stir together one box of dry cake mix (we used red velvet), 2.5 cups milk, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup of oil and 2 eggs. Cook on a griddle as you would any pancake and serve with whipped cream and fruit.
This zesty cookie bar is a delicious addition to your brunch or lunch party menu. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix one box of lemon cake mix, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled) and 1 egg. Pour batter into a greased 9x9-inch baking dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Top with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
This is possibly the easiest cobbler you will ever make! Pour two, 21-ounce cans of pie filling into a greased casserole pan. Sprinkle one box of yellow cake mix over the pie filling then top with one cup melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The tanginess of sour cream and cream cheese balance the sweetness in this kid-friendly dip. Mix togehter 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cake mix (any flavor), one cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Garnish with colorful sprinkles and serve with graham crackers.
No Churn Cake Ice Cream
Look out ice cream cake lovers, this one's for you! Crumble half of a 9x13 prepared cake (baked and cooled) and mix with one, 12-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and a 16-ounce tub of whipped topping. Pour the mixture into a pan and freeze for four hours (or overnight). Scoop and serve.
This cake doughnut does require a doughnut pan, but it's worth the purchase. Add 1/4 cup oil, one large egg and one cup of water to a box of cake mix. Spray doughnut pan with oil. Fill each cup with batter about half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool doughnuts on a rack and make a glaze with one tablespoon of softened butter, 1.5 cups of powdered sugar and three tablespoons of milk. Dip cooled donut halfway into glaze and top with sprinkles.
Turn your favorite dessert into a mouth-watering breakfast treat. Combine one box cake mix (any flavor), 1-1/3 cups water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup flour and 3 eggs. Pour mixture into a waffle iron and cook as you would a regular waffle. Top with powdered sugar, fruit or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.