Lock-in Party Ideas

by Kate Bradley

No parents, no bedtime and all your friends -- what could be better? A lock-in party is the perfect opportunity to have crazy fun all night long. Since you're locked in for the night, however, plan carefully to ensure you have all the equipment to play games, do exciting activities and run wild until the wee hours of the morning. And don't forget to load up on junk food!


Hire professional entertainment to keep your night as varied and exciting as possible. Recruit a DJ and leave space for a dance floor, or have a local band provide live music. Or, let guests provide entertainment with a karaoke machine. Set up a stage area and hire a comedian, or arrange casino tables and hire professional dealers. For an all-girls lock-in, recruit a masseuse, manicurist and makeup artist. To fascinate everyone, hire a hypnotist or fortune teller to provide spooky insight into everyone's life.


An entire night of fun won't be complete without a large assortment of seriously awesome games. Get a huge inflatable slide and a moon jump. Rent sumo-wrestler costumes and let guests wrestle in a makeshift ring. Before the lock-in, hide tiny figurines or stickers all over the venue. Compile a list of clues as to the items' locations and have a scavenger hunt. Pass out disposable cameras to each guest to capture personal memories from the lock-in. Have a high school theater troupe put on a murder mystery play and let guests work in groups to solve the mystery.


Buy a giant Twister game and let guests twist themselves up on the floor. Rent carnival games, such as ring toss or a dunking booth, and supply a variety of board games. Set up a ping-pong table or a volleyball net if you have a large venue. Split guests into teams and hold an improv or trivia tournament. Make up cues or questions beforehand. Set up big-screen TVs and video game consoles.


Check that you have plenty of cups, plates and ice before the lock-in. An entire night of snacking can make supplies run out fast! Provide finger foods, such as mini sandwiches, nuts and chips, for quick bites. Serve several main course choices, such as hamburgers, lasagna or grilled chicken. Add popular side items, such as macaroni and cheese and French fries. For dessert, set up an ice cream sundae buffet or supply two or three large sheet cakes of varying flavors. Let guests bring candy if they wish. For drinks, supply soft drinks, water and juice.

About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

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