How to Plan a Progressive Dinner Party

Looking to really liven up your future dinner parties or upcoming neighborhood block party? Are your friends are getting tired of the traditional game night, potluck, backyard BBQ, or family activities? Take the initiative to keep things interesting and don’t be afraid to suggest a more creative route in planning your next neighborhood get together. If your neighbors are ready to commit to a fun night full of friends, family activities, food and memories, you might suggest planning a “Progressive Dinner” party.

Plan a Progressive Dinner Party

What is a Progressive Dinner Party?

Progressive Dinner Parties are a mobile type of feast that allows for each participating household to manage a specific course of a meal, which makes it perfect for close-knit neighborhood parties. Essentially after each course, the guests would need to move the party into the next scheduled home to continue through the meal.

Planning Progressive Dinner Parties

  • Step 1: Figure out the guest list - Because each participating home must provide a portion of the meal and host all of the guests at some point of the night, you will need to make sure that each willing host is fully aware of what they need to contribute. Be sure to explain the party concept to them before they decide to take part in all the festivities, because this gathering is not like a block party or other neighborhood parties.
  • Step 2: Assign courses to hosting households - Progressive Dinner Parties are designed to be multicourse meals. Plan for a more formal full course dinner, keeping in mind that this could involve anywhere from 5 to 16 or more courses. Break the menu up to include cocktails, various types of appetizers, soups or salads, an entrée, dessert, and maybe even a few after-dinner coffee or drink options. This could result in one of the most diverse dinner parties you have ever had.
  • Step 3: Plan the Menu - There’s no need to take full creative control when planning the menu for progressive dinner parties. Allow each host to get creative with their part of the progressive dinner, but be sure to check in with one another to make sure there isn’t too much of an overlap in what people decide to prepare. After all, part of the fun when it comes to Progressive Dinners is being able to try various types of cuisines and recipes.
  • Plan a Progressive Dinner Party
  • Step 4: Keep Everyone Organized - When attempting to organize progressive dinner parties, you might want to make sure that each guest is given some sort of guide, listing all the houses, addresses, and dinner directions for the evening. To make sure that everything runs smoothly it might also be helpful to list this information off like a check list. That way, after each course, guests can simply check the home off their list and know where to go from there. Neighborhood parties can be confusing at times, but organization can help make a successful event.

In addition to these essential steps for getting started, you must also prepare for having guests over if you are planning on hosting a party. If you take on the responsibility of preparing a course in the meal, you will need to pull together the food, seating arrangements, and an enjoyable party atmosphere. After all, these neighborhood parties will be your moment in the night to shine and show off your skills in the kitchen.

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