How to Run a Door Prize Dinner Party Game


Award door prizes to add some extra excitement to a dinner party or a sit-down holiday meal. Give out just a couple of prizes or have one for each guest, but take care to set up a slate of gifts that would be appropriate for any attendee to receive. Consider gender-neutral prizes, such as picture frames or potted plants, for example. You will use the table settings to select the winners, so prepare for the door prize drawing well before the guests arrive.

Things You'll Need

  • Small gifts or prizes
  • Place settings
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Small pieces of paper
  • Decorative bowl
  • Cut a small square of masking tape with scissors.

  • Write the number 1 on the tape square with a permanent marker pen.

  • Place the numbered square on the underside of a guest plate that will remain at the table during the meal, such as a service plate or a saucer. Select a plate that can be neatly overturned, not one likely to have food scraps or sauces on it, if you plan to award the door prizes after the meal has been served.

  • Cut another tape square, number it with a 2, and place it on the underside of the next guest's plate.

  • Continue cutting, sequentially numbering and placing tape squares until one plate for each guest has been labeled.

  • Write the corresponding numbers on small pieces of paper and fold them up. Place the folded papers in a decorative bowl.

  • When you are ready to do the drawing, ask your guests to look under their plates for their numbers.

  • Draw a number from the bowl and call it out so that the winner can claim his prize.

Tips & Warnings

  • Alternatively, place a decorative sticker in keeping with the gathering's theme on the undersides of just a few plates. Tell the guests to check their plates and award a prize to anyone who has a sticker.

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  • "The Baby Shower Book: Etiquette, Decorations, Games, Food"; Pauline Glendenning; 1997
  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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