Young teenagers aren’t too old to play games. And it’s so much better than hanging out with the boring adults. We asked several local party planners and DJs about the top games at bat and bar mitzvah parties. They said you can’t go wrong with these.
Coke and Pepsi
This dance floor game is seemingly eternal and is still highly requested, according to Mark Burch, of Everything Entertainment in Rockville.
In this game, each person has a partner — one Coke, one Pepsi. The line of Cokes faces the line of Pepsis. If the DJ calls Coke, the Pepsis run onto the dance floor and sit on their Coke partner’s knee. Go for enough rounds and chaos ensues.
Some DJs mix this up. Burch sometimes uses the names of sports teams or kids’ hobbies to keep things different and new. So instead of Coke and Pepsi, it could be Capitals and Penguins.
Why is the game still so popular?
“It’s just what the game is,” Burch says. “There’s an element of sport. [There’s] no memory involved. It appeals to a lot of different people and that’s why it stays popular.”
Trivia games are always popular. There are a lot of ways to play and they can be on almost any topic. A trivia game that focuses on the guest of honor is always a hit, says Cara Weiss, of Save the Date in Bethesda.
“It puts emphasis on the child.”
Questions can range from “What color are Zach’s eyes?” to “What is Sadie’s favorite show on Netflix?” to “Who is Sophie’s favorite member of BTS?” Anything goes.
“There’s millions of different ways to play the game,” says Brynne
Magaziner, of Pop Color Events in Arlington.
Trivia games can also focus on pop culture, sports, music or any of the kids’ interests. And with many different ways to play — from a “Jeopardy!”-style set up to just shouting out the answers — the game never gets stale.
Scavenger Hunt – Musical Chairs Mashup
On their own, neither of these games will entertain a 13 year old for long. When combined, they kick things up a notch or two, says Mike Pachino, of DJ Mike on the Mic.
The kids place chairs on the dance floor. Then they’re asked to scavenge an item — a belt, a wallet, a credit card — usually from the adults. While they kids are on the hunt, a chair on the dance floor is taken away.
Whoever claims the last chair is the winner.
“It adds a twist that makes it more appropriate for seventh graders” than either game on its own, Pachino says.
And we’re just getting started
There is Minute to Win It, in which contestants have to accomplish an odd or difficult task in 60 seconds. For the Pyramid Game, kids climb on each other to form a pyramid. And in the Hula Hoop Thread, kids hold hands in a circle while passing around a hula hoop around without letting go.
Every planner or DJ does things a little differently.
Pachino says he tries to avoid some of the more popular games. He doesn’t do Coke and Pepsi, “because everyone does it,” or the Pyramid Game, because of the risk of injury.
But he does do the Number Game where the kids are divided into teams and each is given a number from zero to nine. He’ll ask a question like “Number of players on a baseball team” and the person (or people) with the right numbers need to run to him.
Burch likes to stick with the classics.
“There are so many options for people,” he says. “I have a list of 30 games.”
And with such a variety, no two parties are exactly the same.