It is not clear when the first person got the idea to strap a couple of blades to his boots and try to skate across the ice, but it is certain the game of ice hockey was not far behind. Early attempts to regulate the game came in the 1880s. Not long after that, Canadian governor Lord Frederick Stanley's sons became avid players and the rest is history.
Hockey Party Invitations
The National Hockey League may have gotten off to a late start this season, but there is still plenty of time to hold a party to watch a game with friends, celebrate a birthday with young hockey fans, or cheer on a favorite team in the Stanley Cup finals. If you are planning a gathering of adults, you may not want to mail formal invitations. There are several sites online that let you send out invitations and provide options for guests to let you know if they will attend. For a kid party, cut out invitations in the shape of a hockey puck from heavyweight black paper, or send out “tickets” listing the party place and time. Tell guests to wear their favorite team hats or jerseys.
Decorate with a Fun Hockey Theme
Tie a bunch of balloons in team colors to the mailbox or porch railing so guests know they have the right place. Carry the color theme inside with more balloons and streamers, or try a neutral color theme with an NHL decorating kit. Cutouts of NHL pucks, players, hockey sticks, helmets, and Stanley Cups get everyone in the mood for the face-off. If the party is a gift-giving occasion, set up an inexpensive, portable hockey goal as a location for the presents to be placed and opened.
Setting up for the Hockey Party
Set your food table with a cool plastic NHL cover adorned with rink diagrams. NHL themed plates and napkins with an NHL logo, puck, and stick look great on the table cover, or use plates and napkins in your favorite hockey team's colors. Add matching plastic cups and utensils.
If your party is centered around a televised game, there will be plenty of opportunities for eating as each of the three twenty-minute periods is followed by a fifteen minute intermission. Have appetizers out when guests arrive and a main course during the first break. Dessert will be a welcome treat during the second intermission as a celebration if the home team is winning or a consolation if things are not going well.
Food and Beverages
Stadium food is always welcome at a sports-themed party. Have chips, veggies, dips, and drinks set out when guests arrive. Shape pre-packaged bread stick dough into hockey sticks and sprinkle with Parmesan, coarse salt, or garlic powder. It is nice to have sports drinks on hand, along with soda or juice. Happily, there are several foods that look like hockey pucks, including burgers. If you have someone manning the grill, make the cook look official in a black-and-white striped referee apron. Just make sure the burgers don't get left over the coals too long! Another popular main course option is a make-your-own nacho bar, including corn chips, seasoned ground beef or chicken, shredded or melted cheese, sour cream, salsa, jalapeno peppers, and black olives. Have some flour tortillas on hand for guests who may prefer a regular taco. Single layer chocolate frosted cakes can easily be decorated to look like official NHL pucks. Round sandwich cookies dipped in chocolate also make tasty little pucks. If you have access to an ice shaver, snow cones would be an extra-special treat for kids or adults.
Hockey Themed Activities and Games
If guests are sitting down to watch a game, make sure each one of them is equipped with a yellow penalty flag to be tossed in the event the official referees miss a call. Kids and adults alike will have fun playing a hockey trivia game. Research facts online about the NHL in general, the Stanley Cup, or specific players. Create Bingo cards with NHL team logos in the squares and have players use flat black puck-like rocks or buttons as game pieces. Younger guests will enjoy a rowdy game of Pin the Puck on the Goal.
Hand out inflatable hockey sticks along with treat bags stuffed with licorice sticks, NHL tattoos, striped pixie sticks, team photos or playing cards, and referee whistles.
After everyone leaves just run the Zamboni and you're set to go for your next party!
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