We’ve known it since we were kids: Nothing says fun like a party that lasts from dusk til dawn. Whether you’re prepping for your child’s birthday party or simply looking to create an unforgettable Friday night, there are a number of creative twists that can help take the occasion to the next level. Who doesn't love the chance to lounge in silk pajamas and slippers all night with a face mask while watching When Harry Met Sally? And of course, you can't exclude breakfast in bed once the morning arrives.
If this year's trend to host at home over going out is anything to go by, we're sticking to sleepovers instead of all-nighters or parties (see you later, Fear of Missing Out, it's the era of staying in, otherwise known as the Joy of Missing Out.) Besides, you can still sip on wine and enjoy yourself without the headache of catching a ride home. Just relax, laugh, and have fun. Sounds like a good recipe to us.
So without further ado, here are 31 of the best things to do at a sleepover that will remind you of your childhood.
Transform Your Living Room into a Salon
Depending on the age of your group and your interests, DIY makeovers can be the perfect slumber party activity. Set up a hair-braiding station and practice giving each other glam new makeup looks. Just remember to wash off your makeup before bedtime.
Plan a Themed Movie Marathon
Anything from celebrating a sports victory to observing a holiday lends itself brilliantly to this agenda. You can choose to watch rom-coms from your favorite era (we love a '90s marathon, featuring Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You) or try something a little more action-packed like a viewing of the more recent Marvel movies.
Make a Movie
But if you're feeling creative, why not make your own film? Get some thrift store props, press record, and create your own work of art. Scorsese would be proud.
Serve Your Favorite "Kid Foods" for Breakfast
Buy the sugariest cereals you can find and grab a few packages of Eggos. Or treat yourself to the Hot Fudge Brownie Pop Tarts you weren't allowed to eat growing up. You’ll be revered as a hero.
Set Up a Personalized Pillowcase Station
All you need are a handful of plain white pillowcases, a packet of colorful fabric markers, and plenty of surface area. Just make sure the pillowcases have dried before you lay your head to rest tonight.
Throw an Indoor Beach Party
If you've ever wanted to attend a high school party on the beach a la Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries, now's your chance. Use crepe paper or silk flowers to let everyone make their own lei, then serve up some fruity snacks. Bonus points if someone sings "Stupid Cupid."
Dish up a Midnight Snack
It wouldn't be a sleepover without junk food. Make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand or whip up some simple brownie recipes before your guests arrive.
Take note of any food allergies or dietary restrictions in your group before heading to the grocery store.
Break Out the Karaoke Machine
The instant party-starting potential of a karaoke machine will have everyone unleashing their inner pop idol. Belt out your favorite Mariah Carey track and lament the career you could have had on stage.
Make Your Own Jewelry
Great news: homemade jewelry is making a major comeback. Stock your home with a selection of beads, ribbons, and wire, so you and your guests can create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Transform the Den into a Pillow Fort
You're never too old to build a pillow fort. Grab all of the blankets and sheets you own to create your own architectural marvels. Have a few flashlights handy for ghost stories once the forts are built.
Provide Cozy Pajamas
Bonus points if they're matching. Your guests will appreciate the kind gesture and they'll have them to remember the evening. Plus your group photos will have some extra pizzazz when everyone's in coordinated sets.
Stock Up on Dollar Store Slippers
Throwing a party doesn't have to be expensive. For a fun, immediately usable souvenir, give your guests cheap fuzzy slippers at the door. They'll appreciate the gesture, and you'll rest easy knowing they aren't tracking in dirt.
Bake a Cake
Rather than simply furnishing snacks, create an opportunity to make them from scratch. Get everyone involved for a fun group activity with a (delicious!) final product.
Create a Cupcake Bar
Set out an array of plain cupcakes, different types of frosting, and an assortment of toppings. You can even customize your toppings based on your party theme: heart-shaped sprinkles are perfect for a Valentine's Day soiree while pastel-colored sugar crystals are a great choice for a springtime get-together.
Host an At-Home Fashion Show
Have each guest bring a few favorite clothing items that can be borrowed and shared, then create a runway using holiday lights. Give out awards for "Most Creative Ensemble" and "Most Likely to Be Seen at NYFW." Killer playlist required.
Design a Pancake Bar for Breakfast
DIY sundaes are always one of the best things to do at a sleepover, but move the fun to the morning with a topping-heavy pancake station. For an extra dose of fun, put some sprinkles in the pancake batter for a confetti-inspired treat.
Make your pancake bar a success by stocking it with fresh fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, and finishing touches like sea salt and cinnamon.
Provide Matching Diaries
They don't have to be fancy — just some cute notebooks for each attendee. You can spend time customizing them with glitter, sequins, and metallic markers. Now everyone can become a journaling pro.
Take a Field Trip
Who says you have to stay home at a sleepover? Check out a local ice cream parlor, vintage store, or catch a movie at a theater (just make sure all outings are parent-approved if you’re hosting children).
Create an Indoor Campout
Gather around the fireplace or turn out the lights and have everyone use flashlights while swapping spooky stories. For an extra scary soiree, watch a horror movie based on a true story. Anyone else getting goosebumps?
Make Custom S'Mores
Stock up on the good stuff—high-quality chocolate, marshmallows, and other candy variations—to achieve the height of memorable indoor glamping. Arrange all of your s'mores supplies on a charcuterie board for an elevated take on a classic treat.
Plot a Scavenger Hunt
Why save goody bags until the end of the night? A clue-based scavenger hunt is one of the best things to do at a sleepover. Hide clues all around your home for an activity that sure to wear everyone out.
Take it Outside
If the weather cooperates, one of the best things to do at a sleepover is to explore the outdoors. Set up tents in the backyard, take a stroll, or a group walk to the park. You can even get a little rowdy in the backyard with a good old-fashioned game of tag.
Apply Face Masks
Bring out the all-natural face masks that can be applied right in your living room. Create different masks based on skin concerns from redness to dryness. If you're not looking to DIY it, pick up a few packs of sheet masks from your local drugstore.
Get a Little Messy
If weather permits, bring out the outdoor slip-n-slides, squirt guns, water balloons, or silly-string battles. Just make sure you tell everyone to pack a swimsuit (or clothes they can get messy) beforehand!
This classic game will never get old. Or play "Sardines" a variation of hide-and-seek, where everyone is looking for one person. Once they find them, they hide with them, until they're all packed like sardines and one person is left!
Arrange a Selection of Speed-Based Games
While long-form games like Monopoly tend to lag, speed-based games like Pictionary, Scattergories, and timed Twister involve everyone and keep energy levels high. There's also the side-splitting yet incredibly cheeky Cards Against Humanity.
Create Your Own Spa
For a spa retreat-inspired sleepover, find a super zen playlist to have in the background and find an online yoga class to stream. Then, treat everyone to smoothies and at-home mani-pedis!
Customize Eye Masks
Buy a bunch of plain eye masks to decorate. Let everyone design their own using colorful glitter and fabric paint. Be sure to let them dry overnight before using them.
Create an Epic Cheeseboard
If you're feeling extra fancy, have each of your friends bring something to contribute to a cheeseboard for a wine and cheese-themed party (if you're all of age, of course). Be sure to include crackers, bread, dips, and dark chocolate for a well-rounded tasting.
Binge a TV Show
If you and your friends are all fans of the same show, now's the time to watch it together. Or pick out the best episodes of the series to watch. You've got all night, so might as well grab some snacks and let the watch party commence.
Make Take-Home Goody Bags
Use glitter and colorful organza gift bags to complement any themed party favors. Let everyone bring home any crafts or treats they helped make and throw some candy in for good measure.