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Finalize your guest list and put the good booze on ice — it’s time to party. With a kickass playlist, a delicious menu, and a fridge stocked full of drinks, anyone can easily throw together a successful holiday gathering. But if you really want to host a bash your friends will remember forever (or, at least from a couple Polaroids), it’s time to add some new holiday party gear to your entertaining checklist. Don’t worry, you can keep the ice bucket and punch bowl in storage.
To save you some prep time, the RS Recommends team curated a list of the best party-starters for your next celebration, including the aperitif to serve as your welcome cocktail, next-level games your friends will actually want to play, and, of course, ground-shaking speakers to turn the night into a dance party. Just don’t blame us when the neighbors complain.
The Best Holiday Party Ideas: Games, Cocktails, Entertaining Gear
Here are the best holiday party ideas, games, cocktails, and entertaining products to buy this season.
For Stylish Party Tunes: Transparent Speaker
Your sound system should be as striking as any holiday decor, and this tempered-glass Transparent Speaker looks as cool as it sounds. Connect your music via Bluetooth, or let your guests use voice assist to switch up the party playlist.
For the Ultimate Welcome Cocktail: Ghia First Sip Kit
Catch a buzz without slowing down. The nonalcoholic Ghia First Sip Kit comes with a bottle of apéritif, four cans of “Spritz,” and a convenient pour spout.
Buy Ghia First Sip Kit $60
For Vintage Party Pics: Polaroid Go Instant Camera
Leave your phone in your pocket, and snap party memories instead with a Polaroid Go Instant Camera. At the end of the night, send your friends home with their own portrait as a thank-you gift.
For Guests Who Wanna Rock Out: Fender American Vintage II 1957 Stratocaster
Break out the amp and get ready to shred with this retro stunner. A true descendant of the original Fenders, the American Vintage II 1957 Stratocaster is a thing of beauty. The V-shape neck, lacquer finish, and maplewood fingerboard perfectly evoke rock’s golden age.
For Friends Who Say They Don’t Like Playing Games: Meta Quest 2 VR Headset
Board games feeling stale? Bring your party into the 21st century with a Meta Quest 2 VR Headset. It’s the easiest-to-use model out there, making it ideal for novices and pros alike.
For Home Sound-System Heaven: Sonos Sub Mini
With sweet bass and balanced sound, the Sonos Sub Mini brings you the home-theater experience in a surprisingly compact package. Enjoy pristine sound, and go cord-free thanks to its wireless connectivity.
Buy Sonos Sub Mini $429
To Go Directly to Mars: David Bowie x Monopoly Board Game Set
With albums instead of properties, and tokens inspired by the Thin White Duke, this David Bowie x Monopoly Board Game Set is a great way to inject your party with some rock & roll history.
For Spinning Vinyl in Every Room: Audio-Technica Sound Burger Portable Record Player
In the early Eighties, Audio-Technica responded to the Walkman craze by introducing the Sound Burger Portable Record Player. Now, it’s back, and thanks to its wireless setup, you can listen to your vinyl for up to 12 hours. (Sold out? We found the best portable record players on the market.)
Flower Power: Rogue Paq Personal Petal Poppy Ashtray
Each petal on the Rogue Paq Personal Petal Poppy Ashtray is removable, providing five ashtrays — enough for everyone at the table. Put the petals back in place and you have a beautiful decor piece that can tie any room together.
For a Stylish Sipper: OAX Original Tepeztate Mezcal
Your bar cart’s about to look like a work of art with small-batch showstopper OAX Original Tepeztate Mezcal. This high-end beverage is made with 25-year-old wild agave plants from Oaxaca, Mexico. And its stylish bottle is the perfect complement to its smooth taste. (Check out more of our favorite mezcal brands you can buy for your holiday party.)
For That Late-Night Party Snack: Gozney Roccbox Pizza Stove
Need to whip up a quick meal? The high-powered Gozney Roccbox can cook a Neapolitan pizza in just 60 seconds — all your guests have to do is choose the toppings.
For the Spirits Connoisseurs: Teeling 32-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Few things are as impressive as taking out a bottle of whiskey at your party, and few bottles caught our attention this year like the Teeling 32-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey Purple Muscat Finish. A smoother, richer Irish whiskey, Teeling’s crown jewel gets its incredible mouthfeel from sitting in bourbon casks for 28 years before being finished in a purple muscat French oak cask for an additional four years. The result: a wonderfully complex and unique whiskey with notes of everything from walnuts and warm wood tannins, to a fudgey, chocolatey finish.
A version of this story appeared in the December 2022 issue of Rolling Stone, now on stands.