Eight Different Hanukkah Party Ideas for All Eight Nights

From virtual to in-person, intimate to ragers, there's something here for everyone.

Not sure exactly how to celebrate Hanukkah this year? You’re in luck. We brainstormed eight different ways to celebrate our favorite eight crazy nights! Whether you are the kind of person who will forward this to a friend and say “please host the virtual ‘Rugrats’ watch-a-long this year” or the go-getter who will aim to host all eight parties yourself, there’s something for everyone here. Chag Hanukkah sameach!

Latke Party

Hanukkah has many meaningful messages, but I think we can all agree the most meaningful of them all is: Fry Potatoes (and Other Veggies) in Oil and Eat Them! What better way to kick off the holiday than with a Latke Party? Whether you put together a guest list of eight people and encourage everyone to choose a different latke to make (might we suggest the free 8 Latke Recipes e-cookbook from our sister site, The Nosher — the Sephardic Leek Patties are my personal fave!) or whether you pull a real balabusta move and make multiple latke recipes yourself, you simply cannot go wrong hosting a party that highlights latkes. (Just follow these tips to get the latke smell out of your house the next day, you’re welcome.)

Menorah Party

If your pals aren’t the cooking type, another fun way to come together and share little pieces of yourselves for the holiday is to host a Menorah Party where everyone brings their own menorah to light together. It’s a sweet way for everyone to show off their Judaica, whether it’s stunning or sentimental or both. Who will bring the famed Banorah? Did someone win the Hey Alma rainbow menorah giveaway? Which one of your friends is still using the dinosaur menorah they made out of play-doh their freshman year of college? And there’s something very, very special about setting up multiple menorahs on a windowsill and lighting them all at once — bonus points if you do this party on the eighth night. Your collective light will shine so bright — just make sure you don’t set any curtains on fire.

Karaoke Party

Listen, we all love a Jewish-themed playlist. And what’s even better than just listening to “The Chanukah Song“? Rocking out and singing along! Make a Spotify playlist in advance and share it with your friends so you can all add your favorite Hanukkah-and-Hanukkah-adjacent songs, then set up your living space to have a “stage” and an “audience” section. If you’re feeling fancy you can buy a karaoke machine and do a professional scenario, but you can have just as much fun singing at the top of your lungs while holding a bottle of Manischewitz as a microphone.

A Virtual “Rugrats Chanukah” Screening Party

Is it even Hanukkah if you haven’t screened “A Rugrats Chanukah“? It’s a classic for a reason, and we know we’re not the only ones who identify as Maccababies. This party is especially perfect if you want to host something low-key that people can attend virtually, too. Whether you’re COVID-cautious and avoiding indoor gatherings or your best friends live in another state but you still want to celebrate together, a screening (followed by a Zoom party) is ideal. Make sure everyone has the movie queued up to watch together, settle in with some Trader Joe’s frozen latkes or microwave popcorn (or both!) and get ready to text your way through the greatest cinematic masterpiece of our time.

Grown Up Dinner Party

Admittedly most of these ideas are bordering on a bit silly, but maybe you’re feeling a little more grown up this year. Maybe you want to use your fancy plates and glasses and put out a nice dreidel-print fabric tablecloth without worrying that things will get too rowdy. If you’re feeling called to host a grown up dinner party, let Hanukkah be the excuse you need (jk you don’t need an excuse, but we’re focused on celebrating Hanukkah here) to be sophisticated. Invite just a few friends over (after all, how many fancy plates do you really have?), tell them to don their Hanukkah Best and make a roast chicken. Enlist your pals to bring latkes and sufganiyot — grown ups know that the best dinner parties are the ones where the catering is a shared task between all participants.

Rager Party

Sometimes, you just want to P-A-R-T-Y. Do you need an occasion to throw a rager? No. Is Hanukkah a great excuse to do it? Sure! As someone who attends an annual Vodka Latke Party that takes place in my friends’ basement and escalates from spin the dreidel to spin the bottle every year, I can confirm that partying hard for Hanukkah can be very festive and fun. If you decide to throw a house party for this glorious holiday please make sure to keep your hot frying oil away from your vodka and put your breakable menorah in a safe place before everyone starts dancing too hard to Matisyahu.

Fancy Hanukkah Sweater Party

You’ve heard of an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, but have you heard of a Fancy Hanukkah Sweater Party? Maybe not, because I just made it up right now, but I think it’s a great idea if I do say so myself. Instead of leaning into the gaudy and the kitschy, lean into the chic and the simple. Am I suggesting this because there are way fewer Hanukkah-themed ugly sweaters at Goodwill than there are Christmas-themed ugly sweaters and I am slightly bitter about it? Perhaps. Am I also going to hint that you should buy one of Hey Alma’s Hanukkuties sweatshirts to be the most iconic Fancy Hanukkah Sweater-Wearer at your party? Yes of course! Could you tailor this idea to your own friend group’s desires and make it a Hanukkah-themed costume/dress-code party of any kind? Absolatkelutely!

Mystery Maccabee Gift Swap Party

I love gifts. You love gifts. We all love gifts. Gather some pals and do a lil’ Mystery Maccabee Gift Swap. We’ve got you covered with the 2023 Ultimate Hanukkah Gift Guide. You’re welcome.

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