Category Archives: International Party Ideas

Gamemasters, Live Action Role Play (LARP), Interactive Literature – all new terms or not so new…

Hooded Executioner costume
Executioner Costume – Great for LARP or Halloween
Have you heard of Live Action Role Play (LARP)? This is an area of gaming that is part fantasy, part fact, part theater, all interactive. The origins of LARP, according to information posted on Wikipedia, are multi-national but in each country the games are based on participants’ desire to act out, in real life, episodes of life in another time. Some LARP groups focus on replaying specific battles, historic or futuristic while others establish rules based on games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

As important as the play actors, costumes, and weapons in LARP, are the Gamemasters (GM) who identify the setting, determine the rules, and handle recruitment and financial aspects of the events.

The oldest recorded LARP group in the U.S. began in 1977 with a focus on reenacting fantasy battles. Since then, this adult form of make believe is typically meant for entertainment, artistic expression, or educational purposes. LARP events may be as short as one or two hours, or may involve a great number of players and last several days.

Whether your involvement is as a participant, GM, or crew member, Cappel’s has great costumes, accessories, wigs, and fake weapons for your next LARP outing.

Celebrate The Winter Olympics

Taking The Olympic Torch To Sochi
Taking The Olympic Torch To Sochi



It’s not often we get to immerse ourselves in the excitement of the Winter Olympics!  Beginning February 6 with the Opening Ceremony, and running through February 23 the Winter Olympics will be packed with events both interesting and suspenseful.   These quadrennial games provide the perfect excuse to gather with friends and family for a party!  Build on the international theme by assigning each guest a country to represent.  Ask them to dress in some manner representing “their” country and to bring a dish or beverage to share which represents the country.

Set the mood by giving your home a cozy winter lodge look.  Hang snowflakes on the windows, a nice warm fire, and throw blankets will add to the feel of a mountain lodge.  Don’t forget to hang some flags from several nations to build the international theme.  Perhaps these could surround the food table, or TV area.

Team USA's Opening Ceremony Uniform... Is it me or is this sweater a candidate for the ugly sweater contest?
Team USA’s Opening Ceremony Uniform… Is it me or is this sweater a candidate for the ugly sweater contest?

It will be fun just to munch, drink, & watch the events; but to make it interesting, plan a competition or two.  How about your version of a curling competition in the hallway?  You could also have a Snowball Ring Toss, as seen on Make and Takes! Guests are simply asked to toss five marshmallow snowballs into each of the five rings in this easy but deceivingly tricky activity.  For those who simply want to sit and watch, put their minds to work with Olympic trivia!  Use this link to provide many fun and interesting facts to test Olympic knowledge.

Don’t forget to award medals to top contenders.  It’s not official without the medal!  Most importantly keep it simple, and have fun!

- Chinese New Year

It’s the Year of the Snake!

Chinese Dragons are central to every Chinese New Year parade

I’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year, but I have wondered about its traditions, symbols and their meanings, so here is a little bit about what I discovered.  This year it begins on Sunday, 2/10/13 and will be the Year of the Snake.  The holiday is celebrated every year, but the date varies according to the lunar cycle.

Always falling in January or February, Chinese New Year is celebrated from 3 to 15 days.  The eve and first day of the New Year are celebrated in the highest style.  Fireworks are an essential part of the celebration on Chinese New Year’s Eve to create an enormous and beautiful display.  Then on New Year’s Day, there is a fantastic parade.

It is tradition that most factories close during the Chinese New Year celebration so that workers can travel back to their hometown to celebrate with family.  Visiting family, and giving gifts of small red and gold envelopes containing money is part of the tradition.  The red and gold symbolize prosperity, and good luck.  Live blooming plants in the home are symbols of rebirth and new growth, while flowers are symbolic of wealth.  Written
couplets containing happy wishes are put on walls and doors.

Now that you know a bit about the traditions and symbols of Chinese New Year, perhaps you would like to have a Chinese New Year party to welcome in the Year of the Snake.  Wouldn’t it be fun to think of happy wishes, write them on pretty pieces of paper and
hang them around the house?  Putting up Chinese lanterns would be perfect for such an event.  Remember, red and gold as significant colors to use for their symbolism.  Of course, Chinese cuisine, complete with chopsticks is essential for this party.