Perfect Pairs (Under $30) For an Effortlessly Creative “Friends Night In”

“Entertaining” is a big, scary word… especially if you feel like your home is in a constant state of “in progress,” and your skills in the kitchen can best be described as meh. But “having a few people over for a quiet night in”? That’s doable.

A simple get-together doesn’t have to be boring, though. If you’ve got $30, we have your friends night in already planned: just pick up one of these pairs of goodies and let your good company take over from there.

Master Magician Lessons

Hear me out on this… a night in with a stylish deck of cards (like the Killer Bees deck by Ellusionist, $12.95) and this book (The Royal Road to Card Magic, $10) is maybe the most fun way to spend a night. You’ll spend all night talking about what to try, laughing as you practice and hopefully walking away with a few “how did they do that?” tricks to impress friends and family over Halloween and the holidays.

A (Sort of Spooky) Halloween

Staying in on All Hallow’s Eve? Just grab a Ouija board ($19.99) and your favorite Halloween DVD (my pick is The Nightmare Before Christmas, $9.99).

Easy Dinner Party

Order a pizza or call in a few sandwiches and get ready for a feast with this easy clean up combo: Biodegradable palm leaf plates that you can just throw into the compost (from Leafily for $17), and a really gorgeous set of italian glasses to rinse and keep — these Bormioli Rocco glasses, $11.95 for 4, work for everything from water to wine.

Fall Flavors Coffee Tasting

If there’s a better way to get in the mood for fall, I don’t know it. Set up a coffee station with a few enamel mugs (these simple navy ones are $4 a piece) and a spread of seasonal flavorings from Monin ($12) like gingerbread, peppermint and of course, pumpkin spice.

The One-Night Book Club

Pick a short story from Tom Hanks’ recent book, $16, to read to the group (yes, that Tom Hanks). And pair it with a bottle of wine or — if you want to stick with the typewriter theme — Coolship Red, a tart raspberry ale from Allagash Brewing.

Tea & Coloring Party

Don’t yet know about the simple joy of having people over for tea and coloring? Let our editor Adrienne Breaux enlighten you: Shy About Entertaining? Try This Easy “Gateway” Gathering Idea

All you need is some tea (like this black tea sampler tin for $6.99) and a few coloring pages (this Bob Ross coloring book is sure to delight, $16.95).

Are you going to try one of these simple gatherings on for size?



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