Making Meals at Home as Fun as They Are in the Dining Hall

Happy Holidays Greystone girls! If your holiday season is anything like mine, you will be having many holiday gatherings around the table. Greystone girls know how to chat and mingle at a table better than anyone, so we hope you’ll bring some of the Greystone Dining Hall fun to your holiday eating this year. Looking for some inspiration? Check out our top Dining Hall fun tips below:

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Mix up who you are sitting with

A fun way to mix up the holiday tables is to change up who sits together. If you usually have an adult table and also a kid table, try out a grandparents and grandkids table, and then have all the parents sit together. Or even think about having everyone draw a number and that number corresponds to the labeled seat at the table. Just like at camp, switching up who you sit with can make for some fun new conversations.

Add a theme

We love a good theme meal at camp – it adds an instant YAY factor to any meal! The excitement really improves when we dress up or decorate, even if it is something small. At camp, we love events like toga parties, Christmas in July, dog birthday parties (shoutout to Meme’s summer birthday!), hot dog picnics, and event-related theme parties (like Welcome to the Jungle). Even if you just add some glitter around your eyes (all you need is Vaseline and glitter to do this!), you’ll have made the meal that much more fun. As you’re in the middle of the holiday season, why not try out a Feliz Navidad party, a New Year’s bash, a favorite’s thing party (where you dress like your favorite thing of the year), a tacky sweater party, a Grinch-mas event, or a Winter Wonderland night.

Name your foods

When we’re hosting a theme event at camp, we like to match up our foods with the theme. For example, when we hosted our Emerald City event this past summer, we served our camp-famous poppy-seed chicken, but connected it to the poppy fields in the Wizard of Oz. Our green bug juice related to the emerald city building. It added that extra touch of sparkle to announce all of our themed foods to the excited campers. Back in my camper days, a menu would be waiting at your seat in the Dining Hall during Banquet, and all the foods would be labeled according to the Banquet theme; it was fun! Add this extra touch to make meals even more fun at home.

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Turn up the tunes

Music makes EVERYTHING better. If you don’t have one of these awesome karaoke microphones, what are you waiting for? A great post-dinner activity! At camp, we especially love blaring the music when we are cleaning up, and extra props when we all stand on our chairs belting out the tunes. Find some music and turn it up at the end when you’re leaving the table – you’re guaranteed to keep the party going!

Get your phrasing down

You know we like to repeat phrases at camp, but that’s how they become so iconic and “camp-cool” around this place. Everyone longs to hear “keep ya’ plates” at the end of the meal (signaling a special dessert is coming). What fun phrases could you add to spice up your meals at home? Is there a special prayer you could pray for a fun meal each year? Or what about a fun bell or song that plays when everyone cleans their plates before sitting back down for dessert? You can make the transitions fun too!

Add a table game or two

There’s nothing a Greystone camper loves more than a fun table game in the Dining Hall. A camp favorite? Grab a roll of masking tape and a sharpie, and you’ve got a great game of Headbands going in no time. You could eat a meal without silverware or try a meal where you only eat from long wooden serving spoons. Search for some good table fun for your event. Would you rather questions are always easy, and table topics are also fun.

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Get sentimental

We end some of our meals in special ways, and getting a little sentimental does make the meal more fun. The classic example at camp is when the counselors sing the goodnight song at the end of Banquet – not many dry eyes left in the Dining Hall! At home, why not try out toasts? These could be sentimental, or they could be honoring something funny like your car that finally bit the dust this year. I have a friend who writes birthday toasts to her children on their birthdays, highlighting what she loves about her child that year. (Campers, this would be something fun to do with your camp friends for your friend to read at her birthday dinner!).

Make a game out of getting extra dessert

Every Greystone girl knows that if there is extra dessert in the basket, there’s hope you may get a lucky 2nd dessert if you play your hand correctly. “Shooting” for dessert is the most common (where everyone throws out numbers and you count off to see who it lands on), but there are so many creative ways to hand out a 2nd dessert. You could try out a joke challenge or ask some trivia questions; add a little extra with some dessert challenges this holiday season!

Alright Greystone girls, what are we forgetting? We hope your meals are filled with fun and cheer this holiday season!

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