The first rule of guys’ night is there are no rules. Okay, so that’s not really true. With families, full-time jobs and adult responsibilities – that mortgage isn’t going to pay itself – not everyone can throw caution to the wind and run with the wolves like Bradley Cooper in The Hangover.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a legendary guys’ night, especially when the host (that’s you) has a man cave tricked out with a pool table, dart board, vintage arcade games, a bar that would make Don Draper jealous and more sports memorabilia than Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
Still, having a man cave doesn’t guarantee an epic guys’ night. In order to make the evening memorable, you need to be the host with the most, a creative master of ceremonies who knows how to throw a party. Don’t just invite everyone over without a game plan. Getting the old tribe together is as rare as lightening striking the same spot twice (or as extraordinary as a unicorn or leprechaun sighting). From food and drink to setting up a theme, here are some great ideas for hosting a memorable guys’ night.
Who needs Vegas when you can turn your man cave into Caesars Palace? Whether it’s for cash or glory, gambling has a special place in guys’ hearts. It’s like comfort food. There’s nothing more satisfying than beating your best friends at blackjack, 7-Card Stud, or Texas Hold’em, and then bragging about it for the following year. In fact, with a man cave, you can even up the ante and go Fully Monty and rent a craps table or roulette wheel. Casino Night was always a hit in college, so what better way is there for you and your buddies to relive your glory days and take a vicarious man-cation to Sin City than to host an adult game night?
- Food and Drink: Nothing says Vegas like an all you can eat buffet. In other words, skip the burgers, dogs and chips and impress your guests with oysters, lobster and crab legs. Make vintage cocktails that would make the Rat Pack proud: a martini, Manhattan or Rusty Nail should do the trick.
- What Your Friends Should Bring: A winning attitude and something to gamble with. Cash, poker chips, golf tees, snacks and favors (yes, that royal flush might win you a summer’s worth of lawn mowing services) are all acceptable.
Watching sports is the ultimate male pastime. It’s the trophy hunting and deep-sea fishing of entertainment. But being that there’s a “big game” on every week that requires wings, beer and a 50-inch HDTV, there’s nothing unique about hosting a watch party. Hosting a sports tournament, however, is something else entirely; it’s a no-holds barred activity that separates the men from the boys. A man cave isn’t a man cave unless there’s a game area. Pool, darts and foosball are ideal games for sports tournaments. If you’re lucky enough to have a man cave with a lavish outdoor wing, consider horseshoes or a corn hole tournament. On the other hand, if the only game area you have in your man cave is a cabinet with old high school trophies and a video game system, don’t be shy about dusting off the old Nintendo 64 and challenging your friends to a Mario Party or Super Smash Brothers tournament. Make it real by constructing a March Madness-style bracket.
- Food and drink: A sports tournament is a no frills event. We’re talking strictly burgers, pizza, wings, franks, sausages, a bucket of wing, and the coldest domestic beer you can find.
- What Your Friends Should Bring: A willingness to exaggerate their greatest sports exploits (you know, the Hail Mary that won it all was really a 10-yard pass), a six pack and a package of Ballpark franks.
Your man cave is filled with all of the stuff that your significant other claims there’s no room for in the house, and that includes vintage movie posters for movies like Scarface, The Godfather, Rocky, Reservoir Dogs or any 80’s film featuring Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sure, movies are typically the cornerstone of “date night,” but is there anything that brings men together quite like stunt-filled action sequences, epic car chases and stories of good heroically triumphing over evil? Manteresting movies provide two-hours of testosterone-fueled entertainment. They also give you the opportunity to show off your state-of the-art entertainment system, not to mention your collection of old school recliners.
- Food and Drink: Manteresting movie night is a beer and finger food affair. If you happen to have an old-fashioned popcorn-making cart, now is the time to roll it out and fire it up.
- What Your Friends Should Bring: Chips & dip and nostalgia for action films.
No man cave is complete without a kegerator, burly beer light fixtures, and more bar stools than the TV show Cheers. The problem with a kegerator, however, is that it limits the type of beer you and your buddies can drink – most kegerators have only one tap. Planning a beer tasting evening allows you and your friends to sample several different varieties of beer. Over the past decade, the craft beer market has exploded (In the U.S., sales of craft beer increased 10% in 2016.). There’s more to beer than the factory-produced brew that once dominated the beer market. From Double IPA’s and nitro stouts to Belgian Saisons and German wheat beers, there are more beers to sample than there are guys’ nights to sample them.
- Food and Drink: A variety of cheeses, pretzels, peanuts, mustards and… beer!
- What Your Friends Should Bring: Have your pals bring a top-rated beer from BeerAdvocate’s website.
Grilling and chilling is the classic mantastic activity. Not only is it as simple and unfussy as that pair of old sweatpants you wear every football Sunday, but it harkens back to the prehistoric days when our ancestors built fires and roasted meat on a spit. Instead of talking cars and sports, take the chilling one step further and play a pick-up game of whiffle-ball in the backyard.
- Food and Drink: Food for grilling and beer.
- What Your Friends Should Bring: A classic rock attitude, something to throw on the grill (and maybe Tums for all the red meat).
In the end, after the last beer is drank and the final wing eaten, an epic guys’ night is really about the company and camaraderie. Whatever you decide to do, make it memorable. Getting all the guys together is almost as rare as winning the lottery.