How to Create a Jungle Party

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    • 1). Choose jungle-themed invitations, which you can purchase or make yourself. One idea is to use dark construction paper and a gold or silver pen to make the invitation look like a passport to a safari adventure. In addition to the location, date and time information, "warn" guests of the possibility of the dangerous animals they might come across at your party.

    • 2). Plan a menu for your jungle party. Even typical party dishes can get a jungle twist; for example, separate green punch and lemonade into two bowls, labeling the first "snake venom" and the second "antidote" (for adults, these can be made alcoholic and served in shot glasses). Trail mix is expected but you can make it interesting by adding gummy worms or chocolate "bugs" to the mix. Make fruit salad more interesting by serving it in a hollowed-out watermelon or pineapple and add giant fake plastic ants to the table.

    • 3). Buy fake potted plants and trees; they are fairly inexpensive and can really help set the mood. Add a sense of adventure, particularly for kids, by purchasing a few stuffed monkeys, parrots or lions and hiding them in or behind the trees for guests to find. Use chalk to draw elephant or tiger prints on your driveway or on the patio. Vines are simple to make; twist brown plastic shopping bags and tape them end to end and add a few green construction-paper leaves. String them across the room or hang them from the doorway. Your guests can help set the mood by coming in costume; or, if not, have a few strips of leopard-printed fabric and/or safari hats at the door for them to wear or even fake jungle-themed tattoos to adorn their arms. A CD of "jungle sounds" will also help create the right atmosphere.

    • 4). Plan a few jungle-themed activities to make sure your guests stay entertained. For parties that are outdoors, a water balloon fight that pits the "animals" against those "on safari" is welcome on a hot day. "Animal Attack" is a game that can be played indoors. You will need two complete safari outfits--cargo pants, shirt and jacket and hat--and two backpacks. Divide the guests into teams and give each team a backpack with a safari outfit in it. Yell "Animal Attack!" and one member from each team has to take out the clothes, put them on (over his own), then take them off and pack them up and hand them to the next teammate. The first team to finish is the winner.

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