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10 free dinner party entertainment ideas

You’ve got your menu sorted and the bar stocked. But how to iso-tain your (up to) five guests of honour? Forget endless streaming service scrolling and sync something different up to your TV.

1. Play It’s a Frockout! Trivia

Forget agonising over writing the perfect trivia questions. Frock Hudson has done the hard yards for you and is your host-at-the-ready with It’s a Frockout! trivia. Stream her video countdown on the telly and scramble for the answers to her 20 pop culture questions.

2. Project live jellyfish on your walls

Set a serene scene from the Aquarium as mesmerizing jellyfish pulsate past. The breathtaking Moon Jellyfish set a relaxing mood for post-dinner Pictionary.

Jellyfish floating

The mesmerizing jellyfish at Sea Life Aquarium make for an epic backdrop

3. Live stream some four-legged friends

Invite some extra virtual guests. Perhaps penguins, giraffes and baby snow leopards from Melbourne Zoo’s Animal House. Stream these cuties, live from their enclosures. And wait for excited squeals when your guests spot a baby penguin toddle by.

4. Have a dance movie marathon

Is there any genre better suited to post-dinner party viewing? ACMI has shortlisted the best of the best dance movies. From nostalgic 80s essentials to guilty pleasures and hidden gems. This list will have you singing along and cutting loose in the living room. Just watch the light fittings if you’re going to attempt that lift.

5. Take them to a virtual night at the ballet

Follow up your fancy four course meal with a screening of something special. Dim the lights, pour the wine and take your guests to the virtual ballet. Sit back and enjoy the fairy tale forests and costumes of the Australian Ballet’s free cinema-quality digital season.

Amy Harris and artists of The Australian Ballet, ROMEO & JULIET photo JEFF BUSBY_0939

Screen the Australian Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo: Jeff Busby

6. Watch an art house film

Impress your film buff friends by lining up a little known gem from the Virtual Melbourne Cinémathèque. The weekly free film club screens forgotten finds and black and white titles. Check ACMI’s social accounts every Tuesday for the weekly announcement.

7. Stream free, ad-free movies with Kanopy

Your library card is the key to thousands of free flicks. Use your library deets to watch movies, TV shows and documentaries for free on Kanopy. Line up a critically-acclaimed film, inspiring documentary, or some award-winning foreign cinema for perfect post-dinner watching.

8. Get sketchy with some virtual drop-in drawing

Bring out the butcher’s paper table cloth and crayons and bond over an at-home art class. Doodle along with guest artists in the NGV’s Drop-in Drawing tutorials. Kenny Pittock will help you find fruitful inspiration for sketching fruit. Or get colourful with Minna Gilligan, as she shows you how to take inspo from Andy Warhol’s pop art portraits.

Person sitting and drawing in the National Gallery of Victoria

Get sketchy with the NGV’s online drawing tutorials

9. Take a virtual tour of that art exhibition you missed

Skip the queues – take your dinner party to the NGV’s Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines retrospective. Or the colourful KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness exhibitions. Plus go behind the scenes of past international touring exhibitions. Covet the frocks from The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture.

10. Join Kerrie and Dolly’s House Party

Prep the popcorn and live stream Kerrie and Dolly’s House Party for your Thursday night do. Expect laughs, live music, 70s disco recommendations and plenty of glitter from this most Melbourne variety show. Join the show from Fed Square’s Facebook.

Bonus: Turn your living room into a rave cave.

Push the couches against the wall and get your crew to BYO glowsticks. Melbourne dance party institution Mr McClelland’s Finishing School takes the party online. Live-streaming three hours DJ sets via Zoom every Friday. For $10 the whole house can get down with an indie, soul, disco and pop soundtrack on your lounge room dance floor.