Western Party Ideas (How to Organize Yours in 6 Simple Steps)

Mix a few Western party ideas to your party fun – and you’ll have everyone slapping leather and having a hoe down in no time.

And there’s plenty of modern-day inspiration to choose from.

  • The cowboy movie genre is still in vogue (like the 2012 film Django Unchained).
  • Boot-cut jeans, leather boots and big belt buckles are commonplace.
  • Modern singers like Kelly Clarkson and LeAnn Rimes have country roots.

So there’s no time like the present to start developing your Western party ideas. Here’s how to that in 6 simple steps.

Step 1, Western party ideas for invites

Create a Wanted poster — Find a photo of your main guest and copy it into a blank Microsoft Word document. Then use a free cowboy style font – like ‘Western Cowboys’ – for your party wording. Be creative with your wording – like:

“Wanted – For the most evil haircut ever!”
“Reward $100 – For being the best kisser ever!”

Print your invitations. Use a lighter to singe their edges very carefully, to give them an aged look.

Create a Cowboy Hat invite — Draw an outline on brown card, and cut. Choose one side for your party details. On the other, decorate it with a sheriff’s badge made of gold glitter.

Step 2, Ideas for fancy dress

Dressing up Wild West style is A LOT of fun.

There’s so much to draw from – for example, cowboy and westerns movies, country music, traditional cowboy history.

  • Think bandits, cowboys and girls, buffalo, chieftains, the big town sheriff, the bank robber…
  • Even getting everyone in cowboy hats (like in the photo) changes the party mood instantly.
Step 3, Western party ideas for decorations

Transform your party room into a homemade cowboy saloon bar. Display beer bottles on a shelf behind the bar area. Keep your tables small, with low seats grouped around them.

Set aside a separate room for a water pistol shooting range.

  • Hang up rope lassos along the walls
  • Have a hat stand for cowboy hats, fake pistols and tomahawk axes
  • Hang larger poster versions of your Wanted invites on walls and doors
  • Change your usual light bulbs for yellow light bulbs
  • Buy inflatable cacti and spot these around the room
  • Cover your seating in fluffy brown and white throws, overlapping them to give the impression of cowhide
  • Dress up a rocking horse with its own saddle.
Step 4, Western party ideas for activities

Cowboy Movie Charades — Write your movie titles onto slips of paper, then jumble in a hat. A player pulls out a name and everyone must guess their movie. Your titles could include The Magnificent Seven, Brokeback Mountain and Wild, Wild West.

Cowboy Dancefloor — Get everyone on their feet with a cowboy disco. Start slapping leather to these sample tunes:

  • Jolene – Dolly Parton
  • Come Monday – Jimmy Buffett
  • Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
  • The River – Garth Brooks
  • I Don’t Feel Like Dancing – Scissor Sisters
  • Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette

Old West Slang Trivia Quiz — Draw up a trivia quiz of 20 questions, testing your guests on their knowledge. Give each question four answers (a, b, c, d) to make things harder.

  • For example, “Where do you go when you go to a ‘hoosegow’?"
  • Answer: “Jail".

Water Pistol Shooting Range — Use either a separate room in the house or your backyard for this activity. You’ll need a wall, 6 empty cans and water pistols. Work out how far away to put your fans by testing the firing range of your pistols.

You can make the cans harder to knock by weighing them down with golf balls. Split players into pairs, with the fastest to knock down all six winning.

When playing indoors, make sure you’ve got plenty of towels on the floor.

Show Classic Cowboy Shows — Play these in the background or later as a chillout activity with popcorn and taco/dips.

Learn Line Dancing — Get everyone learning the moves together of this classic dance. Here’s a step-by-step video to help you get started:

Step 5, Party ideas for food

Go with big traditional American western food here in your cowboy party menu. Here are a few ideas:

  • Steaks, fried chicken, wings
  • Corn on the cob, baked beans
  • Potato salad, popcorn
  • Tacos and chips with salsa dips
  • Homemade apple pie with ice cream
  • Serve root beer and American beer brands
Step 6, Western party favors

Send everyone back to the modern day with a few fun party favors, like:

  • Cowboy hats
  • Plastic sheriff badge
  • Sheriff-badge and cowboy-hat shaped cookies
  • A DVD of a classic western
  • Water pistols

Image: Daniel Orm

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