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December 19, 2012 News » Cover Story

Shake the Room 

Nine ways to host the house party of the century

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Not everyone likes to brave the bars on New Year’s Eve, so for some, throwing a house party is the best option. However, because New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest night-outs of the year, the pressure to P. Diddy your shindig can be overwhelming. While ignoring the obvious party tricks like karaoke machines and noisemakers, we’ve found nine ways to level-up your house party.

Learn to Dance
Not everyone can be Channing Tatum on the dance floor, so why not “step up” your New Year’s Eve party by hiring a professional dance instructor? An instructor from DF Dance Studio will typically run you $100 an hour, but on New Year’s Eve, you can expect to pay at least twice that. But hey, it’ll be way more exciting than watching your significant other dance in front of the Wii. DF Dance Studio, 2978 S. State, 801-466-0490,


Like a Cake Boss
Any New Year’s Eve party worth going to should offer a kick-ass dessert. I suggest a 3-D cake—that way, you can actually eat a cake that looks like Times Square or, hell, Dick Clark, if that’s what you’re into. Pretty much anything you can dream up, Hailey Cakes of Salt Lake City can make it happen. Hailey’s 3-D desserts range from $60 to $140. But whatever dessert you serve, please don’t be that person with the cupcakes this year. To paraphrase Kevin Malone from The Office, they’re just mini versions of regular cake. Hailey Cakes, 801-906-3460,

Build a Bacon Station
One of my dreams is to go to a party that has a fortified bacon station instead of boring snacks like chips and dip. Now my dream can come true, with the help of Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli. Caputo’s sells hormone- and GMO-free pig for about $20 a pound so you can elevate your appetizer status by offering a heaping pile of bacon along with various dippin’ sides like cheese, chocolates and artisanal salts. Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli, 314 W. Broadway, 801-531-8669,


Hire a Local Impersonator
The only thing better than having Ryan Seacrest host your New Year’s Eve party is hiring an actor to play Ryan Seacrest. If you head to, you’ll find a good-size list of local actors for hire. If Seacrest isn’t your thing, you can get impersonators of Jack Sparrow, Elvis, Forrest Gump, Tom Cruise and even President Barack Obama.

More Bounce to the Ounce
Whoever said an inflatable bouncy house was just for kids obviously has never completed the following equation: grown-ups plus inflatable plastic times alcohol equals epic party. Right now, Bouncin’ Bins Inflatable Rentals is running a sale where you can rent a full-size bouncy castle for an entire day for only $150. Don’t worry—you’ll recoup your investment the next day when you find all the lost phones and wallets. Bouncin’ Bins Inflatable Rentals, 801-386-5777,


Put Your Party On Ice
For the sophisticated party planner who wants a sweet centerpiece that looks like an ice sculpture but also wants to chug liquor out of it, there’s the ice luge. Depending on how crazy you want to go, a good luge can run anywhere from $95 to $280. But the guys at Spiffy Ice can create just about anything your heart desires. Spiffy Ice, 3500 S. West Temple, 801-269-0742,

Rent Your Gear
Unless you’re cool with guests sipping Champagne from Mason jars, it’s imperative that you have enough Champagne flutes. But don’t buy ’em, rent ’em. Diamond Rental can set you up with loaner flutes for only 65 cents each and wine glasses for a mere 50 cents each. The best thing about renting your stemwear is that you’ll never have to wash the dishes. Diamond Rental, multiple locations, 1-888-844-4001,

Cartoon Caricature Artists
Hiring a photographer for your party is one way to go, but for around $150, you can hire an artist to whip up cartoon caricatures of your guests. Who else is gonna have that at their shindig? Head to for a full list of local artists who service the entire Wasatch front. 1-888-234-7158,

Cater Your Event With a Food Truck
If you need to feed a lot of people but cooking is not an option, then just let someone else do it. One option is hiring a caterer, but why not book your favorite food truck or food cart to park outside your house? Vendors love doing this sort of thing because it’s guaranteed business. With enough guests, many vendors charge a flat rate. Most of the big-name food trucks are already booked for New Year’s Eve, but it’s worth checking in with your favorite vendor the next time you buy your daily street taco to see if he or she’s available.

Dishes to Bring in 2013
Toasty Cocktails to Toast To
Getting out to the Bars
Live Music of the Evening

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