Dining, Entertaining & Celebrations

  • img1
  • img1

Planning pointers for a fun night out on the town

Planning a night out on the town with family and friends can be a fun experience. Scouring the most popular hotspots and the newest restaurants falls far short of burdensome, and those tasked with such a responsibility often enjoy the opportunity to get out of the house and soak up some local culture.

As fun as such planning can be, hosts must consider the needs of all who plan to attend before making any final decisions. The following are a few ways hosts can ensure everyone enjoys a night to remember for all the right reasons.

* Consider finances. Dinner at the hottest restaurant in town might sound like a grand idea, but hosts must consider if such a feast is affordable for everyone on the invitation list. Hot new restaurants or established locales where reservations are hard to come by tend to be expensive, so hosts should make sure everyone can afford such hotspots before making any reservations. Peruse menus online when looking for a restaurant, paying particular attention to the average cost of an entree at each restaurant you're considering. When planning a dinner for an especially large party, call each restaurant to determine if they offer limited menus to larger parties. Many restaurants do this for parties of 15 or more, charging a set price per person, and that price is not always less expensive than it would be to dine a la carte. When necessary, find a restaurant where the cost per person is within reason so no one feels like they need to skip the night out on the town due to financial constraints.

* Choose a central location. Whether you're getting together for a sit-down dinner or just drinks, choose a location that's easily accessible for everyone on the guest list. Doing so increases the likelihood that guests will make it out. A location that's near to all also allows both you and your guests to spend more time together and less time traveling.

* Choose a location that's accessible by public transportation. In addition to finding a central location, hosts also should look for a location with easy access to public transportation. This helps guests avoid sitting in traffic, and it's also safe when nights out on the town will involve drinking alcohol, reducing the risk that you or your guests will get behind the wheel when it's safer to take a subway, train or cab.

* Consider the needs of every guest. When planning a night on the town, hosts must consider the needs of each individual guest before making any reservations or concrete plans. For example, if the group includes a guest with a physical disability, then any gathering spot you choose must be wheelchair accessible and have wheelchair accessible restrooms. Another thing to consider is each guest's lifestyle choices. If one guest does not consume alcohol, then try to organize a night out on the town that involves more than just hopping from bar to bar.

* Solicit ideas. If you're having trouble planning a fun night for all, solicit some ideas from those you invited. Just because you're hosting the gathering and acting as the go-to guy or gal for those with questions about the night does not mean you can't ask some questions of your own. Ask guests what they want to do, and remember that no idea is too outlandish. If you decide to center the night around a particular activity, just make sure it's something everyone on the guest list can participate in.

* Be specific when sharing information about the night. Once all of the plans have been made, be as specific as possible when sharing those plans. Give an address for each place you plan to visit on the night and encourage guests to make use of their cars' GPS systems or online navigation websites so everyone gets there without any trouble. Charge your cellular phone right before you head out for the night so the phone does not die should anyone call and ask for last-minute directions or instructions.

Planning a night out on the town is a fun responsibility, but also one that requires careful consideration of a host of factors.