potluck invitation: Grill & Swill invitation surrounded by food

Casual, convivial, and delicious are all apt words to describe a potluck party. These fun and homey get-togethers are the perfect way to gather with friends, family members, or coworkers to get to know each other better over delicious home-cooked food. If you’re throwing a potluck anytime soon, you’ll love these potluck party ideas that include everything from decor and activities to food and potluck invitation designs. 

Potluck Party Decor Ideas

Your potluck party doesn’t need a lot of fuss to be a hit. Still, there are plenty of occasions where you’ll want to add some fun decor to liven things up a little. If that’s true for you, here are some of our favorite potluck party decor ideas. 

Style Around a Theme

potluck invitation: pumpkin-themed Thanksgiving potluck invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

For a twist on a traditional potluck, why not go for a theme? This works great if you’re hosting a birthday party, baby shower, engagement party, bridal shower, or retirement party.

Focus your celebration around a theme such as woodland animals, your favorite superheroes, or a place in the world you’d love to visit most. Add decor such as themed centerpieces, backdrops, candles (flameless or real), and banners to transform your space. These small touches can add ambiance to your family or office potluck without a ton of effort or expense. 

Add Seasonal Decor

If you’re hosting a holiday potluck, it’s time to go all-out with the seasonal decor. Get creative for a 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas potluck and deck out your space in festive holiday decorations. 

Celebrate harvest season in style with pumpkins galore, or hang up plenty of holly and mistletoe garlands for the holidays. Whether you’re hosting a backyard party or indoor soiree, adding seasonal elements will make the event feel even more special. 

Keep It Simple

While decorations are nice, you don’t need to overload your home with decor for your potluck party to shine. If you’re hosting an office potluck with limited space and options, it’s totally fine to keep your decor simple.

Accessorize with just a few stylish touches — like extra lighting if you need it. Style your table with linens you love, your favorite dishes, and a collection of glasses you’ve acquired over the years. This is a sweet way to host a party that focuses on what matters most — the people around you. 

Delicious Potluck Food and Drink Ideas 

It’s not a potluck without amazing food. While there’s nothing wrong with a bring-what-you-want approach, you may want to try something a bit more focused. If you’re looking for an interesting twist for your next potluck dinner, here are some of our most loved food and drink ideas to inspire you. 

Feature One Cuisine

Oftentimes a potluck invitation means you can simply bring along your favorite dish. Switch things up a bit this time by asking everyone to bring a dish from the same cuisine. (You can mention which cuisine on your potluck party invitations.) Take your guests on a trip to India, Morocco, Italy, or Thailand with a food lover’s feast. 

This is a great idea if your guests love cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and flavors. If they’re less keen on cooking, you could use this idea for appetizers at a cocktail party instead — with you providing the main and side dishes. 

Potluck Dessert Party

potluck invitation: Ice Cream Party invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

What’s more fun than having lots of great dishes to enjoy? When they’re all desserts! We love the idea of hosting a potluck dessert party and inviting your friends and family members over for a soiree of sweet treats. 

Keep to the usual potluck rules and ask what everyone’s bringing so you don’t have hundreds of cookies. You can also offer suggestions on your online invitations. Cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, ice cream bars, and sweet pastries are all great options. 

Family Recipe Potluck

If you want something more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a family recipe potluck. Ask your party guests to bring along a dish that they adored as a child, one that holds special memories for them, or something they used to cook or bake with family members while growing up. 

This works better for an office potluck or gathering of friends, as you’ll all have different memories and experiences to share. Don’t forget to include a note on your potluck invitations for guests to bring a copy of the recipe along, so you can all share and learn something new. 

Fun Potluck Party Activities

Once you’ve broken bread together, it’s time to break out a party game or two. Here are some of our favorite potluck party games and activities to enjoy with friends and family members at your next get-together. 

Movie Night

A movie night is the perfect way to round off an evening of talking, laughter, and enjoying good food together. Include a note on your potluck invites to ask people for their movie suggestions, or feature a link to a poll where they can vote on their favorite. This is a great after-party idea for a themed potluck — you could watch a horror movie on Halloween, or your favorite holiday movie at the end of December. For more ideas, don’t miss our guide on how to host an outdoor movie night.

Backyard Games

If it’s light, bright, and warm outside, why not set up some games to play in your backyard? There are lots of outdoor party games that work great for groups of all ages, so there’s something that everyone can enjoy.

Giant Jenga and tic-tac-toe are always a hit, as are classics like cornhole and ring toss. You can easily pick up these games from the store or DIY your own and reuse them for future family get-togethers. 

Board Game Night

Sometimes after a good meal you just want to settle down and get cozy. If that’s you and your guests, a board game night is the perfect activity idea to follow your potluck dinner. This idea is ideal for a housewarming party or family reunion. 

Have a selection of board games for people to choose from and play together. You could also include a note on your entertaining invitations to remind people to bring a game of their choice along if they’d love to play it with others. Not only is this a great way for family to reconnect, but it’s a fun way to get to know coworkers or friends of friends too. 

Our Favorite Food-Themed Potluck Invitations

Ready to spread the word about your event? These digital potluck invitation templates are fully customizable, making them the perfect way to invite your guests — all they have to do is hit the RSVP button to say yes. 

Perfect Picnic Invitation

potluck invitation: Picnic in the Park invitation

Design: frau brandt

Taking your potluck party outside? We love this perfect picnic invitation for any outdoor gathering where the food and lovely weather are the center of attention. The beautiful illustration makes this ideal for any kind of al fresco gathering. 

Bold BBQ Invitation

potluck invitation: Grill and Chill BBQ invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

If you’re hosting a BBQ where everyone brings a dish or two, this is the perfect potluck invitation. This bold BBQ invite lets your guests know it’s time to enjoy some great food together. Not hosting a cookoff? No worries — all the text is fully customizable so you can tailor it for your get-together. 

Colorful Cornucopia Invitation

Colorful Cornucopia Invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

We love the gorgeous watercolor illustration on this colorful cornucopia invitation. The design and styling makes this perfect for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving potlucks, surrounded by great food and people you love. Like our other designs, you can customize the text and switch out “Thanksgiving” for different potluck invitation wording. 

Oktoberfest Classics Invitation

Oktoberfest Classics Invitation

Design: frau brandt

Celebrating a food-centric moment like Oktoberfest? This Oktoberfest classics invitation design features beautiful illustrations of delicious foods, making it ideal for any foodie event. It’s easy to customize this design for your birthday party, baby shower, or family gathering with just a few clicks.

Margherita Pizza Invitation

Margherita Pizza Invitation

Design: frau brandt

If you’re hosting a pizza party potluck, you can’t go wrong with this margherita pizza invitation. We love the modern illustration and bold colors, and there’s plenty of space to share the details about your event. 

Host the Kind of Potluck Party Your Guests Will Get Excited About

You don’t need much to throw a memorable (and delectable) potluck party. Sometimes all you need is your guests, a cozy venue, and the delicious food they’ve brought along. If you want to switch things up though, choose a theme, add fun decor, and throw in a few party games to enjoy. Once your potluck party is over, be sure to follow up with thank you cards for a thoughtful finish to a wonderful experience.