Holiday Party or Game Night Idea: Popcorn Bar!

Once upon a time, two foodies were planning a wedding and thought it would be great to let their guests play with food and flavors at the reception. They spent months planning a beautiful popcorn bar with lots of toppings and lovely matching serving pieces. Then once all of the toppings were elegantly displayed and ready to go, the bride realized she forgot to bring the popcorn to the wedding…


Ah well, the popcorn bar was a huge hit when we saved everything and used it at our going away party before we moved. I think this would also work really well as a snack set up for a holiday or game watching party. It can easily be dressed up or dressed down to suit your occasion. For the wedding, the plan was to use multicolored vases to hold the cones and coordinated dishes for all of the toppings. It was easily “dressed down” for our picnic going away party by serving the popcorn in a beverage tub and the toppings in coordinated plastic dishes. Rather than having a bunch of bowls to keep track of and wash, we rolled multicolored scrapbook paper into cones and sealed with a sticker. For the holidays, you can use holiday scrapbook paper and for game night, printing the teams’ logos on regular printer paper for the cones would be nice touch.


Then, just set out lots of popcorn and encourage guests to mix and match flavors. We’ve noticed that the seasonings will tend to stick to the popcorn better if you give the popcorn a splash of butter spray first. Here’s a list of suggestions for toppings that we used at our wedding, er, going away party: 

Chocolate chips

White chocolate chips

Butterscotch chips

Cinnamon sugar

Garlic salt

Sea salt

South African seasoning blend

Italian seasoning blend

Really anything you can throw on to popcorn will work. I’ve always loved the look of holiday M&Ms and if you have fresh herbs or chives around, those would work, too. The whole idea is to play with flavors and get creative!