Tips for Hosting a PJ Party

After throwing hundreds of Pajama Parties I feel I can call myself an expert. At the very least, a practiced connoisseur. As founder of the Karen Neuburger Lifestyle brand, I’ve presided over PJ Parties in my home, stores, spas, airplanes, resorts, parks, lobbies, TV Studios, offices and hotels (including The Plaza in New York City).

The most important ingredient of your PJ Party are the women, and not just any women will do. Your posse for the night must be the girlfriends who put you out front while making sure they have your back. I call them my “Broad Squad”.

Your place is perfect. A comfortable apartment or large sprawling ranch house or anything in between. Depending on the comfort level of your guests, extra quilts, easy chairs, floor pillows, sleeping bags and air mattresses can be a fun substitute for beds. You’ll be up until the wee hours laughing, crying, eating and dancing. Not necessarily in that order.

I always vote for potluck. Not only does it make hosting a lot easier, but it gives everyone an investment in the party and food provides an instant topic of conversation. That said, it is up to you to create a fun theme. What will grab your girlfriend’s attention, interest and creativity? An Asian influence or a Revenge marathon? Once you decide on the theme, create the menu that supports it. Asian dumplings, sticky rice, saki and sushi; or, a Hampton’s seafood medley, attitude and champagne. You get the idea.

Although most PJ Parties thrive in an organic way, adding a couple of planned events will kick it off.

  • Ask everyone to bring their favorite song from their high school years and one from their current play list. Then ask them to tell the story of those choices.
  • Show and tell by asking everyone to bring their latest and greatest beauty find, then share how to use it.
  • Not only have you just provided instant music to your party, but also just added a makeover.

You can also share the latest web shopping finds, home decor ideas, book swap or even a clothing swap with each person bringing something they would love to trade.

If your Broad Squad prefers to make a trip of it, rent a suite, reserve a spa, or a cabin. I recently met a bunch of women at Safari West in Sonoma, California, who gathered from all across the country for an annual PJ Party. They bunked together in a group of safari tents, hung out in front of a large fire pit (in snugly warm pajamas) ate and toasted into the late hours in the middle of a wild animal reserve. Now that’s a creative theme!