Aerialist performer, one of PartySlate's top entertainment party ideas for a private event | PartySlate
photographer & venue: SPIN, Chicago | entertainment: The Actor's Gymnasium
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Go Beyond the Playlist: 9 Party Entertainment Ideas That Wow

Aerialist performer, one of PartySlate's top entertainment party ideas for a private event | PartySlate

Many elements make an event memorable — from a stunning entrance to a thoughtful parting gift. But we believe that great party entertainment will help guests remember how they felt at an event. Were they dancing until their feet hurt or cracking up with each other over their photo booth antics?

Thoughtful party entertainment not only enlivens a celebration but engages guests in the merry-making. When it comes to choosing how to surprise and delight your guests, the options are truly endless. But we’re going to get you started with nine of our favorite party entertainment ideas.

Click on the button following each idea to find that type of entertainment near you. Or select the name of the company being profiled to view photos of real events at which they’ve performed and to reach out directly to them.

1. Hire a Top Band to Keep Your Dance Floor Filled

Wedding at Montage Deer Valley crowded dance floor | PartySlate
photo courtesy of & entertainment: The Golden Coast All Stars | venue: Montage Deer Valley

With groups ranging from 11 to 18 performers, we know we can count on Golden Coast All Stars (based in Los Angeles but available to travel anywhere) to deliver a performance that keeps guests on the dance floor all night long. They bring together world-class musicians to make every event special.

2. Book Celebrity Entertainment to Surprise Guests

Multi-Day Corporate Event with rock band on stage | PartySlate
event planner: Amazae Events | venue: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame | band & entertainment booking: EastCoast Entertainment | special artists: Mark McGrath

EastCoast Entertainment, the largest full-service entertainment agency in the country, can book everything from original to cover bands, celebrity talent, and more. And with 16 “home offices” they can be wherever your party is.

Don’t miss our article on Grammy-Winning (& Nominated) Artists Who Surprised Guests At Private Parties to see how other event hosts have incorporated star power into their affairs.

3. Choose an Emcee That Can Entertain & Engage Everyone

Alluring and Tasteful Wedding in Chicago, Illinois
photographer: Rempel Photography | event planner: Shannon Gail Events | floral design: Revel Decorreception venue: River Roast Social House | band: Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos

It’s true, Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos does more than just entertain — they engage guests with shows that combine high energy and interaction. They’re based in Chicago but are available to travel anywhere you’d like to be entertained.

Also see our feature, Wow Guests With Interactive Entertainment, to find entertainment ideas that your guests haven’t already seen or experienced. 

4. Choose a DJ to Spin Everyone’s Favorite Tunes

PartySlate's Exclusive Boho Chic Dinner Party for Top New York Event Planners
photographer: Phillip Van Nostrand Photography | décor: ZAK Events | venue & caterer: Marcia Selden Catering & Events | entertainment: Jarrell Entertainment

Jarrell Entertainment has performed for events ranging from corporate gatherings and birthday parties to weddings and Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Based in New York but available to travel, they offer DJs, dancers, performers, musicians, and more.

Make sure to see our feature on How to Choose the Right DJ for Your Celebration to guide you.

5. Select Virtual Event Entertainment That Engages From Afar

photo courtesy of & entertainment: On The Move

Virtual events are stronger than ever and entertainment companies have gotten creative when it comes to engaging guests from afar. We are wowed by how On The Move has mastered virtual event entertainment with virtual hosts, live band and theatrical performances, games, and team-building activities; they also offer state-of-the-art streaming services.

Visit PartySlate’s dedicated Virtual Event hub for a planning checklist, AV and technology resources, and more. 

6. Wow Guests With a Live Event Painter

Glamorous Luxe PartySlate Palm Beach Launch Party at The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in Palm Beach, FL
photographer: Jessica Bordner Photography | event planner: Posh Parties | décor & florals: Renny & Reed | design, décor, floral: The Special Event Resource and Design Group | venue: Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach | live event painter: Lydia Marie Elizabeth

Lydia Marie Elizabeth (based in Philadelphia but travels nationally) uses watercolor and paper to render paintings that capture celebrations in a unique way. Better yet, she paints live so guests can be entertained throughout the gathering, and the hosts are left with a lasting memento.

7. Hire a Magician or Illusionist to Astound Your Guests

An Evening at the Moulin Rouge
photo courtesy of, casting, sound tech/lighting, choreography, & costuming: Entertainment Plus Productionsevent planner: Hold The Date, Inc. | venue: Hillcrest Country Club

Entertainment Plus Productions provides a wide range of unique entertainment options, from bands and celebrity bookings to performance acts, illusionists, and magicians. Their acts wow in Los Angeles, as well as national and international destinations.

8. Get Creative With a Unique Performance Act

CIRQUE DU FLAMBE HAVANA NIGHTS 2017 AT CARNIVALE CHICAGO
photographer: Will Byington | venue: Carnivale | entertainment: The Actors Gymnasium

The Actor’s Gymnasium has spent more than 20 years wowing guests with unique circus acts. From strolling entertainers to aerialists, they fill events in Chicago and beyond with awestruck onlookers.

9. Offer Your Guests a Photo Booth to Preserve Their Memories

photo courtesy of & photo booth: Any Event Productions

We think that photo booth prints make for wonderful party favors, and while many entertainment companies have photo booth services, we like the mirror selfie booth options from Any Event Productions out of Dallas. They also provide lighting, DJ services, and more.

Don’t miss our article on 7 Selfie Fun Ideas You Have to See for more creative ways to capture the fun.

People Also Ask…

How do you make an event entertaining?

If the nine ideas above haven’t satisfied your quest for unique party entertainment ideas, we have a few more helpful resources to recommend. Check out our article Go Beyond the Band With These Unique Wedding Entertainment Ideas; even if you’re not planning a wedding, these 14 creative options will have you thinking outside of the box.

Another idea is to work closely with your cocktail or food caterer to see if there’s an opportunity for a demonstration or live plating that guests might enjoy (and learn from).

If you’re still stumped, might we suggest a venue that offers built-in entertainment? For example, here in Chicago, there’s an event space that is an active glass studio and you can arrange for demonstrations at events. Several museums offer scavenger hunts for groups of guests, meaning you have a lovely spot to entertain surrounded by beautiful art, and an activity as well.

All over the country, there are spots that feature ping pong tables, escape rooms, karaoke, bocci, bowling, and so much more. In fact, PartySlate’s “Find a Venue” page features a filter for “venues with activities” (as well as tons of other filters to help you narrow in on the perfect spot).