Welcome back to Totally Lit Parties, a feature in which Corrie shows you how to throw YA-themed parties!
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue's main character loves a good party, which I can relate to. Throw a party inspired by Henry, Felicity, and Percy’s crazy Grand Tour that will be a whirlwind of fun for everyone.
The puzzle box that Henry steals is a key element of the story, so of course it has to be incorporated into the party. These invitations require knowing the secret code from the book in order to determine the correct date, time, and location.
Here's what you need:
• Blank card
• Hole punch
• Scissors/exacto knife
• Paper fasteners
Cut three circles out of the cardstock and punch a hole in the center of each. On the inside of the card, figure out the placement of your circles so they will be spinnable, and hole punch the card to match.
Next, cut out the viewer windows, either on the same or opposite side as the code. Use the paper fasteners to hold everything together. Fill in the answer first, then spin the wheels to create fake answers.
Trim the bottom of the card and glue the havles shut if it isn't being used. Finally, make sure that your invitees know how to figure out the secret code that will reveal the party day, time, and location.
What to Wear
Period-appropriate clothing is the obvious choice, but those options might be hard to come by. An easier dress code would be to wear masks, much like the ones Henry and Percy are given during the revelries in St. Mark’s Square. For an added bonus, decorate masks as a party activity.
• Opera: While attending a live performance like the characters do might not be an option for you, there are lots of video alternatives. My suggestion is MTV’s Carmen: A Hip Hopera.
• Punch it Out: Scipio sets out to teach Henry how to throw a proper punch. Learn how to do the same with this illustrated guide.
• Crystallophone: One of the many items in the Robles’s office is a crystallophone. Check out Benjamin Franklin’s famous version here. While you probably don’t have one of those hanging around your house, you and your friends can still create some singing glasses by using wine glasses and water. Have everyone play their own glass to make a symphony together, or take turns playing a series of glasses.
• Bath Bombs: Nothing screams “life of luxury” like making time for a steamy and relaxing bath. Have your guests create bath bombs to take home and indulge in whenever they wish to live the rich life.
• Sinking Island: The chapel that holds the panacea is sinking and will soon be lost underwater -- unless someone takes action. In the cooperative board game Forbidden Island, everyone must work together to collect the treasures before the land sinks.
• Camping: While on the run, the trio spends a decent amount of time roughing it at night. Recreate this with a camping trip. If you travel far enough away from city lights, you can try to navigate by the stars, much like the trio had to figure out which way to go without being seen by the highwaymen.
• Tarot: In Marseilles, Henry gets his cards read by Ernesta. Hold a reading, and find out what the cards will tell you!
• Grand Tour: Go on your own (green screen) Grand Tour! Use a green screen app to place you and your friends in all sorts of great locations. Alternatively, grab some travel magazines to make collages depicting everyone’s dream tour.
• Stitches: Felicity stitches up both Henry and herself. Learn how to stitch like a pro with a curved needle and an orange. Slice the peel of the orange, then stitch the peel back together with the needle and thread. Check out this video for a quick primer on sutures.
Tasty Business and Boozy Beverages
Since the trio gets to taste all sorts of amazing, diverse foods during their travels, host a potluck where everyone brings a dish that represents a different cuisine. Go on a culinary tour as you enjoy your party activities.
For drinks, this decadent Italian sipping chocolate is practically a dessert. For a more potent punch, try Old Fashioned Jell-O Shots. Not only is the drink something Henry would love, but if you drop a cherry into it, it’s like your shot contains the panacea heart. Are you brave enough to eat it?
Do you have any other The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue-themed party ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Corrie Golando lives in Lafayette, IN, with her husband and two greyhounds. She spent 10 years as a middle school/high school English teacher, and her students gave her a love for all things YA. When she's not working at the high school library, she is writing fanfiction and doing something crafty. She has a love of all things coated in glitter, much to her husband's horror.