Arabian Nights is a party theme that works best with a little exotic entertainment. A variety of entertaining options is even better, if you have the room and the budget. With the rich décor and decadent food and drink, your guests will be feeling like pampered royalty and will expect to be amused.
Set the scene with a small table covered in a silky cloth and a sheer canopy or draped fabric hanging overhead. Set a crystal ball on the table and light a few candles nearby for effect. Look for a local palm reader or tarot card reader who is willing to dress and act the part. If guests are young, (or adults who are drinking heavily) you may be able to get away with dressing up a friend in a few head scarves and asking them to make up fun “fortunes” on the spot.
Traditionally used for weddings in India and parts of the Middle East, this pretty art form is now used with a variety of old and new designs that will make guests feel quite exotic. If a professional henna artist is not in the budget, ask a friend to apply temporary henna or tribal tattoos to guests arms, face, ankles, or anywhere they feel needs some decoration.
Professional belly dancers will hypnotize your guests with their gyrating bellies and rhythmic hip shaking. After the show, you may want them to give guests a lesson in belly dance basics. A few cocktails helps loosen the hips. Especially for any guys you can lure out to the dance floor, who are mostly going to be terrible at belly dancing (sorry guys), but will be the most fun to watch.
This one definitely requires a reputable, professional snake handler. They will bring their own large, “friendly” snake, such as a cobra or python that guests can admire up close and take pictures with, if they are feeling brave. Some charmers will even perform a “snake dance” which is quite suggestive and sure to be an attention-getter.
Smoking is usually off-limits these days, but you can still create the feel of the private lounge by setting up a curtained off area of low tables and cushions decorated with antique hookahs (water pipes) and exotic smelling incense. Add some pretty gold carafes and cups that you can use to serve Turkish coffee or Moroccan mint tea. The perfect ending to a magical evening.