To a dog lover, the Westminster Dog Show is like the Oscars, Super Bowl, Puppy Bowl, and Valentine’s Day all rolled into one. So why not give it the attention it deserves? Instead of just turning on the TV this year, throw a cocktail, dinner or dessert party worthy of Madison Square Garden! From decorations, to food, drinks, and dog show watching activities, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you are inviting the neighborhood or just watching the show with your family, here are some fun and affordable ways to enjoy the prestige and glamour of the Westminster Dog Show right in your own living room.
Using the gold and purple colors of the Westminster Show as a guide, groom your house for dog-show perfection with these easy and Best in Show worthy ideas:
- Dress up your table with a purple or gold table cloth. Pick up your color of choice from your local party store or make your own. Instead of spending money on a fancy table cloth we may not use again, we found purple-sequin fabric, and gold dot fabric at the fabric store where they often run sales or offer coupons. When you are done with it, you can re-purpose it for another craft, maybe even a beautiful dog bed! We got double duty out of the gold fabric, using it as a table-runner and also to make an adorable decorative banner.
- Purple, gold or dog-themed plates. Whether you are having a sit down dinner or buffet, plates are a great and easy way to get your theme across. We layered great purple and gold chargers that we found at our local dollar store! These can be used under the plates you already have, or you can use them as plates or serving trays. We stock up on various colors whenever we see them, as they add a classy and formal touch to any affair. You can also use plastic plates in purple or gold, or dog-themed plates. We were thrilled when we picked up these Saint Bernard plates at Pottery Barn.
- Get creative with serving pieces. You can stick with more purple and gold, but we wanted to be reminded of the trophies and glitz of the show, so we pulled out silver and glass pieces with a bit of vintage flair. After all the Westminster winner eats off of a silver platter at his traditional Sardi’s meal – why shouldn’t we? If you don’t have the right pieces for the food you are serving, don’t fret! Flip them upside down or stick a plate on top to make them work for you.
- Decor. Since the theme of the night is dogs, adding figurines of the past Westminster Best-in-Show Winners or your favorite dog breeds to the table is a cute way to set the tone. If you and your friend’s compete in dog shows, use your own award ribbons to complete the decorations. If not, you can buy award ribbons at your local party store. You can also get fresh purple or yellow flowers to add to the table.
- The food. No party is complete without food, and this party is no exception. We went for a dessert party, featuring sugar cookies iced with a Westminster flair, chocolate Bulldog lollipops, and purple iced cupcakes with purple and gold glitter. Sorry pups, this is human only food! If you want something more casual, consider mini-hot dogs, NY pizza or bone-shaped finger sandwiches. If you want to make food your dog can enjoy with you, or a special treat of his own check out some great recipes here.
- Drinks. Champagne and sparkling cider make festive drink choices and are both a golden color, but if you want to really impress guests, check out our list of dog-inspired cocktails.
- Activities. In case watching the show is not enough to keep everyone entertained, here are 5 ideas for watching the Westminster Dog Show:
- Bet on who will win the Best in Group and Best in Show judging. Use our ballot to put in your votes pre-show time and having fun betting on who will win. Maybe your friends will bet money, but you could also bet a week of dog walking, a dog training or grooming session, or as host you could provide a basket of dog-related goodies for the winner.
- Dog Trivia. Create a quiz or share Westminster trivia throughout the show. Check out these 28 Westminster Fact you Need to Know>>
- Dog Coloring pages. Print out free dog-themed coloring pages to serve as decoration or a fun activity for kids and adults! If the crowd is up for a little competition, color your favorite breeds and give out awards for Best in Show. Coloring pages>>
- Awards. Encourage your friends and family to get dressed up for the event. If dogs are coming dress them up too! Give out awards for best dressed, best smile, or whatever else you can come up with!
- Dog Show Bingo. Pick out a variety of terms that you are likely to hear mentioned while watching the show. From dog breeds, to dog show terminology, get creative! Give guests bingo sheets and dog cookies (or candy) to play as they watch the show.
Print Westminster Dog Show ballots here>>
Whether you decide to throw a party or just enjoy a quiet evening of watching with your dog, enjoy the show!