An open house party is a party that is held at a home or other location for a set number of hours, and during those hours, guests can come and go as they please. These parties are more informal than other types of get-togethers, and are typically easier to plan. They are also good for people who want to invite a lot of people to the house, but don't have the space to accommodate all of them at once.
In many cases, an open house is often held instead of a traditional housewarming party, but one can be held for any occasion or holiday. It is not necessary to plan specific activities the way they often are at other types of parties. There are some extra considerations that a host should keep in mind, however.
The first issue to consider is the invitations. All of the usual information should be included, like the occasion for the party and the location. Instead of a specific time to be there, however, the invitation will state a certain number of hours during which guests can stop by. Some parties last all day, from morning until evening, but others only last a few hours in the afternoon or evening. It is rather counter-intuitive to ask guests to RSVP, but hosts who want a general guest count can include that information as well.
Another issue that the host should keep in mind is the food. There needs to be enough food to can last the length of the party, but items shouldn't lose their appeal after sitting out on the counter for hours. Simple snack foods are best, unless the host wants to cook food a few times during the day. Another option is to make the party a potluck, and ask each guest to bring a dish. Hosts should make sure they have a lot of different beverages available and let guests know if alcohol will be available or if they should or should not bring their own. Some people do not want children at their open houses; if this is the case, the information should be indicated on the invitation.
An open house party can be a fun, casual way to spend a day with friends and family, showing off a new home or celebrating a special event. Summer picnics also work very well as open houses, because people can sit outside as well. Once the party is planned, the host should remember to just relax and have fun.