Tuesday, January 17, 2023

DIY Hobbit Party Games! The White Oliphaunt, Tiny Tator Challenge, & Mount Doom Ring Toss

John & I made three themed games for our Hobbit party last week, and they were SO FUN I thought I'd give y'all the rundown.

First, the Mount Doom Ring Toss:

Admit it, you'd watch this crossover.

The rings were pretty hard to land, but dang this looked amazing on our back deck:

John carved the mountain from pink foam scraps, then placed it on a table covered with stiff canvas to give it more height. (Build photos here, if you're curious.) He added flame lights inside, piped in "smoke" from our fog machine, and finally aimed a black light at the whole scene from the roof:

Our Rings have invisible script that glows when taken closer to the mountain:

I know our Mount Doom is over-the-top ridiculous, but you could make your own in 2D using foam board. Add pegs to catch the rings, or cut a mouth in the mountain like ours, with flickering orange lights behind it for "fire." And of course for that extra pizzaz, add glow-in-the-dark lava with a black light. That black light glow really is the star!


Next, "Samwise Gamgee's Tiny Tator Challenge."

This is a scavenger hunt John put together literally the day before, and I'm so glad he did. Our friends had a blast roaming the house searching for tiny potatoes, and it kept the crowd moving and talking to each other throughout the night.

This is also maintenance-free: I placed a stack of clues on a table in the back room, no announcement or sign, and let people find them on their own. It only took a few minutes for someone to sniff them out, and it was fun watching other folks realize something was up, then start asking how THEY could play. The gradual start times meant there was a steady stream of new players for most of the party.

Want to play, too? Here, we'll bring you along:


And finally, my favorite Hobbit game of the night, The White Oliphaunt:

Every game needs a cute mascot, right?

This is a modified White Elephant game, played with 8-sided dice. To make it more fun and Hobbit-y we stipulated ONLY second-hand gifts, and asked for folks to keep it weird. I also added a "pull from the stocking" option, with a stocking full of Japanese capsule toys. The rest of the options are pretty standard, having folks steal, trade, pass, or unwrap gifts. We had an extra 5 or 6 gifts in the mix, and once all the gifts were unwrapped, the game was over.

We had about 30 people playing, so most were standing in a huge ring all around the front living and dining room:

 I traveled around with a box and dice, telling each player what their rolls meant:

One of the hardest parts with a group this size was showing off the unwrapped gifts, but we did our best yelling out what it was and holding things up - often to fresh rounds of laughter:

I've gotta say, this group understood the assignment when it came to weird and wonderful secondhand finds. We had everything from a thrifted tie-dye cat shirts to a fluffy lobster key-chain to this haunted monkey statue:

(Which went to the right home, as you can see. This display is amazing.)

There was also a set of thrifted Disney goblets with color-changing lights that got stolen a LOT, often with hilarious results. The cries of victory that immediately turned to anguish as I yelled "Now everyone pass to the right!" were music to my ears, bahaha.

To keep the game moving we often had a couple things happening at once, and embraced the chaos. It lasted 40 minutes and took about 3 rounds - not bad with 30 players!

Once the game was over I had everyone leave their unwanted gifts on the front table - then watched the mad scramble as others rushed up to claim everything, ha. In the end there were only 2 unclaimed gifts!

This was my favorite game by far, since it got almost everyone all together, and I loved the madness and laughter. We'll definitely be playing this again!

Now I'll leave you with one last walk through of the whole house, all set up and sparkly:

The back deck was especially magical, love this view of our "White Christmas Tree of Gondor."

And that, my friends, is the last of our Hobbit Holiday: Second Christmas! This journey was almost as long as Frodo's walk to Mordor, so thanks for tagging along as we went there and back again. I hope it brought you a little extra joy this season.


In case you missed any of our Hobbit Party builds, here's the full line-up!
- Our Guests' Hobbit Costumes


 If you like posts like this, then you can help support me and John by giving through Paypal!

Or, if you feel like shopping, check out the Epbot Amazon shop where I have lists of fun things I like, wear, and use. Like our 4-pack of black lights  that's on sale right now for only $40!

Black lights: not just for Halloween. ;) These are seriously so fun to play with for parties.


  1. Love all of these ideas. And it looked like so much fun! Your friends really got into the spirt. But what about the potato-themed menu?!

    1. Aww, my menu coverage got cut because these posts were getting *excessively* long, ha. However, we had all manner of potatoes, Shepard's pie, potato candy(!!), and even "faux-tatoes", a dish that looked like mashed potatoes but was actually a dessert dip made of ricotta cheese - complete with dyed white chocolate pats of "butter"!

  2. Wow, that all looks so fun! Super extra bonus points for the glowing script on the rings, too. This whole post made me happy. =-)

  3. That all looks so cozy and festive! Is there a video in how you turned your dining room set into a couch?

    1. Ha! No video on that; we just swapped our dining room & back room furniture. Everyone congregates around the food, so this moved the crowd further into the house & back deck. In fact it worked TOO well; at one point *everyone* was crammed back there, with no one in the front!

  4. AWESOME! (Do people still say awesome? Well, even if not, this IS IT!)

  5. I love all your decorations. We have the same fox and owl stockings. I think I got them at Target 3 or 5 years ago.

  6. Love the idea of thrifted gifts for the exchange. I would have been right there trying to get that monkey bookend that you won.

  7. Man, I'd move to Florida just to go to one of these parties. <3 They look like SO MUCH fun!

  8. Everything is awesome! I'd love to do a party like this sometime, so will probably be stealing your ideas. Did you consider doing lights in the tree in your backyard to turn it into "The Party Tree"?

    1. We definitely did, and still would love to add hanging lanterns in the branches! The tree is just VERY tall, and we didn't have a way to get up that high, or to run the electricity. It's on the list for future additions, though, because I'd love that year-round.


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