Where the Gilmore Girls lead, we will follow! It’s been nine long years since super mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore drank all the coffee in Stars Hollow, gorged on junk food and Chinese takeout, fell in and out of love, and dropped every pop culture reference imaginable in their rapid-fire banter. Now the Gilmores are back to drink even more coffee, talk even faster, and charm us more than ever in Netflix’s continuation of the series, which premieres Nov. 25.
In four 90-minute episodes, titled “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer,” and “Fall,” Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel), and grandmother Emily (Kelly Bishop) all face big changes in their lives. To get ready for the revival, we’re highlighting all the things we love about the show with our official Return to Stars Hollow coverage, from the wacky supporting characters to the insanely clever dialogue to the girls’ complicated love lives. Check back here every day until Nov. 25 to obsess with us over all things Gilmore.
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The Gilmore Girls are back in less than two weeks, which means it’s definitely time to start planning the gathering of all the supercool party people you’re going to want to watch those new Netflix episodes with. And we’ve got some ideas for how to throw the best bash, from invitations and theme ideas to festive, GG-inspired food — as Lorelai would say, if it’s a Gilmore bash, you’ve got to eat and eat and eat and … you get the idea — and special decorations and activities.
First Up: A Theme
There was never a lack of reason to party in Stars Hollow; if it wasn’t a Gilmore’s birthday, Taylor Doose and the rest of the townsfolk kept things swinging with a wacky, but ultimately charming and cool local fest of some sort. If you’d like to make your viewing party extra special with a Gilmore-specific theme, may we suggest these inspirations:
Rory’s Birthday Party: Give everyone pink boas, tiaras, pink cups and plates, make sure there’s plenty of ice, and, as a party activity, distribute copies of a quiz that will determine whether everyone is a summer or a fall (Richard, remember, was an autumn).
Rory’s Book Club: She didn’t officially belong to a book club, but she was constantly reading something good. Give your guests a list of all the books mentioned during the original series, discuss your favorites, serve goodies like gummy worms (“book worms”), make invitations that look like library cards or old card catalog cards, craft Gilmore-themed bookmarks for favors, and make banners out of recycled book pages. For a fun raffle, give away copies of Kristi Carlson’s new Eat Like a Gilmore cookbook or A.S. Berman’s must-own The Gilmore Girls Companion book.
Rory’s Bon Voyage Party: Say goodbye to a TV land where new episodes of Gilmore Girls don’t exist! Just like in Rory’s series finale goodbye party, make festive name sashes for everyone, and make everyone give a heartfelt speech … about why GG means so much to them.
Rory’s 21st Birthday Party: Serve pink cocktails, chocolate praline crunch cupcakes (see a recipe in the Eat Like a Gilmore cookbook), and individual little boxes of chocolate, and make buttons for everyone that say, “I just had a dream that Madeline Albright was my mother.”
Willy Wonka/Pippi Longstocking Movie Night: Serve any and all manner of candies (the more Wonka treats like Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Gobstoppers, Fun Dip, etc., the better, obviously), teach everyone the lyrics to the Pippi and Wonka theme songs, and invite everyone to dress up as Pippi or their fave Willy Wonka character (you’re gonna have so many Oompa Loompas at your party).
Max & Lorelai’s Engagement Party: Serve any pink or pink-frosted cookie, pastry, or dessert you can make or buy, have at least one throne guests can take turns sitting in, have a DJ and a man walking around shouting at guests with a megaphone, string white lights and pink tulle as decorations, and convince a few friends to dress in wedding gowns and perform a dance to “Love Will Keep Us Together.”
Liz and TJ’s Wedding: Renaissance-themed duds for everyone, men in tights, flower crowns, turkey legs to nosh on, and someone to walk around the party singing Liz and TJ’s toy love song and, of course, the planting of the ceremonial sword.
Jackson’s Town Selectman Victory Party: American flags, red, white, and blue bunting, campaign posters with various Gilmore characters (make partygoers vote for their faves), patriotic-themed balloons, food, and decorations, Hep Alien’s “Believe It or Not” playing on a loop, and one sad partygoer in a corner, pounding Reddi-wip from the can.
Lorelai’s Asian-Themed Party for Rory: Kimonos, Chinese lanterns, anything and everything Hello Kitty, and, most important of all, group activity: Make your own dessert sushi.
Lorelai’s Town Square Birthday Party: Rory’s goal for this party was to serve the world’s largest pizza. She did succeed in getting one that was so big it had to be delivered via crane, but you might want to opt for a more manageable goal … world’s largest Pop-Tart tower? Most bowls of popcorn consumed at one party? Every partygoer wears a Ring Pop on each finger? World’s longest rope, made of tying Red Vines together? Be creative.
Stars Hollow Dance Marathon: Nonstop music, a dance floor, and a warning that everyone wear comfy shoes is all you need to capture the Gilmore spirit for this one. A few of Mrs. Kim’s eggless egg salad sandwiches couldn’t hurt, either … or maybe they could.
Lane’s Baby Shower: Pink and blue and yellow balloons and streamers, ask guests to share copies of their baby photos you can make into a giant collage or scan and make a little guest baby picture photo album for everyone, and mini/baby versions of food — baby carrots, mini cupcakes and cookies, sliders, cake pops, and more (check out Pinterest for more mini food ideas).
Rory’s Canteen Party: Vintage military wear or ’40s fashion and hairstyles, passed hors d’oeuvres, red, white and blue bunting, American flags, ‘40s music, vintage ‘40s photos enlarged as decorations, USO signs, and an open dance floor.
Rory’s London-Themed Goodbye Party for Logan: Invite everyone to dress up like their favorite British TV or movie character, everyone speaks in fake British accents (unless they are British, of course … then they must speak in a fake American accent of their choosing), giant DIY posterboard versions of Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace for photo ops, and plenty of Union Jack flags and crowns.
The Tarantino Party: Everyone dressed like their favorite Tarantino movie characters, while they nosh on Big Kahuna Burgers, fries, and vanilla milkshakes.
Knit-a-thon Party: Everyone knits while watching Gilmore Girls episodes.
Next: The Food
Every party needs refreshments, but if it’s a party celebrating the Gilmore Girls, the food takes on an extra importance: Lorelai and Rory are nothing if not champion eaters. The following is a list of famous Gilmore food obsessions, but it’s not just about the food; it’s also the presentation. Pop-Tarts must be served on a platter, with an apple in the middle. Don’t use regular old party cups: Take plain white cups and wrap them with printed-out Luke’s logos. Serve each guest their own bag of burgers and fries, in a white paper bag with a printed out Al’s Pancake World logo. You’ve got the idea.
- Megpies (they’re like homemade Pop-Tarts, and they are to die for)
- Red Vines
- Coffee (or, to put it in Lorelai terms, “Coffee, coffee, coffee!”)
- A coffee bar, with a Keurig machine, rows of assorted K-cups
- Burgers and fries (“the devil’s starchy fingers”)
- Chinese food
- Ice cream (preferably giant gallon buckets of Ben & Jerry’s, or Ample Hills Creamery’s Gilmore-themed ice cream)
- Ring Pops
- Dessert sushi
- Jordan almonds
- Chocolate pudding
- Chocolate turkeys (with missing heads)
- Coffee cake
- Face cake (like the one Sookie made with Rory’s face)
- Tater tots
- Deviled eggs (to be eaten, or tossed at cars)
- Iced tea (the Norman Mailer-approved beverage)
- Remember when aspiring Yale Daily Newsies Rory and Paris had to make hats out of newspaper pages as part of their initiation to the staff? Why not have your guests make their own party hats out of newspapers?
- Max sent Lorelai 1,000 yellow daisies, which, even for daisies, could get expensive, but how about making paper ones and putting them in vases all around party central? Or giving each guest one pretty yellow daisy as a favor?
- Cute invitation idea: colorful paper with “You’ve Been Gilmore-d!” and the party details printed on them, stuffed inside white paper coffee cups with lids and the Luke’s logo drawn on or printed on a computer and glued to the cup, mailed to invitees in little white boxes.
- Wall and table decorations: DIY versions of Luke’s “No Cell Phones” sign, Yale and Chilton pennants (easily DIY-ed on posterboard), and DIY-ed versions of the signs from various Stars Hollow businesses, like Luke’s, Doose’s Market, the Dragonfly Inn, Al’s Pancake World, Weston’s Bakery, Stars Hollow Books, Miss Patty’s School of Ballet, and Kim’s Antiques.
- A giant posterboard version of the Stars Hollow town sign or the town square gazebo would make an amazing backdrop for party photo ops.
- Party favor ideas: ceramic mugs with your favorite Gilmore quotes stenciled on them; ditto bookmarks; search Etsy, where unique Gilmore-inspired goodies include some truly spectacular GG fabric; or boxes of Pop-Tarts with Gilmore-personalized wrappers.
Have your own Gilmore Girls viewing party ideas you’d love to share? We’re listening, er, reading, in the comments section below.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres Nov. 25 on Netflix.