If a holiday or other special event is coming up fast on your calendar, or you just want to throw a themed party that will impress your friends and get talked about the whole year through, you need a great idea and a way to bring it to life. On your quest for a good theme for a party, you need to take into consideration not only the interests of you and your friends but also what you can transform into a great experience. From decorations to costumes or clothing options to the food you serve, these ideas for themed parties definitely top the list.
Art, Music, TV, and Film Themes
Bring It to Broadway
The lights, the glamour, and the sheer fun of Broadway play can bring life to your themed party anywhere. You could either focus on a specific play or do a general theme. Guests can come as their favorite characters, too. Decorate in theater style and serve dishes made popular by the shows you know and love.
Pop Art Party
Although you could choose everything from Picasso’s cubism to Monet’s Impressionism if you prefer, a pop art party means plenty of fun. Use Campbell’s soup cans for centerpieces, choose bright, primary colors, and even offer dotted comic book style face-painting to your guests. For added party interest, tack up a large canvas, poster boards, or sheet and invite family and friends to paint their own pop art.
Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland
While these two classic books and movies are quite different, they are both iconic ones that a been loved throughout the generations. Choose your favorite and create a party theme with decorations, costumes, and games that fit. For the Wizard of Oz, consider scarecrows, a yellow brick floor mat, and if you smoke machines with scary witches. For Alice in Wonderland, invite guests for an unusual tea party or a game of croquet amid decorations that look like playing cards.
Say Hello to Hollywood
Everyone has a favorite movie, and what could be better than inviting your guests to dress up as a character and him to a themed party celebrates film. The decorations can range from red carpets to gold lame drapery, Oscar statues, movie posters, and reels and film all around the room. Think spotlights and a lot of flash photography to remember this great party forever.
Host the Zombie Horde
Do you have friends that like it a bit darker? When it comes to ideas for themed parties, zombies are not dead. Encourage dressing up in tattered rags with gross makeup, or even offer zombie makeup at the party itself. Serve gruesome hors d’oeuvres that look like body parts or just have icky names but taste delicious. Consider hiring a few zombies to work the crowd and give your guests a fright.
Invite Your Superhero Friends
From Superman to Wonder Woman, superheroes have been hot in the movie theaters for the past decade and more. Costumes make this type of themed party a lot of fun, but even those guests prefer not to dress up can have a great time watching comic book hero movies or TV shows, themed decorations, and party food like kryptonite cookies, Captain America cocktails, and cheese stick appetizers that look like Thor’s hammer.
Music Festival Mayhem
Do you and your friends follow a particular band or type of music? Consider re-creating Woodstock, Lollapalooza, or Coachella in your backyard or at a rented party venue. Play a lot of awesome music, decorate with stage lighting and music-seemed motifs, and keep everything casual and plenty of fun. Think color, banners and flags, glow sticks and more. Casual buffet meals and snacks work best for this type of party. Also, great unique and trendy cocktails to give the whole themed party a current and cool taste.
Decades and Eras
Classic Rock ‘n Roll Sock Hop
Turn back time to the 1950s or 60s with leather jackets, poodle skirts, and saddle shoes galore. Play the golden oldies that had your guests’ parents tapping their feet decades ago. Decorations can include classic school dance motifs, plenty of vinyl records, or classic early diner themes with plenty of balloons and tall glasses full of sodas and malts.
The Roaring 20s
Now that the 20s are here again, a good theme for a party takes guests back a whole century to the time of flappers, the Charleston, and prohibition. Although you could serve sparkling water and fruit juice, consider passing around some bootleg whiskey or moonshine cocktails. Decorate with your best speakeasy, Art Deco, and pure glamour style. You can even take some inspiration from the Great Gatsby.
Wild, Wild West
One of the most popular times in history in the United States for adventure and freedom, the early days of cowboys and ranches, wide-open spaces, horses, and steam trains still delight people to this day. Decorate with country calico, worn wooden bar signs, gold bullion, burlap sacks, and cowboy paraphernalia. Consider hiring an old-time band to get the dancing started and serve up plenty of whiskey, lemonade, and down-home cooking.
Elegant Victorian or Gothic
Do your friends and family love to dress up in lavish clothes? Do they love the finer and darker things in life? Fill your party space with silver candelabras, black silk roses, velvet fainting couches, and more. Create an ambience of intrigue and elegance that will not soon be forgotten.
Look to the Future
Host your next party in a time after the robotic overlords took over. Ask your friends to come in futuristic outfits, decorate with a lot of silver, industrial or mechanical patterns and motifs, and serve unusual gastronomic hors d’oeuvres that truly look out of the ordinary. Everyone can have a great time doing the robot dance and discussing advanced technology.
The Best Decade Ever: The 1980s
Although some of your guests probably lived through it, they would love to go back in time and share their experiences with a new generation. When you put together a 1980s themed party, decorate with bright neon colors, plenty of plastic and pop art, and some of the most iconic items from those days like cassette tapes, Pac-Man, and Rubik’s cube. Play tunes from the hottest hair bands, pop stars like Madonna, or the early days of party rap. Almost any type of food and drinks work for this type of themed party but keep everything fun and carefree.
Cultures and Locations
Safari in the Savannah
Have a wild time at your next party with an African-themed Safari adventure. The recent success of The Lion King can get everyone in the mood for exotic animals and more. Decorate with animal prints, large potted plants, authentic African food, and as many elephants, giraffes, and zebras as you can fit in the room.
French Provincial Garden Parties
You do not need a large estate or a snooty accent to bring a bit of French chic to your next themed party. You cannot hold the picnic outside, decorate inside with plenty of delicate flowers, ferns and flowering trees, and blankets and baskets. Serve the delicious selection of wine and cheese, fresh baguettes, and croissants to all your guests.
Dive Deep Below the Ocean
Who wouldn’t love an underwater adventure diving deep below the ocean waves to the coral reefs where colorful fish swim? Your color scheme is blue, turquoise, coral, and sparkling sandy white. Serve seafood and blue cocktails to all your guests. You may even suggest they dress up in beachwear, nautical gear, or even as a mermaid or merman.
The Brightness of Bollywood
A good theme for a party gets people talking. Bollywood offers plenty of opportunity to impress your guests with amazing Taj Mahal scenery, the bright colors and patterns of silk sari cloth, marigolds and other flowers in streamers and canopies, elephants, sparkle of gold jewelry and decorations, and more. While remaining culturally sensitive, you can still enjoy the style and passion of your favorite Bollywood movies.
Fashion or Style Specifics
Pick Your Favorite Color
Black or white parties have become quite popular, but you do not have to limit yourself to these neutral shades. Ideas for themed parties can follow your favorites whether you love fire engine red, baby blue, or royal purple. You can decorate completely in one color, serve food that shares that shade, and as guests to arrive in matching clothing to complete the theme.
Do you remember sleepovers from when you were a child? You can have just as much fun with your grown-up friends with an innocent pajama party that does not have to last the whole night through. All your guests should show up in comfortable pajamas and get ready to relax with blankets and pillows while you play games, watch movies, and eat classic childhood snacks like popcorn, cookies, and more. This type of party theme gives you a great opportunity to have a bunch of fun and relive some of your favorite childhood memories.
Focus on Fire and Ice
Although this theme can work at any time of the year, it is perfect for a party as the seasons change. Decorate one half of the room in glittering white and silver with icicle lights, snowflakes and plenty of crystal. Decorate the other half with red and gold, flickering electric flame lights, and more. You can even suggest your guests come to represent one of these extremes. Serve frosty drinks, spicy canapés, and cocktails that give guests the best of both worlds.
Sometimes, people just want to dress up in their finest clothing and party with their friends. Instead of wearing the latest fashions, however, invite people to show up in their prom attire from years ago when they were teens. You will get a lot of bad tuxes and poufy, out of style dresses to giggle over. Decorate the room like the high school gym and serve spiked punch and finger food.
Experience the Rainbow
All the colors of the rainbow are beautiful, and they make a good theme for a party, too. Whether you have a lot of LGBTQ+ friends or just want to create an evening with an explosion of color and style, choosing a rainbow as your party scene makes a lot of sense. Organize decorations around the room with blocks of different color in the proper order. You can even find foods that match like seven-layer rainbow cake, fruit skewers with strawberries, orange, pineapple, kiwi cup blueberries, and grapes, or ice cream Sundays with rainbow sprinkles on top.
Even More Ideas for Themed Parties
Explore Your Inner Child
Harken back to the happy parties of your youth with a theme that focuses on pure fun. Get a bounce house rated for adult use, a giant ball pit, plenty of bubble wands and games to play. For this type of party, serve a snack and sweets buffet instead of a sit-down dinner.
Football, Basketball, The Olympics and More
If you and your favorite people love sports of any kind, it would make a great theme for your next party. Of course, if you invite people over to watch the Superbowl or the Olympic opening ceremony, you have an automatic seem that defines your decorations, food, and entertainment. Even if a big sports event is not currently in the news, you can still use anything from All-American baseball to figure skating as a fun party theme.
The Circus Comes to Town
While you will have to skip the lions and elephants, hosting your next party in a striped circus tent or pavilion will fit the bill. Invite people to come in costumes and have jugglers, fortunetellers, or balancing acts on hand. For your more daring and agile guests, consider renting a trampoline to perform tricks. Just keep everything safe.
Fantasy and Enchanted Worlds
With you decorate your party room is a mystical forest with a fog machine, plenty of trees, and fairy lights in the trees or go for a castle look with faux stone on the walls and an animatronic dragon, you are sure to impress your family and friends who love fantasy more than the real world. Make up unusual hors d’oeuvres and customize cocktails served in mystical goblets. Play Celtic music or scores from favorite fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings.
Las Vegas or Casino Parties
Although gambling may be illegal in your location, you can still host party that hits all the right things for a big win. Decorate with glitz and glamour, playing cards and chips, and the type of icons you see in a slot machine. Think opulence when it comes to your decoration choices: red and gold, neon lights, and sheer excitement. An open bar is probably best for this type of party, and make sure to have plenty of delicious appetizers and snacks on hand. Rent a roulette wheel, slot machines, and poker tables for the evening.
Party With the Pirates
Ever since Captain Jack Sparrow graced the big screen, people have been clamoring for more pirate experiences. A great themed party idea combines the wide-open ocean with a sense of danger and venture. You can find plenty of decorations that look nautical and add in the classic Jolly Roger skull and cross bones flag, treasure chests with fake gold and jewels, and treasure map motifs. Even if your guests do not want to don a pirate hat or strap a fake sword to their side, they can get in on the fun with scavenger hunts for booty, and other pirate-themed games and activities.
Outer Space or Celestial Theme
Whether you want to throw a party with rocket ships and astronaut motifs or prefer a focus on the planets, moons, and stars, family and friends you invite will thrill to the amazing decorations and experiences they find. Pick midnight blue, silver, and sparkling lights for most of the style options. Serve outer space themed cocktails named after the planets in the solar system and don’t forget a wide selection of “moon” cheeses to enjoy. As an added attraction, consider heading outside with a few telescopes for your guests to try out.
Host a Murder Mystery
Whether you design it after the cult classic movie Clue or use one of the commercially available packages, throwing a murder mystery party can be great fun. This works best for a smaller group of people who can enjoy a sit-down dinner before the main event. It does require a bit more planning as you will need some of your friends or family to get in on the action to play the host, the house staff, possibly a detective on the case, and the murder victim.
Finding a good theme for a party must take into account your personal interests, what you know your friends and family will love, and what you could realistically do within your budget and the parties place you have available. Do not be afraid to get creative and go a little wild with decorations, costume requests, and seemed food and drinks. Your guests will remember a themed party for a long time to come.