Everybody loves parties, but a theme can set your party apart from all the others. Theme parties are a great way to get people excited about your upcoming soiree, as a theme party is more than just a costume party, involving all aspects of the event. Sure, it requires a bit more creativity, but it’s well worth it! Here are a few theme ideas that will make getting ready for the festivities almost as fun as the party itself.
Monte Carlo/Casino Night
Everyone loves gambling. Decorate your space with red and black balloons. With red and black construction paper, cut out hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds and put them anywhere you want around the home. Have your guests dress in James Bond-esque “cocktail attire” and have a bowl of fun play-jewelry available for them when they arrive. Also give each guest some poker chips that they can use to play the card games. Consider having a prize or two set aside for the player with the most chips at the end of the night. The most popular games are blackjack and poker, but for those non-gamblers among us, try setting up a couple tables of Go Fish or Crazy 8s. The music should be understated, and jazz is always a good bet. Champagne is a must, but almost any cocktail will do!
Have your friends come dressed in 1920’s costumes! Have a makeshift peephole at the front door and request a password that you give out in your invitations. Have a “gun check” (coat check) near the door just in case someone comes packing. Create a speakeasy atmosphere by having very little light in the room. Use hanging lanterns and candles for light. Decorate tables with roses and strands of pearls. Serve all the cocktails in coffee mugs to keep everything low profile. Try some authentic prohibition cocktails like the Colony Cocktail: 1 1/2 oz. gin, 3/4 oz. grapefruit juice and 2 tsp. maraschino liquor, shaken and strained. You can also try a traditional Sidecar; 1 1/4 oz. of cognac, 1/2 oz. Cointreau, 3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Shake and strain into a cinnamon rimmed glass. Create a play list of your favorite 20’s music. Consider including songs by jazz icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Sippi Wallace.
This is a great idea for those who want to go with a playful party theme. Dress down your home so it resembles your old dorm room. Hang old posters from your college days. Don’t forget to include old musicians, some scantily clad women, and a few Dali or M.C. Escher prints. If you’re going all out, make some fun decorations out of cardboard in the shapes of a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a time appropriate computer, and make sure they’re all placed really close to one another. You might include some varsity letters or fraternity signs.
Everyone should dress in their alma mater’s college gear! Make a centerpiece out of Ramen noodle packages. Hang a corkboard and have a Polaroid camera available, so guests can take photos and put them up for everyone to see. For lighting, throw colorful fabrics over lamps (be careful not to start fires) and dig that lava lamp out of the garage, or, you know, move it from your bedroom. Drinks should be served in red plastic cups, and only to those with wristbands. Get a keg and make some disco lemonade (lemonade, vodka, sprite, and sherbet). To really get into the spirit, make some Jell-O shots. Let the music be a fun eclectic mix of your favorite college hits. And don’t forget the drinking games! Flip Cup, anyone?
Create a Moroccan atmosphere by moving out any tall furniture. Line the floors with fabrics, rugs, and throw pillows. Hang sheets and blankets over all your furniture. You may be able to find some great deals at second hand stores. You can also ask your guests to bring some throw pillows. Place brightly colored candles on all your tables and drape beads in between them. Consider hiring a belly dancer or fortuneteller to really get your guests in the spirit! For food, consider a spread of spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, and a hummus plate. There are many different kinds of Moroccan music, so you have many options. You can go with classical, Arabic, or Berber music. Whichever you decide, you’ll have all the ingredients to create a party worthy of royalty. Rock the Kasbah!
A luau is the perfect way to take your summer barbeque to the next level. Don’t worry if the weather is a little chilly, you can also stage an indoor luau to treat those winter doldrums. For lighting and mood, use tiki torches, hurricane lamps, and lanterns. Your decorations can range from seashells and beach balls to grass skirts and raffia huts. You can hang fishnets on the walls, and place plastic fish and flowers in them. Palm leaves can be used as centerpieces or to line tables to really evoke that tropical feel. Tell guests to come in beachwear, complete with Hawaiian shirts and coconut bras. Be sure to have ample leis for all your guests upon arrival. For music, reggae and Caribbean will keep your partygoers jamming and you can get creative with food options. If you want to go whole hog, you can try roasting a whole pig over an open fire pit. For something simpler, opt for grilled pineapple, macadamia nuts, mahi mahi with mango salsa, and bacon wrapped dates. Try a game of limbo or a hula-hoop contest to add to the island feel. Aloha!
Looking for a quick and easy party theme? You can plan a fiesta in a matter of hours. Decorate your home with bright colors and Mexican flags if you have them. You can also blow up inflatable cactuses and buy cheap maracas and sombreros for your guests. Spread chili peppers on the tables for decoration and use crepe paper and streamers to your heart's content. Piñatas are a great decoration and also a fun activity after a couple of cervesas. Create a set list full of mariachi music and traditional Mexican music. You can even hire a mariachi band for a really authentic feel! To go a step up from your chips and salsa routine, make a seven layer dip. Simply use two cans of black beans as the base. Then add a layer of cheese. Top the cheese with a layer of sour cream, then salsa. Top the salsa with guacamole, another later of cheese, and finally sliced olives. You can also set up a make-your-own taco bar. Don’t forget the margaritas!