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101 Theme Party Ideas—Because It Ain’t a Party Without a Theme
No joke, a good theme will take your party from a boring gathering to the party of the century. For that reason, we’ve brainstormed 101 party themes and ideas for adults that’ll make you want to throw a huge bash every weekend for the next two years.
From Havana nights to a farm-to-table dinner party there’s something on this list for everyone. We’ve got some great though-starters—but to flesh any of these out, just head on over to Pinterest!
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1. Back to Prom:So your prom has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t relive it with a retro theme party. Crinoline dress entirely optional.
2. Arabian Nights:Get inspired by Morocco when planning your next theme party. Think: belly dancers, traditional Moroccan mint tea (cocktails, obviously), Casbah lanterns, and exotic fabrics.
3. Get Crafty:Why not set up materials so your guests can make jewelry, customize T-shirts, or sew patches onto denim jackets? Have plenty of wine on hand, too.
4. 1980s Dance Party:Because everyone loves leg warmers and dancing to Madonna all night long.
5. Mexican Fiesta:Mariachi music and a do-it-yourself Margarita bar? Success!
6. A Night At El Morocco:Recreate the famous club thatranNew York City from the 1930s to the 1950s in your own home. Think zebra-print accents, retro cocktails, and big band or jazz music.
7. Princess Party: Ask your guests to dress up and supply everyone with tiaras.
8. Maine-inspired Clambake:Have a lobster bake in your own backyard (or even living room) complete with all of the fixings and a raw bar.
9. DIY Spa Party:Why not invite your friends over for a spa party? Hire a manicurist (which is surprisingly affordable) and prepare a variety of do-it-yourself face masks for guests.
10. 1920s Speakeasy:Great Gatsbythemed parties are always a hit, and with good reason. Who doesn’t want to rock their best 1920s-inspired attire, while sipping retro cocktails?
11. Champagne and Dessert party:Nothing’s chicer than bubbly and mini cupcakes.
12. Farm-To-Table Dinner:Why throw an ordinary dinner party when you can get inspired by the latest culinary trend and throw a farm-to-table dinner? Create a dinner with only locally sourced ingredients and your guests will definitely be impressed.
13. Black and White Ball:Mimic Truman Capote’s famous black and white ball which took place in 1966, and have your guestsonlywear black and white.
14. Flower Power Party:Head back to the 1960s with a psychedelic themed party. Set the party to Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
15. Back To College:Because, you’re never too old to throw a kegger complete with beer pong.
16. Slim Aarons-Inspired Pool Party:Have a retro-inspired pool party taking a cue from society photographer Slim Aarons’ famous photographs of socialites lounging poolside from the 1950s and 1960s.
17. 1960s “Mad Men” Inspired Bash:Have your guests dress up as their favorite “Mad Men” character (are you a Joan or a Peggy?) and serve Don Draper’s favorite drink—the Old Fashioned.
18. Old Hollywood Glamour Party:Have a party inspired by The Golden Era of Hollywood and screen sirens and leading men including Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Joan Crawford.
19. Toga Party:Toga parties are a favorite of fraternities for a reason. Don’t forget to serve beer in cans!
20. Cowboys and Indians:Set up a teepee (surprisingly affordable party decor) and have your guests come as either a cowboy or an Indian. Supply everyone with headdresses and cowboy hats.
21. Slumber Party:Slumber parties aren’t just for kids. Have your guests show up in pajamas, then watch movies, and drink champagne.
22. Murder Mystery Party:You’ll be surprised by just how much your guests will get into trying to guess who is the murderer while playing this classic party game.
23. Pumpkin Carving Party:Carving pumpkins is more fun in groups. Serve your guests pumpkin themed treats to complete the theme.
24. Picnic Dinner Party:Why have a formal dinner party when you can have a picnic? Put down a picnic blanket in your backyard and serve picnic foods like a charcuterie plate.
25. Tailgating Party: Get into the team spirit creating a team-specific inspired menu, which will surely impress your guests.
26. Secret Santa Party:Don’t throw just any old holiday party, throw a bash where gifts are involved. Head over to to organize the party, so secret santa really is a secret.
27. Make Your Own Pizza Party: Buy pre-made dough, and have plenty of toppings on-hand—everything from pineapple to Portobello mushrooms—so your guests can really go to town.
28. Game Night:Dig up Monopoly, Checkers, and even Twister, and stage an old-fashioned game night.
29. Masquerade Ball:Have your guests wear black tie and don masks. The party will essentially take care of itself.
30. Book Club:For those who enjoy reading Tolstoy more than raging at a crowded club, why not host a book club themed party. Have your guests each bring their favorite book to trade with someone else during the night.
Image: Studio DIY
31. Cake Decorating Party:Get small cakes for your guests that are blank canvases—plenty of different colors of frosting and sprinkles are necessary—and host a cake decorating party. Make sure to have to-go boxes so your guests can take their cakes with them.
32. Casino Night:Set up craps and blackjack and have casino themed food and drinks on hand too.
33. Mardi Gras:Whether or not you can make it to New Orleans, you can have a Mardi Gras party. Think hurricane cocktails and beaded necklaces for everyone.
34. Ugly Sweater Party:We all have an ugly sweater that our Aunt Martha gave us. Have all of your nearest and dearest show up to a party wearing theirs.
35. Formal Tea Party:Don’t just throw any old lunch: Host a formal tea party complete with tea sandwiches, scones, and clotted cream.
36. Go For the Gold:Gold food, gold drinks, gold decor—you get the idea.
37. Come As You Were: Have your guests come dressed as they would have in high school.
38. Alice in Wonderland:Have a Mad Hatter inspired bash including using mismatched tea cups to serve drinks.
39. Vodka-tasting party.Set up stations with various chilled types of vodka. Be sure to serve olives, caviar, and blue-cheese stuffed olives.
40. Karaoke Party:A karaoke machine is the party gift that keeps on giving. Make sure to have plenty of drinks on hand so your guests are prepared to sing “Hit Me Baby One More Time” in front of the group.
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41. Cinco de Mayo: Have all-you-can-drink margaritas, a make your own taco bar, and end with a tequila tasting.
42. Backyard Carnival:Set up classic carnival booth games and have prizes. Carnival themed foods like cotton candy and funnel cake will only add to the theme.
43. Pirate Bash:Because do you really need an excuse to dress up like a pirate?
44. Parisian Café:At your next dinner party serve Parisian bistro fare inspired by your favorite French restaurant. Party trick: Pick up fries from McDonald’s and pair them with mayonnaise, instead of going to the work of making bistro fries yourself.
45. Dim Sum:When thinking of what to serve at your next dinner party, think dim sum! Party Tip: Short on time? Just do a large order from your favorite Chinese takeout joint instead of trying to cook yourself!
46. Mad Scientist Party:Think weird decorations and laboratory themed food. Feeling extra adventurous? Give all your guests lab coats for the evening.
47. Wine and Cheese Party:You really can’t go wrong with a classic wine and cheese party. Turn it into a potluck and have your guests bring their favorite wine and their favorite cheese.
48. Black Widows Party:Invite your guests over for an elegant evening, asking everyone to wear black and a mask. Freeze creepy crawlies into ice cubes, and have spiders play prominently into the decor.
49. Studio 54:Have a disco themed bash inspired by Studio 54’s heyday. Dancing all night is not optional in this case.
50. Midnight Breakfast:French toast and pancakes aren’t just for the morning, why not host a midnight breakfast? Sub coffee for cocktails, naturally.
51. Grilled Cheese Off:Have the theme of your next party be grilled cheese, and create a do-it-yourself grilled cheese bar with different breads and cheeses to choose from.
52. Make Your Best Dish Potluck:Have each of your friends prepare their favorite dish for the ultimate potluck to end all potlucks.
53. Blind-Wine Tasting:Get five of your favorite wines, cover them in paper or burlap bags, and have your guests informally taste them. Supply everyone with paper and a pencil so they can record their tasting notes, and then do the big reveal at the end.
54. Backyard Rosé Party:Have a party dedicated to our favorite kind of wine—rosé! It is as good of an excuse to throw a party as anything.
55. Anna Karenina:Channel Russian royalty with an Anna Karenina themed bash. Think rich colors, rich clothes, and lots of bling.
56. Campfire:Campfires aren’t just for camp. Create a s’mores station and serve hot cocoa at a campfire theme party.
57. Under the Stars Movie Party:The best place to watch a movie as far as we are concerned is outside, under the stars. All you need is a movie projector, a wall, and a white sheet.
58. Geishas and Samurais:Throw a Japanese-influenced party having your guests dress as either geishas or samurais.
59. Trivia Night:Why not get your friends together for a good old-fashioned trivia night.
60. Barbie’s Dreamhouse:Throw a pink themed party that would make Barbie and Ken proud.
61. Easter Egg Hunt: This classic party is always a crowd pleaser. Make sure to have a lot of chocolate Easter eggs on hand.
62. Diwali Soiree: Illuminate your home with colorful lights and candles for a Diwali themed soirée to celebrate the “festival of lights.”
63. Cookie Making Bash:Gather your nearest and dearest and make your favorite chocolate chip cookies. Make sure that your guests get a to-go package of what they made (if there are any left, of course).
64. Pasta Party:Have a pasta themed party for your next dinner. Serve with your favorite Chianti.
65. Breakfast at Tiffany’s:Get inspired by this classic movie when you are planning the decor for your next bash.
66. Champagne Potluck:Have everyone bring one (or two) bottles of champagne. The party will practically make itself. Specify your preferred champagne brand on the invite.
67. Come Dressed As Your Favorite Painting:Have your guests dress as Mona Lisa or the Girl With the Pearl Earring.
68. Fall Harvest Dinner:Prepare a special sit-down for fall using only ingredients that are in season. It makes for the perfect seasonal kickoff.
69. Hawaiian Luau:Nothing says let’s party quite like Tiki cocktails. Make sure to have a signature drink on hand for the night like a Mai Tai, and grass skirts for everyone.
70. Crochet and Pink Lemonade:Host a crochet and pink lemonade party on a warm summer day. Serve nostalgic food to go along with the theme.
71. Dessert Party:Why serve anything but desserts at your next soirée? From a candy bar, to trays of cupcakes, this is a bash for true sweet tooths.
72. Stache Bash:Mustaches are a bona fide fashion trend these days. Set up a stache station for your guests with different varieties, and make sure to take a lot of photos.
73. A Clockwork Orange:Get inspired by this Stanley Kubrick classic when planning your next party.
74. Jungle Bash: Rainforests are a sea of thick green vegetation, so help recreate this atmosphere by bringing in as many plants to your house as possible.
75. A Cocktail Per Room:Create a do-it-yourself cocktail station in each room of your party, with one cocktail per room, and all of the ingredients your guests will need to make that cocktail themselves. Remember to leave out instructions.
76. Star-Gazing Soirée:Invite your guests over during the summer to star-gaze. Supply star maps, a telescope, and some blankets so your guests can lie on the ground and get comfortable.
77. 007 Party:Get inspired by all thing spy and James Bond when you are planning your next big party. Black tie, of course.
78. Surf’s Up: Think surf’s up when planning your next party, and don’t be afraid to weave surf boards into your party decor.
79. Denim and Diamonds:Have your friends don their favorite denim looks along with diamond (rhinestones work perfectly as well) for a fun theme party.
80. Lord of the Rings:We got Lord of the Rings party fever big time when we saw it was theme of Sean Parker’s wedding. Now we need to do it ourselves.
81. Oscars Party:Throw an Oscars watching party, asking everyone to dress up like they’re walking the red carpet.
82. Havana Nights:You really can’t go wrong throwing a Cuban themed fiesta.
83. Winter Wonderland:Throw an all white bash complete with fake snow. If you are feeling extra adventurous decorate with ice sculptures.
84. Cupcake Wars:Get cupcakes from four to five of your favorite cupcake spots, and have your guests decide who makes the ultimate cupcake.
85. Downton Abbey Watching Party:As obsessed withDownton Abbeyas we are? Dress up as your favorite character and watch the show en masse.
86. Truth or Dare?:There is no such thing as being too old to have a truth or dare party.
87. Justin Bieber Theme Party:Have you been to a party store recently? Have you seen all of the Justin Bieber party gear that there is? We think a campy Justin Bieber themed party is the way to go. Make sure to get a life-size Justin cardboard cut-out and have all of your guests take a photo with it.
88. Enchanted Forrest:Transform your next party into an enchanted forest dressing up your space with branches and twinkling starlit-inspired bulbs.
89. Wizard of Oz Party:There is no place like home. Take cues fromThe Wizard of Ozwhen thinking up decor for your next party. Ruby red slipper make great centerpieces, by the way.
90. I Want To Be a Supermodel:Throw a fashion inspired party, with supermodels as your inspiration. Make sure to play George Michael’s “Freedom” on repeat throughout the event.
91. Decorate the Christmas Tree:Decorating the Christmas tree is more fun with friends. Have everyone bring an ornament to add to the tree and serve welcoming holiday drinks like eggnog and mulled cider.
92. Anchors Away:You might not own a yacht, but you can certainly party like you do. Think royal blue and white decor and plenty of anchors as the theme of your decor.
93. Roaring 1930s Gangster Party:Have your guests dress up as gangsters and supply Prohibition-style cocktails.
94. Backyard Beer Bash:Beer connoisseurs will appreciate a party dedicated to all things beer (you can even work beer as an ingredient into your menu).
95. Ascots, Cardigans, and Bow Ties:Ask each of your guests to wear one of these items, which will make for great photos,andset the tone for the decor.
96. Scotch and Chocolate:Pour your favorite scotch, and have a range of your favorite chocolates on hand for this dream of a party.
97. English Pub:Get inspired by the grub served at an English pub. Think fish and chips and a proper beer.
98. Retro Bowling Party:Because sometimes a night of bowling is all it takes to have a great party.
99. Doughnuts and Milk:Planning a low-key afternoon affair? Doughnuts and milk are the way to go.
100. What Would Coco Chanel Do: Get inspired by the late and great Coco Chanel when planning next your party. We think a party planned by Chanel would involve plenty of camellias and black and white decor.
101. See Red:Nothing is quite as romantic as throwing a party that is entirely red. Red decor, red flowers, red velvet cake—you get the idea.
101 Theme Party Ideas—Because It Ain’t a Party Without a Theme | @stylecaster
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