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Help! I Need a Theme!

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Various party planning theme ideas for your next party

A great way to bring a party together is with a kick-ass theme (duh). So what do you do if you have no idea what your theme is? Honestly, I start Googling "great party ideas" or "best birthday themes" and see where the web takes me, which can be a pretty fantastic rabbit hole even if you're not looking to throw a rager anytime soon.

The important things to remember about a theme:

  1. It can be absolutely ANYTHING you want - don't feel like you have to stay within the lines society has created.

  2. You can either make or find any decoration to match your theme (even if it's way out there, Etsy usually has a crafter who has something just as out there to offer you).

What are some of my favorite themes? I'm glad you asked! I've compiled the list below and it includes themed parties I've attended, themed parties I've thrown, or themed parties I someday want to attend or throw (in no particular order). Good luck!

Bowling: Sorry, but it's a classic and it's fantastic, whether it's "big ball," candlepin, or duckpin (although I've yet to play duckpin so please someone let me know if it's not actually cool). Rent a few lanes, grab a few pizzas, and give away crazy bowling socks to your guests.

Travel: Throw up a map of a region, a country, or the whole world and serve foods with mini signs/descriptions.

Black Tie/Bare Feet: Great for outdoor parties - have guests dress up all fancy...except for their feet! Serve fancy foods on paper plates OR really basic/greasy/not fancy foods on the nice dish set (because, come on, please use the nice dishes).

Movie Night (or Day): Pick a movie (animated, serious, cult classic - the sky's the limit) and just go all in. Little Mermaid fan? Grab some shells, wigs - look at all the stuff as it's all neat. More of a Ferris Bueller's Day Off vibe? Look for Chicago goodness, a cool car cutout for pictures, and plaster the walls with some of the best lines.

TV Binge Watching: Similar to a movie watch, but, you know, more. I attended a Gilmore Girls all day affair that had menus printed from Luke's and served breakfast the whole time. And then I threw a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season finale gathering where we dressed in period garb and ate food I picked up at a local Jewish deli. I think I got bonus points for having furniture from the 1950s, but as I didn't give out rating cards, I may never know.

I also enjoy a good Eurovision watch party, bringing in foods from the host country each year. Some years are more successful than others catering-wise, but the watching is always fantastic.

Sports Balls: Love a sport? Get all the sport things! Use balls or mini table-top games as decorations, player cut-outs for photo ops, and go crazy with cupcakes, the perfect shape for most ball-related sports.

Colors: Yes, rainbows are always in so All the Colors is also an excellent option, but what if you really want to focus on Yellow? Is that such a bad thing? Nope! Ask everyone to wear yellow, only serve yellow foods and drinks, all decorations = yellow. It makes a statement and your guests won't soon forget that you love yellow so much that you threw a party for no reason other than to celebrate the color yellow.

Costume: Who said costumes are only for Halloween? You could keep it general, make it fancy (like a masquerade), or do a super specific theme animals, favorite cartoon characters, superheroes, pajamas, writing utensil you most resemble, modes of transportation, or puns-only.

Shot Glasses: I know someone with an over 300 shot glass collection and I think a great party would be to say goodbye to all of them with a "one last shot" party. Have a huge variety of drinks to choose from and have a range of hours people can stop by (ideally an all day situation). Every guest takes one last shot from a glass and has to keep that glass as a souvenir, making sure all the shot glasses are out of my...I mean by the end of the day.


Have everyone create a PowerPoint presentation about something they know a lot about

Create Peeps-dioramas

Build something with Lego

Make a scrapbook: everyone adds one page of a favorite memory with you/someone you

know and you/someone you know get(s) to keep the book

Spa day: face masks, nail painting, massage circle

Murder Mystery

Gingerbread house building that is not Christmas-themed

Mini golf: create your own course or pick three in your area - winner buys ice cream

Fun and Games: So many different directions you can take this!

A specific board game like Candy Land or Monopoly

All the board games you own

League of Legends or other such awesome online game

Stardew Valley (board game AND online game)

Yo-yo or jump rope competition

Olympic games/field day

I could honestly spend all day writing more ideas down but I guess if you want more you should maybe just reach out to me and I can help you find the perfect theme for you and your guests ;)

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