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The Best Halloween Party Themes For Your Spooky Party

group of people attending a Halloween party

There are so many Halloween party themes to choose from that it may be difficult to narrow them down to just one. Bobbing for apples or sticking your fingers in red-colored jello for some sugary treats is far too traditional for a twenty-first century Halloween bash.

Themes breathe life into an otherwise uneventful celebration. Imagine sailing the pirate sea in search of chocolatey treasures, or squirming at the sight of a mangled finger cookie! There is so much to discover and gawk at with Halloween parties that the next spook could be just around the corner.

Why Halloween Party Themes Are Better than Non-Themed Halloween Parties

Throwing a party for whatever reason is enough to get your adrenaline pumping. But arranging a fiesta with a theme in mind is what makes it extra exciting! Themes make the party feel special, personal, and best of all, really fun. When we were kids, simply dressing up for Halloween was enough but once we grow older, we need a special something to get us into the Halloween spirit!

Themes show the party-goers that the Halloween bash was well-planned and thought out for weeks before it was to set to take place. It shows the host cares about making sure their guests have a great time, whether its a zombie-land of blood and guts or a fairy-tale land full of pixie dust and princess gowns.

a Halloween party pumpkin on entrance

DIY vs Buying

Before purchasing all your decorations, it may be worth building some of the decorations yourself. While this means spending some time and effort to create something entirely on your own, you can potentially save money on decor pieces given what you may have on-hand. For instance, a stand-up Halloween figure can cost anywhere from one hundred dollars to five hundred dollars. However, building one yourself may only end up costing forty to fifty dollars and it will look exactly how you want it to look. When everything is said and done, you will have a Halloween prop you can be proud to display and use year after year.

Unfortunately, these homemade props may not be as sturdy or high quality as the ones purchased in-store. Plus, it will take a significant amount of time to create. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of making your own pieces before diving head-first into party planning.

How To Prepare For A Themed Halloween Party

The key to planning a successful themed Halloween party is to plan ahead. Figure out which pieces you can make yourself, what you should purchase, and where you should make your purchases. All the prep work revolves around your budget, and how crafty you want to be with your decorations.

DIY projects should be done well in advance to work around any existing plans. Purchased items should also be done one to two weeks in advance, just in case the retailer does not have an item you require in stock.

Finally, don't forget about the food and drinks! If you love to cook or bake, enlist the help of some loved ones to help out in the kitchen to prepare a spooky feast. But if you'd rather save the cooking for someone else, catering from your favorite local restaurant will save you a headache. There are also plenty of alcoholic- and non-alcoholic beverage recipes online that can easily jive with your themed Halloween party.

custom for halloween party

Our List of Halloween Party Themes

Below you'll find a comprehensive list of themes we guarantee will be a smash hit at your next Halloween bash.

Freaky Carnival

Turning your home into a twisted carnival will give your guests the heebie-jeebies. This Halloween party theme is all about taking sweet, innocent carnival memories of your youth, and distorting them into a nightmarish event.

lady with face paint halloween

Costumes

Skeletal clowns with ragged red and orange hair and bloodied clothes are a classic carnival costume. So are circus performers, harlequin get-ups, and magicians. Despite being circus territory, you could probably also get away with a ringmaster costume coupled with an elephant or lion. Just make sure they look a little scary before you walk into the demented carnival!

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Food

Thankfully, the food doesn't necessarily have to take a scary twist because classic carnival food happens to make great party food too. Appetizers include corn on the cob, pretzels, and popcorn (of course). If you're looking to make some mains, sliders (mini hamburgers), corn dogs, and hot dogs are easy to eat while socializing. Lemonade and root beer can satisfy the kids, while cocktails inspired by cotton candy and candied apples will please the older crowd. Finally, the dessert table can be jam-packed with sweets such as ice cream, cotton candy, and cookies.

Decorations

  • Glowing crystal ball
  • Mini clown masks as wall decor
  • Stand-up clown figures
  • Red and white plastic tablecloths
  • Red and white striped wallpaper resembling a circus tent

House Of Horrors

This is the scariest of all Halloween themes! This Halloween party theme is all about making your venue look downright terrifying. Forget the cliche haunted house of your youth, for there are no bed sheet ghosts or pseudo spider webs in the corner of the ceiling. This theme requires a lot of attention to detail and loads of props, music, and perhaps even actors to scare the daylights out of your guests.

halloween party themes

Costumes

Make sure your invites require your guests to wear the most bone-chilling costume they can find to blend in with this Halloween party theme. Fictional costumes include a bloodied patient, a murderous nun, a living scarecrow, or even a porcelain doll come to life. Or, you take inspiration from Hollywood and purchase the villainous Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Anything that strikes fear into the hearts of others is acceptable garb for a theme of this caliber.

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Food

The good thing about horror-inspired food is that anything can look bloody with a little bit of red food dye and red candy melts! If you’re doing most of the cooking and baking yourself, appetizers are very easy to assemble. For instance, some Jell-o and Halloween sprinkles can give you a bloody good bowl of popcorn. The main course can be deviled eggs with red insides, or perhaps a cheese ball carved in the shape of a human brain. Skip making dessert and instead, have it made for you! A skull- or brain-shaped red velvet cake with bloody drips of chocolate will make your guests’ skin crawl.

Decorations

  • Nooses
  • Window decorations (such as drops of blood)
  • Faux dead bodies
  • Red/black candles
  • Bloodied barbed wire
  • DIY fake hands (or any other limb)

Superhero Halloween Theme

Superhero Halloween party themes are fun for both kids and adults. It is the perfect theme to finally dress up as your favorite hero or heroine and show the world you have what it takes to save it. Making your room or home feel like a superhero headquarters may prove a little difficult as there are not many of these kinds of decorations readily available in stores. You can, however, make your own city skyline and add your favorite Superhero balloon to finish out the design. For every one superhero-related piece of home decor, there are twenty spooky Halloween decorations. But in the end, your party will be unforgettable.

boy in a superhero costume with cape and mask

Costumes

Costumes for these kinds of Halloween party themes are entirely dependent on the person. Adults may want to buy or make their own costumes. However, children may wish to make up their own superhero name and costume  and that is completely acceptable! If your child wants to wear an old bath towel, an old eye mask, a pair of gloves, and call himself the “Incredible Hot Dog Boy” — then their imagination is enviable. It’s all about having fun.

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Food

Finding pre-prepped food for a superhero-themed Halloween party can be easily managed with a little imagination and creativity. Stores simply do not typically stock Superhero Rice-Krispy squares or pizzas in the shape of shields. Most of the food will have to be made by the host or special ordered. Food for a superhero party can include crushed green Jello-O as Superman's kryptonite, while a plate of cheese squares with a pretzel is Thor’s hammer! Fruit trays can depict Superman or Captain America’s emblem. For dessert, use Batman-shaped cookie cutters to cut the perfect shape.

Decorations

  • Cityscape backdrop
  • Superhero-inspired piñata
  • Superhero party pennants
  • Themed plates, cutlery, and cups
  • Tulle fabric in red, yellow and blue for ceiling and walls
  • Jumbo Superhero word cutouts

Pirate Themed Halloween Party

Channel your inner Ching Shih or Jack Sparrow to pull off the best pirate Halloween party this part of the Atlantic has ever seen! Nailing these Halloween party themes is all about being inspired by all things nautical and making food and decor both fun and visually engaging. This theme is significantly more kid-friendly, but adults can still partake without feeling the least bit childish: its all about presentation.

little kid in a pirate costume

Costumes

Costume choices are unlimited when it comes to this Halloween party theme. Pirate hats, eye patches, hoop earrings, and a little “beard” makeup will go far! Whether you’re swabbing the decks or manning the ship, you’re still a pirate. Fortunately, practically every retailer has several versions of the pirate costume. Accessorizing can make even the blandest of costumes stand out from the rest. Don't forget your very own “Polly”!

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Food

While there is no pre-packaged “pirate food” available at big box stores, making nautical-themed food is relatively easy. Appetizers can be as simple as a container of “Polly’s crackers” with some “seaweed dip.” Fruits and vegetables can be picked up using tiny plastic pirate swords from your local dollar store. Mains can consist of corndog “peg legs” and chicken nuggets (or “golden nuggets” as the pirates say). Popcorn can be “pirate teeth” while gold foil-wrapped chocolates are the hidden treasure. There are so many unique ways to plate appetizers that making the food should not take up too much time. Don’t forget the drinks! There are plenty of pirate-inspired cocktail recipes available online to pacify even the pickiest of drinkers.

Decorations

  • Skeletons
  • Faux chains and rope
  • Wooden barrels or DIY barrels
  • Realistic decorative fishnet
  • Pirate themed treasure map tablecloth

Zombie Halloween Theme

One of the most in-demand Halloween party themes is the undead, also known as zombies. This theme has become increasingly popular due to shows such as The Walking Dead and movies like Shaun of The Dead and Zombieland. This theme is all about making otherwise ordinary costumes look scary, bloody, and very much dead. The decor should look like something between a fresh crime scene and an eerie cemetery. While that sounds awfully difficult to create, below are some ways to incorporate this Halloween party theme that into your costume, food, and decor.

man with zombie make up

Costume

When it comes to your Halloween character, anything can become zombified. A doctor can become an undead surgeon, a bride can become a flesh-eating bridezilla, and a harmless cheerleader could be looking for her next human meal. It all comes down to torn clothes, a skeletal face, and wounds in the right place. The key to making realistic-looking cuts and scrapes is to invest in spirit gum, liquid latex, thin tissue paper, and layers of color for bruises and dead tissue. First-timers can purchase wound kits and study online tutorials.

Food

Not unlike Horror House Halloween party themes, anything blood-soaked will perfectly tie into a zombie theme. An olive wrapped in cream cheese inside a slice of pepperoni makes for the perfect eyeball appetizer. For the main course, fire up the grill and make some delicious ribs with your preferred BBQ sauce. Plate the ribs around a plastic skeleton laid out on the table and voila — a zombie feast! Desserts include bloody fingers made of shortbread cookie dough or some blood-splattered sweets. If you aren’t much of a baker, most stores will carry one or two zombie-inspired desserts a couple of weeks before Halloween.

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Decorations

  • DIY zombie pit
  • Faux tombstones
  • Zombie Flamingo
  • Yellow caution/toxic danger tape
  • Bloody floor footprints and wall handprints

Crime Scene Halloween Party Theme

This theme is one of the most thoughtful Halloween party themes of the list. This requires great attention to detail and planning to ensure everything is picture-perfect. Don’t think of this as your run-of-the-mill police crime scene, but rather a Sherlock-Holmes-type of party where everyone is trying to solve a mystery.

crime scene with human marker

Costume

Costumes for this kind of Halloween party theme party can either be purchased or skillfully crafted at home with some imagination and elbow grease. Store-bought costumes include detective gear, including a hat and magnifying glass, or CSI-type costumes. Funnier but just as effective DIY costumes include wrapping yourself up in police caution tape or zipping yourself up in a body bag.

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Food

There aren’t many places that sell anything edible which relate to this Halloween party theme. During the Halloween season, you may find some cookies that are splattered with blood but otherwise, making your own or catering will be your best bet. Snacks include cups of “on the trail” mix (nuts, dates, etc.) and mini hotdogs which can be labeled “detective dogs.” Avid bakers can try their hand at making cookies which resemble magnifying glass cookies. Why not lay out the food in the shape of a skeleton or stick a knife in the cake with blood dripping from it and play a game of “who done it” with the party guests. The ideas are endless. Those looking to cater can order a custom layered cake with footprints making their way to the top tier.

Decoration

  • Caution tape
  • Footprint decals
  • Chalk or white tape for floor crime scene
  • Strategically placed fake murder weapons in each room

Comparison Table

Product

Easy To Attain

Creative

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Attractive

Cost Efficiency

Freaky Carnival

House Of Horrors

Superhero Halloween Theme

Pirate Themed Halloween Party

Zombie Halloween Theme

Crime Scene Halloween Party Theme

Which Theme Should You Choose?

Selecting which of the listed Halloween party themes is best for you is an entirely personal choice. Some require more prep work and hand-made items but in the end, feel more fun and inviting. Others require plenty of funds and organization to ensure the scariest, most scream-inducing party your guests have ever had. Whatever the theme you decide to go with, we wish you all the best in your Halloween-planning adventures.

If you have thrown a successful themed Halloween party not listed, or have a favorite, let us know in the comments!

Great Birthday Themes For All Ages That You Must Experience

chocolate birthday cake with candles

When people think of parties with birthday themes, they often think of children. Princesses, pirates, science parties, animals -- and enough sugar to make a dentist wince. But themed parties aren't just for kids. In fact, theme parties for adults are huge right now. You can go subtle or wild. Make it a cozy potluck or go all out with a fully catered extravaganza. Hire a decorator or do it yourself. Or better yet, have decoration-making an activity your guests can take part in as well.

If you're looking for great birthday themes for a grown-up party, you'll be spoiled for choice. How about a glitzy Hollywood-themed bash? Or a mysterious masquerade? The only limit is your imagination -- oh yeah, and your budget.


Great Birthday Themes For Adults

You're all grown up now, but you can still throw a rad birthday bash. What's your pleasure?

Hollywood Theme

party themes: Hollywood black and white movie film clips on a red background

Swimming pools and movie stars -- everyone dreams of making it big in Hollywood. Why not let Hollywood inspire your special day?

Decorations

Hollywood birthday themes are is all about glitz and glamor. That means bright colors and shiny decor.

Start by inviting your users with Hollywood or movie-style invitations. Try something like backstage passes or invitations featuring candy or popcorn. Roll out the red carpet and take pictures as your guests arrive. Inside the event, you can set up a backdrop like those set up at A-list premiers. Have everyone take their pictures in front of it.

Activities

No Hollywood party is complete without fun Hollywood activities like celebrity trivia, charades, or guessing games. You can also play Celebrity 20 Questions or even have guests dress up as their favorite star for a fashion show.

Masquerade

party themes: a woman in a masquerade mask

Masquerade birthday themes are versatile and fun. Make it spooky, romantic, mysterious, or...?

Decorations

When it comes to decorating a masquerade party, the bigger, the better. And it's all about the masks. Buy them online or make your own. The key is bright and flashy colors. Use glitter, ribbons, and sheer fabrics for extra effects. Dresses and suits, or full-on costumes? It's your choice.

Activities

There are many fun activities that you can do at a masquerade ball. Have an elegant dance contest or set up a scavenger hunt with a fun reward for the winner. You might also have a silent auction. At the end of the event, give out party favors like feathered headbands, glitter candles, and personalized masks.

A Casino Party

party themes: a roulette wheel

Bring the casino into your home for a fun, not-so-high stakes party. Go Vegas style or carnival-style -- it's completely up to you.

Decorations

Casino birthday themes are fully customizable. You can pick your favorite games and set them up at home. Fan out a deck of cards at every table. Mock up a roulette wheel or poker table. Serve snacks on silver trays and use champagne glasses to complete the look.

Activities

That's easy! Your guests will have a blast at the blackjack table, the roulette wheel, or a friendly poker tournament. You can even rent a slot machine. Gamble with chips that your guests can turn in for prizes at the end.

A Sports Party

party themes: a football player holding a football

Of all the birthday themes, sports may be one of the most popular for all age groups. And sports fans and those who love them can all have a great time.

Decorations

Decorating is easy. Pennants, banners, and more are all available from your local party store. Drape your house in team colors. You can even get cardboard cutouts of your favorite stars, or have guests dress up as players.

Activities

If you're hosting your event at home, try party-friendly variations of your favorite sports. Try Nerf-ball soccer, mini-basketball, or driveway bowling. Or take the party to an actual game. Invite guests to dress as their favorite athletes and have a contest.


Fun Birthday Themes For Youngsters

While adults enjoy fun birthday themes, our kids go bonkers for them. Whether they're teenagers, preteens, or babies, a good themed party can create memories that you'll treasure forever. Here are some great birthday themes for each age group.

Themes For Teens

Once the kids get into their teen years, they may get a little more serious, but few can resist these great birthday themes.

Karaoke

birthday themes: a woman singing karaoke

Karaoke is one of the best birthday themes for teens because it creates a lot of fun without going too overboard. This is also the ideal theme for those who love to sing their hearts out.

How to decorate

A karaoke theme is more about the music, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add flashy decorations. Cut musical notes out of construction paper or buy some at a party store and hang them up. A temporary disco ball in the middle of the room is always fun. Finish it off with music inspired streamers and colored banners .

Activities

Sing karaoke, of course! Many party stores rent karaoke machines. You can also play games like guessing the song from a few notes, or limbo.

A Stranger Things Party

birthday themes: the words Stranger Things in red font on a black background

The Netflix drama Stranger Things is one of the most popular shows on television. It has everything -- government conspiracies, psychic powers, and, most of all, teenaged heroes. It also makes for one of the most colorful, edge-of-your-seat party themes.

Decorations

First, have guests dress up as their favorite character. Haven't seen the show? No problem. Just wear your favorite 80s-inspired outfit. Then, hang up creative banners with popular phrases from the show like “RIP Barb” or put up Will Byers Missing Posters.

Activities

You can make up all sorts of activities based on the show. How about having an Eggo-eating contest based on Eleven’s favorite food? You can even have a Stranger Things treasure hunt. Then have a costume contest. Finish the night off by collecting a bunch of your favorite quotes from the show while the group guesses who said what.

Throw A Pool Party

birthday themes: balloons floating in a swimming pool

If there is one thing that teenagers enjoy, it is hanging around the pool. And if you've got one, then your house is already a party waiting to happen.

Decorations

Consult your teen about decorations. For younger teens, there are a plethora of options. Some of the more colorful decorations include beach ball garland, beach blanket inspired napkins, or get a completepool party decorating kit.

You can even decorate the pool itself by throwing in balloons, or quirky inflatables like palm trees or flamingos.

Activities

When the teens aren’t splashing, jumping, and horsing around in the pool, they can try some of these other activities. How about Marco Polo, having chicken fights on each other’s shoulders, or having a funny hair competition? Those who feel comfortable can have a cannonball or belly flop contest.


Themes For Preteens

Some of the most exciting birthday themes are for kids between the ages of five and 12. These kids know how to party, and the following themes will kick up any birthday bash to the next level.

Rockstar Party

birthday themes: a rock band onstage with purple lights

The older kids will get a kick out of rock star birthday themes. These aren’t hard rock inspired themes, but instead lighter events where inflatable guitars are the stars.

Decorations

A kids' rock star party comes down to musical symbols and colorful backgrounds. Throw out some rock inspired plates and silverware. Hang up some fun posters and throw in those aforementioned inflatable guitars. You can even have a personalized banner for the birthday boy or girl.

Don’t forget the rock star party favors, like guitar pick necklaces, temporary tattoos, and inflatable microphones.

Activities

Rockstar birthday themes bring with them a ton of fun party activities. Start off by having an air guitar contest. While you are at it, gather the other attendees and start a whole air band. Another fun activity involves sitting in a circle and passing around a notecard. Each person writes a word down before passing it on. Once it goes around, everyone sings your brand new song lyrics. Dancing contests and trivia games are also fun rock star activities.

Arts And Crafts Theme

birthday themes: an arts and crafts table with paints and brushes

If there is one thing that younger kids love to do, it is arts and crafts. Art based birthday themes can be memorable for all involved.

Decorations

Arts and crafts birthday themes mean color and imagination. Make sure there are plenty of markers and paint sets available on each table for spontaneous creativity. Go to the party store, buy balloons and add glitter and stickers and hang them around the room. You can also make handmade paper banners to announce the birthday of the guest of honor.

Activities

There is no limit to the number of activities at an arts and crafts party. Start with finger painting. Then move on to making scrapbooks, tie-dye shirts, jewelry, masks and so much more. You can even pass out blank party hats that each child can color and decorate then bring home as a party favor.


Themes For Babies and Toddlers

There is nothing more adorable than watching babies and toddlers celebrating the first birthdays of their lives. These novel birthday themes bring the events to maximum cuteness.

Pink Princess Theme

birthday themes: a baby in a tutu and tiara

What little girl can resist a pretty pink princess party? Replace the batteries in your camera because these parties are memory makers.

Decorations

The answer to this question is simple, make it pink, pink, pink!

Set the tables with pink floral arrangements, add pink plates and napkins, put out pink cupcakes, and lots of jars of pink jelly beans. Encourage the kids to wear their finest pink dresses and switch out the party hats or elegant tiaras. You can top off the party by decorating the walls with pictures of pink Barbies and princesses.

Activities

Start off the festivities by unleashing the crayons and colored pencils and coloring in pictures of famous princesses or coloring in pre-cut stencils. Other fun princess games include creating Disney-inspired DIY party bags, having a Disney princess treasure hunt, or play a rousing game of musical thrones instead of musical chairs.

Candyland Theme

birthday themes: the candyland board game

If your kids love candy and adventure, then Candyland birthday themes are a slam dunk.

How to Decorate

Candyland has always been a popular board game of the same name, so there are plenty of game-inspired decorations from which to choose. Have the kids walk through the Candyland arch or have them take glamor shots in front of a Candyland standee. Of course, no candy theme would be complete without a fun pinata!

Activities

After the kids have popped open the pinata, they can create their own candy necklaces or even create and play a life-sized Candyland game. After that, engage in a licorice eating contest, have races while holding a gumball in a spoon, or get a chocolate fondue machine. No matter what you do, if you send the kids home with lots of chocolate, then everyone's a winner.

A Sesame Street Party

birthday themes: three life-sized Sesame Street characters

When you're looking at birthday themes for little kids, you can’t go wrong with one centered around Sesame Street. It is a party theme that will be both entertaining and educational.

Decorations

Decorating for Sesame Street birthday themes is a snap when you have so many memorable characters to choose from. There are a ton of Big Bird balloons, Elmo party hats, and Cookie Monster plates to go around. For food, create or buy Cookie Monster cookies or zany rice crispy treats. Don’t forget the steamers and honeycomb decorations.

Activities

Start off by having a face painting booth where guests get painted as their favorite Sesame Street character. Then, play pin-the-tail-on-the-muppet. This fun game involves having a parent act as Big Bird while moving around the house via walking, skipping, crawling, and dancing. The kids have to follow behind mimicking the motions.


Birthday Themes Limited Only to Your Imagination

These are some of our favorite birthday themes. However, these options are just the start. When it comes to how to celebrate your special day, the possibilities are only limited to your creativity. When coming up with your own theme, think about your interests. If you like space, then do an astronaut theme. Like Darth Vader? Then have a Star Wars theme. Your imagination is the only limit.

Which of these birthday themes is your favorite? Have you had a different theme that you really enjoyed? Share your stories in the comments.

How to Throw a Pink Themed Party Your Little Girl Will Never Forget

pink birthday theme with pink cake and flowers

Throwing a pink-themed party for your little girl is never easy. Girls grow and change faster than boys, switching their hair, their style, and their music as often as the wind blows. Still, there are always things that will say "girl." Target ended the practice of dividing toys into sections for boys and girls. All they really did was remove the gender but left the aisles intact.

When you take a right down the lane with the Barbies and the My Little Ponies, you may not be in a place specially designated for girls. You are, however, in the most likely area in the store to find a girl's toy. A party is the same way. When you walk into a girl's party, you know it immediately. Picking a theme that says "girl" but still gives you plenty of options, is therefore critical.


How About a Pink Themed Party?

A pink themed party is an obvious choice for a girl's party. Not only little girls, either. Girls well into their teens still love girlie things. Even into adulthood, women are going to experience their fair share of girlie, pink party themed parties, from baby showers to bachelorette parties and beyond. Why not? After all, a pink themed party is nothing new. There are as many options in pink as there are with any other party theme.

flower petal party

To do a pink themed party -- on the cover -- is a piece of cake. Buy pink. Combine red with white. Make it look pretty. The problem isn't creating a pink party theme atmosphere; it's sticking to the theme for two or three hours and planning it well enough to satisfy a gaggle of girlie girls. You'll have to think outside the box.


How to Throw a Pink Themed Party

Any party requires lots of planning. When your entire party is going to be a single color, that planning is more straightforward. It is also -- in many ways -- far more difficult. It's easier because the bigger party stores all have sections of colors so you can coordinate a party right. Box stores have party aisles. Craft stores have specialty baking and candy-making supplies.

The world is ready for you to head out and create a pink themed party. Before you go, however, you'll need to make a plan. Setting out to find party supplies without knowing what you're looking for first is an egregious error in judgment. You'll end up buying too much, wasting a bunch and hating the color pink for the rest of your days.

The Invitations

A pink themed party should have pink invitations. Pink invitations are easy to find. What isn't easy, for those who haven't begun the process, is figuring out to whom to send them. Schools have strict rules about invitations these days. You can't directly send your child to school with a pocket full of invitations to give to her best friends. If your child doesn't invite the whole class, she can't invite anyone.

birthday invitation card

That doesn't mean you're required to throw a pink-themed party for 25 3rd-graders. It means you have to find other ways to invite your kid's friends. A note to the teacher will often get you the help you need connecting. They have voluntary email lists they make available to parents. They'll also be able to contact other parents with your information privately.

Those with space and resources, of course, can invite the whole gang and watch as elementary school monsters destroy your home and yard. It's all part of the fun of throwing these things. Girls and boys alike can have a boatload of fun at a pink themed party.

The Decorations

Easy, now. A pink themed party is going to have you salivating at all the decorations available. Pink doesn't just represent pretty and girlie; it also conjures images of princesses, panthers, and oliphants. Your theme, which you'll need to expand with the size of your party, has plenty of options.

The basics are just that -- basic. Pink isn't a single color; it's a series of shades. By adding white to the color red, you will create pink. The more white you add, the lighter the shade of pink. Therefore, when throwing a pink themed party, the colors that make your primary pink will also match. Don't be afraid to toss in some dark red heart-shaped balloons and white ribbon to balance out the look.

Before you go out looking, get an idea of what each store you plan to visit offers. Party City, Walmart, Target, Michaels and Hobby Lobby all have websites you can search to decide which has the best styles of the decorations you're considering. You'll be able to order what you like online, of course, but you'll also miss out on the opportunity to see things that aren't on the website. Those who include their little girl in the planning also get the benefit of an afternoon shopping trip for pretty pink themed party supplies.

The Food

Food for a pink-themed party is much easier if you plan for the early-to-mid afternoon. Pizza is red and white, sure, but you'd rather spend your food budget on pretty pink pastries, candies, and other confections. Party City offers an array of candy in both light pink and bright pink.

Pink cakes and cupcakes are typically available in the pre-decorated case at your local supermarket or baker. Pink is a trendy color in baking, representing girls from birth through the birth of their own and beyond. Your options will include princesses and ponies or anything you print out and bring them.

Party Dessert Sweet Cupcakes Celebration Pastry

You can also get creative with food coloring and create your buffet of pink delights. Any cheesecake, angel food or yogurt-based dessert becomes pink with a drop or two. Pink party themed cookies are as easy as replacing your chocolate chips with pink M&Ms.


Keeping the Party Pink

Now that you have a pink themed party and a bunch of kids, food, and decorations, the question becomes -- how do you keep the theme "pink?" Start with obvious and work your way down from there.

Music

Do you hate Kidzbop? Get over it. Kidzbop has a long list of P!NK songs that girls know and love. Kidzbop, as well as a couple of other channels dedicated to their covers, will add the depth of music and videos to your little one's party. Kids love to dance. Not only will it be a big hit with them, but the pictures and videos will also be cherished across social media.

Crafts

Tie Dye. You know you want to. Tie-dying is messy and fun. It is also inexpensive. Gift bags full of poorly-constructed toys and gimmicks are all well and good, but nobody forgets a messy good time. Thrift stores and bargain basements have plain white shirts and tank tops for next to nothing. Tie-dye coloring is washable. You'll have to either provide shirts for all the kids to wear while they tie-dye or ask parents to send an old shirt from home. It's going to get ruined.

The beauty of the tie-dye portion of your pink themed party is that all you have to do is add a color two and any boys who have made it this far will be more than happy.

Little bakers and candy makers

Your party needs to have something different and entertaining to do. All kids love to make candy and decorate cupcakes and cookies. There are tons of great ideas on how to incorporate fun foods into any kid's party.

Depending on the age of your guests, the birthday cake itself can be a fun activity. Kindergarteners will need help, but it will still be cute as can be and a cake nobody will ever forget.

The obvious pink themed party staples

Princesses. Disney has no shortage of pink. Ariel and Aurora are the two that are found regularly wearing it. Ariel is more natural to incorporate if there are boys since her story includes plenty of male figures to guide her along the journey. It sure is a cute story. To use a Disney character, one must embrace his or her stereotypes.

Party Dessert Sweet Cupcakes Celebration Pastry

Panthers. He may not be as famous as he used to be, but the Pink Panther is still alive and well. You aren't going to find a Pink Panther section at Party City or Walmart, but have you considered a character for your party yet? Having an adult dress up as the famous kitty will bring smiles and cheers to an already happy occasion.

The pink Heffalump is, of course, a Winnie The Pooh exclusive. He does not exist outside the Hundred-Acre Wood. He doesn't exist inside the hundred-acre wood. The story of the Heffalump begins and ends in Pooh and Piglets dreams. That didn't stop Disney from producing Heffalump products kids will love to watch in the "sit down and chill out" section of your party.

The original stories in which Heffalumps appear also make fantastic readings for kids. Winnie The Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) are both A.A. Milne classics loved by children for generations.

Gifts

Talk to your guest of honor and ask about gifts. Is it important for her to open gifts and go through that ritual? Present an alternate idea. Let the guests know that instead of gifts, you're accepting donations for the local animal shelter. Opening gifts is fun, but it is also a massive time vacuum. Everyone sits around playing with the gift bag knick-knacks while one kid gets a bunch of stuff.

Donating a bag of food or treats or toys to the shelter is not only easy for parents, but it's also less expensive and serves a purpose. Your child will enjoy the trip to the shelter to drop the food off. A word of caution: chances are you will come home with a Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix named Bob.


Let's Get This Party Started

Don't play it safe. Plan for a mess. Help them make a mess. Enjoy their messy fun. You'll thank yourself for having buckets of soapy water ready. Doing the tie-dying on the picnic table rather than the kitchen table is a much better idea. Serve the food over linoleum, tile or hardwood -- not carpet.

You also always have the option of bringing your pink food and decorations to someone else's venue, making cleanup and activities a breeze. Bowling, laser tag, bouncy houses, trampoline fun zones -- there are plenty of places to hold your party that will probably cost you more but save you lots of time and hassle. Give yourself enough time to plan your pink themed party and your choices are endless.

Should You Go Pretty in Pink?

That depends. Do you have a girl in need of a good party who loves pink? Then, yes. You should definitely throw a pink-themed party. Let it say "girl" first and foremost and then tailor fit it to yours. Whether she's still a grade-school kid wearing pigtails or old enough to show no appreciation for your hard work whether she loves it or not, you're creating a momentous occasion for her and her friends.

 

Featured image: CC0, by Piotr Korab, via Pexels

Tips For Throwing A Great Hollywood Theme Party

men in suites holding wine glass

There are plenty of reasons to throw a Hollywood theme party. During awards season, having friends over to watch the Oscars or the Emmys provides a welcome escape from the mundane. Add a theme party and you have something people will talk about for years to come.

Throwing a Hollywood theme party will be a fun and exciting adventure if you think ahead, plan properly and consider all of your options. Don't worry about the small details until you've figured out the large ones. And don't worry about the large details until you're prepared to commit.

What Is A Hollywood Theme Party?

Hollywood theme party: Oscar statues

A Hollywood theme party is exactly what it sounds like. It's a party. The theme is Hollywood: glitz, glamor, movies and movie stars. You can make it simple or intricate. The minute people hear the news, their wheels will start spinning. A good Hollywood theme party will inspire people to bring their creativity.

The beauty of something as broad as "Hollywood" is that there is no limit to the possibilities. Not only does Hollywood cover the cream of the crop of fame for the past hundred years, but it also covers every character those brilliant people have ever portrayed. Silent films? Check. Movie monsters? Check and check. Chick flicks? You bet. Heroes and villains? You're spoiled for choice.

Other staples of a Hollywood theme party include red carpets, cheap champagne with expensive labels, cardboard stars covered in tinfoil, and fake Oscar and Emmy trophies for best costume prizes. As simple and campy as it sounds, the Hollywood theme is easy to pull off -- if you have the right stuff.

Is A Hollywood Theme Party Right For You?

Hollywood theme party: Hollywood walk of fame

Think Hollywood. Think big. A party with a theme like this deserves a lot of attention. You'll want to have a decent-sized budget. The more, the merrier. A successful Hollywood theme party will also require the right venue, fun props and a little help from your friends.

Committing to throwing the party, at this point, is committing to an unforgettable experience. "That Hollywood party you threw" will be tossed around at gatherings -- along with the story of a fond memory -- for years.

Let's Do This

Now that you've made the decision to go forward with your Hollywood theme party, it's time for preparations. You'll want to take a leave of absence from your job for at least a month and a large loan from your bank.

No, not really, but you do want to start the planning process right away. A Hollywood theme party takes time to do right. A poorly planned party will spell disaster on the big day.

Planning

Hollywood theme party: party planning with a computer and party decorations

Remember, your party isn't just about you. It's about your guests and the mark it makes on the history of parties. Anyone on social media knows a good party will get you a couple of likes and nice comments. A bad party will be shared and criticized by everyone. Social media may not be important to you, but it is important to who shows up next year.

The most crucial part of your planning has to be your friends. You're going to put on a party whose very name will inspire people. Including your friends isn't just important, it's imperative. Consider what you're trying to do. You could probably go at it alone and throw a decent party. Or, you can ask your friends to help, only to learn that one has a roll of leftover red carpet from that time they re-did the hallway and another has an old sheet they can toss in for a backdrop.

Your friends will build teams to compete for best costume trophies and spread the word to people you don't reach on your own. They will be the machine that chugs along in the background as you deal with things like tables, chairs, and food. Even then, they can be tapped for supplies from their garage and casseroles from their slow-cookers.

Another planning must is a backup plan. Whether your party is for a dozen friends in your basement or a hundred coworkers at the Airport Radisson, you have to be ready to move if the day comes and your venue is, for one reason or another, unavailable.

Venue

Hollywoood theme party: a party venue

"Venue" is a fancy word for "address." In most cases, people throw parties in their homes or the homes of someone close to them. If the weather permits it, an outside party is always a nice touch. Either way, you have to know that the address of your party can handle the number of people you want to invite.

You also have to consider the little things like parking and neighbors. If you live close to people, you may want to invite them. They're going to be far more forgiving of a party that goes into the wee hours if they're a part of it. Make sure everyone around, including the local police, know that there's a party happening. Pre-emptive strikes work much better than stopping the music to explain yourself to Officer I Just Got Here.

Once your venue is locked down, with a suitable alternative and a solid plan of action in place, it's time to greenlight the invites.

Invitations

hollywood theme party: party invitation

Three months before your party, as you're beginning to consider things like food and music, it's time to talk to the people closest to you for personal invitations. Far too many people skip this crucial step, thinking the burden of the party should rest solely on her or him who came up with the plan. The reality is, your friends and family are your best resource. Use them now and you'll avoid the chorus of, "you should have called me; I have one of those in my attic" as they filter in with the rest of your guests.

With your resources mapped and in place, you're ready to send invitations. Whether you're emailing, snail mailing or setting up an event to promote on social media, a readable, pleasant invitation is key to your party's survival. Make sure your address is clear. Dress rules, if any, need to stand out. The date and time have to be clear and concise. An end time is helpful if your neighborhood won't respond well to noise after hours or you're renting a hall.

Send your invites so your prospective guests will receive them at least a month in advance. For this type of party, people need to prepare. Those who take this kind of thing seriously will have to reserve rental costumes and have them altered. The DIY crowd will need time to build scale model Delorians to wear like pool tubes with a Dr. Brown mask.

Your guests will thank you for giving them time to prepare, but don't let them forget. Send out reminders once a week with a cool new picture or description of something they can expect to see at your Hollywood theme party.

Decorations

Hollywood theme party: party lights and decorations

The decorations will depend on the exact type of party you intend to throw. For a low-budget get together for pals, a few gold streamers and takeout during the show, followed by drinks and a game of "Guess who the heck I am" will suffice. For an actual party, however, you're going to want some staples.

You can a two-foot-wide, 15-foot-long red carpet on Amazon for under $12 shipped. Nothing says Oscar Party like a red carpet. at 15-feet long, there's plenty of room to run it in front of a backdrop you've either purchased or made yourself hanging in front of the garage door.

Other staples have to include cardboard star cutouts wrapped in aluminum foil. Maybe even a fake Oscar prize for the best of the bunch. Add to that some foods named after movie stars and a room with a big TV that screens classics all night long and you have the makings of one hell of a Hollywood theme party -- without relying at all on Hollywood itself.

The Big Day

When the day of your Hollywood theme party comes, doublecheck to make sure everything you have planned is still a go. The venue, food, drinks, volunteers, decorations -- all of your plans should be in motion. Otherwise, it's time to call for plan B, which, when properly executed, won't change the quality of your party one iota.

One last run-through of your time management plan with your friends is a great idea. Remind them when you expect guests to arrive, what time to expect food, and when to get people ready for costume judging. By now, they're so in character and having so much fun that helping guide your party to the status of legendary is a joy.


Just A Few More Things To Remember

Even the best-planned party has flaws. They're called "people." No matter how well you plan, the possibility of a single person ruining your party with an act of selfishness, violence, or even desperation always exists. Severe weather happens. People get hurt or sick. Life is full of extenuating circumstances.

Plan your party for the fun you'll have. Don't plan it to network or market a product. There are better types of parties for that type of thing. Planning a Hollywood theme party means planning something to remember.

The Best Dress Up Party Themes for Adults – And The Ones To Avoid

adult man in a dress up with wig and sunglasses

Great dress up party themes for adults are easy to come up with but not always so easy to execute. Anyone can come up with a perfect plan for a Grease-themed party, for example. But do you have space, the time, the resources, and, most importantly, the people to pull it off?

Grandiose party ideas are bound to end in disaster. So are those themes you might think are fun but others may not. Don't plan a hunting theme if your friends are vegetarians. A Call of Duty Theme may not go over well with your mostly female workplace. There is a lot to consider, and the first step in planning is brainstorming.

Planning Your Adult Theme Party

Stay away from extreme niche interests like...My Little Pony. While there are plenty of available props and even an unfortunate underculture on Reddit, you're unlikely to find other people who share such a specialized interest. The same goes for gender and age-specific themes unless that's what you happen to be going for.

The best dress up party themes for adults, or for anyone, will appeal to the widest range of people.

Your Party Space

best adult party themes: a party venue waiting for guests

How much room you have available makes a huge difference when you're considering the best dress up party themes for adults. You're planning an outdoor party by the pool for 20 people. It starts raining. Do you have room inside for those 20 people, plus food? Will it ruin the ambiance and overall theme of the party?

Make sure before you plan anything that you have both the room and a contingency plan. You'll thank yourself later.

Get A Good Mix Of People

It's your party but they'll cry if they want to. The last thing you need is a bunch of whiny pals dragging your party down because they don't like your theme. Consider the people who will be there, of their own free will, participating gleefully when the fun begins. Negativity may breed negativity, but fun also breeds fun. Everyone talks about that one person who can bring everyone else down. Focus on the three or four people who can bring people back up.

Design your party with the fun folks in mind. Call them beforehand or organize an informal meeting. Your friends will be a great asset to your event when you include them from the beginning.

The Three Worst Dress Up Party Themes for Adults

Here you have three of the most famous dress up party themes of all time. They are as recognizable as they are cliched. Avoid them at all cost.

Animal House

best adult party themes: men at a toga party

The problem with throwing an Animal House-themed party is the house. The original house in the film was horrible. It was filthy and covered in neon signs that -- at the time - would have blown residential fuses to bits. When you announce an Animal House party, half the people will show up in togas and the other half will show up in the worst John Belushi costumes of all time. Worst of all, people will expect bad behavior to be the order of the evening.

That's not to say that the Animal House parties weren't epic filmmaking masterpieces; they were. It's just that there's a limit on how many drunk girls in shopping carts you can fit in the average living room. Do yourself a favor and stay away. There's a toga option below. Use it.

Risky Business

best adult party themes: men in risky business costumes

The quintessential 1980s party. Everyone shows up dressed in a button-down shirt and boxers. It's...grand fun. And horribly misogynistic. It is also possibly the worst idea - and the second worst movie - of all time. If you've considered asking your male friends to show up at a party for the purpose of ogling your scantily-clad female friends, you've embraced rape culture and need to rethink your life choices.

There's only one song that works for this party, and Tom Cruise is too busy doing his own for stunts for Scientology to show up. So you're gonna want to abandon this one right here and now.

Scream

best adult party themes: person in a scream mask

Invite your friends over to get drunk and watch scary movies and have one person be "it." It's their job to remove people from the party as quietly as possible. What could possibly go wrong? Adding a twist to an already bad idea is a worse idea, that's what. The "it" person trying to catch people by surprise when they go to the bathroom - the only time a partygoer is alone. This will get old in minutes.

You'll be left with the classic horror movie party cliche. There's always the possibility that some unwitting couple will be born of a fleeting, frightening moment in the movie where their nervous hands touch and their eyes meet. Or...was that the Cinderella party?

The Six Best Dress Up Party Themes For Adults

These themes were chosen because they're fun, easy to find supplies for, and diverse. Your friends and coworkers will be able to express themselves with each experience. Whether they want to be funny, serious, political, sexy or just plain cute, these themes allow them to find and harness their creative sides.

Make sure to give your guests plenty of time to respond to your invitation. Remember that planning the best adult dress up party themes takes time and effort on their part as well. You can alleviate some of that pressure by offering a list of suggested costumes on the back of your invitation. You're also helping control the overall look and feel of the party as well.

Space

best adult party themes: the mars probe

Space. The final frontier. And so on. When the theme is space, the costume possibilities are endless and the decorations are easy. The beauty of calling it "Space" and not choosing a particular genre is that not only will you save yourself time building model nacelles and cardboard bat'leths. As for party supplies, the campier the better.

Your guests will arrive to the awesome sights of cheesy paper planets, some creative lighting, space-themed snacks -- and a room full of the best costumes from this galaxy and at least one other far, far away.

Great costumes for this party are going to be easy to come by. The obvious sci-fi apparel is, of course, more than welcome. Anything Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica -- and the list goes on -- is fair game.

Build your own costume ideas include rocket ships, planets and meteors, a sun, a moon, and, of course, the all-new Spaceforce. People will have no problem finding something that works with this ever-expanding party theme.

Westworld And The Wild West

best adult party themes: a wild west street scene

Westworld is in. Cowboys and Indians; black hats and white, all began to fade away until robots happened. Because -- robots. Your typical bank robber will now come complete with a battery pack he stole from a live bait aerator. The barmaid with the puffy dress will convince some poor shlep she's interested, only to pretend they've never met ten minutes later.

Whether you love the show or hate it, it will make for a great twist to an already fun party. Decorating for the wild west is pretty easy as well. A nice DIY touch to any wild west party is to buy old-looking cork-topped bottles and use them for the bar. Little touches like that turn ordinary parties into memorable occasions.

Aside from the Westworld-themed costumes, your friends can also have some fun with horses, arrows through their head and other tomfoolery connected to the era. The Wild West theme certainly deserves its spot on the list of the best dress up party themes for adults.

Superheroes

best adult party themes: guests at a superhero party

You can't go wrong with superheroes. Aside from the wide array of available costumes, this theme gives people real choices. Not only are there multiple incarnations of every comic book hero ever created, Chuck from accounting can also come as "The Super Stapler." Marge from your cousin's bowling league decided to be the Nacho Ninja and your boss, who you thought had no sense of humor at all, came dressed as an on-time version of you.

Superhero parties inspire people to create. The host is no exception. Leaning in this direction means you either love the genre or you know of a Harley Quinn outfit you will just rock. Decorating is a breeze as well. Hit your local party city, pick a few heroes and dedicate a room to each. The Batcave bathroom is through Gotham Kitchen and down the Hallway of Justice -- second door on the left.

Princes And Princesses

best adult party themes: people dressed as disney princes and princesses

There is not as dopier, campier theme on the planet than Princes and Princesses. The idea of royals, (sorry, Brits!) is so outdated and the idea of the prince and princess so ridiculously stereotyped that it can't help but be fun. As time takes little boys and girls away from fantasy lands of castles, magic, and dragons, it turns them into adults who love nearly x-rated shows about fantasy lands of castles, magic, and dragons. And Daenerys Targaryen.

Decorating for Princes and Princesses is easy as well. One fancy dessert table satisfies the requirement. Lacey bows with flowers tied around things at random and signs that start with "Ye" are a must. Picking a friend to play King or Queen for the duration will add depth to the party and create cell phone video moments that will circulate on social media for as long as there's an internet.

MasterChef

best adult party themes: competition at a Masterchef party

The MasterChef party is brilliant. You have to either assume the role of Gordon Ramsay or have a friend volunteer. You can, of course, have up to three judges. All you need to decorate are some printouts of the show's logo and some creative appetizers. The guests take care of the rest.

The Masterchef party is one of the best dress up party themes for adults because the main course is brought by your guests. Your invitation announces that you're hosting a dress up party and potluck. Their dish, dessert or store-bought contribution will be judged for originality, flavor, and plating.

When done right, the results will be hilarious. Nobody will ever forget your Masterchef party. Your guests can come dressed as their favorite contestant or just some wacky home cook from Piedmont, North Dakota with a beaver tail and something to prove.

80s Hair Band

best adult party themes: people in 1980s hair band costumes

In 1989, if you knew three guitar chords, you could play three songs by Guns N' Roses, every Dylan cover that hit the top ten and Poison's entire discography. It was truly the time of pop sold as rock, massive hairdos, and stadium shows featuring blinding laser lights and spinning drum sets.

Your 80s Hair Band party gives your guest the opportunity to put on a wig and some leather and air guitar the night away. The soundtrack will be epic, the food will be pizza and fondu and the memories will last a lifetime.

Decorating for the 80s couldn't be easier. Retro 80s posters, lunchboxes and other memorabilia are readily available. 80s clothing is even making quite the comeback. And the hair? The women will love you for giving them the chance to tease like it's 1985 and the men will walk around all night believing they've grown 2 inches. In height.


Comparison Table

Worst

Rating

Best

Rating

Animal House

Space

Risky Business

Westworld And The Wild West

Scream

Superheroes

Princes And Princesses

MasterChef

80s Hair Band

Never Forget Your Party

The biggest mistake you can make is not taking enough pictures and videos of your guests having fun. Throwing a successful party is something to be proud of. Set up your devices around the party to record whenever possible. Take the time to do live recording sessions with your friends. Have them, talk about the party while it's still going on.

You're assuring that your friends, neighbors, and coworkers will all know that an invitation to one of your parties is something special that doesn't come lightly. After all -- you throw bashes based on the best dress up party themes for adults.

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