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Most Popular Toy Brands for Your Child

teddy bear stuffed toy

Toys bring us back to our childhood. There's something lovely about watching children today play with the same toy brands we did. What's great is that many of the toys from yesteryear are still with us today. That makes it easy to match a toy to a child because chances are that you're already familiar with it. However, there are several new brands that you didn't have as a kid. Thanks to online retailers such as Amazon, and incredibly cheap and efficient supply networks which didn't exist in the '80s, small startups have as much of a shot as the larger brands. At the end of the day, this is great news for kids, and for the adults who want to buy them gifts.

As a father of two young children, and an uncle to a few older children, I've developed a reputation as the guy with the best gifts. I hit birthdays and Christmas out of the park. The truth is that I like buying toys just as much as they like receiving them because then I get to play with them too. When my son gets a new robotic dinosaur, the first thing he wants to do is play with me. Even my teenage niece loves to sit with me as we go through some complicated setup manual from a high-tech gift. My secret? A childhood filled with the best toys from the best toy brands.

Which Toy Brands Should You Gift?

baby playing with toys

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There are some toy brands that we tend to stay away from because they're either lower quality or not appropriate. On the other hand, we are still in love with Playmobil. There is a whole world of fun with Playmobil that every child loves, regardless of age or gender. Also, Playmobil toys are sturdy and well-made and are proven to fire up imaginative play. Lego and Mega Blocks are other familiar brands that we love.

But before you rush out and grab a set, you need to determine some criteria for the person you're gifting. After all, the best toy brands to gift are only good if they go to the right person. So when you're choosing a toy, think of the age of the receiver, how they'll use it, the quality of the toy, and its price.


The first thing you need to consider when choosing a toy is the age of the receiver. A 2-year-old isn't going to get much use out of a complicated Lego set, while a 10-year-old could probably pass on the cute stuffed dinosaur. While each kid is different, you can stick to some general guidelines. A toddler will love a ball and some boxes. A pre-schooler likes lots of things, such as a box filled with cars and blocks and such. Once they're in school, playtime toys are hits, and older kids (including teens) love anything electronic.


The first thing you need to consider when choosing a toy is the age of the receiver. A 2-year-old isn't going to get much use out of a complicated Lego set, while a 10-year-old could probably pass on the cute stuffed dinosaur. While each kid is different, you can stick to some general guidelines. A toddler will love a ball and some boxes. A pre-schooler likes lots of things, such as a box filled with cars and blocks and such. Once they're in school, playtime toys are hits, and older kids (including teens) love anything electronic.


Of course, if the toy is cheaply made, then it doesn't matter how they use it because it's not going to last long. We find that a broken toy is more devastating to younger children, especially pre-schoolers. So it's best to find good quality toys for the three to five-year-old range. That being said, everybody appreciates a quality gift, so your 11-year-old will also enjoy something that's well-made. It's just that it doesn't have to be as tough as for a younger child.


Finally, you need to consider price. If the gift is for your kids, then blow a lot of money on them. Go all out and get them high-quality, high-value toys that they'll love. On the other hand, if the receiver is someone else's child, then you should hold back on the big-ticket items.

How We Reviewed

We love kids, and we want you to find them the best toy brands. That's why we set out with determination to find the 10 most popular toy brands you should consider for your next gift. We'll be honest with you, it was a fairly easy challenge. First, we scoured our own memories of childhood, and then we checked out which toy brands from then are still around today. We were delighted to find that most of them are still here. Next, we checked out how many of them are still making quality toys.

After poking around our memory banks, we took a look to see what kids are playing with today. We found that most of the established toy brands are still a hit with youth and that a few new brands have joined the club. Then we took a look at the quality and pricing of these brands. Finally, we went through customer reviews and learned what real people thought of these toys.

The Best Toy Brands

Once we finished digging and remembering and reading reviews, we discarded any toys that didn't meet our criteria. That left us with a great list of the most popular toy brands you should consider for your next gift. Any kid will love toys from these brands.


We absolutely love Playmobil. They're well-built and filled with potential. Because entire houses, ships, and cities get built with Playmobil, kids can immerse themselves in some of the most imaginative play possible. Best of all, Playmobil doesn't accept any branding from most other companies. You won't find many gimmicks or movies in the Playmobil line. Instead, you'll find pirate ships, Egyptian pyramids, fire stations, houses with bedrooms and appliances, and even astronauts.

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Another awesome gift for any child five years or older is Lego. Kids love Lego because they can build anything. Of course, what they build never looks like the picture on the box, but that doesn't matter. The fact that Lego lets them use creativity, logic, problem-solving and imagination all at once is impressive. Best of all, Lego is high-quality. Have you ever stepped on a Lego? Those things don't break. If the children you have in mind are movie addicts, then they'll love Lego's partnerships with Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, and others.


Pokemon took the kid world by storm back in the late '90s, and it's still going strong. Kids are obsessed with Pokemon, and we love it because it gets them outside, and they can play cooperatively. Pokemon is relatively non-violent yet filled with adventure. The Pokemon toy brand creates high-quality, fun toys which children adore. From backpacks for kindergarten-age kids to the famous Pokemon card game, to Pokemon headphones, they've got every age group covered. You can even find a Pokemon belt!

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National Geographic

We all know National Geographic. Even our grandparents grew up with NatGeo. Well, your kids can, as well. None of the other toy brands allow kids to explore the natural world the same way that National Geographic does. We love this brand because it opens up the world of science in a fun and interactive way that most kids can't get from modern entertainment. Also, NatGeo uses real materials in their toys, whether it's a box of actual geodes or real dinosaur fossils they can dig up themselves. We're particularly fond of the slimy putty lab, but that's a personal preference.

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Next is a newcomer to the world of toys, at least for those of us who grew up in the '80s and '90s. Boley began in China in the '80s but didn't make it to North America until Amazon and Ebay arrived on the scene. We like Boley because they make toys for every age group. Also, their toys are good quality, and they've put some real thought behind the design of each toy. They make the best set of play dinosaurs any little kid could want, and we still drool over their play tool set. And what kid doesn't want their own electronic cash register, complete with play money?

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Cuddle Barn

For younger children, or for any kid who loves stuffed animals, there's Cuddle Barn. When it comes to plush toys, Cuddle Barn is one of the best toy brands you'll find. Their stuffed toys get designed with keen attention to detail that we appreciate. Also, they're all built really well, giving them a bit of toughness that any toy needs when a toddler gets their hands on it. We love the Mother Goose toy, but your baby will also love the light-up jellyfish or the singing school bus.

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For older kids, you'll find some great gifts from WolVol. They're only seven years old, but they make some of the coolest toys a kid could want. We love how fun WolVol toys are to play with, thanks to their flashing lights, realism, and overall build quality. Of course, most WolVol toys require batteries, so make sure you include some with your gift. Otherwise, the piano in the vanity set won't work, and the 3D lights on the fire truck won't blare. Even the play veterinarian set requires batteries.

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Next, set your children's creativity on fire with some awesome toys from Crayola. We all grew up with Crayola, so we're familiar with the high quality of their crayons, pencil crayons, and play-do. Everything is well-made, and we find that their prices are decent, too. We love that Crayola designs plenty of creative ways for the entire family to play together. Things like a color chemistry set are perfect for arts and crafts time, while a light-up tracing pen is perfect for older children. Even 1-year olds will love a set of washable palm-grip crayons.

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Finally, you can get some great toys from the king of all the toy brands. Fisher-Price, thrilling kids since 1930, is still going strong. We love that they carry entire lines of toys for kids of different ages, and everything meets high standards. They're especially sensitive to safety issues, and you can trust Fisher-Price with your baby's playtime. Whether it's a fun play mirror set for an infant, a rockin' push-along toy-thing that will thrill any toddler, or an entire dollhouse complete with sounds for an older child, Fisher-Price has it.

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Have Fun and Play!

child playing with two car toys

Image source: Unsplash

The most popular toy brands you should consider for your next gift are not only great to give, but fun for you to play with, too! If you can, once the child you gifted the toy to opens it up, get down on the ground and play with them. Kids, especially younger kids, love nothing more than sharing their joy with someone else, and to be honest, all of these toy brands are fun to play with. No matter if you're the fun aunt or the stodgy grinch, you'll love to play with any one of these toys. Just make sure to give it back when you finish.

Do you have a favorite toy brand we left out? Let us know in the comments!

Baby Shower Ideas for Girls: What You Need to Know

baby shower ideas for girls

A baby shower is a perfect way to celebrate and support a growing family. The guests will have a chance to pitch in as the mother-to-be prepares for her bundle of joy. It’s a crucial event because it often will be a huge financial help for mom and dad. The chances are they’re already going a little crazy getting prepared for their adorable baby girl and all the sleepless nights ahead. As you probably know, babies are expensive! For example, a newborn can go through 320 diapers in one month. Plus, they are extra expensive right before they arrive because you need to get all the essentials ready. That is where you come in with some baby shower magic and excellent guests. Lucky for you, coming up with baby shower ideas for girls is easy and fun.

Don’t get me wrong, planning a baby shower for a little boy is equally fun. But they are two completely different experiences. Preparing baby shower ideas for girls requires different themes, girly desserts, and downright precious decorations.

Tips When Coming Up with Baby Shower Ideas for Girls

The whole idea of the baby shower is to bless the mother-to-be. The focus is entirely on her and getting her ready for her newborn. There are a few tips we want to give you before you get started with anything else. Coming up with themes, decorations, and games might be the fun part. First, you need to know when and where you plan to throw this shindig.

Timeline to follow

Woman holding a calendar

Image source: Unsplash

First of all, we need to establish a baby shower timeline. Babies might have due dates, but that can change quickly if she decides to make an early entrance into the world. The first thing you need to do is make sure the shower date is set about four to six weeks before the baby is set to arrive. Shooting for six weeks before the due date is the safest option.

That means you should ideally start planning the shower at least three or four months ahead of time. You need to give yourself time to order invitations and send them out about six weeks before the baby shower. Sending out the invitations as early as possible is crucial. If people don’t know about the party until two weeks beforehand, there is a good chance that they won’t be able to come. Make sure you give everyone plenty of time. Keep in mind that the more guests you have, the more gifts she will receive. That will be an enormous help for the expecting parents!

Guest list and venue

person writing bucket list on book

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If you expect a smaller crowd of about 10 to 20 people, you could consider holding the event in someone's home. It all depends on the size of the house and the seating available. If you are expecting more than 20, I would highly recommend booking a venue.

Which venue you select depends on the tone of the event. If the expecting mother is pretty laid back and there isn’t much money to throw around, you could consider a fire hall. It might not sound elegant, but they are usually perfect for small events like these.

If you are determined to have a classier event, consider a tea house, a cafe, a restaurant with a private party room, banquet hall, or a garden. It all depends on what is available near you and within your budget. With a little research, you might find that there are more options than you initially thought.

Don’t forget the tiny details

Keyboard with things to do list

Image source: Unsplash

When coming up with the baby shower ideas for girls, we tend to focus on making everything as cute as can be. But there are a few little details that might slip through the cracks if we aren’t paying attention.


You don’t need to worry about hiring a professional photographer, but you will want to give someone the job. If you have a good camera or know someone with their own, designate one of your friends as the photographer. It’s so much fun to come up with baby shower ideas for girls, but the event usually only lasts a few hours and will go by in a blur. The mother-to-be will want pictures. You could even make her a photo book to commemorate the party.

Gift registry

The expecting mother will probably be on top of this as soon as she finds out she has a bun in the oven. However, you will need to find out where she is registered so you can add it to the invitations. You might even want to check out the list if she is a new mother and give some helpful suggestions if she missed anything crucial.

A registry is a perfect way to let everyone attending the shower know what she needs. Hopefully, this will help keep her from getting the same gifts over and over. Plus, she will probably have a few specifics in mind when it comes to strollers, car seats, and other high dollar items.

These days, it's easy to make a gift registry all of your guests can access on Amazon.

Is it a surprise?

Half the fun for some people is throwing a surprise shower. The chances are, she will probably see it coming since it has to happen during a strict time frame. Even still, it's a fun idea. However, if you are planning a surprise baby shower, you need to let people know on their invitations. Otherwise, they might ask her about the details and ruin the surprise.

If you are planning a surprise baby shower, you will also have to figure out who is in charge of getting her there. It’s easier to make it a surprise if it is at a public place. You get bonus points if she has never been there. Then she won’t be expecting a thing and probably won't recognize any familiar vehicles in the parking lot.

Keep the expecting mother in mind while planning

When coming up with baby shower ideas for girls, keep the mother in mind while you’re planning. Pick a theme she would like, only invite people she will be excited to see, and make the whole event about her.

Also, remember that the whole event is supposed to be full of lighthearted fun. Once the party is in motion, don’t stress out about the little things. My mother-in-law tends to get a little too stressed out if things aren’t running smoothly. That made my bridal shower a solid mix of fun and stress. You definitely want to avoid that at a baby shower because it’s supposed to be fun and exciting. Don’t put the mother on the spot if you know she’s uncomfortable. Don’t even make her open gifts in front of everyone if that will make her anxious.

Baby Shower Ideas for Girls with Adorable Themes

Baby miniature

Image source: Pixabay

Half the fun of coming up with baby shower ideas for girls is the fact that you can pick the cutest themes. Pretty much anything that counts as adorable or classy can make a good theme. You know the expecting mother best, so you will want to pick something she would appreciate. Get creative, have fun, and keep it straightforward. Complicated themes might be hard to execute.

A book theme


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If the mother-to-be loves books, what would be a better way to celebrate than with a book themed baby shower? There are so many great books that have been used as the central theme for baby showers, such as Winnie the Pooh, The Hungry Caterpillar, or Goodnight Moon. But why stop there? Combine as many as you want for a delightful shower. There are gorgeous invitations and decorations that you can make or print at home.

There are even some great ideas for using stacks of books as centerpieces and making food to match. You can also add a request with the invitations to ask guests to bring a children's book instead of a card. Just make sure to add a bunch of books to the registry.

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Floral theme

Flower and box on white table

Image source: Pixabay

There is an incredible array of floral-themed baby shower ideas for girls. Plus, it’s almost impossible for a venue to look anything but beautiful when decked out in flowers. You can save money by having the baby shower in someone's home or a fire hall, and this might be the perfect theme to make a basic venue look extravagant. Consider a flower wreath cake, floral decorations, and garlands. It’s easy to find wholesale flowers to save extra money while still going the distance. Invitations will also be incredibly easy to find for this theme.

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Tea party theme

Woman pouring tea on white cup

Image source: Unsplash

We had my sister's baby shower in a local tea house, and it was fantastic. If you can find a tea house near you, it is one of the best baby shower ideas for girls. It might even make things a little easier for you because the tea house will probably take care of many details. Food, tea, and the tables are prepared for you, so it cuts out much of the work. Keep in mind that most places will have limited seating, so you will need to check their availability.

Throwing a tea party yourself would be pretty straightforward as well. Every woman I know seems to have a tea set sitting untouched in a china cabinet, myself included. So ask around, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the resources available to you. Then all you need to do is add some teacup flower arrangements, pick up your tea supplies, and do a little extra decorating.

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Party Favors

Party favors are an essential part of any baby shower. Clever little party favors are a great addition to your list of baby shower ideas for girls. Remember to keep it simple. They can also win prizes during the games, and the goal is to focus on the new mom. So you don’t have to go above and beyond to find-over-the top gifts for your guests.

Simple baby shower favors:

  • Baby is blooming seed packs
  • Loofah and bath salts transformed into a cupcake
  • “Soon to pop” popcorn bags
  • DIY sugar scrubs labeled “from my shower to yours”

While these are some cute ideas, you can keep it even simpler by getting them hand soaps or candles. It depends on how much time you have to put the favors together, as well as what fits the budget and what most people will enjoy.

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Keep the food simple

Food and beverages also depend on your budget and venue. Picnic-style food is always a great option. However, if you rented a venue, food might be included. Remember to double-check and get the details.

When making a menu that fits with your baby shower ideas for girls, you can be extremely flexible. Desserts are easily dolled up with decorations and pink icing. But the food, in general, can be easy. Since this will probably be a relatively short morning or afternoon event, you won’t need to worry about entrees as much as snacks and appetizers. There are great ideas online. One of the most popular baby shower ideas for girls is a morning shower. That's because it is so easy to serve brunch food in a buffet style while still keeping it classy.

Fun Baby Shower Activities

When whipping together some baby shower ideas for girls, make sure to include fun games. There are always the go-to shower games like the purse game, guess how big the momma’s belly is, or baby mad libs. Feel free to get creative and have a little fun with it. At my sister's baby shower, I made a baby version of Family Feud, and the Price is Right for baby products, which was a lot of fun. You could also consider playing “guess the baby food” or a dress the babydoll relay race.

But the best activity of all is the diaper raffle. It’s a massive help for the mom because she will make out like a bandit with a mountain of diapers. The whole point is for everyone to bring diapers for the expecting mother. The more they bring, the more raffle tickets they get. At some point during the baby shower, you will pick the winning ticket and hand out a great prize. Make it worth their effort with a spa kit or sought-after gift card.

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Baby Shower Ideas for Girls: It Isn’t as Hard as It Looks

Coming up with baby shower ideas for girls is easier than ever. There are so many options already out there to explore. If you do a little research and narrow down a theme, everything is cake. Apart from that, the most critical part is getting the date set and the invitations out. The food and decorations depend on the venue because some places provide everything you need.

Make sure to focus on the stars of the show. Namely, the mom and her bundle of joy. So make sure to get her favorite people together and have fun blessing her with great gifts and a good time. Don’t stress out because this little party will only go on for a few hours. Have fun with planning and get some help if you need it. This new mom is in for a beautiful party!

If you have any baby shower tips, themes, games, or anything else, we would love to hear about it in the comment section below!

Great Great Gatsby Themed Party – Tips to Follow

great gatsby themed party

The mysterious Gatsby was renowned for throwing extravagant parties at his mansion every weekend. "The Great Gatsby" is a classic piece of American literature, telling the story of Nick Carraway, whose life changes when he meets his affluent neighbor, Jay Gatsby. While we don't all own lavish estates, that's no reason we can't all host delightful Gatsby-themed parties. These tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party will transform your next gathering from just another dinner party into a Roaring Twenties extravaganza your friends will be talking about for years to come.

Just because Gatsby had a seemingly limitless budget doesn't mean you have to. Our tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party are cost-effective ways to transform your home into a high society meeting place of which Gatsby himself would be envious. If you're ready to throw the best Gatsby party around, these tips will help you create a party to remember.

The Great Gatsby

A nearly ever-present member of any list of greatest American novels of all time, many consider "The Great Gatsby" to be the best novel ever written. The plot sees Carraway drawn into Gatsby's fantastic world, but soon things begin to spiral out of control. Before that happens, however, the plot heavily features Gatsby's many well-attended parties. These parties serve as the inspiration for many a home gathering, and the popularity has only increased in recent years. A 2013 theatrical release featured Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role and brought with it renewed interest in '20s-themed parties.

Why You Need Tips for Throwing a Great Great Gatsby Themed Party

Hosting a Great Gatsby themed party lets you spend an evening indulging in the glitz and glamour of Gatsby. As a historical period-specific theme, Gatsby parties are fun for your guests as they give an excuse to dress up and try out looks they wouldn't get to wear otherwise. Simply put, a Gatsby Party provides an entertaining and escapist theme for an evening with friends or family.

Tips for Throwing a Great Great Gatsby Themed Party

There are many facets to throwing a party on the level with one of Gatsby's. You can't overlook any details. From suggested attire to the table settings, the more you and your guests get onto the theme, the more immersive your night will be. That extends to what you serve on the tables and even in the glassware. Gatsby wasn't a hotdog and soda kind of guy, and neither should your Gatsby party be. These tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party has you covered at every base, so no "i" goes undotted, and no "t" goes uncrossed.

Decoration ideas

Decoration for party

Image source: Pixabay

The first thing anyone will notice when they show up for your Gatsby party is how everything looks. Creating the right first impression is vital to establishing an effective mood for the party. Fortunately, the 2013 film makes your task even simpler. No longer do you have to rely on the words on the page and your imagination. We've already seen highly paid, and acclaimed professionals translate Fitzgerald's version of Gatsby's party into the real world on the big screen. Several times. You can channel the 2013 version, the 1974 iteration starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Or even the 1949 version, starring Alan Ladd. When in doubt, just pull up screenshots from any of the three films to seek out inspiration.

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Color schemes

Bright background with beer

Image source: Pixabay

Planning the colors for your party is made particularly simple by Gatsby. You will want to keep the colors almost exclusively to whites and blacks. You'll then augment the colors by the addition of metallic accents in gold and silver. The more of these four colors you get out in your decoration, the more gripping your theme becomes. When in doubt, add some more elements in this same color scheme.


Party mask

Image source: Pixabay

When Gatsby and company decorated, feathers and fringe were very much in fashion. From table centerpieces to accent on clothing or worn in the hair, feathers dominate the look. If you can't decide between two feather options, remember that bigger is almost always better. Gatsby was all about being over-the-top, and you should be too.

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Image source: Pixabay

An easy way to get your colors out is through balloons, and thankfully they also fit the motif of Gatsby bashes exceptionally well. Provide a mixture of helium-filled balloons dragging shimmering ribbons and air-filled balloons bouncing around on the ground. For a particularly brave designer, try a balloon arch or get a pair of champagne bottle balloons and create a chain of gold balloons "pouring" out of them at your entryway.

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Outfit ideas

Women dress for party

Image source: Pixabay

Nothing tends to excite guests of a Gatsby party more than the opportunity to dress up. When sending out invites, include some suggestions for your guests on what to wear. It'll help out guests who don't know what the right style is, and makes their lives easier. They'll appreciate your extra effort.

Tips for men

Man dancing

Image source: Unsplash

A Gatsby-approved man is ready for a gala event. A black tie-ready ensemble is right up Gatsby's alley, but for guests on a budget, it's not a requirement. A crisp and clean suit, paired with an attractive vest, is enough to get the right feel for a roaring twenties party without breaking the bank. Don't shy away from going white with the suit, either, and accenting with gloves or a cane. As with the decorating scheme, gold is a powerful and thematic accent color for any suit combination.

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Tips for women

Woman in dress

Image source: Pixabay

The flapper style is a fun look for women to wear to your Gatsby party. As mold-breakers who rejected traditional beliefs of what was appropriately feminine behavior, flappers were apt to find a Gatsby party as quite the compelling event. Flappers utilized more daring lines than were traditional and added in eye-catching fringes. Headwear was also fashionable in the twenties, with feather-adorned headbands, or cloches with rose-like ribbons serving as excellent accents to a flapper dress.

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Food ideas

Party food

Image source: Pixabay

Providing delicious food for your guests to enjoy is necessary, which is why these recipes and recommendations are a vital part of our tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party. From starters to the main course and through on to dessert, there's something special you can offer to bring your party's theme to the next level.



Image source OregonLive

Every great cocktail party needs a selection of finger foods for guests to dine on with their drinks. With so many great options, feel free to choose hors d'oeuvres you enjoy and that you think will please your guests. Some excellent options include oysters and stuffed mushrooms. You may not think of pigs in a blanket when picturing a fancy soiree, but the pastry-wrapped sausage was a traditional party nosh for twenties bashes.

Baked ham entree

Baked ham entree

Image source Hungry Forever

If you're planning a sit-down dining portion for your party, baked ham is a delicious and Gatsby-approved entree. A nice bourbon glaze completes the thematic feel.


  • 1 cooked bone-in ham
  • 3/4 cups bourbon
  • 2 packed cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees as you complete your ham prep. Scour the outside of the ham by carving one-half-inch-deep slices in the ham, and aligning the slices to create a series of diamonds. Brush the surface of the ham with two tablespoons of bourbon. Bake the ham for two hours with no cover.

Combine brown sugar, mustard, marmalade, coriander, and bourbon in a bowl while the ham cooks, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Remove the ham after cooking and spoon the mixture over the ham. Bake for an additional half hour. Allow the ham to sit for 15 minutes after cooking before slicing.

Lemon cakes

Lemon Cakes

Image source Pinterest

Gatsby loved serving his guests tasty lemon cakes. They're the perfect dessert option for your Gatsby themed get-together.


  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • Butter or non-stick spray
  • 1-1/13 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and complete prep while it warms. Zest and juice both the lime and one lemon individually, gathering one teaspoon of zest and one teaspoon of juice from each. Mix two-thirds of a cup of sugar, the stick of butter, and both zests in a large bowl until creamy. Add the juices and eggs and beat to combine the mixture.

Mix the bowl on low while adding flour and salt in small amounts until the batter is uniformly blended. Grease the cups of a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with the additional butter or non-stick spray, then pour one tablespoon of batter into each. Bake the batter for 15 minutes.

Slice the remaining lemon into thin slices, and remove any seeds. Pour the remaining sugar and the water into a pan and combine over medium heat until dissolved. Simmer the lemon slices in the mixture for approximately five minutes until syrup thickens.

Poke a hole in each baked cake, then drizzle one-half teaspoon of syrup over each. Garnish the cakes with a lemon slice on top before serving.

Drink ideas


Image source: Pixabay

A party isn't a party without drinks, and a list of tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party isn't complete without drink recommendations. As with clothing and dining, Gatsby's parties were all about style and elegance. Steer clear of everyman brands, and bring an air of sophistication to the affair instead.

Simple drinks

Your Gatsby themed party is not the night to bust out the latest microbrew you picked up from your local brewery. For ready-to-pour offerings, stick to what high society in the Roaring Twenties drank. That means hoppy beers are out, but bubbly champagnes are very much in. In addition to the glamour of fine champagne, offer a selection of wines as well, providing variety for guests without breaking out of the mold of high society affairs.

Gin Rickey

Gin Rickey

Image source Liquor.com

Pay tribute to author F. Scott Fitzgerald by serving gin, his favorite liquor. The Gin Rickey fits right in at any twenties-styled bash and leaves your guests delighted.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 lime, juiced (or 2 ounces bottled lime juice)
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice

Fill a 9-ounce glass with ice, then pour the gin and lime juice into it. Fill the glass with club soda. Place the lime wedge on the rim of the glass for garnish.

Mint Julip

Mint Julip

Image source Hungry Forever

A staple of the Roaring Twenties, the mint julip also features prominently in a key scene in "The Great Gatsby."


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Water
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup ice, crushed
  • 1/3 cup bourbon

Stir the sugar and water together in an 8-ounce glass until the sugar fully dissolves. Place the leaves in the glass and gently muddle, setting the sprigs aside. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour in the bourbon, then stir until the glass frosts over. Place the mint sprigs atop the drink for garnish before serving.

How to Combine These Tips for Throwing a Great Great Gatsby Themed Party

At the end of the day, the most important key for any party is making sure that you and your guests have fun. The more tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party you're able to incorporate into your party, the more complete your immersion experience becomes. Whatever elements you choose to incorporate into your theme, make sure one critical thing when the night of the big event arrives -- enjoy yourself! Don't spend the whole night obsessing over keeping every balloon in just the right place. If you followed these tips, your guests are bound to have a great time, so join them!

Do you have any tips for throwing a great Great Gatsby themed party which we missed? Tell us all about them in the comments below.

Las Vegas Themed Party Ideas

If you just can’t face one more bake sale, why not throw a Las Vegas themed party for your fundraiser? You’ve found yourself on the committee for your kid’s scouts, soccer team, or chess club again. If your coworkers have sworn to heaven that they’re not buying anymore wrapping paper, you may need to get a bit more creative.

Best of all, you don’t have to bug friends and family to preorder and then wait weeks for their products. You’ll be selling them a good time and maybe even a little adrenaline rush. Along with helping you raise money for your group, you’ll also get a chance to entertain friends and perhaps meet new ones.

Why Choose a Las Vegas Themed Party?

Welcome to Las Vegas Slogan

Las Vegas is world famous for its casinos and live shows. And while you may not be able to compete with one of the top three vacation destinations in the United States, you can certainly give the people in your local area a night to remember. There’s just something about the elusive chance to win that drives people to take chances. Because of this, some consider gambling a dangerous and risky behavior. But, when it comes to gambling for a charity, people can enjoy the same neurochemical charge without the guilt. Your Las Vegas themed party provides all the fun and excitement of a casino without stripping people of their life’s savings.

Finding a Space

A lot of Eating Utensils at the dining table

image via Unsplash

To throw your fundraising Las Vegas themed party, you’ll need a pretty big space. If you’re running a charity, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a hall or multipurpose room that will allow you to use the facilities for free. Or maybe even a small donation. If your group already associates with a church or school, talk to the administration to see if you can use their space.

If these aren’t options for you, try other non-profit or educational organizations in your area, like Masonic lodges and veteran’s halls. Contact your local chambers of commerce, too. They may have room or a​t least a list of businesses that may offer space for your event. In some cases, working with one of these organizations is better choices. They can open your fundraiser to more individuals than those you can invite just accessing your regular members.

Keeping Your Las Vegas Themed Party Legal

2 Person is planning for the party while in front of them is their laptops

image via Unsplash

Just to be sure, check with your state’s department of revenue or gaming and gambling commission. While a casino for a nonprofit is legal in most jurisdictions, it never hurts to check all the rules in your area. Remember that your guests aren’t gambling for money. You can offer prizes, of course, in exchange for chips. However, after all is said and done, all legal tender must end in your non-profit group’s bank account.

Instead of cash winnings, offer raffle tickets in exchange for the chips they turn in at the end of the night. Then you can do a random drawing and award a handful of great prizes. And if you plan ahead far enough, you often obtain prize donations by local businesses, which lowers your overhead cost even more.

Because they’re not gambling for money or with money, charge your guests an admission fee that includes a set number of chips and offer them the chance to purchase more as they play. You can also include drink tickets with admission that covers wine and beer, too, so you’re not “selling” alcohol.

One reason lodges and veteran’s clubs are great venues is that many already have a liquor license and trained bartenders. Negotiate what percentage of the beverage sales goes toward your non-profit group, if any. But remember that even if the venue wants 100 percent, your guests may become more willing to play games after a drink or two.

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Enticing Your Guests Inside

Guests are raising their wine glass for a toast

image via Unsplash

The first thing that anyone notices about Las Vegas is all the lights. In fact, the city is world famous for the dazzling displays. You’ll need plenty of lights to decorate the outside of your party space. In this case, you may want to call on members to loan you their holiday lights. Make sure they have an outdoor rating. You don’t want any accidents should the weather turn inclement.

Along with strings of holiday lights, you may want some special effect lighting to attract drive-by traffic. Add meteor shower lights -- also known as falling rain lights -- on either side of your entrance to deliver real Las Vegas pizazz! Hang a huge banner advertising your event above the door on the morning of the party. To illuminate your sign after it gets dark, tie some LED rope lights into your outdoor lighting. Then, run it around your banner so that the lettering shows up clearly.

Setting the Scene

You may not have a lot of control over the interior flooring of your party space. If you’re lucky, it will have nice carpeting just like a Vegas casino. If not, you may have to try to make stained concrete look glamorous. Remember to keep the houselights low and use task lighting on the tables to create glamour. And If it’s in your budget, you may want to pick up an inexpensive “red carpet” runner to make all of your guests feel like A-list celebs.

You’ll want more glittering lights indoors, too. Use party arches twined with light strings or rope lights placed behind serving tables. You can rent them from your local party store.

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Creating the Urge to Play

People playing at the casino and in front of them is a bet table with a lot of casino chips

image via Unsplash

Speaking of party rentals, while you can build and decorate your own gambling tables, you may want to consider renting gaming stations from professionals. Besides taking a lot less time and effort, you’ll find that people will be more excited about showing up to your Las Vegas themed party if they think they’ll experience the “real deal.”

You can find casino party rentals in nearly every state in the nation. Along with professionally built tables, they can offer assistance and education in running the games and optimizing your event to make more money for your non-profit group. Some will even staff your event with showgirls and casino dealers who will interact with your guests.

The cost of renting a mobile casino for the night depends on factors like the number of guests expected and even your location. Four hours of playing time with two tables. A larger setup of three to five tables may cost you a bit pricey. But do call around and get some estimates before letting these numbers intimidate you. You may get a much better deal if you book during the slow season.

Casino rentals companies

While this isn’t an extensive list, it does represent large casino gaming rental companies that specialize in a Las Vegas themed party for fundraising or just for fun. Many of them have several locations throughout the US.

If none of these companies service your area, check on ThumbTack and GigSalad for entertainment providers.

Budget DIY

If you decide that using a vendor for your Las Vegas themed party is just not in the budget, gather volunteers from your membership to run the games. You’ll need tables, of course, but the venues you use will likely have plenty of those.

You’ll need green or black tablecloths to mimic the felt tops on the gaming tables in Vegas. You can also purchase pre-printed casino gaming “tables” that will help your volunteers deal correctly and keep things in order. Use these to define the playing space.

Decide which games you’re going to offer. Poker, blackjack, and roulette seem to be the most popular ones, and most of your guests will already know how to play. You may also want to purchase a low-cost roulette wheel and betting grid.

You’ll need about one gaming table for every ten guests on your list. Some guests will be dining, drinking, and socializing at your Las Vegas themed party. However, you want to be sure everyone gets a chance to play and use their chips. For a large crowd, set up tables for several types of poker games, a couple of blackjack tables, a baccarat table, and a roulette wheel.

Ways to Increase Revenue for Your Fundraiser

Since you’re trying to raise money for your group, you may want to incorporate other streams of revenue besides the gaming tables. After all, not everyone enjoys playing poker or games of chance. So, you may need to find additional ways to raise money during the event.

Table sponsorship

Man's hand while throwing a 2 pair of black king cards

image via Unsplash

Just like your raffle prizes, you can often ask local businesses to donate to your group. One thing they can do is sponsor a table at your Las Vegas themed party. Offer them a package that includes all the seats at the table, which they can fill with employees or clients. As an incentive, offer them some advertising for their company. Add their name to the invitations or program as a sponsor. You can place a large sign on their reserved table featuring their name. And always acknowledge any donors in your group’s newsletters and social media sites.

Silent auction

Ask your group members, as well as the businesses you’ve contacted, about donating products or services for a silent auction. Set the prizes out in an attractive fashion on tables away from the game tables with a bidding sheet. Throughout the evening, guests can record their bids on the tally sheet. At the end of the night, announce the winners and award the prizes.

Some Gift Bags

image via Unsplash

Souvenir photo shoot

Different photos places on the bed

image via Unsplash

Your Las Vegas themed party is a big, glamorous event, and people will want to commemorate all the effort they went through to dress up for it. Provide a backdrop and use an instant camera to provide on-the-spot photo souvenirs for your guests for a small fee.

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The Endless Las Vegas Buffet

Buffet Food inside the casino

image via Unsplash

Las Vegas casinos are known for the free buffets that they host in hopes of luring in hungry tourists who may also be tempted to drop some cash on the tables. While you may not have that kind of kitchen staff or budget on hand, it pays to provide a lavish-looking feast. Best of all, you can set it up as self-service with only the occasional attendance required.

Set up your buffet table with white tablecloths. The venue may have some on hand. Use crystal, flowers, and beautifully arranged food in abundance. Add a punch fountain for guests to serve themselves non-alcoholic drinks and add a festive air. Tuck battery operated fairy lights into glass vases for centerpieces that provide drama at your buffet table.

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Don't sweat the menu

While you may be tempted to do some home cooking for your Las Vegas themed party, we recommend against it. You want to be fresh for your party, greeting guests and sponsors, and making them feel special. You’ll want to wear your best duds. If you can't have it catered, see if the venue has a kitchen. Many lodges and veterans’ halls do, which means you can purchase premade hors-d'oeuvres from your local buyers’ club.

We’ve purchased frozen appetizers from Sam’s Club that were every bit as good as those from a restaurant and even better than some of the catered food we’ve had. Volunteers can load baking trays before the party, and your members can take turns keeping it coming throughout the night.

If you’re not sure what to serve, follow the lead of the best buffets in Vegas themselves. But remember you just want to provide apps and snacks. Your group won’t make much money if you try to feed a full meal to all the guests on your list. Choose small portions of finger foods and sweets. Street food is particularly on-trend right now and may offer a hip alternative to the usual buffet fare. A taco bar, stuffed pitas bread, and sliders are easy to eat while your guest meander from table to table.

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Serving with style

Elevate the evening by choosing sleek black disposable dinnerware in modern shapes. Upscale cutlery and barware are also sure to make every one of your guests feel like a big spender.

All the World's a Stage

When not gambling, your guests may desire other amusements while they sit and sample the food and drink. If you have the budget, hire an Elvis impersonator or local comic on ThumbTack or Gig Salad. You may be surprised how many Elvis impersonators you'll find.

Las Vegas is known for its lavish entertainment style with big names, hilarious comedians, and ladies strutting around with lots of feathers on their heads. That may be a bit more than you want to tackle. However, you can set up a karaoke or “open-mic” area in a separate area for your guests. Provide lounge seating, some noise isolation, and a lit stage area. They can take a whack at “Viva, Las Vegas” or tell everyone how they get “no respect.”

Singing Machine Karaoke Machine, (SML385UBK)
  • Top loading CD Player plays music CDs plus CD + Graphics
  • Bluetooth for wireless digital audio streaming from compatible devices
  • USB connectivity to record your performance or to play your saved songs

Are You Ready to Take a Gamble?

2 Red Dice for Gambling

image via Unsplash

Right now, you may be jibbering in terror at the idea of a Las Vegas themed party. Or, you may already be jotting down your best ideas. While hosting a casino themed party for your next fundraiser sounds like a lot of work, just remember that, well, it is a lot of work. It’s also a lot of fun and could result in a satisfying amount of money for your group’s activities.

Plan your party well in advance in order to secure sponsors. Small businesses love to help nonprofit groups because it gives them exposure in their communities. Give your members enough time to sell tickets. Network with local organizations that frequently support nonprofit groups like Masonic lodges and chambers of commerce. Not only will they help you access resources, but they could also help fill the bulk of your guest list.

’80s Theme Party: Tips for a Totally Rad Time

80s theme party

So you're going to throw an '80s theme party? That's totally radical! But before you get freaked out trying to figure out how, let us help you. We here at The Party Theme scoured the web for props and decor that can make your '80s theme party super gnarly. After all, when it comes to parties, we're totally, like, awesome.

So, what makes or breaks an 80s theme party? We had to think hard about our successes and our failures, and we realized that there were four things that defined the 1980s and '80s-themed parties. Those were music, fashion, technology, and pop culture. Nothing sums up the 80s better than the "Goonies" movie. It has Cory Feldman wearing a sweatband while Cindy Lauper plays in the background. Keep that image in mind as you plan your very own 80s theme party.

Your '80s Theme Party Comparison Table

Your '80s Theme Party: All About the 1980s

80s theme party

For those of us who remember the '80s, it was just life as we knew it. In fact, we see the music and technology and fashion of today as nothing more than the evolution of what we had in the '80s. On the other hand, if you were a baby in the 1980s or born after, then the entire decade seems hilariously fun. Or even just hilarious. Like, what's with that hair? Nevertheless, the 1980s were a great decade filled with promise. There was so much optimism in the '80s.

You can feel this optimism in the popular music of the time. The era of disco came to an end, and pop music reigned supreme. Technology became the domain of the consumer, and companies like Microsoft and Apple took off. Even the fashion displayed confidence. How else can you explain neon tiger striped pants and four gallons of hairspray? And of course, who can forget the movies of the '80s? Most of them are still worth watching today!

The first thing you need to think of for your '80s theme party is the fashion and what you and your guests will wear. For the youth of the '80s, loud was cool. That means bright, clashing colors and lots of neon. Also, women's shoulders were all the rage, whether it was showing them off with a wide-necked shirt slouched partway down one arm, or with massive shoulder pads. Skirts were hot, too, especially with pink or purple tights. For the most part, women's fashion in the 1980s dictated that women show off everything from the shoulders up.

Men also had style rules to follow. While men's hair wasn't as extreme as it was for women, there were still some classic '80s looks. For instance, the mullet and rat tail were all the rage for boys, while the bad boys sported shoulder-length hair. For the ultimate '80s look, men could go with a David Bowie mane or glittery Prince curls.

'80s Music

Of course, what's a discussion about the '80s without the music of the era? More than anything else, music defined the 1980s. It launched with New Wave and ended with Dance Pop. You'll want plenty of '80s hits on your party playlist.

Most pop music was heavily synthesized, but it wasn't all electronic in the 1980s, and rock and roll enjoyed plenty of successes. There's a reason the term "Eighties hair band" exists. Def Leppard and Bon Jovi are two of the most prominent big-hair rock bands of the decade. And new genres of music also came to light, including rap, techno, alt-rock, and Goth stuff from The Cure, The Cult, and Nine Inch Nails.

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'80s Technology

If you look around you right now, you'll most likely see a cell phone, a computer, and probably a flat-screen TV or computer monitor. You can thank the 1980s for all of those things. This was the age of rapid advances in technology. And you'll want to incorporate this technology into your party theme by displaying flat-screen TVs or computer monitors playing music videos. Because even 30 years later, we still want our MTV.

'80s Pop Culture

Lastly, the one thing that dominated the '80s was the overall pop culture of the era. Whether that was Max Headroom on TV or the Ghostbusters on the big screen, people were influenced by the entertainment industry. Michael J. Fox, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tom Cruise were the biggest stars in Hollywood. Dieting, exercising, and healthy eating also took off during the 1980s, too, thanks to celebrity workout videos. But so did fast food.

Those are the four things to keep in mind when planning your '80s theme party. If you include something from each of those categories, you'll be off to a great start. And that's totally bodacious.

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How We Reviewed

Did you know that we found a ton of '80s stuff for your '80s theme party on Amazon? It's true! In order to help you put on the best '80s theme party anybody has ever had, we took our four categories and went searching online for all the tools, props, and decor you'll need.

We broke these down into four categories: music, fashion, technology, and pop culture. Then, we dug through Amazon for each category and found a few items that you can use to make your crib most excellent. To help us choose which items you should consider, we read through Amazon customer reviews. This gave us an idea of how customers enjoyed the product. Those that people didn't like didn't make it in our review. They were so bogus.

What's Your '80s Theme Party Needs

80s Party Needs

Because the '80s were such cool beans, we put together some of the coolest items you can get for your '80s theme party. Whether it's a Bluetooth-enabled '80s-style boom box, or photo booth props, or a David Bowie wig, we've made sure that your '80s theme party will for sure be fly.


Don't forget to stock your party with the sounds of the '80s. You can fire up Apple Music or Spotify and find plenty of '80s playlists. But if you want a specially-curated list of the best songs from the decade, then look no further than here.

NOW That's What I Call 80s Hits

You can buy this either as a CD or just download the album as an MP3. For 20 years, NOW's been giving us mixed music CDs, showcasing the greatest songs of any given year or decade. This compilation will bring the 1980s to life for your party. With most people saying it has all the '80s music you need. One person said it was a "one stop shop for '80s nostalgia."

Pure '80s Dance Party CD

Pure... 80s Dance Party
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/05/2011 (Publication Date) - Sony Music Canada Inc. (Publisher)

Next is the "Pure 80s Dance Party" CD, which will spark your '80s theme party with non-stop dance hits from Men At Work, Miami Sound Machine, The Pointer Sisters, and more. This is a four-disc CD set, so you'll get an entire evening's worth of music in one easy purchase. Customers wrote that it has every '80s song they need, and one person even said that they used it for their '80s theme party and it was a success.


You can try and dress up using what's in the very back of your closet, or you can dive deep into the 1980s with specialty clothing and accessories just for this occasion.

Leapparel Neon 3D Jogging Pants

Nothing screams "Eighties" like a pair of neon-striped sweatpants that balloon at the waist. These pants have a certain nostalgic look about them, but they are also comfortable to wear any time. A polyester and spandex mix makes them soft to the touch. Best of all, you can choose between two dozen color combinations. With most people saying the fabric feels silky smooth, and they look just like something from the '80s!

David Bowie Mullet Wig

Long Rocker Wig - Mixed Blonde
  • Available in Sizes:: Standard - One Size
  • Item Includes:: Wig
  • Pictured items not included:: Shirt

If you want to go all in for your '80s theme party, then greet your guests wearing a David Bowie mullet wig. You'll just like the Goblin King. The hairs on this wig are nylon, so you don't temper them with anything over 180-degrees. There's an elastic hair band inside the wig that you can adjust to fit your head.  Customers loved it and praised the high-quality build of the wig.


After you've set the mood with music and done yourself up in 1980s attire (don't forget the shoulder pads), it's time to turn back the clock on your home. You'll need to put away any 21st-Century conveniences, such as a 4K TV or a MacBook, and put up some of these items instead.

SuperSonic Retro Collection BoomBox

SuperSonic Retro Collection Boom Box with AM/FM/ SW-1 - SW2 4-Band...
  • Convert analog music to digital music file from cassette to USB or SD Card
  • Built-in USB input compatible allows you to play music from a USB flash drive
  • Built-in SD Card slot compatible allows you to play music from an SD Card

This boombox is surely going to be a conversation piece at your '80s theme party. You can play cassettes if you still have any laying around. Or, you can blast music through BlueTooth or through a USB port. It also has a couple of SD card slots tucked away. Just because it looks like the '80s, doesn't mean it gives up modern conveniences. Customers on Amazon praising the faux-wood and metallic look and saying it pumped out decent sound.

Rubies Costume Company Giant Inflatable '80s CellPhone

Rubie's Giant Inflatable Cell Phone, One Size
  • Inflatable cell phone is 29-inches long (phone is 20-inches, antenna is 9-inches)
  • Exaggerated size phone is huge for children and adults, easy to hold onto and light to carry
  • Looks like an 1980s model style cell phone

If you thought that Samsung Galaxy Notes were big, you haven't seen an 1980s cell phone. These things were massive! You can recreate that image with this gigantic inflatable cell phone, which is certain to provide laughter and hilarity as well as hundreds of photos for your '80s theme party. Also, many of them said that the phone is hilarious and well-made.

Pop Culture

Lastly, you'll need to capture the essence of the '80s through decor and props. Thanks to the modern miracle that is Amazon, you can bring your guests back to 1987.

Totally '80s Door Cover

Totally 80's Door Cover Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)
  • This item is a great value!
  • 1 per package
  • 80's party item

Why not set the mood for your '80s theme party before your guests even enter your home? With the Totally '80s door cover, you can set the mood. This features some awesome Atari-level Space Invader graphics, with a bit of Pac Man mixed in. Bright neon colors on a black background leave no doubt about what to expect inside. Most people said it captured the '80s perfectly, although several complained that it doesn't cover the entire door.

Big Dot of Happiness Retro '80s Photo Booth Props

Big Dot of Happiness 80's Retro - Totally 1980s Photo Booth Props Kit...
  • 20-Piece Rock Star Party Photo Booth Props Kit INCLUDES 20 80's Retro photo booth props, 20 wooden dowel sticks and...
  • PERFECT FOR ANY CROWD! Photo booth props are fun 1980s party supplies for adults and kids - everyone will love the funny...
  • 1980S DECORATION IDEAS: There are many fun ways to use these cute photo booth props! Use as intended at home, school or...

Lastly, the ultimate fun for your guests will be taking hundreds of photos in your '80s theme party's own photo booth. Set this up on a table in a corner somewhere and let people have fun. It comes with cardboard cutouts of '80s items that you attach to wooden dowels (included). Hats, phones, wigs, a Rubik's cube, and other items are included.  Almost everyone said the kit was top-quality and that the props are well-made. This was the most-talked-about feature of several people's '80s parties.

We Pity The Fools Who Don't Do '80s

80s Theme Party

Once you've set up your '80s theme party with all the props, set the mood with the music and decor, and dress yourself up till you look totally bitchin', then, you're ready to roll. Remember to hit the four main themes that made the '80s so great: the music, the fashion, the technology, and the culture. If you get those four things right, your party will be a success faster than someone can say, "What you talkin' about, Willis?"

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