Who said theme parties are just for kids? Happy New Year! 2011 is kicking off to a great start for planning events. With the SAG Awards coming up on January 23rd (simulcast on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT) along with the other seasonal award shows, now is as good as time as any to discuss themed party ideas for your next special event.
When planning events, I always find it best to start with an event theme. From the event theme, everything else flows for the party from invitations to design and decor to the catering menu. Themed party ideas can include a color theme such as pretty in pink or a western days theme, circus theme, luau or island tropic theme – the list is endless.
I’ve picked out the most popular party themes for adults, sure to bring out the “kid” in you. If you are looking to host a party that is sure to go over well, check out the tried-and-true party ideas below.
Hawaiian Luau Party
Welcome each guest with an “aloha” and a kiss on the cheek. Hand a lei to all guests, and a silk flower for the women to put in their hair. Think balmy and exotic! Bright and colorful is sure to set a tropical ambiance.
The best drinks include Margaritas, Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, Bahama Mamas, and Frozen Daiquiris. Be sure to have Hawaiian punch on hand for the non-alcoholic set as well as water for all. Be sure to have a limbo contest to see “how low can you go” and a hula contest for great fun.
Wine Tasting Party
A wine tasting party doesn’t have to be reserved for the well-versed wine connoisseur. Get your friends together for an informal potluck party, with each guest bringing his/her favorite wine. Food should be simple appetizers as well as cheese and bread. Provide index cards for guests to rate their favorites.
Bunco Party Theme
Bunco is a great game is rapidly taking over in our living rooms. It’s not your grandmother’s canasta game! Bunco allows for regular get-togethers with family, friends, and neighbors as you can meet on a monthly basis, while rotating hosts. It’s fast paced and gets you mixing with all players (usually 12) as you rotate from table to table.
Fortune Telling Theme
I see a fun theme party in your future…
A gypsy type garb is perfect for a fortune telling party. Complete your outfit with scarves, lots of bangle type bracelets, and hoop earrings. Have a least one table with a crystal ball. If you can’t find one, you can always use a large snow globe of some kind.
Other great games include a Ouija board and Magic Eight ball.
Go “South of the border” for a festive theme party. Great decorations include inflatable cactus, chili peppers, boots, and sombreros. The signature drinks for a fiesta party are margaritas and Corona beer. Be sure to play plenty of fiesta music as you shake your maracas!
Casino/Las Vegas Night
The central theme is friendly gambling- either for prizes or just for fun. The most popular games tend to be blackjack and poker. For the non-gambling type, include simple games like bingo and other popular card games.
Give each guest poker chips, play money, and dice when they arrive. Great decorations include hanging fuzzy dice and lots of black and red balloons. For a Las Vegas style nightlife effect, add plenty of glow products.
Decade Party (50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s)
Decade theme parties are extremely popular and can be also be used for themed birthday parties as well. Guests have lots of fun dressing in outfits from their high school and college days.
Flowered pants, peace signs, and John Lennon glasses are great for a 60’s theme.
Bell-bottom Levi’s or Wranglers are great for that 70’s party- or go all out with your leisure suit.
Punk wigs, mezpahs, and jelly bracelets are great for a retro 80’s look.
There are many options for putting together a great dinner party. Depending on your own style, the dinner party can range from casual and entertaining, to gourmet and polished. The three most popular types of dinner parties tend to be dessert, cocktail, or international food themed.
For a more casual party, use a potluck style. Guest can bring along a dish of their choice. This can be a full course American meal or international cuisine. You can choose to be dessert or cocktail party specific.
Magic Theme Party
Planning a magic party doesn’t have to be “tricky” after all. Go all out with your black top hat and magic wand as you get your guests to learn simple card tricks. Tricks can range from easy to more special effects.
Great decorations include hanging black top hats and lots of black and red balloons. For a magical effect, add plenty of glow products.
Western Theme Party
Think rustic and hearty!
Old lanterns, jugs, and bales of hay make great decorations. You can also use kerosene lamps and washtubs as accents. A game of horseshoes next to a roaring bonfire is a great activity for socializing. Sing-along western songs can liven up the bunch, and karaoke takes cowboy tunes to a new dimension. Games to play can include competitions in roping, or using a lasso to catch an object.
For your tropical bar, don’t forget the classic Mai Tai, Blue Hawaiian and Pina Colada and be sure to include non-alcoholic beverages as well such as a tropical punch made with Gingerale or Sprite along with tropical juices such as banana, pineapple, mango and orange to name a few.
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