It’s time to plan your next party… but you want to give it a twist. But you don’t know what. To help you out, we’ve listed many of the popular party themes for adults.
Remember: your guests will partly dictate the theme of your event. For example, if you’re inviting families and kids are attending, choose a theme they can play along too.
If you’re looking specifically for kids’ party themes, we’ve created a dedicated article for them.
Hosting a decade-themed party has become a bit of a classic. There are some great years to choose from.
For a bit of old school panache, host a 1920 themed party. For costume ideas, look at images of the great Gatsby (or watch the movie). As a rule of thumb: black tie for men and hairbands for women.
At that time, swing dancing was also exploding in popularity. So ramp up your playlists accordingly! It’s also the golden age of speakeasy as the prohibition has just started… i.e. when the US suddenly decided not to import Irish whiskey anymore.
You can find some easy decoration ideas in this video by popsugar. You can also find some nice ideas in this article by the telegraph (Just be aware there are no pictures). For some crazy decoration ideas, you can read this article by PartyWithBeistle.
The 1930s tend to be a less popular decade for parties. However, if you need to “match” the decade to the party, you can apply most of the previous ideas to this decade. The major difference is at that time; the Great Depression has hit the US and Europe. A lot of the glamour and the extravagance is gone.
Out of all the party decades, this one tends to fly under the radar the most. It’s the area of flashy cars and American diners (Eddie Rockets would definitely approve of this theme).
With loads of colour and easy party costumes, the 60s make for a great party theme. It’s the decade of the hippie/peace & love movement. These are easy and fun costumes to make.
It’s disco time. At least, when it comes to party themes, that’s what the decade is remembered for. Costumes are easy to come by or make. Crazy collars, flashy colours and high heels for everyone.
For some decoration ideas (and for a general 70s vibe), check out this article by The Great 70th. For some more ideas check out this article by The Back Yard Gnomme. The author breaks down into “early” 70s and late 70s.
The 80s is iconic for its music. Michael Jackson, the Police, Madonna, U2… the list just goes on and on. Clothing was still extremely colourful. Think of bold coloured leggings, parachute pants.
Hosting a “Year 2000” party has the unfortunate downside of reminding us that we’re all getting old…. But the theme itself is hilariously retro. The perfect opportunity to wear your double denim outfit or fluorescent colours.
With so many classic movies, this is a great option but it doesn’t make decorating your house, or venue, easier. Here are a few classic movies to choose from.
Harry Potter Party
Image Source: BuzzFeed
A lot of adults will argue that no one is ever too old for a Harry Potter party. If your guests are prepared to geek out for the evening, then don’t miss the opportunity.
Star Wars Party
If your guests are up for a bit of a sci-fi challenge, this can be a fun theme. It’s a great opportunity to go crazy on the DIV decorations.
Great opportunity to play the Star Wars cantina song… it most likely will get on your guests’ nerves.
James Bond Party
James Bond parties are an easy and fun option. If you want to give your guests a few pointers, choose a specific James Bond movie/actor that they should reference.
The Great Gatsby
This is basically the same thing as the 1920/1930 party theme, but it gives you the movie twist.
Simply ask everyone to dress up as an animal ( or just the kids if it’s a family event). It’s always hilarious to see what your guests will come up with. If you have guests who don’t want to go all out, they can always just draw a few whiskers.
Get all your guests to dress up as a famous person or dress as if they were a celebrity. Singers, Actors, TV characters… the list goes on and on. This is another classic party theme that people enjoy playing along with.
Relaxing by the pool followed by a nice barbecue and a cold drink. Sounds great. Unfortunately, in UK and Ireland we don’t have the best weather for this party theme… If the weather is going to be nice, don’t miss the opportunity. If you don’t have your own pool you can hire inflatable versions.
An easy one for couples and families… and hilarious for two friends to do. You can either give your guests a theme or just let them choose how their costume will match. When it comes to decorating the venue, try matching everything in pairs.
This is an easy theme for everyone to play along. You can keep it as simple as you want or go all out. You’ll be surprised at the crazy hats your guests will be able to find.
Give your Halloween costume a second (and most likely last) chance by getting your guests to wear what’s left of their costume. This is a great party theme to organise in November right after Halloween. It also gives you the chance to catch up with your friends that were caught up at a different party on the actual Halloween Night.
Ready too put on a cowboy hat and some country music? Hosting a western-themed party can be a lot of fun. It’s also a fairly easy theme to organise.
Let’s pretend we live somewhere sunny by throwing a tropical party.
For some “French chic”, why not host a Paris-themed party. You can omit the snails from the menu if you don’t think your guests will be up for it. You can find some fun party decoration ideas in this article by Party Delight.
Pro-tip: If you’re based in Ireland or in the UK & you aren’t a huge fan of cooking, with just a bit of shopping around you can find some (almost) authentic French products that will cut down on your preparation time.
Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Deadly Sins has become another classic party theme. It’s open-ended which leaves room for creativity. However, costumes may be tricky to come by.
For some in-depth party planning ideas, check out this article by Party Ideas By A Pro.
A baking party is very commonly done for kids. However, it also works really well for adults; It’s the perfect activity for smaller intimate parties. It gives people a chance to spend time together.
Unfortunately, these parties can be a surprising amount of work as you need to prepare all the ingredients beforehand. You can also search in your area to see if venues host these parties. They will eliminate a lot of the hassle.
Technically this is also a baking party but it’s worth mentioning on its own. This is a great activity if you have a smaller group go guests. You can rotate the “Suchi markers” throughout the preparation. If you plan these groups ahead of time, it’s a great way to break the ice, and to get people to know each other.
We have an 80s section… but we felt it was worth mentioning twice!
If people are in the mood, karaoke is a hilarious thing to do. Just make sure you have the right equipment for it. You can usually buy or rent it in your area. Also, you might want to plan a few activities for those who categorically won’t sing.
This article by Lifewire has some nice ideas on how to host a karaoke night with just the equipment you have at home. You can also check this article by HerCampus.com and theSpruce.com for some more ideas.
This is an obvious one (especially after listing so many party themes) that you can choose to combine (or not) with any other theme. Costumes are a great ice breaker as no one can resist asking about each other’s costumes. However, make sure your guests are up for it; Don’t impose something they dread doing. If dressing up isn’t their thing, opt for a theme where they don’t need too.
If you’re up for some social gambling, why not host a casino themed party? The tricky part of this theme is to learn the rules of all the different games. However, most classic carnival games can be made into betting games. This also allows you to choose/create some more casual games.
Pro-tip: if you don’t want to make the evening about winning money, give a prize to the winner(s) and then donate the money to your favourite charity. Everyone is happy.