Are you thinking of getting your groove on for an upcoming party that you’re planning for? I’m sure you remember the Walkman, Rubik’s Cubes, boom boxes, arcade consoles and all those classic movies and songs! Why not transform your party into an epic retro theme, as you travel back in time to the funky 80s and relieve this epic period.
We’ll be exploring the best 80s party ideas that you can consider, when planning for your party. These party ideas include 80s-themed decorations, party supplies, gift bags, games, activities, music, movies, food and much more. Sounds fun, right? Well, let’s take a look at the best 80s party ideas and relieve the funky era!
1. Send 80s Party Invitations
So, you’re throwing an 80s-themed party. What’s the first thing you should do? Of course, you have to get that guest list prepared. It’s your party; you call the shots as to whom you want present at your party. Therefore, make a list of all your loved ones that you would like to invite.
Once you have that sorted out, send those invitations out. Since your party is going to have a theme, it should be reflected in the invitations you’re sending out. Let your guests know what your theme is by giving them 80s Party Invitation Cassette Cards, which are crafted in the shape of retro cassettes. Of course, you can also create the invitations yourself if you have enough time.
This is sure to thrill your guests with a wave of nostalgia and an anticipation for a good time! It also helps to promote the theme of the party and your guests will be able to instantly identify it. If you want to be a little more personal with your party invitations, you can also hand them out in person.
2. Announce an 80s Dress Code
A great way to put everyone in spirits that match your groovy theme is by having all the guests dress appropriately. A great 80s party idea is to announce an 80s dress code and have everyone show up in outfits from the good ol’ days! One of the most memorable things about the 80s, apart from the songs, movies and lifestyle are the funky outfits.
Running out of ideas as to how to follow the dress code? Just slip into an 80s costume such as the classic track suit and keep the colors vibrantly neon and flashy. There is a Men’s 80s Tracksuit, as well as a Women’s 80s Tracksuit that are perfect for a party like this.
If you’re a woman, you could also channel your inner ’13 Going on 30’ vibe and don a pair of tights under a 80s Women’s Dress. Seeing everyone arrive at your party in their most creative outfits will surely set the tone for the rest of the event. At the end of the day, everyone’s going to head home wondering how they managed to travel back in time momentarily, while having had a blast of a time.
3. Set the Table Using 80s Party Supplies
Setting the vibe for your 80s-themed party requires a properly decorated party space. Whether you’re keeping your party under a roof or taking it outdoors, there are plenty of ways to create a party space which shows off your funky theme.
A quick and easy way to tick this off your to-do list is to obtain an 80s Party Supply Kit. Think of all those school dances and parties you’ve attended way back in the day – or if you’ve never set foot in the 80s, channel all that energy you’ve seen in movies. Let your mind go to classics like Sixteen Candles and get creative.
Get in the spirit with neon-colored cutlery and serve your sumptuous food on some totally rad paper plates and serviettes which show off all the colors of the decade. The 80s is a vibrant era, so be sure to let it show in the little things at your party. It will make all the difference.
4. Create an 80s Theme with Decorations
Speaking of setting an 80s vibe in your party space, a crucial element to your theme should be in the way you show it off in your decorations. Think about it! The more you stay true to the party theme, the more immersive the party experience will be for everyone. Liven up your party space with blasts from the pasts.
One prop which would really get everybody’s interest piqued is a 80s Arcade Centerpiece made of cardboard. You could place a few of them on tables or even hang them from the ceiling. If you’re really willing to spend the extra cash, you could even go ahead and purchase a real old-school arcade machine – but of course, resorting to a simple prop would go a long way in establishing your theme.
Hanging 80s Party Hanging Swirls from your ceiling, wall lamps or other fixtures are a simple yet effective way to bring life to your decorations and is also a great 80s party idea. These come attached with decorative cards at the ends which resemble all things classic. Another great way to splash color and character onto your party space is by hanging up a banner.
Banners are a timeless way to set the mood for a party and you can take the opportunity to let your guests know what the theme of the party is if they don’t already do. You could purchase an I Love 80s Banner and it would nicely set the tone for you without much effort. Alternatively, a hand-made one can do the trick if you’ve got the gift of an artistic touch. Just be sure to splash on those vibrant colors to bring the 80s out from your banner and into your party!
5. Hand Out 80s Party Favor Bags
An 80s theme already sets your party apart from the ordinary. However, if you want to make it truly memorable, consider gifting your guests with some memorabilia to take home after your party ends. Hand out party bags to let them know you appreciate their presence on your special occasion.
It’s easy enough to give out party favors. You could simply purchase matching party bags. These 80s Party Favor Bags will easily get the job done. They are made of sturdy cardboard, so they don’t dent as easily as ordinary paper bags – and they’re specially designed for your fun theme as well, so you don’t have to worry about adding color or customized decorations on your own.
Then, fill your party bags with all things 80s. Buying candies that were popular in the 80s in bulk is a convenient way to fill those bags up. Don’t worry, more on candy a little later. You could also expand your variety to include Rubik’s Cubes and other toys from the decade. Your guests may also appreciate good mixtapes if you can get your hands on them. These party favors are sure to be a crowd favorite. After all, such a party deserves to be remembered – so why not let your guests bring their fond memories home in a bag?
6. Bake 80s Cupcakes
Everybody loves cupcakes. They’re not so tiny as to leave your stomach rumbling, but they’re small enough for you to enjoy without feeling that post-slice-of-cake guilt stirring at the back of your mind.
Besides, as the host, you can vary your flavors to cater to everyone’s tastes, so no person goes without a cupcake. Just search up a great cupcake recipe online and get baking. Alternatively, you could buy cupcakes from a nearby bakery. The main gist here is to make sure your cupcakes sport that 80s theme – so your cupcake toppings are everything!
Use bright food coloring to tint your frosting of choice. Then, top your cupcakes off with retro-themed decorations such as treat picks which sport the image of objects from the 80s and cupcake wrappers to give a little bit of shine to your desserts. The 80s Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers set is perfect for this. It’s easy enough to dress such delicious treats up, and your guests will surely love the added flair.
7. Play Some 80s Trivia Games
You can’t just serve food and drinks and expect everyone to remain entertained for the entirety of your party. It’s always a good party idea to have some activities prepared to spice up the festivity. A good way to take advantage of your theme in light of this is to have your guests play some socially engaging games. A great activity for you and your guests is an 80s trivia game such as this one called: Like Totally 80’s.
This game contains everything that you need to have a fun time with your guest. However, if you want to plan the game yourself, you can simply prepare some trivia questions. These can be based on anything from the 80s, be they trends, famous movie quotes or classic songs from the era.
Host the show and allow for hints to be given for the tougher questions, or let your guests band together in groups. The winner should be rewarded, so remember to prepare prizes for those who give the most correct answers. Play this game as individuals or as groups, depending on the size of your guest list!
8. Play 80s-Themed Charades
Speaking of fun activities, why not play a few rounds of charades? It’s a great 80s party idea and a fun activity that gets people off their seats without taking up too much energy. There rarely comes a time when people are unwilling to join a game of charades.
It’s a simple enough game to prepare. All you need are some good ideas and several sheets of paper. Write down prompts on to small pieces of paper and fold them up before scattering them in a jar or container. It would be good to keep to your 80s theme, so you could have your guests act out titles to classic movies or songs from the decade. You could also jot down the names of famous people in the 80s.
Dividing your guests up into smaller teams is a good way to get a merry competition going. Charades rarely ends without laughter and excited chatter, so be prepared for an elevation in your party’s noise level!
9. Organize an 80s Scavenger Hunt
Another great 80s party game to play is a scavenger hunt. This one takes a little more effort, but if planned appropriately, it will result in a ton of fun for everyone!
Scavenger hunts require sufficient room to move, so if you’re indoors, make sure your furniture is arranged to make space for the game. It’s a little easier to play outdoors – but if your tasks are simple enough, there should be no problem either way. Remember to set ground rules beforehand to keep your guests out of prohibited areas.
Seize the opportunity to implement your 80s theme in the game directions. You can opt to prepare directions on a card inspired by thorough research on the decade – or better yet, just get a ready-made 80s Selfie Scavenger Hunt Game set. These provide cards which can be handed out to your guests in groups or individually and the selfie-related tasks are not too complicated as to tire the participants out. Plus, they come in cute cassette shapes to complement your theme.
Set a time limit for the tasks. You can either take part in the game or you can just hang back and entertain yourself with the sight of your guests scrambling to complete each task in time.
10. Watch Famous Movies from the 80s
Want to have a nice unwinding session during your party? Or perhaps you’d like to cater to your guests in need of a relaxing activity. Here’s a simple solution: organize an 80s movie marathon!
Everybody loves a good movie coupled with popcorn and other movie snacks. Set up a space in front of your television; now is a good time to bring those cushions and bean bags out. Then, pick out a selection of classics for your guests to choose from. There’s always a good 80s movie for everyone. For the horror lovers, Poltergeist is a good pick.
Those who love a good musical would appreciate classics like Footloose and Grease – yes, Grease was released in 1978, but it still worked well among the 80s crowd – and alternatively, rom-com enthusiasts would appreciate, for example, The Breakfast Club. The more adventurous types may want to hit a throwback with The Karate Kid, E.T. or even Indiana Jones.
See? There really is a flavor for everyone. Just rent a movie or let your guests choose from what Netflix has to offer. You could also choose to let the movies play as the other activities take place, just in case anybody finds they need a break halfway through the bustle and merriment. In case you’re looking for a list of popular movies from the 80s, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered:
- Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- Grease (1978 – still counts!)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- Footloose (1984)
- Karate Kid (1984)
- E.T. (1982)
- Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
- Ghostbusters (1984)
11. Play Classic Hits from the 80s
Now comes the fun part. Party music is a must to maintain the merriment of the day – or night – so be sure you’ve prepared a playlist that will keep your guests’ shoes tapping against the ground.
Obvious song choices would include those that match your theme. Play songs from the 1980s. These classics are undeniably timeless; there are so many favorites that range from the slower tempos to the beats that make everyone sing along. If you’re looking for a way to get everybody off their seats and dancing, just let ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ blare over the speakers. Lining up a playlist ranging from Lionel Richie all the way to Bon Jovi and AC/DC is a good idea to make sure the music suits everyone’s tastes.
Be sure to clear a space for dancing if your party space permits. If you’re serving alcohol, it’s probably a good idea to let your guests gain a little liquid courage to dance before serving up those classic bangers. And if anybody gets a severe case of ‘night fever’, consider yourself liable for letting your guests have a good time!
12. Have an 80s Dance Contest
Remember what was said about picking the right type of music? Well, it’s time to put that playlist to good use. Organize a dance contest. Yes, it’s a risky idea. However, if executed properly, it can only produce the best outcome.
You can announce the contest and prepare a prize for the winner for added incentive. If you want, you could even split your guests into teams. This is only optional, though. It’s good enough to have friends to cheer each other along as the selected participants bust their moves. Fixing up Disco Lighting to reflect a true discotheque vibe would also make this contest feel less like a competition and more like a dance party.
Your guests will love this contest. And, yes, it may work better with alcohol (given that everyone is of legal age!). But all you’ll really need is a rad playlist and a can-do spirit. You may have to take part in this contest to get everyone to jump on board the funky train – and, honestly, there’s no downside to that option. The most important thing is that you and your guests have fun, no matter how crazy your contest may get.
13. Distribute Some 80s Candy
It’s easy enough to find candies that were popular in the 80s. Think of Razzles, Skittles, Pop Rocks and Reece’s Pieces. You can purchase these in bulk online and have them delivered to you the day before your party. The only effort you’ll have to put in lies in the task of arranging these candies for proper serving.
You could simply empty the smaller candies out onto bowls and lay them on trays for your guests’ hands to stray towards. For the candies that shouldn’t be let out of their packaging too early, arranging them in neat patterns on your table decreases the clutter.
Your guests are sure to love these sweet throwbacks, so prepare lots of them in advance so they don’t run out too quickly. If you end up with leftovers, you could either keep them as snacks for your personal movie binge-watching sessions or slip them into your guests’ party favor bags.
14. Have a Photo Session with an 80s Backdrop
You can’t have an 80s-themed party without expecting to take lots and lots of pictures. So, you’ll definitely need a suitable 80s Photo Booth Backdrop for the occasion! This backdrop will add spirit and color into your photographs. If you’re implementing an 80s dress code, the pictures will turn out fabulously with the added setting behind your group.
Alternatively, you could prepare a hand-made backdrop. All you’ll need is some durable cloth, bright acrylic fabric paint and ample creativity. Searching pictures of 80s designs and banners will also help you to get a better picture of your desired design.
Regardless of what option you go for, always ensure that you also incorporate some of the party decorations into the shot. This will help the images stand out and will also make them look more lively. Remember to have fun with it!
15. Make Use of 80s Photo Props
While we’re on the subject of photographs – don’t just stand there in front of the camera. Hold up those photo props! Props may seem like they require a lot of preparation work, but they go a long way in bringing out the smiles on your guests’ faces.
To make things easier for yourself, you could get some 80s Party Photo Booth Props for your photographs and reminisce at the sight of all these classic icons from a distant time. 80s-themed props could also be used to decorate your party space when you’re not using them to take photographs, so they work with a double function.
16. Hand Out 80s Thank You Cards
So, your party has ended. You and your loved ones have had a good time and you’re grateful they showed up to make your celebration a memorable one. It’s always a good idea to express this gratitude. Give your guests 80s-Themed Thank You Cards and make sure they’re decorated and/or shaped in a manner to reflect your 80s theme.
They’re good keepsakes and they will surely warm your guests’ hearts. You could also customize each card by writing your guests’ names, if you have the time. However, if you don’t, just handing them these cute retro cards is a sure way to convey the message: “Thank you for coming. You’ve made this a great party!”