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101 of the Best Theme Party Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think of

Being the best host just became so much easier.
STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas
Giphy. ART: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

A good theme can take a party from average to unforgettable, especially if you get creative with music, costumes and decor. But one of the hardest parts of planning a party is coming up with the perfect theme. And to save you endless hours of brainstorming, we turned to the experts. We asked party planners for their best theme party ideas. And they gave us 101 (!!) of them. They shared the classic party themes that never fail. They gave us tips for freshening up old favorites. And they even came up with some last-minute party ideas you could throw together in a day.

In our list of expert-approved theme party ideas, you’ll find at-home spa days, ritzy red carpet nights, cozy ski lodge parties and more. With the hardest part of party planning handled, you can focus on the fun stuff: You can fill your space with fun decor, create a killer playlist and throw together a theme party your friends will never forget. Now for the guest list…

Oracle cards, candles, and crystals on a table

1. Full Moon Party

Need an excuse to throw a great theme party? Celebrate the next full moon. Make astrology-themed cocktails, invite your friends to dress like their zodiac signs and set intentions for the next lunar phase. You can even hire a Tarot card reader to do readings for you and your guests, The Bash says.

A glass tiki mug filled with fruit and a cocktail umbrella
Getty Images/Wanderlust Spirits Traveling Bar.

2. Tiki Night

Host a theme party your friends will never forget by transforming your home into a tiki bar. Slip on some tropical garb, stock up on kitschy decor and whip up tasty tiki drinks. “Tiki bars and drinks are very trendy and make for a fun night,” serial home entertainer Pamela Salzman says.

An aromatherapy reed diffuser in front of a rolled-up towel and two candles

3. Spa Day

Nothing beats a spa day with friends. But instead of heading to the spa, invite your friends over for a self-care party. “The best part of a pampering theme is that you don’t need to reserve a formal location—someone’s home will work just fine,” Lori Hulshof, party planner and esthetician, says.

Cones of food displayed at a restaurant or food festival

4. Food Festival

DIY a food festival in your own backyard. Hire several food trucks for the night, or keep things simple with an elevated potluck. Andrea Correale, event planner and caterer, recommends asking your friends to make their favorite dishes. Then, set up stands where they can show off their homemade delicacies.

A cocktail on the counter of a dark bar

5. Speakeasy

Throw a party that doubles as a swanky night in by turning your home into a speakeasy. Set the scene with mood lighting, whip up some classic cocktails and give guests a password to use at the door. This classic theme is one of event planner Carrie Davenport‘s favorites, because it’s always a hit with guests.

A group of people jumping in a pool

6. Pool Party

One no-fail way to have fun with your friends? Host a pool party—even if you don’t have a pool. Stock up on cute pool floats, or find an inflatable pool that’s big enough for a crowd. Then, take a page out of The Bash’s playbook, and rent an ice pop food truck for the day.

A table topped with colorful plates holding different dishes

7. Eat Around the World

Travel the world without leaving your house by hosting an international dinner party, Marissa Johnson, professional event and party planner, suggests. Ask each guest to prepare an international dish of their choice. And during dinner, take turns sharing the stories behind your dishes.

The exterior of a home covered with holiday decor

8. Kitschy Christmas

Holiday parties are the absolute best. So why wait until December to throw one? Host your next Christmas party whenever you feel like it—and go all out with kitschy decor. Virginia Frischkorn, founder of Partytrick, likes holiday parties because they’re easy to throw together. And this one is no exception.

A flight of beer next to several other glasses of beer

9. Backyard Biergarten

Turn your backyard into a biergarten by hosting a DIY beer festival, Correale suggests. Ask each guest to bring a six-pack of their favorite IPA, stout or lager. And have an incredible day tasting them all.

A group of people wearing pajamas and sitting on the floor around a low dining table
Courtesy of Inspired by This.

10. Slumber Party

You’re never too old to have a pajama party. So invite your friends over for a night of wine and wholesome fun. To make the night feel elevated, Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events recommends sending guests home with personalized gifts, like monogrammed pajamas, silky eye masks or tiny bottles of bubbly.

Marble stairs lined with a red carpet

11. Red Carpet Night

When awards season rolls around, don’t just watch the Oscars on your TV. Throw a full-blown party, complete with a red carpet entrance, a Hollywood-worthy dress code and awards for your best-dressed guests, Brian Kelly and Sean Koski, co-founders of Ticket2Events, suggest.

A person holding handmade pasta in front of a pasta maker

12. Cooking Class

When planning a party, be sure to choose a theme both you and your guests will love, Johnson says. One underrated option? Host a cooking class in your home. Hire a professional chef, invite some friends over and spend the evening mastering new dishes.

A group of tents under a starry sky

13. Backyard Glamping

Glamping is always a good time. And with a little creativity, you can transform your backyard into a glampsite, The Bash says. Put up some tents, grab lots of pillows and blankets, and snack on s’mores while sipping champagne.

A resort with white beach chairs, white umbrellas, and white flowering trees

14. The White Lotus

The White Lotus isn’t just an iconic TV show—it’s also a great party theme, according to Kelly and Koski. Set the scene with resort-inspired decor, and invite your guests to dress as their favorite characters. Then, turn the party into a murder mystery. Or just enjoy feeling fancy for the night.

A tea seat on a table next to some pastries

15. Tea Party

Turn an average afternoon into a party by hosting tea time, Meluso suggests. Have fun dressing up, and invite your guests to do the same. Then, whip out your finest china, and serve sandwiches so tiny they’d make anyone feel posh.

A table covered in tacos, lime slices, and drinks

16. Taco Tuesday

Need an easy party theme you can throw together in an afternoon? Host Taco Tuesday, Frischkorn says. The only requirement is to serve tacos on a Tuesday. And if you want to make the event a regular thing, try different taco recipes every time.

A snowy mountain with a ski lift and dozens of skiiers

17. Après Ski

The best part of skiing is lounging in the ski lodge afterward. So throw a Sip & Shred party that captures the best of that cozy vibe, party planner Molly Sinsheimer says. Tell guests to show up in après-ski attire. And serve cold-weather favorites, like hot chocolate and warm cider.

A table topped with several brunch boards
Courtesy of TheBakerMama.

18. Brunch Banquet

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but brunch is the best one. So invite friends over for a buffet of their favorite brunch staples. Johnson recommends adding a personal touch to your party with a signature drink. So whip up a house mimosa or a memorable espresso martini.

A group of people dancing at a party

19. Y2K

Throw an end of the world party, Y2K-style. Everyone can show up in their favorite aughts attire. And you can spend the night listening to your favorite childhood bangers. Professional events coordinator Mark Lynch says he loves decade-theme parties, because they’re easy to throw together and fun to dress up for.

A watering can full of flowers
Courtesy of Victoria Magazine.

20. Garden Party

Elevate your next outdoor gathering by hosting a garden party in your backyard. Establish a playful dress code, put flowers everywhere and serve snacks that make the most of fresh ingredients. Then, hire a bartender to mix up floral cocktails so you can focus on having fun, The Bash says.

A microphone in a dark room

21. Karaoke Night

Theme parties don’t have to be expensive or overwhelming, Davenport says. So keep your next bash simple by hosting karaoke night. With a single karaoke machine, you can keep guests entertained for hours. Just be sure to keep the volume up—and the drinks flowing.

A patio decorated with plants, colorful pillows, and a large pink rug
Courtesy of AirBnB.

22. Barbiecore

Transform your home into a Barbie Dreamhouse, and invite your friends to join in on the fun, Meluso suggests. Stock up on pink decor. Serve cute treats and drinks. And of course, don an outfit worthy of Barbie herself.

A tropical resort at dusk

23. Resort Staycation

Make your backyard feel like a luxurious getaway by hosting a resort-staycation-themed party, Correale suggests. Greet your guests with hotel-worthy amenities, like plush robes and cozy slippers. And make sure they have a cocktail in hand the moment they step through the door.

A dining table topped with a burlap table runner and rustic dinnerware

24. Farm-to-Table Dinner Party

One easy way to upgrade your next dinner party? Give it a farm-to-table theme, Meluso suggests. Source local ingredients, and cook the meal yourself. Or hire a catering company to keep the evening stress-free.

A roulette wheel

25. Casino Night

“Classic theme parties are always a hit,” Johnson says. And casino night is a fan-favorite for a reason. So transform your next poker night with a fancy dress code and a formal bar. Or take your party to the next level by renting some casino games.

Two drinks in front of a fireplace

26. Cozy Cabin

Treat yourself to a much-needed dose of hygge by hosting a cozy cabin party in the middle of year. Greg Jenkins, partner at Bravo Productions, likes this “rustic” theme because guests can dress up in clothes they already have. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to snuggle with a blanket in the middle of a party?

A group of people dancing at an outdoor concert.

27. Yard-chella

Can’t make it to Coachella? Host a mini musical festival in your own backyard, Correale suggests. Your friends can take turns playing DJ. Or you can stream videos from the festival while lounging in the grass.

An outdoor dining table topped with food, wine, and candles

28. Season’s Eatings

Seasons make great party themes, Jenkins says. So host a dinner party focused on this month’s favorite flavors. Your Season’s Eatings party can revolve around fresh produce in the summer or pumpkins and apples in the fall. And you can turn the meal into a potluck to get everyone involved.

A box of small popcorn bags

29. Movie Screening

“A movie night party is a hassle-free idea you can throw together in no time,” Johnson says. So host a movie marathon or a red carpet movie premiere. And make the night feel special with movie trivia and a themed dress code.

A ceiling covered in disco balls and lights

30. Prom Night

Put a fun spin on the classic black-tie party by hosting your own prom. Stock up on kitschy decor, create a nostalgic playlist and invite guests to wear their original prom looks (or the prom looks they’d wear today). According to Lynch, black-tie parties are always a hit. And this idea is a fun way to switch things up.

A mimosa buffet with juice, champagne, and fresh fruit
Courtesy of Allie Peachfully Chic.

31. Masks and Mimosas

Turn an afternoon into a luxurious escape by hosting a Masks and Mimosas party. Find a bunch of fun face masks, and load up on champagne. Then, invite friends over for hours of relaxation. “The underlying theme is ‘Pamper Yourself,’” Hulshof says.

Two cars racing at a Grand Prix

32. Grand Prix

If you can’t fly to Europe to watch the next Formula 1 race, host a Grand Prix party at home. Stream the race from start to finish, and serve snacks inspired by the race’s location. You can even weave in some car-themed decor, Carrie Baker of Carrie Baker Events says.

A sleepover camp bulletin board with bunk assignments and a map
Courtesy of A Practical Wedding.

33. Summer Camp

Throw it back to the glory days by hosting a summer camp party in your backyard. Set up tents, arts and crafts stations, and a cafeteria-style buffet. And be sure to serve lots of nostalgic snacks. (The Bash recommends renting a cookie dough food truck, but store-bought cookie dough should work just fine.)

Someone pouring wine into a glass on a table with several other glasses of wine

34. Wine Tasting

No party is complete without great snacks and drinks, Johnson says. And a wine tasting puts them on full display. Ask every guest to bring a bottle, and take turns tasting them. Or do some research before the party, and pour a selection of wines that pair perfectly with the food you’re serving.

A table covered in 1980s-themed decor
Courtesy of Party in a Box.

35. 1980s

A 1980s party isn’t just fun—it’s also easy to throw together. So put on an ’80s playlist, tease your hair and dare your guests to fully embrace the dress code. “Send an invitation that includes a pair of shoulder pads, and tell [guests] they [have to] wear them to the party,” party planner Lynne Goldberg says.

Several yachts at a dock

36. Yacht Party

You don’t need a yacht to throw a yacht party. Transform your space with nautical decor, throw on your favorite beach playlist and invite your friends to show up in boat-worthy attire. Then, be sure to serve lots of champagne and seafood. (The Bash even suggests hiring a seafood truck for the occasion.)

A table covered with small floral arrangements

37. Flower School

Bouquet-making parties are fun, photogenic and easy to DIY. (It’s no wonder that Evite’s Piera Pizzo and Fern & Maple’s Natalie Mayhew both love them.) Buy flowers for cheap at your local market, and spend an afternoon arranging them with friends. Then, bring the party together with a signature floral cocktail.

An outdoor dining table surrounded by cushions and streamers
Courtesy of The Party Teacher.

38. Disco Picnic

A “disco picnic” may sound like an oxymoron—and that’s what makes it great, Jennifer Needham of The Party Teacher, says. Set up a pretty picnic, complete with cozy cushions, charming flatware and lots of great food. And round out the event with disco ball decor.

Dog-friendly snacks and party decor
Courtesy of Natalie Mayhew.

39. Pamper Your Pet

The next time you throw a party, invite your pet to join in on the fun. Host the get-together in your backyard, and tell your friends to bring their favorite furry companions. “With treats and favors for both pets and humans, everyone is sure to leave this party happy,” Mayhew says.

A martini with three olives

40. Shaken, Not Stirred

You can’t go wrong with a James Bond party. Establish a strict dress code, stock up on sleek decor and serve martinis all night long. And to really commit to the theme, Correale recommends making your guest of honor do a stunt as a grand entrance.

A table covered with cards and alcohol

41. College House Party

“When a theme takes you into another world, it allows [you] to let loose for a few short hours,” Amanda Hudes of Smiling Through Chaos says. And we can imagine no better way to let loose than with a college-style house party. So set up a beer pong table, stock up on canned beverages and serve the cheapest snacks you can find.

Someone DJing on a beach near dozens of people

42. Endless Summer

Capture the magic of summer during any time of year with an Endless Summer party. “Create a beach or resort atmosphere with bright colors [and] lively music,” Johnson says. “[And] serve a delicious menu of summer favorites, like fish tacos and a signature beach-themed cocktail.”

A table covered with paintbrushes, paint, and a water cup

43. Bob Ross Painting Night

Have a wholesome night of fun with friends by hosting a Bob Ross painting party. “Who doesn’t love painting, Bob Ross and happy little trees?” event expert Jennifer Perkins says. “Supply guests with small canvases [and] paints, and queue up The Joy of Painting!”

A neon sign that says "play"

44. Seven Deadly Sins

A theme that involves costumes is always a good time. And when you throw a Seven Deadly Sins party, it’s easy to get creative, Meluso says. Divide your space into seven stations—one dedicated to each sin. And invite guests to dress accordingly.

A table topped with clams on ice

45. Clambake

“You don’t need to be in Nantucket to host a clambake,” The Bash says. So steam some seafood in your kitchen, or throw some shellfish on the grill. And serve up classic clambake-style accoutrements, like grilled vegetables and corn on the cob.

Someone holding a remote near a table covered with snacks

46. TV Finale Party

Pop culture tie-ins can make parties more fun, David Jacobson of TrivWorks says. So celebrate the premiere or finale or your favorite TV show by throwing a themed party. Tell guests to dress as their favorite characters, and play the show’s soundtrack all night long.

A dining table topped with pineapples and flamingoes
Courtesy of Jessica Bordner Photography/The Bash.

47. Luau

Transform your next outdoor dinner party by hosting a luau, The Bash suggests. Since luaus are traditional Hawaiian celebrations, you’ll want to take care to respect the culture. Serve customary dishes, play Hawaiian music and help your guests understand the history behind the event.

A metal cup filled with lollipops

48. Sweet Tooth

Candyland parties aren’t just for kids, party planner Missy Robinson says. If you never grew out of your sweet tooth, host a sugary-sweet gathering full of tasty treats and candy-packed cocktails. And have tons of fun with your decor.

A group of people dancing on a dock near water

49. Summer Hamptons Party

Host a coastal social that transports you to the Hamptons—even if there’s no beach in sight. Invite your friends to show up in coastal-cute outfits, set the scene with beachy decor and serve a menu packed with delicious seafood. To bring the night together, you can even hire a steel drummer or ukulele player, The Bash says.

Lots of board game pieces and cards in a pile

50. Family Game Night

One easy way to throw a party? Slip on some PJs, and whip out your favorite board games. “It’s easy to make the house feel cozy with the fireplace on, blankets and pillows and a bunch of board games,” Salzman says. Whether the games are a side activity or the focal point of your party, you’re sure to have a good time.

Several scattered records

51. Throwback Time Machine

Instead of tying your party to a single decade, plan one that honors every decade. Ask friends to dress in clothes from different eras. Play top hits from every year, in order. And stock up on retro decor. “Many stores carry vintage decorations and clothing, so it’s easy to find supplies and costumes,” Lynch says.

Someone wearing a tuxedo and reaching for a glass of champagne from a platter

52. Black-Tie Ball

Throwing a black-tie party doesn’t have to cost a fortune, Lynch says. Once you’ve set a strict dress code and stocked up on champagne, you should be good to go. If you can, move furniture around to create a ballroom-type space—and invite your friends to start dancing.

Kids participating in a three-legged race

53. Field Day

Some of the most creative theme party ideas come from the smallest budgets, Jenkins says. So the next time the weather is nice, throw a field day in your backyard. Set up a sack race and a tug of war. Serve your favorite childhood snacks. And divide your guests into teams with color-coded jerseys.

A resort with a pool and a beachfront view
Courtesy of Luxe Recess.

54. Bubbles in Boca

Why wait decades to enjoy the gifts of retirement? With Sinsheimer’s Bubbles in Boca theme, you can vicariously escape to a Florida retirement community any time you want. Fill your space with beachy decor. Wear your finest coastal grandmother attire. And most importantly, keep the bubbly flowing.

A bottle of 19 Crimes wine on top of a stack of books and a newspaper

55. Murder Mystery

Murder mystery parties may be goofy, but they’re also ridiculously fun. So go ahead and host one, Meluso says. Snag a murder mystery game kit to guide the night. Or create your own murder mystery game, and tailor it to your friend group.

BTS giving an interview
The MEGA Agency.

56. K-Pop Dance Party

Can’t make it to the next BTS concert? Host your own, Nikki May of Nikki Connected, says. Hang posters of your favorite K-pop groups, queue up some concert videos and get ready to dance all night long.

A table topped with flowers and slices of cake

57. Great Backyard Bake Off

“If you and your friends all love the same show, it’s fun to throw a party that highlights [it],” Lynch says. So take your love of The Great British Baking Show to the next level by hosting a bake off in your backyard. Keep the stakes low, and invite your friends to make their favorite sweet treats. Then, finish the event with a taste-test.

Food being cooked on an outdoor grill

58. Tailgate

Celebrate game day with a backyard tailgate packed with fun games and delicious food. This party theme is especially great for away games and out-of-town tournaments. And Jenkins loves sports-themed parties in general, because they’re easy to throw and just as easy to dress up for.

Hot chocolate being poured into a mug

59. Snow Day

The next time it snows, invite your friends over for a cozy snow day party. Make a big batch of hot chocolate, crank up the fireplace and slip on your snuggliest pajamas. Salzman and Frischkorn both love pajama parties—and a snow day’s a great excuse to throw one.

A campsite at Burning Man with several people and bikes

60. Backyard Burning Man

If going to Burning Man isn’t in the cards, event planner Brian Worley recommends hosting your own. Throw the party in your backyard, set up some arts and crafts stations and camp out overnight. Then, cement the event by lighting a campfire—or creating a mini-burning man of your own.

A cruise deck packed with people

61. Cruise Deck

“When you can’t afford to take your guests on a cruise, bring that cruise-like experience to them,” Jenkins says. Fill your space with nautical decor. Tell guests to wear poolside attire. And create an activity-packed evening, complete with trivia, bingo and other cruise ship favorites.

A person wearing a pink cowboy hat and a pink feather top

62. Rhinestone Cowboy

Rhinestone cowboy parties are surprisingly easy to throw, Frischkorn says. And they’re a delight for guests to dress up for. So crank up the country music, dress in denim and diamonds and give guests cowboy hats to throw on the moment they arrive.

A jar filled with charcuterie and cut up fruit
Courtesy of House of Kerrs.

63. Trendy Treats

TikTok is a treasure trove of trendy foods. And by hosting a food fad party, you can give your guests (and yourself) an excuse to try them all. Sonya Kerr of House of Kerrs suggests throwing a jarcuterie party. But we’d take things a step further: Throw in butter boards, tinned fish spreads and anything else you’ve seen on your For You page.

A blue fishbowl cocktail filled with colorful straws and Swedish fish
Getty Images/bhofack2.

64. Under the Sea

Some party themes never get old. There’s something infinitely fun about dressing as a sea creature and spending the night “underwater.” And if you’re willing to get creative with decor, you can put a fresh spin on the classic theme, Worley says. Think: dramatic lighting, wall projections, ethereal backdrops and more.

A table covered with Golden Girls-themed decor
Courtesy of Jennifer Perkins.

65. Golden Girls Happy Hour

Celebrate everyone’s favorite Miami foursome by hosting a Golden Girls-themed party, Perkins suggests. Set up a cheesecake bar. Play your favorite reruns. And snag a Golden Girls party kit that makes decorating easy.

A room decorated with glow in the dark and neon part decor
Courtesy of Kara’s Party Ideas.

66. Dancing in the Dark

The only thing more fun than a dance party? A glow-in-the-dark dance party. And hosting one isn’t hard. Set the scene with a blacklight, and ask your friends to wear white, Worley says. Or stock up on neon lights, glowsticks and glow-in-the-dark decor.

A group of people sitting around an outdoor table next to a guitar

67. Open Mic Night

Hudes has seen lots of people incorporate art and entertainment into events. So embrace the trend by hosting your own open mic night. Ask your friends to take turns sharing their talents. Or formalize the event by hiring local artists to perform short sets.

People doing a champagne toast at a formal eveent

68. Black and White Party

The event planners we spoke to love Black and White parties—fancy events where guests wear black or white. “This theme never goes out of style,” Johnson says. “Have your guests dress head-to-toe in black and white, and create a ballroom-style atmosphere to fully embrace the classic feel.”

A living room filled with red and white balloons

69. Take Me to Target

Celebrate Target in all its glory by throwing a party dedicated to the department store. (We’re not kidding.) Fill your space with red and white decor, Ariel Sagat of Hostess Helper NYC suggests. Then, set up themed stations—like a Starbucks-inspired coffee bar and a “Help Yourself” bar where guests can make personalized party favors.

An outdoor dining space with bohemian decor

70. Bohemian Nights

Turn your backyard into a dreamy escape with a Bohemian Nights party, Correale suggests. Fill your space with pillows and blankets. Mix and match your drinkware. And serve a buffet of delicious food. (Correale recommends an oversized seafood bar.)

A succulent next to a knocked-over terrazzo pot
Courtesy of Lois Campos Photography.

71. Paint and Sip

Drinking wine and painting stuff is a no-fail combination, party stylist Chári Herndon says. And we couldn’t agree more. So grab some rosé and some planters to paint, and you’ve got an easy theme party on your hands.

A group of people cheersing beer at an outdoor bar

72. Happy Hour

Celebrate everyone’s favorite time of day with a party dedicated to happy hour. “Curated cocktails and mocktails that are named for the party are always a fun surprise,” Frischkorn says. So create some happy hour drink deals, and serve your favorite bar snacks. After all, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

A fairytale-like scene with flowers, tea, and an open book

73. Welcome to Wonderland

The key to hosting a great Alice in Wonderland party? Make it your own, Sagat says. Host during the holidays, and create a whimsical wintry wonderland. Or dream up a different way to reinterpret the classic theme.

An ABBA record

74. Eurovision Night

Eurovision gave us the gift of ABBA. And by hosting a Eurovision night, you can celebrate the many other hidden gems that have graced the competition stage. DJing is easy: Just put on a Eurovision playlist. And invite guests to dress in costume—Lynch’s advice for any TV-themed party.

A green faux plant wall with a "frose" neon sign and a pink innertube

75. Basic Bitch Bash

Being basic is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, according to Meluso, it’s something worth celebrating. “Incorporate all the basic things that everyone secretly loves, like brunching, bottomless mimosas, froyo [and more],” she says. And be sure to create an official event hashtag.

A group of people holding up their drinks at a masquerade party

76. Masquerade

Want to throw a truly classic theme party? Davenport recommends hosting a masquerade. Invite your friends over for a swanky night of drinking and dancing. And ask them to get creative with their masquerade masks.

Two silver goblets full of grapes

77. Toga Party

“Tried-and-true parties never fail, because guests know what to expect,” Kelly and Koski say. And toga parties are no exception. So tell your friends to transform their bedsheets into truly majestic togas. And host a toga fashion show, where everyone can show off their handiwork.

People cheersing beer over bar snacks

78. Trivia Night

Instead of heading to a local bar for trivia, host trivia night at home. Ask friends to brainstorm questions, and serve pub-worthy drinks and snacks. If you want, you can even give your trivia night a theme. Just pick something approachable (like food or pop culture) that lots of people can enjoy, Jacobson suggests.

A beach with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and a beach volleyball game

79. Backyard Beach Day

You don’t have to live by the beach to make your backyard feel like paradise. So pull out the beach towels, set up a cocktail bar and put on some soothing ocean noises. “Make the party even more fun with beach sports, like volleyball and bocce ball,” Johnson says.

A dining table set with plates, food, and wine

80. Old-Fashioned Dinner Party

Your theme party doesn’t have to be theatrical to be a hit. “Keep it easy,” Salzman says. So bookmark some recipes you’d like to try, crack open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving and invite your friends over for an old-fashioned dinner party.

A decor vignette from a roller derby party
Courtesy of Natalie Mayhew.

81. Retro Roller Disco

One unexpectedly fun idea? Host a retro roller disco party. “Transport guests back to the fun and simple days of hanging out at the roller rink,” Mayhew says. To pull this one off, you don’t have to let people skate indoors. Instead, fill your space with fun lighting and retro decor, and play classic roller rink tunes all night long.

A windowsill decorated with a mortar and pestle, small ingredients, and a basket

82. Apothecary

Turn your home into an old-fashioned apothecary—complete with dried flowers, candles and cocktails served in potion bottles. Set up a drink station where people can mix their own elixirs. And go all out with your decor. “Decorations play a big role in setting the mood and atmosphere [at any party],” Johnson says.

The cast of SNL singing or yelling with open mouths
Courtesy of NBC.

83. SNL Night

“[A] dream theme would be a ‘come as your favorite SNL character’ costume party!” Baker says. With decades of characters to choose from, everyone can get creative. And you can play your favorite reruns in the background all night.

Someone mixing cocktails at a bar

84. Craft Cocktail Party

Put a punny spin on your next cocktail party by hosting a craft cocktail party, where everyone mixes their own drinks. Hire a mixologist to teach you some bartending basics, and don your sleekest cocktail attire. Davenport says dressing up is half the fun of any party theme—and that’s definitely the case with this one.

A table covered in takeout food and canned drinks

85. Takeout Tournament

Before dreaming up the wildest theme imaginable, give yourself a realistic budget. And plan a party you’ll feel comfortable hosting, Jenkins says. One fun option? Order takeout from different restaurants. And ask your friends to vote on their favorites, tournament-style.

A dining room table decorated with candles and spooky decor

86. Haunted Soiree

You don’t have to wait until October to whip out your Halloween decor. By hosting a spooky soirée when people least expect it, you can surprise and delight your guests. And you can heed some of Salzman’s favorite hosting advice: “Use what you’ve got.”

A group of athletes racing horses

87. Derby Day

Derby Day parties are fun, even if you don’t care about horse-racing. Tell your friends to show up in sundresses and hats, and serve mint juleps all day long. According to Johnson, custom cups can bring a theme party together. So be sure to order proper julep cups for the occasion.

A wall covered in streamers with a neon sign that says "Let's Party"

88. The Glitter End

Glitter is the name of the game with this party theme. Stock up on shiny streamers. Serve sparkling wine. And ask your friends to show up in metallic clothes, Goldberg suggests.

A pitcher of lemonade next to two glasses of lemonade

89. Lemonade Stand

Throwback parties are always a hit. “Who doesn’t love reliving their wild youth?” Johnson says. And while your lemonade stand days probably weren’t that wild, they’re still fodder for a fun theme party. So set up some outdoor tables, batch some boozy lemonades and invite friends over for a nostalgic afternoon.

A restaurant table set for two

90. Speed Dating Night

Play matchmaker by hosting speed dating night for all the eligible singles you know. Set up tables for two, brainstorm conversation starters and keep the night moving with a timer. “People love a good escape from the stresses of current reality,” Hudes says. And who knows? Maybe your party will lead to true love.

A bar cart packed with bottles and decor

91. Stock the Bar Cart

Celebrating a housewarming or engagement? Throw a Stock the Bar Cart party. Ask everyone to bring booze for your guest of honor so they can usher in their next chapter with a well-stocked bar cart. Kelly and Koski recommend freshening up old favorites—and this updated Stock the Bar party does just that.

Someone grabbing a glass of champagne from a tray

92. Gatsby Night

Transform your next Roaring ’20s party by giving it a Great Gatsby theme, Meluso suggests. If you have a projector handy, play your favorite version of The Great Gatsby in the background. And tell everyone to come dressed to the nines.

Several shelves lined with plants

93. Greenhouse

Need an excuse to buy more plants? Throw a greenhouse party. Fill your space with greenery. Mix some botanical cocktails. And add an interactive station that gets your friends involved, Johnson says. One idea: Invite your guests to propagate plants and take them home as party favors.

Someone mixing a cocktail at a bar

94. Cocktail-Making Throwdown

The best theme parties aren’t just fun to attend—they’re also fun to host, Kelly and Koski say. So host a cocktail-making contest in your backyard. Tell friends to whip up their best margaritas and do a taste-test to pick the winner.

A green-lit room with a disco ball

95. Disco

Need a theme for your next dance party? Hang a disco ball. Give the night a ’70s flavor with retro music, decor and costumes. “Guests can dig out their bell bottoms and platform shoes for a fun-filled night,” Johnson says. Or give your disco a modern-day twist with vibey lighting and low-fi music.

A baking tray with cookies on it

96. Cookies and Cocktails

Decorating cookies is a fun way to celebrate any holiday. So invite friends over for a day of sipping cocktails and icing cookies. Stock up on cookie dough, frosting and sprinkles. Serve festive drinks. And instead of buying new holiday decor, use what you already own, Frischkorn says.

A slice of funfetti cake surrounded by rainbow confetti and rose wine

97. Life in Color

Party planners love throwing monochromatic parties. But Correale recommends hosting a rainbow party, instead. Tell everyone to come dressed in vibrant clothing. And serve colorful snacks, like vegetable crudité and funfetti cake.

A pair of hands clapping a director's slate

98. Make Your Own Music Video

Turn your next theme party into a truly unforgettable experience by shooting a music video featuring you and your friends. There are companies you can hire to do this, special events professional Richard O’Malley says. But if you’re hosting on a budget, you can turn the music video into a DIY project.

A homemade pizza being placed in a pizza oven

99. DIY Pizza Party

Transform your next dinner party by cooking the meal with your friends. Start with something simple, like DIY pizza. Then work your way up to more complex dishes. “If you plan to host similar parties in the future, you can switch up the theme each time,” Johnson says. So establish a dinner party schedule, and pick a different dish to master each time.

A restaurant room filled with plants and lights

100. Welcome to the Jungle

When hosting a jungle-themed party, your options are endless. You can fill your space with plants, tell your friends to dress in animal prints, queue up rainforest noises and more. “Digging deep into the kitschy parts of any theme can help transport guests into the world you pulled the theme from,” Kelly and Koski say. And with so many jungle motifs to play with, there’s lots to explore.

A diner with pink walls and red leather seats

101. Diner Night

Turn your home into a retro diner, complete with vintage decor, fun lighting and boozy milkshakes. Serve comfort food on cafeteria trays. And create a jukebox-style music experience, where guests can request songs. “[When] throwing a theme party, small details are key,” Davenport says. So get creative—and commit to your theme.

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