Ideas for 80s Themed Party

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Ah, the 80s, a time of neon colors, big hair, and funky beats! If you’re looking for ideas to throw a cool party that transports everyone back in time, an 80s themed party is the way to go. Get ready to crank up the nostalgia and dance like it’s 1985 with these rad ideas for an unforgettable 80s party!

Friends dressed for an 80s themed party

How to Have an 80s Themed Party?

Throwing an 80s-themed party is a fantastic way to transport your guests back to a time of neon, big hair, and iconic music. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you host a totally rad 80s bash:

80s party sign

1. Invitations:

Set the tone from the start with rad invitations. Use vibrant colors, bold fonts, and incorporate iconic 80s imagery like cassette tapes, boomboxes, or Rubik’s Cubes. Encourage guests to come dressed in their best 80s attire.

2. Venue and Decorations:

Transform your space into an 80s wonderland with bold and bright decorations. Think neon tablecloths, glow sticks, and posters of classic 80s movies and musicians. Create a DIY photo booth with props like oversized sunglasses, rubber bracelets, and inflatable guitars for some Insta-worthy snaps.

3. Dress Code:

Encourage your guests to channel their inner Madonna, Michael Jackson, or even Marty McFly! Leg warmers, acid-washed jeans, oversized sweaters, and scrunchies are a must. Don’t forget the quintessential 80s accessory, the fanny pack! Award prizes for the best-dressed guests to kick the competition up a notch.

80s costume

4. Music Playlist:

Set the mood with a playlist of iconic 80s tunes! From Bon Jovi to Whitney Houston, the choices are endless. Consider renting or borrowing a few vintage boomboxes to scatter around the venue, and let the music fill the air. Bonus points if you can find some cassette tapes to play or use as decorations.

80s music

5. Food and Drinks:

Serve up a menu inspired by 80s favorites. Think cheese balls, pigs in a blanket, Jell-O salads, and finger sandwiches. Create a signature cocktail named after an iconic 80s movie or song. Don’t forget to include classic sodas.

6. Games and Activities:

Keep the energy high with fun games and activities. Consider a Rubik’s Cube challenge, an arcade gaming area, or a karaoke contest featuring the best 80s tunes. Or host an 80s trivia quiz.

rubix cube

Or bring the arcade experience to your party with classic 80s video games! Set up a gaming area with Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong. If you can find an old-school arcade machine, that’s even better! Consider hosting a high-score competition and awarding prizes to the reigning champions.

You can also turn your living room into a stage and let the karaoke madness begin! Stock up on 80s hits and encourage your guests to unleash their inner rockstars. From “Sweet Child o’ Mine” to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” there’s a song for every taste. Bonus points for enthusiastic air guitar solos!

7. Costume Contest:

Host a costume contest to showcase the best 80s fashion. Categories could include Best Hair, Most Radical Outfit, or Best Celebrity Lookalike. Make sure to have prizes that align with the theme, like retro toys or movie memorabilia.

8. Movie Marathon:

Set up a cozy area for an 80s movie marathon. Choose a mix of classic films, whether it’s “The Breakfast Club,” “Ghostbusters,” or “Top Gun.” Provide plenty of popcorn and snacks for a nostalgic cinema experience.

9. Photo Opportunities:

Create memorable photo opportunities by setting up themed backdrops or props. Encourage guests to capture the moment and share their pics on social media using a custom party hashtag.

10. Party Favors:

Send your guests home with a piece of the 80s. Consider giving out favors like cassette tape-shaped USB drives, slap bracelets, or mini Rubik’s Cubes.

By following these steps, you’re sure to host a rad 80s-themed party that your guests will be talking about for years to come. So, lace up those high-tops, tease that hair, and get ready to party!

What Food to Serve at an 80s Party?

Hosting an 80s-themed party is not just about the music and fashion, it’s also about embracing the iconic and sometimes quirky food trends of that era. Here’s a selection of fun foods that will transport your guests back to the rad days of the 80s:

Cheese Balls and Fondue

Cheese balls rolled in crunchy nuts or bacon bits were a staple at 80s gatherings. Pair them with a classic cheese fondue for a deliciously retro experience. Don’t forget the bread cubes, pretzels, and veggies for dipping!

cheese fondue

Pigs in a Blanket

These bite-sized wonders wrapped in crescent roll dough are a timeless appetizer that graced many 80s party tables. Serve them with a side of mustard or sweet-and-sour sauce for that extra 80s flair.

pigs in blanket food

Jell-O Salad

Jell-O salads were a colorful and wiggly sensation in the 80s. Create a festive Jell-O salad with layers of fruit, whipped cream, and maybe even some marshmallows. The more colors, the better!

jello salad

Popcorn Tins

Set out classic popcorn tins, each filled with different flavors like butter, cheese, and caramel. This was a popular snack during the 80s, especially around the holidays.

Finger Sandwiches

Prepare a platter of finger sandwiches with classic fillings like tuna salad, egg salad, and cucumber. Cut them into small, dainty squares or triangles for that elegant touch.

finger sandwiches

Swedish Meatballs

Channel your inner Abba and serve up Swedish meatballs ā€“ a party favorite that became synonymous with the 80s. Arrange them on toothpicks for easy snacking.


Elevate your party spread with vol-au-vents, those flaky pastry shells filled with creamy goodness. Go for classic fillings like chicken a la king or seafood Newburg to capture the sophisticated side of 80s cuisine.

vol au vonts

Fruit Punch with Sherbet

Mix up a colorful and fruity punch bowl with sherbet floating on top. This refreshing beverage was a hit at many 80s gatherings and adds a touch of nostalgia to your drink station.

Rainbow Sherbet

Give your guests a blast from the past with some rainbow colored sherbet. These sweet treats were a staple of childhood and make for a tasty and fun addition.


Pizza with a Twist

Order or make pizzas with a fun twist ā€“ think unusual toppings and combinations like pineapple, barbecue sauce and pickles. It’s a fun and customizable option that reminds us of the eclectic tastes of the 80s.

Don’t forget to decorate your food presentation area with neon colors, cassette tapes, and other iconic 80s memorabilia to complete the blast-from-the-past atmosphere. With this tasty lineup, your 80s-themed party is sure to be a gnarly success!

Costume Ideas for an 80s Themed Party

If you are hosting or attending as 80s themed party, and need some costume ideas then look no further. Here are some quick and simple 80s dress up ideas for you.

80s costume

1. Material Girl (Madonna):

  • Lace gloves
  • Tulle skirt or layered mini-skirt
  • Fishnet stockings
  • Oversized accessories (bangles, crucifix necklace)
  • Teased and tousled hair with a bow or headband
80s costume

2. Thriller (Michael Jackson):

  • Red leather or military-inspired jacket
  • Sequined glove
  • High-water pants or skinny jeans
  • Ankle boots or loafers
  • Fedora hat

3. Preppy Prom Queen/King:

  • Pastel-colored blazer or cardigan
  • Polo shirt or blouse with popped collar
  • Pleated or khaki pants
  • Loafers or boat shoes
  • Scrunchie or headband

4. New Wave/ Punk Rocker:

  • Studded leather jacket or denim vest
  • Ripped or fishnet stockings
  • Band T-shirt or graphic tee
  • Combat boots or studded heels
  • Spiked or colored hair, bold makeup

5. Fitness Guru/Jazzercise Instructor:

  • Neon leotard or unitard
  • Leg warmers
  • Sweatbands
  • High-top sneakers
  • Side ponytail or crimped hair
80s fitness instructor

6. Valley Girl or Dude:

  • Off-the-shoulder top or oversized sweater
  • Acid-washed jeans or mini skirt
  • Scrunch socks with high-top sneakers
  • Layered jewelry and hoop earrings
  • Side-ponytail or big hair for girls; feathered hair for guys

7. Glam Rock Star:

  • Spandex pants or metallic leggings
  • Sequined, studded or bright colored top
  • Oversized sunglasses
  • Bandana or headscarf
  • Wild, teased hair or a mullet
80s costume

8. 80s Movie Character:

  • Choose a character from a popular 80s movie like Ferris Bueller, Marty McFly, or Princess Leia (from Star Wars).
  • Replicate their iconic outfits with attention to detail.

9. Video Game Enthusiast:

  • Dress up as a character from an 80s video game like Mario or Pac-Man.
  • Incorporate pixelated accessories and bright colors.

10. Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel:

  • Leather jacket with patches or studs
  • Band T-shirt
  • Distressed jeans or leather pants
  • Combat boots or high-top sneakers
  • Messy, teased hair

Remember, the key to an epic 80s costume is to embrace the excess and have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, layer on the accessories, and go all out with the hair and makeup. After all, it’s the 80s, the more outrageous, the better!

80s Party Themes

If you’re looking to add an extra layer of fun and excitement to your 80s-themed party, consider incorporating a specific theme. Here are some cool 80s party themed ideas for inspiration.

1. Back to the Future Bash:

  • Encourage guests to dress as characters from the Back to the Future trilogy.
  • Play a mix of 80s hits and soundtrack tunes from the movies.

2. Rock of Ages Glam:

  • Celebrate the glam rock era with a party inspired by metal bands.
  • Encourage everyone to wear leather, spandex, and teased hair.
  • Set up a stage for air guitar performances and karaoke to rock hits.

3. Neon Nights Dance Party:

  • Get into the 80s with a glow in the dark party theme.
  • Decorate with neon lights, glow sticks, and fluorescent colors.
  • Encourage guests to wear their brightest neon outfits.
  • Hire a DJ to play dance-pop and electronic hits from the era.

4. 80s TV Show Extravaganza:

  • Choose a popular 80s TV show as your theme (e.g., Miami Vice, The A-Team, or The Golden Girls).
  • Decorate with show-themed props and posters.
  • Encourage guests to come dressed as characters from the chosen TV show.

5. Totally Tubular Beach Party:

  • Combine the 80s with a beach party theme.
  • Decorate with surfboards, inflatable palm trees, and beach balls.
  • Encourage guests to wear 80s-inspired beach attire.
  • Play a mix of surf rock and 80s beach tunes.

6. Arcade Game Night:

  • Transform your space into an 80s arcade.
  • Set up classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Galaga.
  • Encourage guests to dress as their favorite video game characters.

7. Sci-Fi Spectacular:

  • Celebrate the sci-fi movies and TV shows of the 80s.
  • Decorate with space-themed props, alien cutouts, and starry backdrops.
  • Encourage guests to dress as characters from 80s sci-fi classics like E.T. or Blade Runner.

8. Retro Roller Disco:

  • Turn your venue into a roller disco rink.
  • Provide roller skates or encourage guests to bring their own.
  • Play a mix of disco and funk hits while everyone skates and dances.

9. Cassette Tape Mixtape Party:

  • Create a mixtape theme with cassette tape decorations.
  • Encourage guests to come dressed as their favorite 80s music icons.
  • Have a “mixtape exchange” where guests can swap their favorite playlists.

10. 80s Movie Marathon:

  • Transform your space into a cozy movie theater.
  • Create a lineup of classic 80s films and provide plenty of popcorn and snacks.
  • Encourage guests to come dressed as characters from their favorite 80s movies.

With these fun ideas, your 80s themed party is sure to be a blast from the past that guests will remember for years to come!

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