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18 Totally Awesome Ideas to Make Your 80s Theme Party Rock!

Do you remember the 1980s? It was a time of synth music, early computer tech, and iconic movies like 'Back to the Future.' If you want to celebrate this totally rad era, an 80s theme...

Do you remember the 1980s? It was a time of synth music, early computer tech, and iconic movies like 'Back to the Future.' If you want to celebrate this totally rad era, an 80s theme party is the way to go! Whether it's a milestone birthday or a corporate event, a nostalgic 80s theme will have everyone dancing, reminiscing, and sporting big hair!

To help you plan the best party of the decade, we've compiled 18 totally bodacious ideas that will inspire everything from the music to the party favors. So let's take a trip down memory lane and get the party started!

1. Set the Historical Context

The 1980s were a dynamic time in history. To set the tone, provide your guests with glimpses into the decade's news and politics. Label each table with a theme representing a significant event from the 80s. Notable newspaper headlines can also be displayed, highlighting events like the Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di or the invention of the World Wide Web.

80s fashion Image: 80s fashion

2. Set a Dress Code

The 80s were known for their iconic style and fashion. Encourage guests to dress in 80s fashion or as their favorite movie characters from the era. Think big hair, shoulder pads, neon tops, and ripped denim. Guests can also emulate their favorite 80s music icons like Madonna or Michael Jackson. Dressing up not only adds to the fun but also gets everyone in the spirit of the party!

retro mixtape Image: Retro mixtape

3. Make a Mega Mixtape

Create a nostalgic playlist featuring the hottest genres of the 80s, from new wave to dance-pop. Include danceable hits and slow songs to keep the party going. Hiring a professional DJ who specializes in 80s music is a great option to ensure the energy never dies down. Don't forget to include top UK artists like Queen, WHAM!, or David Bowie!

4. Book an 80s Tribute Band

For the ultimate retro experience, hire an 80s tribute band to play the biggest hits of the decade. Dressed in full 80s costume, they will create an authentic atmosphere and keep the party rocking all night long. Whether it's hair metal, post-punk, or cheesy pop, an 80s tribute band will make your event unforgettable.

5. Send Them Home With Retro Sweets

Create a Viennese table loaded with colorful vintage sweets that were popular in the 80s. Guests can indulge in these treats during the party or take them home as party favors. From Refresher chews to Sherbert spaceships, these sweets will bring back delightful memories of the past.

80s party lights Image: 80s party lights

6. Turn Off the Lights!

Embrace the neon glowstick aesthetic of the 80s by providing guests with glow sticks and glow jewelry. Designate a moment to turn off the lights and let the dance floor come alive with neon colors. You can also use glow sticks as part of your table centerpieces to create a vibrant 80s atmosphere.

7. Deck Out Your Photo Booth

Set up a polaroid photo booth to capture the retro charm of the 80s. Guests will receive instant photos as mementos of the party. Enhance the experience by providing fun 80s props such as wigs, electric guitars, or giant cellphones for unforgettable photo ops.

8. Embrace Inflatables

Incorporate inflatable electric guitars, microphones, or boomboxes to add a touch of kitschy 80s nostalgia to your decor. Neon balloons with mini glow sticks also make for a fun and vibrant backdrop that doubles as decor.

retro arcade machine Image: Retro arcade machine

9. Get Your Game On

Set up arcade games or emulators showcasing popular titles from the 80s. Guests of all ages will enjoy playing classic games like Tetris or Pac-Man. It's a great way to keep everyone entertained and bring back memories of the 80s gaming craze.

10. A Trunkicular Trivia Challenge

Test your guests' knowledge of 80s music, films, or pop culture with a trivia challenge. Provide the answers in the room, encouraging guests to explore and interact with the decorations. It's a fun and educational activity that adds another layer of entertainment to the party.

Neon cocktail Image: Neon cocktail

11. Drink Your Neon

Serve neon-colored cocktails to add a touch of kitschy elegance to your party. Use liquors and mixers like Midori, Blue Curacao, or Campari to create vibrant and photogenic drinks. Your guests will have a blast sipping on these colorful beverages while dancing the night away.

12. Mighty Tight T-Shirts on Site

Invite an airbrush artist to create custom 80s-themed t-shirts for your guests. Watching the artist work will be entertaining, and the shirts will serve as both party favors and wearable memories of the event. Guests can even wear them on the dance floor!

Rubik's Cube Image: Rubik's Cube

13. Challenge Their Brains With Decor

Scatter Rubik's Cubes and other puzzle games on the tables for guests to interact with. It will create engaging conversation starters and keep guests entertained between activities. You can even include puzzles like Simon Says for additional fun!

14. Kill the Radio Star With Videos

Play popular 80s music videos throughout the night to create an authentic and nostalgic atmosphere. Even with the sound off, these iconic videos will transport guests back to the 80s, adding another layer of entertainment to the party.

15. Keep Them Busy With Buttons

Offer guests the opportunity to make their own buttons as party favors. Pressing pin-back buttons was popular in the 80s, and guests will love designing their own badges. Rent a button-press and provide a variety of 80s-themed images or blanks. It's a fun activity that will leave guests with personalized mementos.

80s-themed party Image: 80s-themed party

16. Go Retro With Your Venue

Choose a venue that already has an 80s vibe, such as an arcade or roller rink. These venues offer the perfect backdrop for your 80s theme party and often include entertainment options like arcade games or roller skating.

17. Funky Favors

Give guests fun and wearable accessories as party favors. Consider 80s-style sunglasses, slap bracelets, or mini Rubik's Cubes. These nostalgic treats will leave guests with a lasting memory of the awesome 80s party!

18. Offer a Late Night Snack

Keep the party going by offering late-night snacks inspired by iconic 80s treats. Bagel pizzas, Hi-C juice boxes, or brightly colored Jell-O will keep guests energized for more dancing and fun. Your guests will appreciate the blast from the past!

A Super Shibby 80s Theme Party!

With these 18 totally awesome ideas, your 80s theme party will be an unforgettable blast from the past! Whether you're celebrating a milestone or just want to throwback to the iconic 80s era, these ideas will transport your guests to a time of neon colors and catchy tunes. So get ready to party like it's 1985 and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Looking for the perfect 80s playlist? Bands For Hire can provide you with the best party entertainment in the UK! Contact us today and let us match you with a band that will curate the ultimate 80s playlist for your awesome event!