The Greatest Party Theme Ideas That You Haven’t Considered
So you’re hosting a party. And you need a theme.
A theme is the bedrock of party planning, from which all other decisions follow. Securing the best party theme is the first step in assembling the bones of your party, and there’s so much to consider. The moment your guests step through the door, the arrangement is going to set the tone for the rest of the night, so it’s important to think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create. If you’re on the hunt for some ideas for your upcoming bash, we’ve got a list of 10 themes that are unique and easy to pull off for any event from big birthday bashes to new year’s eve party themes, to give you some inspiration on hosting the best party ever and in the best party venue too.
The best party theme ideas are:
- The Chocolate Factory
- Summer in the Amalfi Coast
- German Christmas
- 1920’s Prohibition
- Lost in Wonderland
- The Wild West
- Back to the 80s
- The Great British Tea Party
- A Night at the Oscars
- Murder Mystery
1. The Chocolate Factory
With the highly anticipated ‘Wonka’ film due for release at the end of the year, this is surely the best party theme for those who like to stay ahead of trends. There’s also just so much potential with this novel party idea that you could get seriously creative with this idea. For instance, you could host an explicit theme loyal to the characters and visuals of Roald Dahl’s much-loved book, where there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had with the costumes – we’d love to see the repulsive Violet Beauregarde post-blueberry incident walk through the doors and cause a stir.
You could also opt for a more generalised ‘Candyland’ style, and serve your guests neon coloured cocktails, with pick n mix bags to satisfy their sweet tooth. This theme is all about unleashing your inner child, and it’s a bright, fun and colourful pick perfect for a summer do.
2. Summer In The Amalfi Coast
The Italian Riviera can seem oh so far away here in Australia, so why not bring it to you? An evening under the stars, the hum of cicadas from the trees by the shore, the twinkling lights of the city over the water – a taste of the Mediterranean that’s appealing to nearly every guest you could think of.
Roaming canapes with cheese and pineapple cocktail sticks, prosciutto boards, and buffalo mozzarella pizza will be on rotation, and the evening’s entertainment might include live acoustic guitar performances. It’s the perfect excuse to take that outfit you only wear on holiday out of your wardrobe and put you in vacation mode for the night (minus the hunky Italian men).
An Amalfi-inspired theme could also be perfect for any engagement party celebration. Think of it like a honeymoon before the honeymoon, and maybe even a nice respite before all the chaos of wedding planning begins.
3. German Christmas
Want to do something a little different for your next work Christmas party? Or what if you’re just looking to host a fun, little end-of-year party that will surely be remembered? Then why not take inspiration from the whimsical villages in the hills of Bavaria (or Adelaide), and bring those fuzzy market vibes into your next Christmas party?
A charming German or European-styled Christmas party can be a truly magical way to end a year well-spent. And hosting a German Christmas is easier than you may think too! For instance, you could put out a spread of pfeffernusse, or gingerbread, alongside providing mulled wine and other delectable Christmas-inspired foods.
Your theme can also extend to costumes too! Have the ladies dress in plaits and petticoats, and the gents rock up in lederhosen with socks pulled up to the armpits. With cosy lighting, a crackling fireplace and gingerbread houses galore, your guests will soon feel like they’ve stepped into a cosy wood cabin, ready to dance around the nearest maypole.
And who said this theme had to take place in December? It could be just as fun to host a ‘Christmas in July’ party, especially when the colder weather might have you reaching for the mulled wine a little more naturally.
4. 1920’s Prohibition
Now this is one cocktail party that your guests won’t be sure to forget anytime soon. The 1920s was an exciting time filled with glamour, revolution, and rebellion. In 1920, a law was passed in America banning the production, sale and consumption of alcohol. Citizens had to find creative ways of socialising, so illicit bars popped up underground and in alleyways, with bootleggers selling their homemade gallons of potent concoctions.
Go one step further from the roaring twenties theme you’ve seen a hundred times before, and add a bit of edge to the darker side of this glittery decade. Transform your venue into your very own dark and dingy speakeasy, serving up moonshine and mysterious cocktails to your law-breaking guests! Use low-lighting and soft, quiet jazz to travel back 100 years, for an exciting atmosphere of danger and debauchery. Want to go a step further? Have a guest or actor dress up as a policeman to storm in half way through the night, threatening to tear the place up and send everyone to jail. Your guests will love the drama.
5. Lost In Wonderland
Think enchanted forest meet’s Taylor Swift’s ‘Era’s’ Tour. A real feast for the eyes, this is one of the best party themes for planners who really want to delight their guests with a completely immersive, beautiful visual experience. For sit-down events, cover your tables in gorgeous foliage and golden glitter, and you could always borrow from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice In Wonderland’ if you want decor that’s a little more funky.
Wrap fairy lights around any outside furniture or trees, and use floor lighting pointed upwards to create a feeling of partying in the wilderness. Use long sweeping fabrics to drape over your space, and incorporate elements of nature with magical touches for a sense of wonder and escapism. Guests could be encouraged to dress from a traditional fairytale, or in ball gown styles for a more formal occasion. You could even use this fairytale-inspired style as the perfect theme for inspiring your wedding venue decorations.
6. The Wild West
One of the best party themes involves cowboys, as your guests have the option to kit out in a full get-up, or simply pop on a big hat if fancy dress isn’t wildly their thing. But why not take it up a notch, and have a hip slapping, root-and-tooting party that’s the opposite of holding your horses?
Hosting a wild west-themed party can be as simple as building up a playlist of country songs, classic rock and roll, and American folk to set the tone and immerse you and your guests in those Mid-Western plains. Similarly, you can use our in-house bar amenities here at Canvas House to serve up specialty drinks at ‘The Last Chance Saloon’ bar. And why not have a few hay bales dotted around the place to perch on for your guests? Our polished concrete floors are guaranteed to make cleanup as easy as possible.
You could even incorporate Barbiecore into your cowboy aesthetic, by adding a touch of pink around the place for a cross-over theme. After all, Ken was only interested in the patriarchy for the horses, so your party would probably be his ‘dreamhouse’.
7. Back To The 80s
Some of the best party themes are the decades, and the 80s has a lot to offer. You can combine 10 years of neon lycra, boy bands and hair, lots and lots of hair, into one fantastic night. The 80s gave birth to espresso martinis, Diet Coke, vodka pasta and tiramisu amongst many other trends and staples we see today, so you can easily put on an all-out 80s spread. You might even enjoy the history lesson discovering what else came on the scene in your chosen decade.
Turn the hits up high, and make sure you clear a space to dance, because there are some real pop throwbacks that are guaranteed to get you moving. You can fill your space with posters of 80s stars, or have projector screens displaying those iconic music videos from Wham!, Boy George and Madonna. For a real vintage feel, pass round camcorders and disposable cameras for your guests to capture analog memories, like in the old days.
8. The Great British Tea Party
‘Top of the morning, sir!’
The Brits love tea so much they can plan an entire party around it, and you can bring some English sparkle to your next party with this scrumptiously fun theme. Pick a venue with a courtyard or high ceilings that will give an airy, outdoorsy feel, then drape bunting and soft picnic rugs around the place to create a sophisticated atmosphere.
Your dress code should ideally be akin to that of a formal garden party – think elegant dresses, and toned down suits. Something a little more refined, darling. And of course you’ll want to provide tiny rectangular-shaped egg and cress sandwiches, cocktail sausages and big jugs of Pimms, topped to the brim with strawberries, cucumber, orange slices and mint.
If you’re looking for the best party themes that are kid-friendly this one’s guaranteed to be a perfect option, as it’s a little more relaxed in nature, and the finger bite food options are great for little hands. You could also incorporate traditional games such as musical chairs and pass the parcel.
9. A Night At The Oscars
As resplendent as it sounds, ‘A Night At The Oscars’ is a perfect excuse to dress up in your finest frocks and black ties and put on a party that’s as lavish as can be. Flashy or formal, there are so many ways to pull this off, and you can decide whether you want to keep it classy, or pull out all the stops and party like there’s no tomorrow.
You could set up a champagne tower complete with sparklers, or have a roaming butler with a silver tray of flutes and a white linen napkin draped over your arm. Serve freshly shucked oysters, or have a trolley make the rounds for ‘vodka caviar bumps’. Hey – you’re in Hollywood. No expenses spared, right?
And don’t forget, you’ll need a dancefloor with plenty of space, because when those diary martinis kick in, you’ll want to get your feet shuffling.
10. Murder Mystery
If the party you want is the party that’s going to spark conversations months afterwards, then a murder mystery is the perfect theme. This is a full-commitment evening with key moments throughout the night that shape the course of action and lead the guests to certain conversations, activities or even parts of the venue. Suss out a space that is large enough to make your chain of events feel like they’re really happening, or can incorporate the architecture for a truly transformative experience.
You can double up on the theme too, by setting your murder mystery in a particular time period or context, for example at ‘Lady Laverton’s Estate’ or ‘The 79’ New Year’s Disco’. This is guaranteed to make for a great birthday party theme for any fans of literature or even just true crime.
The Final Word
Now that you’ve explored our best party themes in full, it’s finally time to pick your favourite one and roll with it. The drinks, the food, the decorations…where do you even start? Securing a venue should be your number one priority, and at Canvas House we’ve got just the place. Our beautiful event space is versatile and fully equipped with speaker systems, bar amenities, and a commercial kitchen, perfect for hosting parties of any kind.
And how about sorting the food and the drinks for your killer party theme? Well we’ve actually got you covered here too. Our expert team of event planners can connect you up with some of Melbourne’s most in-demand caterers, bar staff, and other hospitality professionals who can help bring all your great ideas together, or give you some more if you’re after some inspiration.