The Ultimate Guide to 80s Themed Party Planning

Are you ready to step back in time, to the era of neon lights, synth tunes, and arcade games? Planning an '80s themed party is more than just a throwback – it's a vibrant journey into a decade rich with iconic music, bold fashion, and unmistakable style. At Newretro.Net, we're more than just aficionados of the retrowave and synthwave scene – we're also seasoned party planners when it comes to anything '80s. So, fasten your seatbelts as we delve into Part 1 of the ultimate guide to orchestrating the most radical '80s themed party ever!

Plan the Ultimate 80s Party

First things first, to plan the ultimate 80s party, you need more than just a general idea – you need a vision. The '80s were all about extravagance and flair, and your party should be no different. Decide on the scale: are we talking a cozy gathering with close friends, or a full-blown bash that would make even the Brat Pack jealous? Your choice will guide your planning, from the venue to the decorations.

80s Themed Party Ideas

Brainstorming for your party should be as fun as the event itself. Why not pick a specific theme within the '80s? For instance, you could focus on the neon-soaked cyberpunk aesthetic, or maybe a Miami Vice-style party with pastel suits and tropical vibes. Alternatively, how about a classic arcade-themed bash, complete with Pac-Man and Space Invaders? Whatever direction you choose, ensure it resonates with the spirit of the '80s.

80s Party Planning Guide

With your theme set, it's time to dive into the nitty-gritty of planning. Here's a step-by-step guide to ensure you cover all bases:

  1. Set the Date and Venue: The '80s were all about bold choices, so pick a date and a venue that reflects that. A local arcade, a retro diner, or even a transformed garage could serve as the perfect backdrop for your time warp.

  2. Invitations: Digital invites are convenient, but to truly capture the '80s essence, consider physical invitations. Think bright colors, geometric shapes, and classic '80s fonts. Let the invitation set the tone for what's to come.

  3. Décor: This is where the fun really begins. Neon lights, disco balls, and posters of iconic '80s movies and music stars are a must. Don't forget the quintessential '80s items like Rubik's cubes, vinyl records, and leg warmers – these can serve as both decorations and conversation starters.

  4. Activities and Entertainment: While your music playlist might be predominantly '80s (more on that in Part 2!), consider incorporating other forms of entertainment. A photo booth with '80s props or a corner for playing classic video games can add an extra layer of nostalgia.

  5. Budgeting: The '80s were known for excess, but your budget might not be. Be creative with your resources. DIY decorations, crowd-sourced playlists, and home-cooked food can reduce costs without compromising on the fun.

How to Throw an 80s Party

Throwing an '80s party is about creating an experience, not just an event. Encourage guests to dress in '80s attire – think neon leggings, shoulder pads, and big hair. Have a contest for the best-dressed with a fitting '80s-themed prize.

Don't forget the power of nostalgia. Beyond just the look, try to capture the feel of the '80s. This could mean setting up a makeshift dance floor for breakdancing or hosting a mini lip-sync battle with classic '80s hits.

80s Party Decorations

The decorations are what truly transform a regular party into an '80s extravaganza. Along with the neon signs and disco balls, consider these ideas:

  • Balloon Arches: Choose colors that scream '80s – think pinks, purples, and teals.
  • Movie Posters: Plaster the walls with posters from iconic '80s films like "Back to the Future" or "The Breakfast Club".
  • Mixtape Centerpieces: Create table centerpieces that look like giant mixtapes or use actual cassettes as part of the decor.
  • Lighting: Soft, colored lighting can set the right mood. Think lava lamps and black lights.

Remember, the key is in the details. Even small touches, like serving drinks in neon cups or using striped paper straws, can enhance the '80s vibe.

In conclusion, planning an '80s themed party is your chance to relive a decade defined by its unique style and unforgettable cultural impact. It's about celebrating a time when music was on cassette, movies were on VHS, and fashion was unapologetically bold. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll dive into the essential elements of '80s party music, food, costumes, games, and party favors to ensure your event is nothing short of totally tubular.

And remember, for the most rad '80s inspired clothing to outfit your party, check out Newretro.Net – where retro style meets modern swagger.


Welcome back to the ultimate guide for your '80s themed extravaganza! In Part 1, we set the stage with vibrant ideas and key planning tips to start your journey back to the era of synthpop and blockbuster arcades. Now, it's time to amp up the volume and dive into the heart of any great party – the music, food, costumes, games, and, of course, those totally tubular party favors. Let's get this neon ball rolling!

80s Party Music

No '80s party is complete without a killer soundtrack. Music was a colossal part of the '80s culture, with genres ranging from synth-pop and new wave to rock and hip-hop. Craft a playlist that includes the heavy hitters like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and Bon Jovi. Don't forget to sprinkle in some one-hit wonders – after all, who can resist a little "Come on Eileen" or "Tainted Love"? For an immersive experience, consider hiring a DJ who specializes in '80s music or, for a more interactive option, set up a karaoke machine and let guests belt out their favorite '80s tunes.

80s Party Food

The '80s weren't just about music and fashion; they had their unique flair when it came to food too. Think classic finger foods with an '80s twist – mini quiches, deviled eggs, or even a nostalgic nod with a Twinkie dessert bar. For something heartier, why not a slider station where guests can create their own mini burgers? And let's not forget the drinks – neon-colored cocktails or mocktails, served in glasses rimmed with Pop Rocks, will definitely add a pop of '80s pizzazz.

80s Party Costumes

Costumes are a huge part of the '80s party experience. Encourage guests to go all out – we're talking big hair, leg warmers, neon spandex, and acid-washed jeans. Award prizes for the most creative, the most authentic, and the funniest costumes to get everyone in the spirit. If you're feeling extra adventurous, set up a mini runway show and let guests strut their stuff, '80s style.

80s Party Games

Games are a fantastic way to get guests mingling and laughing. Classic '80s board games like Trivial Pursuit or Guess Who? can be a hit. For a more active option, set up a space for some Twister – a game that screams '80s fun. You could also organize a scavenger hunt with clues based on popular '80s movies, music, and celebrities.

80s Party Favors

End the night on a high note with party favors that keep the '80s vibe alive. Mixtapes (or CDs for a modern twist) with a compilation of the night's hits, custom sunglasses in neon colors, or even small Rubik's cubes can be a fun way to thank your guests. Personalized buttons with '80s catchphrases or images are also a great keepsake.

As your guests depart, their hearts thumping to the beat of "Don't Stop Believin'," they'll carry with them not just a goody bag, but a piece of the past, beautifully packaged in the present.

In crafting this '80s themed party, you've not just thrown a celebration; you've reignited the spirit of a decade known for its unapologetic joy and vibrant character. You've reminded everyone that sometimes, looking back is the best way to move forward, especially if it's done in style.

And speaking of style, don't forget to check out Newretro.Net for the ultimate '80s inspired clothing that will keep you looking fresh long after the party's over.

So, there you have it, fellow retro enthusiasts – the blueprint to a party that's not just a throwback, but a throwdown of '80s awesomeness. Until our next nostalgic adventure, keep your boomboxes blasting and your spirits high. The '80s may be in the past, but the party never really ends.


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