As an ’80s baby, my childhood was soundtracked by the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. I can vividly recall the days when I eagerly pleaded with my parents to include fruit roll-ups in my school lunch. And when it came to gaming, Tetris on my Play Boy was an all-time favorite. These cherished memories of growing up in this era fuel my excitement in sharing this printable with you, packed with a comprehensive list of ideas to throw the ultimate ’80s-themed party. From crafting eye-catching invitations to decking out your space in nostalgic decor, planning a delectable dinner, curating a killer music playlist, selecting iconic movies, and ensuring endless entertainment – we’ve got you covered for a trip back in time. So, dust off those leg warmers and don your Members-only jackets because it’s time to party like it’s 1989!
Related: Revel in 80s Nostalgia by Giving Your Kids an 80s Summer
1. Invitations and Décor
To set the stage for your epic retro-theme party, start with the invitations. Classics from this time like Rubik’s Cubes, Pac-Man, or cassette tapes can adorn your invites, instantly transporting your guests back to the era of neon and leg warmers. Encourage them to dress in their best 80s attire, from scrunchies to acid-washed jeans.
For the décor, go all out with neon streamers, inflatable boomboxes, and posters featuring iconic 80s legends like Michael Jackson and Madonna. Creating a nostalgic atmosphere is key to making your party an unforgettable journey back in time.
2. Movies & TV Shows
Kick off the evening with a nostalgic trip down memory lane by screening some of the most iconic 80s movies and TV shows. Here are some must-see selections:
- “The Breakfast Club”
- “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
- “Back to the Future”
- “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
- “Stranger Things” (for an 80s-inspired vibe)
- “The A-Team”
- “Knight Rider”
Prepare some popcorn with different flavored salts like cheese, caramel, or butter, and offer candy from my era like Nerds, Reese’s Pieces, and Gummy Bears for a genuine movie night experience.
3. Movie Snacks
Speaking of snacks, an ’80s-themed movie night wouldn’t be complete without the perfect treats. Here’s a list of snacks that will take you back in time:
- Soda in classic glass bottles (Coca-Cola, Pepsi)
- A veggie platter with dip (a nod to the health-conscious ’80s)
- Mini hotdogs or pigs in a blanket
- Chex Mix
- Nachos with cheese sauce
- Fruit roll-ups and Fruit by the Foot
- Rice Krispies Treats
- ’80s-themed cupcakes with neon frosting
- Pop Rocks
4. 80s Themed Games & Board Games
Keep the fun going with retro board games and card games like “Trivial Pursuit,” “Pictionary,” and “The Game of Life.” For video game enthusiasts, set up classics like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or Tetris on a gaming console. These games will not only entertain your guests but also transport them back to the days of pixelated adventures.
5. Dinner Ideas for an 80s Party
Remember to fuel up with some ’80s-inspired dishes. Here are some dinner ideas that will transport your taste buds back to the past:
- Classic ’80s TV dinners (e.g., Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and peas)
- Fondue party (a big ’80s trend)
- Mini sliders and tater tots
- Jell-O salad or fruit salad
- New Wave sushi rolls
- Tacos with all the fixings (a nod to the ’80s fast-food craze)
- Sloppy Joe and coleslaw
- Quiche Lorraine
- Chicken Kiev with rice pilaf
- Beef Stroganoff with noodles
No ’80s party is complete without a killer playlist of ’80s hits. Here’s a selection of songs that will have everyone grooving:
- Michael Jackson – “Thriller”
- Madonna – “Like a Virgin”
- Prince – “Purple Rain”
- Bon Jovi – “Livin’ on a Prayer”
- Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
- Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
- Duran Duran – “Hungry Like the Wolf”
- Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”
- The Police – “Every Breath You Take”
- Toto – “Africa”
- Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child o’ Mine”
- Cyndi Lauper – “Time After Time”
- Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean”
7. Extra Fun & Entertainment Ideas
Take your party to the next level with these extra fun and entertainment ideas:
- Photo Booth: Set up an 80s-themed photo booth with props like oversized sunglasses, wigs, and inflatable guitars for memorable snapshots.
- Karaoke: Sing your hearts out to classics from this era.
- Best Dressed Contest: Host a contest for the best ’80s outfit with a fun prize for the winner.
- Trivia Game: Challenge everyone’s ’80s knowledge with a trivia quiz.
With these ideas and the included printable, your ’80s party is sure to be a hit. So, get ready to dance to the rhythm of the ’80s, munch on your favorite ’80s snacks, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Party on!