When you're a kid, parties are easy. Not only because you A) don't have to plan anything, B) don't have to buy anything or C) don't have to invite anyone... but ALSO because themes were essentially pre-set. Girls dressed up like princesses, had Cinderella, Belle or Ariel cakes, and all the decorations were pink. Boys dressed up like Superman, Spiderman or Batman, had cakes with a bat symbols on them, and all the decorations were blue. Now that we're adults, throwing parties and choosing a theme is much more difficult. Nobody wants the "same old" party. It has to be unique, fun and easy to dress for!
With that in mind, it's time for a throwback to those simpler days. Unfortunately, unless you are planning to hire an event coordinator extraordinaire (imagine how much easier that would be!)... you will still have to actually plan and throw the party yourself. But don't stress too much over the theme. Look back on those childhood days... and steal something!
If you're hosting a surprise party, especially for guests who are young-at-heart, recycle a theme from your childhood. It will be nostalgic and a lot of fun. You can always "adultify" it too (yes I made that word up). And after all, recycling is cool now right? Here are a few ideas for you:
1. Caramel Apple Making/Fall Fair
Who doesn't love caramel apples? Especially this time of year, when fall and Halloween are upon us. Set out Granny Smiths and toppings, melt some caramel, and let your guests get creative! You could even add in games, like bobbing for apples, or have a pumpkin carving station, to really bring out the kid in everyone! Autumn coloured decorations work perfectly with this theme, as would a roaring fire and some spiked apple cider.
2. Magic show
Let's be honest, magicians are cool. And some of them are really amazing to watch. Hire a magician and host your own magic show! After the main event, the entertainer can wander around and amaze your guests as they chat. He or she can even demonstrate some small tricks for the group (if you can get them to part with their secrets!). And if you want to go even further with it have your guests dress for a masquerade (very mysterious). For decorations: black fabric to drape on the walls and windows, magician's props, and maybe tophat cupcakes with bunnies "jumping" out of them. Don't forget the all-important bartender to whip up mystery cocktails.
3. Space Camp
A surprise space camp party theme will bring out the loveable nerd in all of your guests. Decorate the roof with glow in the dark stars and grab a black light. Don't forget to let your guests know there will be a black light. In another room, set up a star projector (great if you have space for a dance floor). Rent a telescope and let guests peer at the cosmos. If you have a yard, put blankets out so they can lay on the grass and escape the mood lighting inside. You might consider hiring an entertainer to tell guests stories (true or false) about the stars (be careful... if you don't have the right crowd it could put your guests to sleep). And don't forget the cosmic cocktails!
4. Princess Party
Here it is... the ultimate of ultimate kids themes. This is one many of us ladies secretly wish we could recycle without judgement. Well now you can...as long as you have a guy (and guests) with a great sense of humour. Put a twist on the classic by throwing a princess party for a male surprisee! Scandalized? Like I said - good sense of humour. If you've got the right crowd, this theme is easy. Pink and purple everywhere, maybe a few posters or princess decorations (they're so popular even dollar stores will have them), Cinderella on an ice cream cake, and you're good to go! You need to commit to this one... the more theme décor you have the better. You could even bring out a signature pink cocktail for the toast... or class it up with some pink champagne!
I have done this for my own boyfriend before, and it was pretty awesome (and hilarious). This was his cake:
5. Pajama Party
Who doesn't love fleecy, cozy PJs and excuses to wear them outside? I know I do! Get your friends to come over in their PJs (or they can change at your place if they're uncomfortable wearing their boxers on the bus). Just make sure that people know they have to wear something or you might get more than you bargained for. Make it into a true slumber party and play a 90's "horror" movie in the background, or even more appropriate, The Breakfast Club! Don't forget the popcorn, spiked hot cocoa and/or chocolate martinis, and possibly the stuffed animals that I know you all have hidden away at the back of your storage unit!
Thanks for reading and I hope one of these ideas has inspired you to throw an awesome "recycled" party! Please leave a comment below if you have any other throwback ideas, or if you have anything else to say! And as always, you can connect with me over social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.