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What Can You Do At A 1980s Party? A Retro Guide to Fun!

Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or enamored with this rad decade, there’s no denying that the 1980s were a time of unabashed self-expression, bold fashion choices, and killer tunes. So why not throw it back to the days of big hair and even bigger attitudes with an epic bash inspired by this tubular era?

Get ready to embrace your inner punk rocker or pop princess as we guide you through gnarly activities that’ll make you live like it’s 1989!

Picture this: You walk into a room decked out in the theme party decoration while Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun blasts from the speakers. Your friends are decked out in their finest retro garb – think acid-wash jeans and Members Only jackets – as they bust a move on the dance floor.

It sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, buckle up because we’re about to take you on a wild ride through everything from DIY ’80s crafts to mixtape swaps that will make your ’80s-themed soirée one for the history books. After all, who doesn’t crave a little taste of freedom now and then? And what better way to let loose than by reliving one of the most iconic decades in pop culture history?

Key Takeaways

  • Choose an ’80s theme and incorporate decorations, costumes, and entertainment based on iconic pop culture moments.
  • Provide activities such as a dance-off, ’80s Trivia game, watching classic movies or TV shows, and setting up an ’80s Arcade or DIY Photo Booth.
  • Serve ’80s-themed snacks and drinks and create a playlist featuring classic hits from artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince.
  • Encourage guests to dress up in ’80s fashion, express themselves freely, and embrace the spirit of freedom and fun that defined the decade.

Choose a Theme

At a 1980s party, you’ll want first to choose a specific theme that captures the essence of the decade. This era has many iconic aspects, from big hair and shoulder pads to classic movies and unforgettable music.

To narrow down your choices, consider building your party around popular 80s trends like neon colors, MTV hits, or even a favorite film like ‘Back to the Future or ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’If you’re feeling creative, why not mix it with an ‘I Love the 80s’mash-up theme that combines all these elements? Whichever route you choose, make sure it speaks to your inner wild child, ready to break free and have fun!

Once you’ve chosen your theme, dive into the details by incorporating decorations, costumes, and entertainment based on iconic pop culture moments from the ’80s. Encourage guests to dress in their best leg warmers and acid-washed jeans while they dance to tunes by Madonna, Michael Jackson, or even The Go-Go’s the night away.

For added nostalgia (and Instagram-worthy photo ops), set up an area with retro arcade games like Pac-Man or Space Invaders. Don’t forget about serving classic snacks such as Pop Rocks and Tab soda alongside themed cocktails like Fuzzy Navels or Long Island Iced Teas!

By embracing all things the ’80s at your party, you’ll create an atmosphere where everyone can let loose and relive a time when freedom was just as much about personal expression as it was about breaking social norms.

Create an Inviting Atmosphere

Creating an inviting atmosphere is essential for a 1980s-themed bash, so let’s deck the halls with vibrant neon colors and nostalgic decor! There are countless ways to transform your space into a flashback to this iconic decade, from bold streamers to retro posters. Think about embracing the pop culture of the time: movie memorabilia from classics like ‘The Breakfast Club’ or ‘Back to the Future,’ music icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson, or even TV show references such as ‘Miami Vice’ or ‘The A-Team.’ The key is ensuring every detail transports your guests to those rad times.

To make your party tubular, consider these 80s party ideas:

  • Set up a retro arcade: Bring in classic 80s games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders for guests to enjoy.
  • Create a DIY photo booth: Deck out a corner of the room with 80s props such as inflatable guitars, funky sunglasses, and big-haired wigs for guests to snap gnarly pictures.
  • Serve classic snacks and drinks: Delight your guests’ taste buds with throwback treats like Pop Rocks candy or Tang drink mix. You could also make themed cocktails inspired by popular movies or songs from the era.

You’ll create an unforgettable party atmosphere by focusing on these fun elements that evoke nostalgia for the ’80s. This satisfies everyone’s subconscious desire for freedom and takes them back to a time when life was all about having fun and enjoying good times together.

Dress the Part

Get ready to rock that 1980s look by encouraging your guests to dive deep into the iconic fashion of the era! Don’t forget to provide rad accessories, like neon sunglasses and fingerless gloves, for those needing a little extra touch to complete their outfits.

You’ll host a tubular party where everyone feels like they’ve stepped into a gnarly time warp!

Encourage guests to wear ’80s fashion.

Rock those shoulder pads and neon colors because dressing up in ’80s fashion will amp up the fun at your rad party! Encourage guests to break out their leg warmers, parachute pants, and mullets for a night of significant throwback vibes. To make it easy for your friends to dive into the decade’s style trends, send them some inspiration in your party invitation or create a Pinterest board full of tubular 80s outfit party ideas.

Ensure everyone knows they can wear their ’80s outfits by setting up categories and offering gnarly prizes for the best-dressed guests. Here are some awesome costume contest categories:

CategoryDescriptionIconic Example
Most Rad OverallThe total package from head to toeMadonna
Best HairBig hair, don’t careBon Jovi
Totes Tubular DuoDynamic duos that scream “We belong together!”Sonny & Cher

Encouraging everyone to wear an authentic ’80s costume creates an immersive experience and allows your friends to express themselves freely and let loose on the dance floor. After all, there’s nothing like rocking out to “Footloose” while wearing acid-washed jeans and high-top sneakers. So crank up that boombox and prepare for an unforgettable nostalgia night!

Provide accessories like sunglasses and fingerless gloves

Don’t forget to provide wicked accessories like sunglasses and fingerless gloves for your guests to amp up their ’80s looks! By doing so, you’ll help them get in the spirit of the decade and give them a sense of freedom to express themselves.

Picture your friends rocking those classic Wayfarer sunglasses or aviators like Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun’ or Michael J. Fox in ‘Back to the Future.’ And who can resist a pair of excellent fingerless gloves? They were all the rage back then, with pop icons like Madonna and Billy Idol making them an essential part of their wardrobe. Besides, these accessories will make it easier for your guests to embrace their inner ’80s rock star or diva.

In addition to sunglasses and fingerless gloves, consider providing other rad accessories such as neon bracelets, scrunchies, leg warmers, and even inflatable guitars for that air guitar showdown! The more nostalgic items you include at your party, the more your guests will feel transported back in time while unleashing their inner wild child.

You can even set up a small photo booth area with props like Rubik’s Cubes and boomboxes for everyone to strike their best ’80s poses together.

Play the Hits

Bust a move to classic tunes from artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince as you dance the night away. There’s nothing like grooving to the infectious beats of ‘Billie Jean,’ ‘Like a Virgin,’ or ‘Purple Rain’ while rocking your best ’80s attire.

The decade was filled with iconic hits that will get everyone on their feet and sing along at your party.

  1. Host an epic lip-sync battle featuring the biggest hits of the era.
  2. Set up a DIY karaoke station complete with all your favorite ’80s tracks.
  3. Organize a dance-off, encouraging guests to show off their best moonwalk, running man, or voguing moves.

Incorporating these activities into your 1980s party can help create an unforgettable atmosphere where guests can let loose and experience the freedom they subconsciously crave.

Plan a Dance Off

Ready to amp up the fun at your ’80s party?

Teach your guests wicked popular dance moves from the decade, like the Moonwalk or the Running Man, and hold a tubular dance contest.

Don’t forget to offer rad prizes for the winners, because nothing screams “I love the ’80s”more than some friendly competition on the dance floor!

Teach guests popular ’80s dance moves.

You’ll have a blast teaching everyone the Moonwalk, the Running Man, and the Electric Slide as they groove to those classic ’80s tunes. These dance moves embody the spirit of freedom and fun that defined the decade.

The best part is that even if your guests aren’t skilled dancers, these moves are easy enough for anyone to learn. So gather everyone around, crank up some Michael Jackson or Salt-N-Pepa, and get ready to demonstrate these iconic steps:

The Running Man

This energetic dance move gained popularity thanks to Janet Jackson’s backup dancers in her music video for ‘Rhythm Nation.’ It involves alternately kicking your feet forward while pumping your arms back and forth as if you were running in place.

In no time, your friends will dance as they step out of a scene from Flashdance or Footloose.

Hold a dance contest with prizes for the winners.

Crank up the excitement by holding a dance contest with fabulous prizes for the winners, making everyone eager to showcase their best moves and compete for ultimate ’80s glory.

Relive iconic moments from movies like ‘Dirty Dancing,’ ‘Footloose,’ and ‘Flashdance’ as your guests battle it on the dance floor to classic hits from Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince.

Encourage them to unleash their inner Kevin Bacon or Jennifer Beals while they perform unforgettable moves like Moonwalk, Running Man, and Vogue. Don’t forget to capture these epic performances on video (bonus points if you use an old-school camcorder) so you can relive these tubular moments for years to come.

To make this contest even more rad, offer wicked prizes to make your guests feel like they’ve been transported back in time. Consider awarding winners nostalgic treasures such as Rubik’s Cubes, Pac-Man merchandise, or mixtapes filled with memorable ’80s tunes.

For an added touch of authenticity, present your champions with vintage-style trophies or certificates commemorating their victory in your gnarly 1980s dance-off.

As the night wears on and everyone’s energy levels begin to wane from all that dancing awesomeness, gather around a bonfire or pop open some Tab sodas as you share stories of your experiences growing up in this righteous decade.

Organize ’80s Trivia

Don’t hesitate to put your guests’ knowledge to the test with a fun ’80s trivia game! There’s no better way to spark friendly competition and relive the glorious decade than by challenging everyone’s memory on iconic moments, movies, music, and pop culture.

From Back to the Future quotes to Madonna lyrics, you’ll have plenty of material to craft some genuinely mind-boggling questions that will take your guests back in time while unleashing their inner freedom-loving rebel.

Create categories encompassing various aspects of the 1980s, like films, TV shows, fashion trends, toys, games, or even political events (remember when The Wall came down?). Don’t forget to include those one-hit wonders and guilty pleasure songs that everyone secretly knows every word of but would never admit!

Throw in a round of charades with an ’80s twist, or incorporate classic commercials as clues for bonus points. The possibilities are endless when crafting engaging trivia questions that will transport your guests back into their teenage years at the arcade or rocking out at their favorite concerts.

Watch Classic ’80s Movies or TV Shows.

It’s time to grab the popcorn and dive into some classic ’80s flicks or TV shows that’ll transport everyone back to this rad decade!

Plan a movie marathon featuring iconic films like ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ or ‘Back to the Future.’ These movies not only defined the era but also captured that rebellious, youthful spirit of wanting to break free from societal norms and expectations.

Alternatively, you could binge-watch popular TV series from the time, like ‘Miami Vice,’ ‘Cheers,’ or even catch up with your favorite alien life form in ‘ALF.’ Whichever option you choose, it’ll be a gnarly blast from the past!

Get ready for some severe nostalgia overload as you and your pals kick back on those bean bags with tubs of buttery popcorn and neon-colored sodas in hand.

Don’t forget to dress up as your favorite ’80s character – whether rocking big hair and shoulder pads like Madonna or going full Marty McFly with suspenders and high-top sneakers.

Encourage guests to join in on themed discussions during intermissions, like how Ferris Bueller embodies that desire for the freedom we all secretly crave or how Ghostbusters made us believe anything was possible if we just took matters into our own hands.

Your 1980s party will be an unforgettable trip down memory lane, filled with laughter, camaraderie, and a renewed appreciation for this tubular decade!

Set up an ’80s Arcade

Transform your space into a retro ’80s arcade by setting up classic gaming consoles and vintage arcade machines for an authentic blast from the experience.

Picture yourself surrounded by the flashing lights, electronic beeps, and pixelated graphics of games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong. You can easily rent these iconic machines or even use emulators on modern devices to recreate the nostalgia.

Make sure you have plenty of quarters (or tokens) on hand, so everyone can enjoy that sweet taste of freedom as they battle it out in high-score competitions. As you groove to synth-heavy tunes in leg warmers and shoulder-padded attire, bond with fellow partygoers over shared memories of spending hours at the local mall’s arcade.

Challenge each other to beat personal bests in Frogger or Asteroids while discussing favorite episodes of ‘Knight Rider’ or debating who was more relaxed – Ferris Bueller or Marty McFly? This throwback atmosphere perfectly escapes today’s fast-paced digital world and allows everyone to let loose, laugh, and embrace their inner child again.

Offer a DIY Photo Booth

Capture those rad ’80s moments with a DIY photo booth that’ll have everyone cheesin’ and reliving the decade’s most iconic trends! Setting up your retro photo booth is easier than you think, and it’ll be the perfect addition to your 1980s party.

Not only will guests have a blast getting into character, but they’ll also leave with tangible memories of an unforgettable night where they felt free to let loose and embrace their inner wild child.

Here are three must-haves for creating a tubular ’80s-inspired photo booth:

  1. Backdrops & Props: Think of bright neon colors and bold patterns. A backdrop featuring geometric shapes or graffiti art screams ’80s vibes. Stock your prop box with chunky sunglasses, boomboxes, Rubik’s cubes, and inflatable guitars so guests can channel their inner Madonna or Michael Jackson.
  2. Lighting: Harsh flash photography was all the rage in the ’80s. Recreate this look by setting up external flash units around your photo booth area to produce gnarly shadows while giving off that quintessential ’80s vibe.
  3. Instant Film Camera: To capture the era’s essence, ditch digital photography for an instant film camera like a Polaroid or Instax Mini! This will add authenticity to each shot and give guests an instant keepsake they can take home as proof of their righteous night.

Serve ’80s-Themed Snacks and Drinks

After snapping some rad pictures at your DIY photo booth, it’s time to treat your guests to gnarly 80s-themed snacks and drinks that’ll make them feel like they’ve stepped right back into the decade of big hair and neon colors. Get ready to serve up a tubular feast that’ll have everyone saying, “Totally awesome!”

To throw a righteous ’80s party, you must bring back some classic food and drink staples from the era. Check out this wicked table for inspiration:

Snack IdeasDrink Ideas
Pop RocksTab
Cool Ranch DoritosWine Coolers
Sloppy JoesTang

Pop Rocks will take your guests down memory lane, while Cool Ranch Doritos are perfect for munching on all night. For something more substantial, whip up some Sloppy Joes – an iconic ’80s dish. And don’t forget the beverages!

Stock up on Tab soda or wine coolers for a blast from the past, and mix in some Tang for a space-age twist. These retro refreshments will stoke your guests as they enjoy their night of freedom from today’s grind – just like in the good ol’ days!

Play ’80s Board Games

Nothing screams nostalgia like breaking out some classic ’80s board games, right? You and your guests can relive the glorious decade of big hair and neon colors by playing games like Trivial Pursuit: 1980s Edition or Pictionary.

Show off your knowledge of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, E.T., Madonna, and other iconic moments from that era while challenging each other in these engaging games. Remember those nights when you’d stay up late with friends trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube? Bring back that carefree spirit as you gather around the table for some friendly competition.

Of course, no 1980s party would be complete without playing Mall Madness or Dream Phone – those quintessential teenage sleepover board games. Feel the thrill of shopping at an imaginary mall or tracking down your secret crush on a pink plastic phone again.

As you play these nostalgic games, laughter and memories will fill the room as everyone is transported back to their younger days when life seemed more straightforward and full of possibilities.

Host a Costume Contest

After you’ve had your fill of ’80s board games and everyone’s competitive side has been unleashed, it’s time to turn the party up a notch with another quintessential element – costumes!

Hosting a costume contest is the perfect way to celebrate the iconic fashion trends and pop culture icons of the 1980s. Encourage your guests to dress in their best ’80s-inspired outfits, whether that means channeling Madonna with layers of lace and fingerless gloves, embodying Marty McFly from ‘Back to the Future with a puffy vest, or rocking those leg warmers and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts à la ‘Flashdance.’

You could even offer prizes for categories like Best Pop Star Lookalike, Most Radical Neon Ensemble, or Totally Tubular Hairdo. As you play judge for this gnarly contest, relish in the freedom of embracing an era known for its bold self-expression and unforgettable style.

DIY ’80s Crafts

Ready to amp up your ’80s party with some rad DIY crafts? Set up a station for your guests to unleash their inner creative geniuses and make iconic accessories like friendship bracelets and button pins.

This will bring back sweet nostalgic vibes and give everyone the perfect keepsakes to remember your tubular bash!

Provide materials for guests to create their own ’80s-inspired accessories

Set out colorful fabrics, beads, and safety pins so guests can craft leg warmers, headbands, and neon accessories for that perfect ’80s look. This hands-on activity will unleash everyone’s inner fashionista while allowing them to express their creativity as they mix and match materials to create unique pieces. Plus, it’s a great icebreaker for guests who may not know each other well – nothing brings people together quite like DIY projects inspired by the raddest decade!

  • Provide an assortment of tulle in neon colors for making tutus or scrunchies.
  • Offer a variety of colorful shoelaces for guests to weave into friendship bracelets or use to decorate sneakers.
  • Plenty of fabric paint on hand so guests can personalize their creations with iconic ’80s catchphrases like ‘Gag me with a spoon’ or ‘Totally tubular.’

By allowing your guests to work together on these fun and nostalgic crafts, you’ll be helping them tap into that subconscious desire for the freedom we all crave. They’ll be transported back to when bold fashion choices were celebrated and encouraged, allowing them to let loose and truly enjoy your awesome 1980s party!

Examples include friendship bracelets and button pins

Nothing’s more rad than creating friendship bracelets and button pins at your ’80s-inspired bash! These timeless trinkets will make your guests feel like they’ve traveled back in time and give them a chance to unleash their creativity.

Provide an array of colorful embroidery floss for those gnarly friendship bracelets; remember, the bolder the colors, the better! As for button pins, stock up on blank buttons and let everyone channel their inner artist by drawing iconic ’80s symbols like Pac-Man, Rubik’s Cubes, or even their favorite pop stars like Madonna and Michael Jackson.

Encourage your guests to swap their creations with one another to symbolize camaraderie—after all, what screams freedom more than making new friends? Plus, these DIY accessories double as fantastic party favors that guests can take home as mementos of an unforgettable night.

So don’t hesitate to get crafty at your 1980s party; it’ll be fun for everyone to bond over nostalgia while expressing themselves through art. And who knows? You might start a tubular trend that brings back these classic ’80s keepsakes!

Sing Karaoke to ’80s Hits

Belt out your favorite ’80s tunes during a lively karaoke session, and let your inner pop star shine! Feel the nostalgia as you sing along to classics from iconic artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince. Karaoke is the perfect way to let loose and embrace the uninhibited spirit of the ’80s at your party. Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come together and share in some good old-fashioned fun.

  1. Choose an array of ’80s hits that cater to all tastes – think Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ or even Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer.’
  2. Set up a karaoke station with microphones, speakers, and lyrics displayed on a screen for easy singing access.
  3. Encourage guests to dress up as their favorite ’80s icons while they perform – tease up that hair, slip into some leg warmers, or don those fingerless gloves for added authenticity.

By embracing the decade’s distinct sounds and styles through karaoke at your 1980s party, you’ll help transport everyone back for an unforgettable night filled with laughter, dancing, and heartfelt performances that tap into our shared yearning for freedom from life’s constraints.

End the Night with a Mixtape Swap

There’s no better way to end an ’80s-themed bash than by hosting a mixtape swap, letting everyone take home a piece of the night’s magic and nostalgia.

This unique party activity will have your guests buzzing with excitement as they rummage through their collections for those hidden gems from the golden era of music.

Picture this: everyone gathered together, swapping tunes like it’s 1985 all over again – exchanging iconic hits from Madonna, Prince, and Michael Jackson or sharing that rare B-side track from The Cure or Depeche Mode.

Moments like these make you wish you could hop in Doc Brown’s DeLorean and speed off into the sunset.

As the night ends, you’ll see friends reconnecting through shared memories of concerts attended or songs that defined their teenage years.

You might even witness new friendships forming as people bond over their love for synth-pop classics or post-punk anthems.

And when the party is over, each guest will leave clutching a new mixtape brimming with nostalgic tracks and newfound discoveries – a tangible memento of your epic ’80s soiree.

So pop in those cassette tapes (or retro-styled USB drives) and let the musical journey continue long after the last dance beneath that neon-lit disco ball has ended. Because who needs smartphones filled with playlists when you’ve got time-traveling mixtapes?

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety precautions should be taken when hosting a 1980s party to ensure guests’ well-being?

Ensure guests’ safety by creating a well-lit and hazard-free space, providing plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks to balance out any alcohol consumed, and considering a designated driver or shared ride system for those drinking.

How can I accommodate guests with disabilities or special needs while maintaining the 1980s theme and activities?

For an inclusive 1980s party, ensure accessibility in all areas, provide clear signage, and create spaces for relaxation. If movies or music exist, ensure subtitles and hearing aid-compatible systems are available.

What alternative activities can be suggested for guests not interested in dancing, trivia, or watching movies?

For those not keen on dancing or trivia, consider setting up a retro video game station, an 80s-themed photo booth, or a DIY 80s style fashion accessory crafting area. Ensure there’s a variety of engaging activities for all.

How can I manage and prevent potential conflicts or issues arising due to the competitive nature of some activities, such as the dance-off or costume contest?

Avoid conflict by setting clear rules for competitive activities, encouraging friendly competition, and swiftly addressing tensions. Be prepared to switch gears if competition becomes overly intense.

Are there any specific etiquette rules or guidelines to follow when hosting a 1980s-themed party to ensure all guests feel comfortable and included?

Ensure inclusivity by emphasizing that 1980s costumes are optional, keep the music comfortable, and have various food and drink options to cater to all dietary needs. Always prioritize comfort and safety over theme.