You heard it here first: The best party themes are the unexpected ones. Our team combed through every event added to PartySlate in the last year, all to bring you the 22 most creative, extraordinary, and unique party ideas out there (and we promise, they’re actually original).
If you set the creativity bar high like us, you’re bound to find inspiration from the real examples below (which have phenomenal photos to match). From kids’ birthdays to dinner parties, milestone celebrations, baby showers, and more, there’s a unique party theme for all ages — and all event types — in this year’s round-up.
Everyone’s been to a 70s party, but make it Woodstock-specific and your event will have a major edge up. Think retro Coachella — if the vibes were groovy and the headliner was the Beatles.
This birthday party took guests back to a hip time with details that included the decade’s most popular album covers, strung across a pampas grass-lined table. Swap predictable disco balls for sunflowers, and you’re ready to take on the eccentric era in a new light.
Look no further for unique party inspiration than from Ms. Dolly Parton herself. This design was built around the country star’s glam persona, with hot pink palettes, signage that singled out her famous one-liners, and plenty of sparkling photo ops. A one-of-a-kind party theme like this is certainly a diamond in a rhinestone event world.
It turns out Harry Styles is both a pop star and the perfect party inspiration. Turn your favorite bop into an event design and we promise, the compliments won’t be far behind. We love how this family made it a Watermelon Sugar highchair-affair for a first birthday party.
We’ll plant the seed for your next event with photos of watermelon-inspired rice krispies, donuts, balloons, activities, table settings, and more (yes, it’s all possible). After all, your little one will only turn one once — it’s worth making their day “one in a melon.”
Just like a popular song, your favorite kids’ movie character can be turned into a unique party theme. First came, Despicable Me, then came Minions — a prequel that proves small Minions stole the Pixar spotlight (and will steal your party guests’ hearts).
This Minions bonanza evokes playful energy with richly pigmented yellow flowers, balloons, desserts, and banana accents (a Minion’s favorite snack). To the parents out there, we say, “What are you waiting for?”
The most creative themes are often specific, and this 2nd-birthday party went as far as to narrow in on a single flower type. From the backyard ball pit to the moonbounce, signage, and table décor, this family found a way to make every detail resemble delicate daisies — and get on our best party themes list.
We wouldn’t be doing this party justice if we didn’t talk about the food finds. Daisy-decorated packaging housed french fries and kid-friendly snacks, while edible daisy desserts topped cupcakes and ice cream. Plus, passed cocktails for adult attendees were strutted about on daisy-shaped platters — a friendly reminder that a touch of themed catering goes a long way.
Take guests out of this world with a new spin on space. Making your party theme alien-specific will differentiate it from the other “outer space” parties your little one attends. Supernatural details at this 1st-birthday include spacecraft-inspired cookies, futuristic florals, and metallic balloons. Add alien antennas for each of your small guests to wear, and you’ll have a photo-ready party that’s as festive as it is original.
Halloween meets celestial-chic for this party theme. Your guests will be intrigued from the moment they arrive with a dark and moody design like this one. We especially love this daring theme idea for a small dinner party, which leaves room for abundant details and intrigue — all from the table. Did we mention we’re feeling envy?
You guessed it: A unique drink also makes for a very unique party theme, and these photos prove it. When it comes to creative scaling, the Boba tea (also known as bubble tea) theme is liquid gold.
On top of including the obvious (an all you can drink tea bar), this outdoor gathering took it a step further with a boba tea-inspired cake, boba-frosted cookies, and a milk tea palette. It goes without saying that the event’s clever signage and sip-worthy décor have us feeling bubbly.
Typical party hosts want to avoid bad weather on their big event day — and this Bat Mitzvah girl brought it inside. This legendary lightning-themed party made a rainy day glam with glitter-dripping clouds and a thunderstruck ballroom. The party’s dance floor was at the focal point of a whirlwind of color and AV effects, which had guests singing in the faux rain, and dancing in the clouded moonlight.
And just like that, Elvis is cool again. For one night only, you can take guests back in time with a party theme inspired by one of music’s biggest legends. We guarantee your dance floor will be packed as soon as the band cues up “Hound Dog” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” As for the party design, we suggest a jet black palette with plenty of leather décor, electric guitar-inspired props, and photos of the icon himself scattered across the party — just like at this 87th-birthday party.
Still feeling stuck on a creative party theme? Dig a little deeper like this Bar Mitzvah boy, and make it your favorite hobby. This thirteen-year-old’s passion (photography) was turned into a party theme that’s giving us all the right angles — from sweeping views of Manhattan to walls lined with illusive mirrors.
Like any great Bar Mitzvah party, the event featured its own slogan: “Focus on the fun.” And just as our cameras would be, we’re focused on every enticing moment. As for a one-of-a-kind element, the guest of honor’s own polaroids were used as place cards for each attendee. All that’s left is a PartySlate-approved photographer, and we’re ready to give this theme our best shot.
Arguably, the cutest (and most creative) take on a golf theme we’ve seen, this first “par-tee” mastered the details. Guests were treated to golf ball cake pops, caddy cookies, and a course-inspired birthday cake. On top of all the edible additions, guests were greeted by a hole-in-one photo op, custom golf balls, and a mini golf course (perfect for the mini guests in attendance).
Keep your passports at home. We’ve seen our fair share of travel-themed events: cue the airport-inspired check-ins and flight attendant-outfitted staff. But honing in on one specific country and taking guests through a progressive dinner party tour is a new twist we couldn’t skip.
This birthday took guests through some of Italy’s famous (and beautiful) destinations. From a photo op entrance channeling the Amalfi Coast’s signature crystal blue tile patterns to a sit-down dinner intertwined by Tuscany’s signature grapevines, this Italian travel party was creative with class.
Out with Coachella, in with The Governors Ball. There’s finally new inspiration for a music festival theme, and it comes from the opposite coast. This Bar Mitzvah production spared no detail with mesmerizing neon déocr, a wide range of food stands (like any good festival), show-stopping performers, and a signature “merch” tent. With each element, our team is drawn deeper into the festival scene, from juice pouch mocktails to solo cup signage (that’s somehow made luxe).
Look no further for a luxe luncheon theme than Gucci. This sit-down celebration is true eye candy with chic pastels, sophisticated patterns, and fashionable throws at each seat. The subtle green placemats, fringe menus, and votives are a nod to the designer’s signature look, while keeping things fun and fresh. When it comes to top tier event designs, the world of high fashion can offer some of the best inspiration.
It’s no secret that we love a tropical party — but however much we enjoy them, it’s not the most creative theme on the menu. Enter: A Caribbean twist. This birthday party is all we love about a tropical affair, with an original new spin. From Caribbean cuisine to locally-sourced rum, the event channeled the region’s culture and climate in unique ways (including a must-see charcuterie board and coconut textured cake).
If chemistry wasn’t your favorite subject, it will be now. This Bar Mitzvah was all about the elements from chemical-derived table numbers and place card logos to test tube mocktails and formula-driven menus.
The periodic table-themed party took science class to a new level with lab-inspired centerpieces, lab coat-outfitted servers, and so much more. When it comes to making learning fun for teens, this party inspiration is about as good as it gets (and will school every other science-themed event out there).
As you may know, the 80s have made a major comeback when it comes to trending party themes. If you love the decade but want to stand out from an influx of neon spandex and throwback proms, this version is for you.
The 80s hit crime series Miami Vice captures all you love about the 80s in an original light. The show’s vibrant clothes and eye-catching visuals were brought back to life at this milestone birthday party in a nightclub-inspired setting. Of all the creative details to note, we especially love the Miami skyline-printed dance floor that flowed into adjacent lettering.
We will simply never tire of a Parisian-inspired party (and neither will your guests). This luncheon, however, kept things creative with a French café focus. Guests were greeted at their seats by fresh baguettes and floral arrangements with a subtle nod to the flag of France. For the party hosts with classic taste, this café theme will keep things unique and timeless.
Simply put, this theme is the bee’s knees (minus the bees). We’ve seen our fair share of bumble bee-themed parties with a touch of honey, but this honeycomb-themed baby shower made it all about the golden treat.
Thoughtfully-curated details included honeycomb textured tapered candles, honey dipper place settings, and corresponding cocktail stirrers. A pastel dessert bar and jarred party favors coupled with soft yellow balloons and matching drinks are just a few reasons we recommend this sweet theme for those with their own hunnies on the way.
Each May the Kentucky Derby gives horse racing enthusiasts (and everyone else) an excuse to dress up, put on a funky hat, and have a Mint Julep (or two). But what about the rest of the year? Our team is all for year-round Southern charm and Derby décor. We love how this couple put the theme on their Seattle rehearsal dinner. Ribbon place cards and Southern-inspired hors d’oeuvres are just a few ways to bring this theme to life while maintaining a sophisticated setting.
Just about anything can be made into a party theme. Don’t believe us? Check out this rubber ducky-themed baby shower. Yes, even your child’s favorite toy can inspire an entire event.
This hotel pool space was turned into a squeaky clean party setup, with an oversized rubber duck floating throughout a range of soapy bubble-inspired balloons. A bathtub overflowing with yellow florals and a 5-tiered cake reminiscent of your little one’s bathtime are more details to swoon over.
People Also Ask…
What are popular party themes?
Want to stick with the classics? There are plenty of trending party themes out there. Let’s start with some throwbacks. You can never go wrong taking guests back to the 90s (after all, the decade’s fashion has made a major comeback). We also love a nostalgic 80s theme bash, a dashing Gatsby gathering, or a sparkling disco-themed party.
When you’re ready to start planning, the first step is to find a party venue. On PartySlate, you can browse venues near you by minimum spend, capacity, amenities, style, and more. Don’t forget to save your favorites to an Idea Slate, so you can keep track of the spaces you love (and whom you’ve sent a message to).
Once your venue is secured, your date is set, and your party theme is picked, it’s time to assemble a vendor dream theme. You can use PartySlate’s vendor directory to look through your city’s selections of party planners, florists, balloon companies, caterers, photographers, and more.