There are few things in this life that are better than throwing a massive party with all of your closest friends—especially if it has a killer theme. But, if you’re tired of reverting back to the same old party themes from college, I’m here to play party planner and help you out. Keep reading to check out a few of the best summer theme party ideas to try out in 2021.
I mean, who among us would rather sit around on the couch all night when you could be, I don’t know, dressing up as Harry Styles or channeling Ariana Grande’s style for a Spotify-themed get-together? What about a classic Jersey Shore-themed party for when you really want to get rowdy? Or, why not throw a Marvel-themed shindig to get tipsy and celebrate your inner comic book nerd? Hanging out with your friends doesn’t need to be boring and these theme party ideas are the key to shaking things up.
There are options on this list for basically every type of party, so you and your crew will have no issue finding one that you’ll want to go all-in on this summer. From a cottagecore-style picnic you can throw in your own backyard to a middle school dance-inspired party that will really take you back to those eighth grade glory days, these theme ideas make for an event that your group chat won’t forget any time soon.
Read on to check out a bunch of the best summer party themes. Thank us later for all of the amazing memories—and all of the laugh-inducing, blackmail-worthy photos on your camera roll that they’re guaranteed to yield.
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1. Host a A Marvel-Themed Showdown
You can really go wild here because there are so many options! Channel the new Black Widow movie and dress up as either Natasha Romanoff or Yelena Belova in a killer white jumpsuit. Or take a page out of Loki’s playbook and wear a head-to-toe green look complete with golden horns. With nearly a decade of movies and shows to choose from, you really can’t go wrong.
2. Jet Off To A Very “Coconut Girl” Luau
Take to TikTok for inspiration and you won’t be lead astray. Buy a bunch of brightly patterned floral bucket hats and other pastel pieces to master the Coconut Girl vibes. Don’t skimp on the decor—I’m talking grass wall decals, palm tree cardboard cut-outs and more—for the ultimate summer shindig.
3. Go Back to The Roaring ’20s
It’s 2021, after all! If you have a mini projector at your disposal, queue up your favorite version of The Great Gatsby and have it playing on mute in the background as you blast the soundtrack, or actual ’20s hits. If you needed an excuse to go all out in the glam department and pop some champagne, this is it.
4. Go to Adult Summer Camp
This theme is easier than it sounds, trust me. Turn each corner of your space into a little activity booth. For instance, one can feature a stand where your friends can make their own beaded jewelry. Another one can feature face painting. If you have some outdoor space, set up games like tug-of-war or baseball for everyone to take part in. Or, throw on a movie and cozy up in some sleeping bags. Bonus points if you can have a campfire or roast some s’mores!
5. Have An Official Hoedown Throwdown
The Hannah Montana movie came out a while ago, I know, but don’t let that stop you from throwing a good old-fashioned western-themed party this year. Don your sparkliest cowboy hat and find your trusty pair of cowboy boots and you’ll be good to go. Or, turn your shindig into a Space Cowboy-themed affair a la Kacey Musgraves by adding tons of glitter and neon lights.
6. Have A Cottagecore Picnic
Taylor Swift made the cottagecore aesthetic popular and now you can unleash your inner Swiftie will all of your friends. Put out some blankets in your backyard (or in your living room) and pack a cute little lunch. Have your friends show up in their favorite Evermore and Folklore-inspired outfits.
7. Throw A Jersey Shore House Party
Cabs are here! Pull out your maximum hold hair gel and queue up the EDM, because this Jersey Shore-themed blowout is going to be the highlight of the night. If you want, set up a camera in the corner so that your friends can record their own little mock interviews about all the drama. Don’t forget to assign Jersey nicknames in advance.
8. Go to No-Chella
Who needs to party in the desert when you can party in your living room? DIY your own flower crowns and pile on the body glitter. Have one of your friends make a playlist with your friend group’s very own dream lineup and dance the night away. You can even camp out in your yard if you want to really commit!
9. Hold Your Very Own Olympic Games
Divide your friends into “countries” and create your own list of events. And no, you don’t need to actually be athletic in order to partake in these activities. Flip cup and corn hole will suffice, and adding a little spice with some booze can make for a very fun beer pong tournament.
10. Have A The Voice-Themed Karaoke Night
Are you Team Gwen or Team Blake? What About Team Ariana? Belt out all of your favorite tunes while hosting an at-home karaoke night. No actual skill is required, but this microphone might help just a little bit. If you’ve got a big enough group, have some friends be the judges, form teams and see who ends up victorious.
11. Hold A Modern Murder Mystery Night
This one generally requires a board game but honestly, it’s worth it. Depending on the theme of the game, have your group come dressed in coordinating outfits. If you don’t feel like spending any money but you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, you can create your own version altogether.
12. Host A Middle School Dance
Who needs chaperones when you’re all of-age? Pull out your denim mini skirts, leggings and UGG boots, because we are taking it back to the early aughts this summer. Don’t forget to have everyone request their favorite throwback hits, including some cringey slow songs. The best part? You can legally spike the punch with vodka.
13. Hold A Spotify “Wrapped” Night
I mean, who wouldn’t want to don a very Harry Styles-inspired outfit to this shindig? Have everyone on the invite list choose their favorite singer or group and then have the rest of the party guess who they’re dressed up as. Create a playlist with all the artists in attendance to really seal the deal!