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To elevate your 1980s-themed party to the next level, pay attention to decoration, lighting, music selection, and other atmospheric details. Here's how:

  1. Decorations: Embrace the vibrant and eclectic aesthetic of the '80s by incorporating neon colors, geometric patterns, and iconic symbols of the decade. Hang neon streamers or disco balls from the ceiling, and scatter inflatable boomboxes or Rubik's Cubes around the venue. Use black lights to enhance the fluorescent decor, creating an immersive retro ambiance.

  2. Lighting: Set the mood with dynamic lighting effects reminiscent of '80s dance clubs. Install strobe lights, disco balls, and colored LED lights to create a pulsating, energetic atmosphere. Consider using light-up dance floors or neon signs to add an extra touch of authenticity to your retro setting.

  3. Music Tracks: Curate a playlist of essential '80s hits spanning various genres, from pop and rock to new wave and synthpop. Include iconic tracks by artists such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, and Whitney Houston. Mix in lesser-known gems and deep cuts to surprise and delight your guests, ensuring a diverse and engaging soundtrack that keeps everyone on their feet.

  4. Interactive Entertainment: Enhance the party experience with interactive entertainment inspired by the '80s. Set up a photo booth with props like oversized sunglasses, inflatable guitars, and retro hats for guests to capture memories in true '80s style. Consider hosting a karaoke contest featuring classic '80s songs, or organize a dance-off to iconic hits from the era.

  5. Themed Activities: Incorporate themed activities and games to keep guests entertained throughout the night. Host a trivia quiz focusing on '80s pop culture, movies, and music, with prizes for the winners. Set up a DIY station where guests can customize their 80s-inspired accessories, such as friendship bracelets or neon scrunchies.

By paying attention to these details and incorporating them into your party planning, you'll create an immersive and unforgettable experience that celebrates the vibrant spirit of the 1980s.

For a head start on your decor - click here for a radical 1980s decor kit. 



Always inquire about your guests' nutritional requirements with the RSVPs to determine if they have any allergies or objections to particular ingredients. Recipes courtesy of the Halloween Party Host Handbook





1/2 cup Garlic bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 package of large whole mushrooms with the stems removed and diced

1/2 cup of cooked, crumbled sausage

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter

Instructions:  Cut the stems from the mushrooms carefully scoop out the tops without breaking them apart and dice the stems. Place the mushroom caps with the scooped side up on a baking sheet.

Combine the remaining ingredients with the diced stems and mix thoroughly.

Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture (save a little bit of the breadcrumbs for the top) and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle melted butter over the top.

Cook at 350 degrees until lightly browned (approximately 20-30 minutes).

*You can substitute the sausage for diced lobster. 




1 pound mixed salad greens

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese

1 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Salt and pepper to taste.


Mix the ingredients together and drizzle the dressing on top.





2 cups of cooked white Rice

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup

~3/4 stick of butter

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tenderized chicken breast fillets

1 cup garlic flavored bread crumbs

Mix the white rice, cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, sautéed onions and mushrooms, 1/4 stick of butter, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of garlic bread crumbs.

Instructions:  Tenderize the chicken fillets with a meat tenderizer.  At the edge of one end of the chicken fillet, place about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture and roll the chicken fillet around the rice.  Place the chicken fillet into a baking pan with the free edge facing down.  Microwave the remaining butter for 10 seconds and drizzle over the chicken breast.  Lightly sprinkle the garlic-flavored bread crumbs over the buttered breast.

Cook at 375 until done (approximately 40 minutes).  Check with a meat thermometer to determine if the meat is done.




2 bags of frozen broccoli

1 tube of Kraft garlic cheese

½ cup jalapeno jack cheese

2 cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup

1 can of Campbell’s cream of celery soups

½ diced onion

½ stick of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat the oven to 350F. Thaw out the frozen broccoli and drain the water. Melt the cheeses in a saucepan and add the creamed soups.  In a separate pan, sauté the onions with the butter until golden brown.  Add the browned onions to the cheese mixture.  Pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli in a 9 x 12 baking dish. Sprinkle garlic bread crumbs over the top of the casserole, cover and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling.  Allow to cool on the counter for at least 10 minutes before serving.






12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

White frosting with red food coloring (to make pink frosting). 

16 pink candles

Instructions: Set the rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk, and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate the beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top with a metal spatula. Bake cake(s) for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper, and let cool completely. If you are using white frosting, add one drop of red food coloring to a bowl and mix thoroughly to make a light pink color.  When cool, cover the cake with the frosting and then place the 16 candles on the cake.

THE PACMAN GHOST (adults only)

4 oz. Hypnotiq® liqueur

2 oz. Malibu® coconut rum

2 oz. pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into a martini or cocktail glass and serve.

THE MEMBER’S ONLY (Adults only)

1/2 shot Godiva liquor

1/2 shot of Bailey’s Irish cream liquor

Fill the coffee mug with 1/2 coffee and 1/2 milk to taste

Top with whipped cream

Mix the liquors together in a shaker and strain into a coffee mug. Fill the mug with coffee and milk to taste and top with whipped cream.

 *If this party is for teenagers, omit this drink and make hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream on top.  Then, top it off with chocolate sprinkles.



THE LEG WARMER (adults only)

1 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. cranberry juice

Shake vodka, triple sec, lime, and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim and serve.

* Note - if this party is for teenagers, omit the alcohol.




RULES: Purchase about 1.5 meters (~5 ft.) of bubble wrap packing material.  The guests take turns walking the length of the bubble wrap.  The winner is the first one to walk the length of the wrap without popping a bubble. If everyone does it without a pop, then change it to walking on their knees, crab walks, front rolls, etc.

PROPS NEEDED: strips of bubble wrapping material.

PLAYING TIME: ~ 10 minutes




OBJECTIVE:  to be the most radical ‘80s dancers at the party!

RULES:   Pair the guests into groups of 2-3. Give the teams 10 minutes (or more) to create a unique 30-second ‘80s dance routine to perform to the song ‘Blinded Me with Science' or another ‘80s song you choose. Play the song repeatedly in the background so the teams have ample time to practice with the music.

When the time is up and/or the guests are finished creating their routines, one at a time, the guests are to perform their routines for the other guests. The host will judge, or the guests will vote via a ballot for the best ‘80s dance routine. In the case of a tie, the host will be the tie-breaker.

PROPS NEEDED: any type of music-playing source and an ‘80s song.

PLAYING TIME: approximately 30 minutes.

*We cannot say it enough…this is HILARIOUS!!!!  Do this side game for the love of the ‘80s!




OBJECTIVE: To be the team that answers the most ‘years of release’ of the 1980s movies correctly! 

RULES: Pair the guests into groups of 6. Give the teams 15 minutes (or more) to fill in the correct year of the listed 1980s hit movies using the ‘Totally Awesome Movie Challenge Answer Sheet’ (game attachment).  When the time is up and / or the guests are finished, collect the answer sheets and score them using the ‘Totally Awesome Movie Challenge Answer Key’ (game attachment). 

PROPS NEEDED: Printed copies of ‘The Totally Awesome Movie Challenge’ (next 2 pages).

PLAYING TIME: ~20 minutes




Weird Science…1985

Pretty in Pink…1986

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade…1989

Valley Girl ……1983

Fast Times at Ridgemont High……1982

Die Hard……..1988

Sixteen Candles…….1984

Dirty Dancing…....1987

St. Elmo’s fire....1985

The Empire Strikes Back…….1980


Objective: Be the first to solve a Rubik's Cube.

Rules: Each participant gets a Rubik’s Cube. On “Go,” they start solving. The first to finish wins.

Props Needed: Rubik’s Cubes for each participant.

Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes.


Objective: Evade the Pac-Man (the tagger) if you're a ghost; catch the ghosts if you're Pac-Man.

Rules: Designate one player as Pac-Man and others as ghosts. Ghosts must stay within marked boundaries. Pac-Man tags ghosts to “eat” them. The last ghost standing becomes the next Pac-Man.

Props Needed: Bandanas or colored shirts to differentiate teams.

Estimated Time: 10 minutes per round.


Objective: Deliver the most entertaining lip sync performance to an 80s hit.

Rules: Contestants draw song titles from a hat and perform a lip sync for the crowd. Audience applause determines the winner.

Props Needed: Music player, selection of 80s songs, makeshift stage.

Estimated Time: 3-5 minutes per performance.


Objective: Identify songs or artists from the 80s with the least amount of music played.

Rules: Play the first few seconds of an 80s song. The first to correctly name the song or artist scores a point. Most points at the end wins.

Props Needed: Playlist of 80s songs, music player.

Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes.


Objective: Answer the most questions correctly about 80s pop culture.

Rules: Players take turns answering trivia questions. Incorrect answers mean you’re out. Last player standing or with most points wins.

Props Needed: List of 80s trivia questions, scorecards.

Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes.


Objective: Create the most outrageous 80s outfit.

Rules: Using a pile of 80s-inspired clothes and accessories, teams have 5 minutes to dress one team member. Best outfit wins as judged by applause.

Props Needed: Assortment of 80s clothes and accessories.

Estimated Time: 10 minutes.


Objective: Find and correctly identify movies from VHS covers.

Rules: Hide images of VHS covers around the party area. Participants must find and correctly identify the movies. Most correct answers in the shortest time wins.

Props Needed: Printed images of VHS covers, timer.

Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes.


Objective: Compete in a breakdancing competition showcasing your best moves.

Rules: Contestants take turns on the “dance floor.” Audience applause after all performances decides the winner.

Props Needed: Open space for dancing, breakdance music playlist.

Estimated Time: 2-3 minutes per contestant.


* 411 - information
* Ace - best; awesome; terrific.
* Airhead - A stupid or unaware person; moron, dim-wit.
* Amped -totally excited about something.
* B.F.F. - Best Friends Forever.
* Bag/Baggin Bag - to talk down on a person.
* 'Bag Your Face!' - Shut Up!
* Bangin' -  Awesome
* Barf Me Out- expletive  - you hate it
* Betty - girl
* Big Time - Awesome
* Bimbette - a stupid girl, an airhead
* Bitch'n (Bitchin')-very cool
* Bite Me! - Get Lost, Go Away
* Bohunk -dumb, large jock.
* Bombdigity - awesome
* Bomb - Something favorable.
* Book - Leave, get out
* Bootleg - not the real thing
* Boss -excellent, superior.
* Bounce - Means to get out of here, leave
* Boy Toy - a cute guy who dates older women.
* Skater - someone who acts like they're working hard but are hardly working.
* Buggin' - When someone is acting out or doing something stupid, losing one's mind
* Bulk - very good
* Bunk - Not cool.
* Burn Out - A druggie; someone who smokes cigarettes/doesn't care about themselves, i.e., in general a derogatory term
* Butt Ugly - Unattractive
* Can you relate? - Do you get it?
*  Chill (Take a Chill Pill) - Relax
* Choice - Extremely cool
* Clutch - cool
* Chillin' - Relaxing
* Cornchip - a punk or new wave look.
* Couch Potato - Someone who sits in front of the TV on their couch or sofa.
* Cowabunga - It's a surfing term. Get ready, and here we go/up for the challenge.
* Crunk -Something that is cool or hip.
* D.I.N.K. - To describe a married couple. Dual Income No Kids
* Dag Spanky! - Wow!
* Dang Skippy! - Strong affirmation or agreement.
* Dank - Really good
* Deadly - Wickedly cool
* Dexter - Smart, kinda preppy, but not overly nerdy.
* Diesel - Cool, awesome, radical, basically something very good
* Ditz - A less harsh way of describing a person who is not very smart.
* Down - In agreement.
* Doy (Doi) - Short for "No duh" or "no doy."
* Dyno - Short for dynamite; a response to something one looks forward to.
* Eat My Shorts - Phrase used as a comeback. Heavily in use in the '80s, it was also used on TV's 'The Simpsons.'
*  Fer Sure - Obviously, Of course
* Fine - cute, a hot guy or girl
* Flash - Cool, awesome
* Freaked Out (Freak Out) - scared, excited
* Freak - a hottie who likes to have fun
*  Gag me with a spoon - expletive - you hate it
* Gamer -avid video game player
*  Glam - An object or a glamorous person. Either for positive or negative use.
* Goth/Gothic—someone who likes The Cure, Skinny Puppy, and Ministry and wears dark clothing. Note: I'm Gen-X and liked The Cure but wasn't a Goth, so it has to be the whole package.
*  Grill - teeth, smile, or ask many questions
* Grindage - food
*  Grody - Gross
*  Hacker -Computer genius. In 'WarGames', Mathew Broderick played a hacker.
*  Hairdog - Someone who sports a 'mullet' or a really big permed 'mall' hair doo.
*  Happen'n - Very cool; up-to-date or current in style.
*  Head Banger -Fan of heavy metal music.
* Metalheads - someone who listened to rock and dressed the part
* Homefry - a close, or best, friend.
* Hotdogger - surfer.
* In the Mix - Cool.
* Jams - Songs, Music
* Joanie -A boring, not-so-hip girl. From the 70s and 80s show 'Happy Days,' specifically Joanie 
Cunningham (Erin Moran), the unhip girl of the 50s.
* Kicker -A kicker is a hick, a cowboy. They drive trucks with grill guards and wear Wrangler jeans.
* Kirk Out -To really freak out, get super angry or crazy about something
* Legit -It means legitimate, legal, honest, or a sure deal, or the real McCoy.
*  Mega - cool, good
* Mental - someone or something stupid or screwed up.
* Mondo - Cool; nice; neat.
* Most Triumphant - excellent or above average.
*  Narc -Tattle tale or sell out. "Don't narc me out, man." "He told the teacher - he's a narc."
*  New Wave -A type of heavily synthesized pop music performed by groups like A Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran, The Busboys, Thompson Twins, and Erasure.
* Noob -A new person to a game; a loser.
* O-rama - Suffix you affix to a word to describe the whole spectrum of the meaning.
* Ooglay -Extremely ugly.
* Pac-Man -A person with a voracious (and often humongous) appetite; eats everything in sight.
* Ralph - To throw up.
* Righteous -Same as awesome or cool.
* Schweet -Sweet
* Shiz Nits (Schiznick) - awesome
* Shred/Shredding/Shredded - good music or skateboarding/surfing
* Sick - Cool
*  Skeezer - a girl who is always all over popular guys.
* Space Cadet - Airhead, Ditz.
* Spazzing - Overly excited. It's an exaggeration of being excited.
* Spiffy (Spiff) - cool, awesome
* Sportin' - To wear an article of clothing or to wear your hair a certain way.
* Sprung - Totally in love, infatuated.
* Stud -A very good-looking guy.
* Tight -Really cool.
* Totally Tubular - awesome
* Trippin' - Verb, Acting in an unbelievable manner.
* Wastoid - a waste of space, a loser. Emilio Estevez calls Judd Nelson a wastoid in The Breakfast Club.
* What's Crackalackin'? -What's going on? What's happening? Rhetorical greeting.
* Where's the Beef! -Expression is used to show 
that one is being ripped off or shorted.
*Wigging/Wig-out -Someone that is freaking out.

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