Theme parties for adults

Oct 10, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Kids aren't the only ones who like to dress up and pretend. Hosting an adult theme party requires some extra thought and planning, but it can pay off with a truly memorable occasion. Try one or these ideas, or get creative and come up with your own.

Luau Party

Caddyshack party

Instead of tablecloths, cover tables with fake grass from the party store and scatter golf balls randomly throughout. For centerpieces, check eBay for stuffed gophers that dance to I'm All Right by Kenny Loggins. Miniature Baby Ruth candy bars make great party favors, and you can even throw a couple in the pool, if you have one. Ask guests to dress as their favorite Caddyshack character or in tacky golf attire. Serve greasy pizza and Perrier water.

Disco party

Get funky with a wild and crazy bash to celebrate the 70s. Ask guests to raid the attic or the thrift store for bell bottoms, polyester leisure suits, big gold chains, polyester wrap dresses and hot pants. Or suggest they channel Arnold Horshack, Richie Cunningham, Marsha Brady, Mary Tyler Moore, Hot Lips Houlihan or any favorite TV character from the decade. Hang disco balls from the ceiling, play charades or disco down to the music of Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire, Gloria Gaynor, Lionel Richie or The Village People. Feast on fondue, and don't forget the Bugles and onion dip!

Caribbean island

Break out the rum, reggae, fake palm trees, tiki torches and plastic flamingos for this one. Ask guests to dress in tropical and brightly colored clothing (dreadlocks and rasta hats optional). For easy edible centerpieces, simply fill bowls with an assortment of papaya, pineapples, oranges, bananas and mangos; add tall pillar candleholders on each side. If your budget allows, hire a reggae band. As a less expensive alternative, hire a DJ or play your own Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet and Beach Boys CDs. Serve pina coladas, rum punch, daiquiris and mojitos with Caribbean black stew or coconut-fried shrimp, cucumber salad, crab dip and key lime pie for dessert.

Possum Lodge party

Inspired by the PBS comedy series Red Green and its zany cast of characters, this is perfect for the backyard, deck or patio. For decor, think friendly, inventive and cheap. Set up picnic tables, rocking chairs, tents and oil lamps, and build a campfire (yard work definitely not required). Before the party, fill two boxes with old pipes, duct tape, screws, toilet seats and other miscellaneous junk. Divide the group into two teams and give each group a box of junk and 30 minutes to create an invention. Serve beer and hard cider; have a chili cook-off. Homemade (or store-bought) berry crisps topped with whipped cream are the perfect dessert. Ask male guests to arrive in costume as Red Green, Ranger Gord, Arnie Doogan or another favorite. Since Red's wife, Bernice, has never appeared on the show, the ladies can let their imaginations run wild. Daisy Mae? Minnie Pearl?

Ladies-only kidnap party

For this theme, guests arrive at the victim's house in cars (or better yet, a limo) to "kidnap" her for a day of wine tasting, luxurious spa treatments or other surprise. Make sure you have an accomplice in the household to surreptitiously pack a bag full of anything that the guest of honor might need for the day. This type of party is particularly effective if the kidnapping is done early in the morning.