Once upon a time, in a university residence not so far away, beer in red, sticky (possibly reused) red solo cups was the drink of choice, and top 40 blaring from a white MacBook Pro was the epitome of entertainment. This was the thrill university kids everywhere yearned for while they sat in lectures: the weekend, when they could listen to loud music, get completely drunk and then wake up with slight pride over their hangovers. As those university kids got older and graduated into young adults, the plastic cups were replaced by glass counterparts, filled with generous quantities of wine or possibly a dicey vodka-soda combo. The music shifted ever so slightly as well, but the premise remained the same: drinks and music. This combo will likely never go out of style, but it can definitely get redundant. One too many nights of the aforementioned combo can make you yearn for the simple days when going to a party meant cupcakes made by someone’s mom and loot bags. So why not take a page from your mom’s handbook and take the time to plan, organize and even theme your next bash? We’ve got four theme parties to get you started.
Outdoor movie night
Sometimes simplicity is best. Rent an outdoor movie screen and projector set from Kijiji and litter your lawn with blankets and Moroccan style seating. Set up a concession stand to add a little theatre-like flair (and perhaps an spiked lemonade stand to add a little un-theatre-like flair) and poll your guests in advance for movie picks. Don’t forget to account for mosquitos!
Mario Kart tournament
Not everybody likes video games, but I think it’s safe to say everyone likes Mario Kart. How can you not, given the energetic soundtrack, the nostalgic graphics and the sound of Luigi’s campy Italian accent. Whether you played it on your N64, your Game Boy or on the mounted wall TV at your dentist while you waited for your brother to get his teeth cleaned, Mario Kart never failed to excite. The best part about this party: it will practically run itself.
One Tree Hill dare night
In season two, episode five of OTH, aptly named, “I will dare,” Felix organizes a dare night for the group. It starts with a mysterious, exclusive invite to participate, via locker mail, and at one point Lucas ends up striped down to lacy black bra, looking rather demure, while his abs do all the talking. The set-up is straightforward and wallet friendly. Divide your guests into teams and set them up with dares to complete around the city, photographing for proof (and of course, posterity).
If you’re looking to throw a fab dinner party for your friends, but the only thing you know how to make is nachos in the toaster oven, an Iron Chef theme could ease your I-eat-fishy-crackers-for-dinner woes. Choose your theme ingredient, divide the crew into teams and designate yourself and your cat as the judges. Who said hosting had to be hard work?