27 Bodacious Ideas For A Totally Rad 90s Theme Party
There’s no denying that the 90s were a decade of iconic fashion, unforgettable movies, and groundbreaking music which can be a perfect inspiration for an unforgettable party.
Whether you’re throwing a 90s themed birthday party or just looking for some 90’s theme party ideas, you are in the right place to get ready to party like it’s 1999 with these creative and unique ideas for a 90s theme party.
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To facilitate easy reference, we’ve arranged these awesome 90’s theme party ideas into categorized sections.
We’re writing this article after we took the 90’s theme for a party a step further. What if we thought, we surprise our teenager with a birthday party inspired by the 1990s, the years we were teenagers ourselves? Like that we would be killing two birds with one stone, we pondered!
And that’s what happened.
You should have seen the look of pure excitement on our 13-year-old’s face when he opened the door to a surprise 90s themed party! It was not only an opportunity to celebrate our teenager’s milestone birthday but also a chance for us parents to expose our children to how we lived our adolescence.
Whether you’re planning a 90s theme party for your child that wasn’t around at that time or a nostalgic grown-up, we are pretty sure that these ideas are a perfect fit.
Let’s first take a look at the trends that shaped the 1990’s to set our 90s themed party planning in the proper context.
Popular 90s Trends
The 1990s were a decade of remarkable cultural, social, and technological changes. It was a period marked by the emergence of new musical genres, fashion trends, and technological advancements that shaped the world as we know it today.
The grunge fashion trend, characterized by flannel shirts and Doc Martens, was one of the most popular fashion trends of the 90s.
Hip-hop music was one of the most popular music genres of the 90s, with gangsta rap and East Coast vs. West Coast feuds dominating the charts.
Beanie Babies and Tamagotchis were two of the most popular collectibles of the 90s.
In the 90s, everyone went crazy for Pokémon and Power Rangers – they were everywhere!
TV Shows & Movies
Teen TV shows were also a big hit, with shows like Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer captivating audiences across the country.
Meanwhile, movies like Titanic, Jurassic Park, and The Matrix became instant classics and are still talked about today.
On top of that, the 90s saw a surge in internet usage and virtual reality technology, which set the foundation for today’s advanced VR and AR technology.
Some of the most significant events of the 90s include the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, the OJ Simpson trial, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The 90s trends had a significant impact on popular culture, influencing fashion, music, movies, and collectibles. Many of these trends continue to be celebrated and revisited today.
Decoration Ideas For A 90s Themed Party
Decorations are the key to creating the perfect atmosphere for a 90’s theme party. From iconic fashion items like neon-colored windbreakers and acid-washed jeans to symbols of 90s pop culture like cassette tapes and boomboxes, there are countless ways to deck out your party space with nostalgic decor. A 90s themed party is all about celebrating the era’s vibrant and playful aesthetic, and the right decorations can transport your guests back in time.
Go to our full guide to Decorations for a 90s theme party for more unique ideas. Here are the basics.
1. 90’s Theme Backdrop
A 90s themed party backdrop sets the tone for the entire party and creates a great background for photos. For a 90s themed party, consider using a neon or graffiti backdrop. Add some posters of popular 90s movies and bands.
2. Balloons For a 90’s Theme Party
For a 90s themed party, consider using neon-colored balloons. You can also create balloon garlands in different colors or shapes, such as stars or hearts. Set up a balloon arch that can be used as a backdrop.
3. Lighting Reminiscent of The 1990s
Use neon lights or black lights. Neon lights can be used to create a fun and colorful atmosphere. Black lights are great for creating a glow-in-the-dark effect and can be used with neon decorations and clothing.
Check our guide to Setting Up Black Light For A Neon Party for the best results with an ultra-violet light set-up.
Setting Up Black Light For A Neon Party
Setting up black light for a neon party involves having enough ultra-violet light sources to cover all party area from different angles. As a general rule, 1 watt of UV light is adequate for a small area…
4. 90’s Suggestive Centerpieces
Centerpieces are a great way to add some 90s flair to your party. Consider using cassette tapes, VHS tapes, or even old-fashioned boomboxes as centerpieces. You can also create centerpieces using neon-colored flowers or balloons.
5. 90’s Wall Decor
Use posters of popular 90s movies, TV shows, and bands as wall decor. Create a collage of magazine cutouts or use old CD covers to hang on the walls of the party venue. Make a graffiti wall using neon spray paint.
6. Table Decor For A 90s Theme Party
Use a checkered tablecloth, which was a popular pattern in the 90s. Utilize cassette tapes or CDs as place settings. Make a centerpiece using a Rubik’s Cube or a Tamagotchi.
7. Costumes Characteristic Of The 1990s
Though not part of the party venue decor, no 90s themed party is complete without costumes.
Encourage your guests to dress up in their best 90s outfits. Some popular 90s fashion trends include:
Denim on denim
Wearing a denim jacket or shirt with jeans was a popular look.
Flannel shirts, plaid skirts, and dresses were in style, often paired with combat boots.
Baggy jeans, oversized t-shirts, and sweatshirts were trendy.
This midriff-baring style was popular for both casual and dressy occasions.
A staple of the grunge fashion trend, leather jackets were often worn over band t-shirts and ripped jeans.
Thanks to the popularity of hip-hop and sportswear, matching tracksuits in bold colors were a common sight.
The minimalist trend of slip dresses over t-shirts or long-sleeve tops became popular in the late ’90s.
This style of jeans made a comeback in the ’90s, often paired with crop tops or tucked-in shirts.
Baggy pants, hoodies, and skate shoes were part of the skater fashion trend.
Both sandals and sneakers had platform soles, adding height and a touch of ’70s nostalgia to outfits.
Include instructions to your guests about your desired dress code in the invitation that you should send out by 6 to 4 weeks before the party date.
Pro Tip: In the case of a 90s theme party it is even more important to send out invitations well in advance so that guests have ample time to plan and purchase their 90s outfits.
90s Theme Party Photo Booth Ideas
A photo booth is a fun way to capture the memories of the event and provide your guests with a souvenir to take home. These 90s theme party photo booth backdrops will have your guests strike a pose and say “Cheese!”
8. Photo Booth Backdrop Ideas Evocative Of The ’90s
- Graffiti Wall Backdrop
- Retro TV Photo Prop
- Giant Boombox Cutout
- Neon Light Up Sign Prop
- Colorful Beaded Curtain Background
- Giant Polaroid Frame Prop
- Glittery Disco Ball Backdrop
- Oversized Sunglasses and Hats Photo Props
- Cassette Tape Wall Art Display
- Cartoon Character Cutouts as Props (such as Rugrats or The Simpsons)
More about 90’s photo booth ideas here.
9. Polaroid Cameras
You can always take out your smartphone or SLR to take photo booth pictures, but using Polaroid cameras at a 90s theme party can add a fun and nostalgic element to the event.
Instant cameras were popular in the 90s, and using them at the party can help transport guests back in time. Polaroid pictures also have a unique aesthetic that can add to the overall decor and atmosphere of the party. They are a great way to capture memories of the event and allow guests to take home physical mementos of the night.
Playlist Ideas For 90s Theme Party
To get started, think about your favorite songs from the decade and search for them on music streaming platforms or digital music stores.
Search for popular songs from different genres that were popular during the 90s, such as grunge, Britpop, and dance music.
Consider including songs that were popular in movies, TV shows, and commercials from the era.
If you’re throwing a party where children or teenagers will be hosted, make sure that your choice is an appropriate one.
10. Songs From Kids’ 1990’s Movies
- “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King (1994)
- “A Whole New World” from Aladdin (1992)
- “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid (1989)
- “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from The Lion King (1994)
- “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas (1995)
- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (1994)
- “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid (1989)
- “Circle of Life” from The Lion King (1994)
- “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story (1995)
- “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1992)
We’re here suggesting only songs that are universally appropriate to make sure that the music being played is suitable for all your guests including children, and doesn’t contain any inappropriate lyrics or themes. They are still fun and enjoyable.
Parents and guardians can feel more comfortable knowing that the music being played is safe and appropriate for their children to listen to.
Ideas For 90s Themed Party Food, Drinks, And Cake
The 90s were a time of vibrant and fun food trends that are sure to add to the nostalgia of your party. From colorful drinks to classic snacks, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to 90s themed party food and drinks.
Go to our full guide to 90s Food, Drinks And Cake Ideas For A Memorable Party, for recipes and more ideas.
11. 90’s Classic Snacks and Appetizers
- Bagel Bites
- Pizza Rolls
- Fruit Roll-Ups
- Pop Rocks
- Jell-O Jigglers
- Pigs in a Blanket
12. Main Dishes For 90s Parties
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Hamburger Helper
- Beef Stroganoff
- Sloppy Joes
- Chicken Nuggets
- Mac and Cheese
- Taco Salad
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Veggie Burgers
13. Desserts From The 1990s
- Hostess Cupcakes
- Oreo Cookies
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Chocolate Pudding
- Push Pops
- Snack Pack Pudding Cups
- Jell-O Pudding Pops
- Chocolate Fondue
14. 1990s Sweets Nostalgia
- Ring Pops
- Pop Rocks
- Fruit Roll-ups
- Black Jacks
- Colorful lollipops
- Opal Fruits
- Push pops
15. 90s Themed Non-Alcoholic Drink Ideas
- Capri Sun
- Hi-C Ecto Cooler
- Surge Soda
- Sunny Delight
- Kool-Aid Jammers
- Crystal Pepsi
16. 90s Theme Cake
A 90s theme cake can be decorated with popular 90s symbols, such as colorful geometric patterns, and cartoon characters like Rugrats, Power Rangers, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
For added excitement, the cake could be designed to resemble a popular 90s video game console or a boombox.
Find a showcase of 90’s themed cakes in 55 of the Best 90s Cake Ideas for any Birthday Celebration.
90s Food, Drinks And Cake Ideas For A Memorable Party
We’ll share the ultimate 90s party food, drinks, and cake ideas that will transport you and your guests back to the decade of grunge and pop.
Games And Activities For 90s Themed Parties
During a 90s theme party, you have to be prepared to give your guests a taste of how people got entertained in the 1990s through activities and games such as the ones we’re suggesting below.
Check our Throwback Bash: 29 90s Party Games And Activities for more details and ready-to-use resources we have prepared for these 90s games and activities. Here’s just an idea.
17. 90s Inspired Music And Dance Party Activities
- Guess the Song
- Music Trivia
- 90’s Dance Party
- 90s Theme Lip Sync Battle
18. 90’s Movie Trivia
- 90s Movie Quotes Game
- 90s Movie Trivia Scavenger Hunt
- 90s Movie Match-up Game
- 90s Movie Charades
- 90s Movie Trivia Bingo
Top 100 90s Trivia Questions And Answers
If you’re like me and can’t get enough of this awesome decade, then you understand the thrill of putting your knowledge to the test with some challenging 90s trivia questions.
19. Guess the 90s Slang
- Slang Quiz
- 90’s Slang Pictionary
- 90’s Phrases Fill in the Blank
- Who Said It?
- 90’s Theme Charades
20. 90s Costume Contest
A 90s themed party wouldn’t be complete without a costume contest. Encourage your guests to dress up in their favorite 90s outfits, from grunge to neon, and award prizes for the best-dressed male and female. You can also award prizes for the best group costume.
21. DIY 90s Crafts
DIY 90s crafts are a great way to get your guests involved in your 90s theme party. Here are some creative DIY 90s crafts activities you can prepare for your guests.
- Friendship Bracelets
- Tie-Dye T-Shirts
- CD Art
- Beaded Jewelry
22. 90s Karaoke Ideas
Karaoke is always a hit at parties, and a 90s theme party is no exception! Here are some creative 90s Karaoke activities you can do with your guests.
- Boy Bands vs Girl Groups
- 90s Movie Soundtracks
- 90s Pop Stars
- One Hit Wonders
- 90s TV Show Theme Songs
23. 90s Video Game Tournament
Gaming was a significant aspect of the 90s culture, with many iconic games being released during that period. To bring back some nostalgic memories, you can organize a video game tournament featuring classic 90s games such as Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong Country.
Throwback Bash: 29 90s Party Games And Activities
When you’re hosting a 90s-themed party, it’s essential to provide your guests with a nostalgic experience by incorporating games and activities from the era.
90’s Theme Party Favor Ideas
From neon-colored slap bracelets to Beanie Babies, the 90’s had a lot of iconic items that would make great party favors. The following are some of the best 90’s themed party favors that are sure to bring back some nostalgia for your guests.
Go to Throwback Treats: 20 90s Party Favors for a detailed description of each item below and for some more DIY 90s party favors ideas.
24. Keychain 90s Party Favors
- Miniature Tamagotchi Keychains
- Retro Video Game Keychains
- Laser Pointer Keychains
- Mini Rubiks Cube Keychains
- Friendship Bracelet Kits
- Slap Bracelets
- Jelly Bracelets
- Glow-In-The-Dark Bracelets
26. Toy Guns
- Super Soaker Water Guns
- Nerf Guns
27. 90s Collectibles
- Beanie Babies
- Lip Smackers
- Troll Dolls
- Pokémon Cards
- Hypercolor T-Shirts
Throwback Treats: 20 90s Party Favors
Whether you’re going for a grunge look or a boy band vibe, we’ve got everything you need to create the perfect 90s goodie bags for your guests.
Conclusion To 27 Bodacious Ideas For A Totally Rad 90s Theme Party
In conclusion, throwing a rad 90s theme party for a teenager is a great way to bring some fun and nostalgia to their special day. With the abundance of 90s theme party ideas and 90s themed birthday party decorations available, it’s easy to transport your guests back in time and create an unforgettable experience.
Remember to incorporate the iconic fashion, music, and pop culture of the 90s, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your 90 theme party planning. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to throwing a totally awesome 90s theme party that your teenager and their friends will love.
So, start planning your 90s theme party today and make it a party to remember!
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Hi I'm Ann
Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea. Discover more...
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