Neon Party Venue Decoration Ideas
by Ann Mifsud
There is no party without decorations. When it comes to very particular themes, such as a glow in the dark party, also known as neon party, decorations take on a new level. The first goal when you set up your venue for a black light party is to create a darkened environment as much as possible. You may wish to read through how to set up black light and other equipment for a neon glow party, here.
Having a lot of neon party decorations at your kid’s glow party venue is a guarantee for success. The decorations will create a mesmerizing contrast of florescent green, yellow, pink and orange against the dimly lit atmosphere. Though similar to other themed party accessories, highlighter party decorations have one crucial difference. They need to glow in the dark when black light is directed at them.
The four colors that will certainly glow under UV light are neon green, yellow, pink and orange. The more intense the colors, the more likely they’ll glow when using blacklight. White, though not considered as a color, does also shine brightly when exposed to UV light sources.
Pro Tip: When buying or trying out decorations for your neon party, take a UV flashlight, with you to make sure that the accessories you’re getting really produce the desired glow effect in the dark. You may be surprised to find out that some items you would have bet they glow, actually don’t against black light.
If you want to know all it takes to create a black light party at home, here’s The Ultimate Kids Glow Party Guide: How To Create Magic.
The Ultimate Kids Glow Party Guide: How To Create Magic
A significant milestone in your kid’s life may be approaching, and you’re eager to leave a lasting impression on them and their friends. Undoubtedly, hosting a kids glow party to celebrate in style is the perfect choice!
How to decorate your venue for a smashing glow in the dark party
Picture the venue where you intend to hold your neon glow party as four distinct locations or points. Namely…
- The entrance
- The ceiling
- The walls
- The focal point
Go straight to any of the sections by clicking on them.
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1. How to decorate the entrance or hallway for a neon party
Considering you’ll be working hard to achieve the most stunning look for your kid’s glow in the dark special occasion, first impressions count a lot. You would want to wow your guests as soon as they enter the venue, or possibly on the way to it. Here, we suggest four decoration options.
Don’t forget that these items need to be lit with black light as well. Unless they are lit with UV light, they will not create the glow in the dark effect. When it comes to balloons, should you wish to, there is the option of inserting tiny colorful LED lights in balloons before inflating them, instead of buying neon balloons.
When buying neon tape, keep in mind that this can come handy if you want to highlight a walkway that leads to the party room, directions to food tables, restrooms and so on. Therefore, buying a bit extra can be wise, because you are bound to find a good place you need to mark or highlight.
Pro Tip: Try out how your yard signs, door covers and highlighter tape look under UV light sources a week or so prior to the event. You may find out that you actually need to add more black light sources to your props if the UV light you have at hand turns out not to be strong enough to create the desired glow in the dark effect.
Caution: If using balloons to decorate your porch or doorway, whether as a balloon arch, column, or in any other form, do not put them up way ahead of the party. When placed outdoors, balloons tend to degrade quickly. Especially if helium-filled, balloons will begin to deflate in a matter of hours.
For more detailed and expert advise how you can keep balloons from popping and deflating check out this article.
If you have time and wish to set up a DIY balloon arch, here is a guide we have prepared that entails every nitty gritty on the subject.
2. Neon party hanging decorations
Hanging decorations always leave an added impact on the guests at a kid’s party. A neon glow party is no exception. You may wish to try any of the glow in the dark hanging decorations suggested below depending on the ceiling of your venue of choice. Mix and match the different items for a more extravagant look to wow guests at your kid’s glow in the dark party.
3. Wall decorations for a glow in the dark highlighter party
To create the most impactful scene at your kid’s neon party, you wouldn’t want to leave your walls bare. Wall decorations can bring any place to life and be just as impactful to look at as hanging decorations are. Wall decorations compliment all your other decorations in a nice way and somehow help solidify the theme. Here’s our list of favorite wall decorations for your kid’s neon party…
- Glow in the dark backdrops
These come in different sizes so make sure you have an idea of where you want to place it and how large it needs to be before getting your hands on one. You don’t want it to look disproportionate to the wall you intend to set it up against by being either too small or too large.
Want to add a dash of glamor? Make sure you use one or more party signs. Whether they spell ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Let’s Party’ or the name of the host holding the party, neon signs are a hit.
Neon signs are a unique eye-catching decoration to use at a glow in the dark party. You can order a customized neon sign from Amazon for less than $200.
Alternatively, you can do as we did, and make your own inexpensive neon sign that still amazes those who see it for the first time. In this complete guide we have gone through all the nitty-gritty of a DIY neon sign. Guests will find it hard to tell the difference between this DIY one and one that’s been store-bought!
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that light-up party signs go beyond being just another nice decoration at your kid’s neon party. They add to the safety of the venue because they can be used to mark where restrooms, food and drinks tables, dance floor, play area, chill-out zone and most importantly, exits are.
Neon signs look simply amazing. Though they are not a must at your kid’s neon party, they surely make the place glow in the dark 🙂
Without a doubt, these neon inflatables are a good way to reuse props from other parties or your days at the beach. Highlighter donut inflatables have worked wonders for us. They are marvellous at filling the place up, especially if you have a large wall you want to bring to life.
- Highlighter paper fans
These are especially great if you have a small wall or part of a wall you wish to decorate. You can hang them behind the food table for example.
- Glow in the dark banners
These banners come in many sizes and shapes, so it should not be a problem to fit one to any wall size. Whether it’s a “Happy Birthday” banner, a “Congratulations” one, a funky “Let’s Party” or a groovy “Let’s Glow”, a banner is practically a must-have.
- Glow in the dark triangle flags or buntings
Both are equally cool as they sport geometric patterns, like circles, triangles and stars. These are a great addition to bring color to an otherwise bare or dull wall. They can be hung horizontally or vertically depending on what you have in mind.
- Neon paper tassels
Paper tassels make another great addition to your glow in the dark party theme. They come in 4 different colors and are sure to make your fluorescent party more charming. These are super versatile and if you do not wish to hang them on a wall, hang them in front or around one of your food or drinks tables to liven it up even further.
- Glow in the dark stars
These compliment the neon party theme. And if you happen to have some extra ones, sprinkle them on the food or drinks table. They will look awesome under UV light.
4. How to decorate the central point of a black light party
More often than not, the focal point of a party is where the food table is set up. You will need an appealing backdrop or scene setter.
You can set up yours by hanging a large piece of black cloth at the back of the food table and stick to it highlighter decorations as described above. Otherwise you can buy one of the ready-made backdrops. Be careful however, that these don’t necessarily reflect UV light.
Another important part of the backdrop is a banner. Generally speaking it highlights the reason of the celebration. Thus, if it is a neon birthday party or a milestone your kid is celebrating, just say it in a banner lit under black light.
Get you hands on a ready-made glow in the dark banner.
Alternatively, you can download and use the one we have prepared for our son’s neon party. Print the letters on the back of highlighter cardstock or thick paper. You will notice that the letters are flipped horizontally so that when you turn over the cut outs, the letters will appear correctly. Do not try to print the highlighter side with your home printer or photocopier. The ink in these machines does not reflect black light. If you print on the back of these fluorescent sheets you can be sure that your banner will glow when exposed to UV light.
Caution: To our experience items mentioned above which are made of plastic, such as backdrops and table covers, though they are sturdy and nice in visible light, they don’t glow when exposed to black light. So while you can choose to buy them, you need to know what you’re getting for the money you’re paying.
If you want to be inspired on how to decorate your food and/or drinks table at your glow in the dark party, check out more details in our 13 Easy Steps to a Successful Neon Party.
5. All-in-one neon party supplies
An easy way to get most of your decorations in one go is to get a neon party kit. This is an especially great option if you’re pressed for time or feel at a loss with all the options available out there. The only drawback with these kits is that they cannot be personalized.
But this can be solved if you decide to experiment with a neon sign as described above, sporting your kid’s name and age. They will give that distinctive touch to the party decor. There are some nice kits out there, but this one seems to be a better value for the money you pay.
Make sure that with the kit you’re going to buy, you’re going to fill the place the way you are expecting. You might consider to buy more than one kit or add more single items if you have a large venue. Photos put by sellers on online sites tend to give an unrealistic impression of how the venue will look like when decorated with the kits they are selling.
Pro Tip: Just remember that these kits don’t include the UV lights that are an absolute necessity to make your decorations glow in the dark.
Final thoughts on glow in the dark party decorations…
Whether you have a large or a small space to decorate for your kid’s neon party, keep in mind that visualizing your venue as 4 distinct spaces will help get the job done. Make sure the entrance, the ceiling, the walls and more importantly the focal point of your venue of choice are decorated in a way that compliment each other. Moreover, the decorations you put up should make the glow in the dark theme stand out.
You may decide to go for individual items to decorate your kid’s party venue or choose the somewhat easier and more straightforward option of buying a glow in the dark decoration kit. Whatever your choice, be mindful of the budget you have at hand. Should you afford it, do get your hands on a neon sign; it truly solidifies the neon theme to your kid’s party. If your budget is tight, do not immediately discard the idea. Instead, plan ahead and experiment doing a neon sign yourself. And why not, get your kid involved too, unless it’s a surprise party you are organizing.
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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...