For an upcoming birthday celebration for a friend or family member, try something unexpected and original. Consider going above and beyond an everyday, ordinary birthday party by throwing an epic birthday bash. One way to do this is by going all out with a theme. Choose something that's impressive, engaging and innovative to make this a birthday party the person of honor won't soon forget.
Celebrate the season -- the season it currently is not, that is. For example, a Summer in Winter Party gives everyone a reprieve from cold-weather blues. Mimic summer's heat in the party location: turn up the thermostat in your apartment or rent a couple of portable heaters for your basement. Set out beach chairs, and stand some surf boards against one wall. Inflate plastic palm trees to stand in the corners. Create a playlist of summer music to play during the party. In your invitations, invite guests to bring shorts, tank tops, swimsuits and flip flops to change into. If there's room, roll out fake grass for partygoers to play horseshoes or croquet on, or have a limbo and hula hoop contests. Over the food table, open up a big, colorful beach umbrella, and set out barbecue-in-the-backyard fare: hot dogs, burgers, ribs, potato salad and baked beans all served on paper plates. Serve margaritas and piña coladas, and have a birthday cake made that looks like a big beach ball.
Throw a party celebrating the birthday person's favorite color. For an Unbelievable Orange Party, for example, visit a party store for orange streamers, balloons, tablecloths, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils. In your invitations, instruct guests to come wearing at least one orange item of clothing and to bring birthday presents wrapped in orange paper or placed in orange gift bags. For the evening's entertainment, watch a movie with "Orange" in the title, such as "A Clockwork Orange" or" Orange County." Set up karaoke with songs with orange in the title, such as "Orange Blossom Special" by Dolly Parton, "Orange Crush" by REM and "Orange County Girls" by Gwen Stefani. Serve orange beverages like screwdrivers or orange soda. Set out orange finger foods, such as baby carrots with dip, platters of cheddar cheese cubes and bowls of Cheetos, Doritos and Cheez-Its. Have a birthday cake made that looks like a big orange.
Research the birthday month to find epic party theme inspiration. March, for example, contains many appreciations and recognitions. To name a few, it's Poetry Month, National Women's History Month and National Peanut Month. Turn this last idea in to a theme for a girlfriend who's a foodie with a Peanut Birthday Party. Cut large peanuts out of construction paper, and hang them on the walls along with balloon clusters and streamers. In your invitations, instruct guests to give peanut-themed birthday gifts, such as a bag of gourmet roasted peanuts, a box of chocolate-peanut candies, flavored peanut butters or a peanut cookbook. Give homemade peanut brittle as party favors. Work together with your friends to make from scratch a peanut-themed dinner, such as grilled lamb steaks with peanut sauce. Have a birthday cake made that looks like a big peanut. If the birthday coincides with a particular day, get similarly creative for a National Pig Day, Something on a Stick Day, Peach Blossom Day, Pecan Day or Poultry Day birthday.
Pick a particular culture to celebrate, and you'll have plenty of epic party theme options: Nigerian, Malaysian, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Senegalese, French, Italian and so many more. During the summer, throw a backyard Hawaiian birthday luau. Put up fake palm trees and tiki decorations, and play Hawaiian music. In your invitations, instruct guests to wear apparel like tank tops, grass skirts, shorts and flip flops, and hand out leis at the party for all to wear. Organize activities such as water balloon toss, ping pong and volleyball. Go truly epic, and hire experts to cook an authentic Kalua pig, which is a whole pig cooked underground in a leaf-lined pit. But, even if you can't do something that extravagant, there are plenty of traditional luau cuisine options. Spread the food table with a flowered tablecloth, and set out "pulehu" or barbecued steak, crab claws with melted butter for dipping, "poke" or seasoned raw fish, barbecued shrimp on skewers, teriyaki chicken, taro rolls and vegetable stir fry. Mix up cocktails using tropical juices like passion fruit, guava and mango, and have a birthday cake made that looks like a big pineapple.
- Photo Credit John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images
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