There was a time when costume parties were primarily for children. You might have seen fathers and mothers trailing their costumed kids at a discreet distance as their charges went trick or treating. Over the last twenty years, however, adult costume parties have become an increasingly common activity in their own right. This has opened up a whole new industry geared toward providing costumes and other party supplies for adult revelers. Themes that Shape Your Party While having everyone come up with their own costume ideas can be fun, a theme is a good way to get your guests interested in your party. Some popular themes include a cowboy/cowgirl theme, or more generally, a western theme. Not everyone would have to dress as a sheriff, as there are also train robbers, 49rs and frontiersmen to choose from. A roaring twenties theme that evokes the characters of the novel “The Great Gatsby” is another fun idea. This theme could be expanded to include gangsters with toy guns. This is a glamorous choice that will have people wearing suits and dresses. You can add to the ambiance with soft lighting, period music, and popular drinks from the era. A slightly younger crowd might appreciate a movie character themed party. These can either be wide-open parties, encompassing all movies, or they can be targeted to genres such as science fiction and fantasy. Playing movies enhances the experience. Bobbing for Apples is for Bobby Bobbing for apples and pinning the tail on the donkey are fine for kids’ parties and you can certainly give them a go at your adult party, but you can also try more sophisticated games. For example, if you are having a gangster themed party, you could set up a murder mystery game that has guests searching for clues to solve the crime. A pirate themed party could be augmented with the addition of a treasure hunt, complete with old treasure maps where “X” marks the spot. Everybody likes to win a contest, so having a costume contest with a number of winners and prizes can liven your party up and add to the drama. The costumes can be broken up into categories like best homemade, best store bought, most creative, and best couple’s. Either let the host or hostess pick a winner or have all the contestants cast their own ballots. Or, you could just bob for beers. Details Make the Party The costumes are certainly the focus of the party, but there are other ways to make the festivities complete. Food is always a welcome addition to any party and you can take the opportunity to build menus that enhance the theme. For example, a western themed party might serve grilled meats, fresh-made biscuits and beans. Guests could wash the grub down with beer, whiskey and strong coffee. A roaring twenties party would feature much more extravagant cuisine, such as chow mein and spaghetti and meatballs (Chinese and Italian food was considered chic party fare in this era). To help with the illusion, try to hide reminders of the modern world: cover up the television and put the laptop away. Get the old record player out of the attic and dust off your record collection. Paying attention to the details can really bring the party together and ensure everyone has a good time. This article was written by Briar McLachaln. She loves a good party, whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or a party to ring in the new year, she think a costume is always a great idea.