Costume party ideas: man and woman throwing confetti in the air

Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, Halloween party, or even a retirement celebration, costume parties are one of the most entertaining ways to mark the moment. With the right costume party ideas, you can turn your one-time festivities into something you and your guests will always remember. Use these costume party ideas to inspire your event’s theme, plus discover tips and invitation designs to make your party planning easier.

22 Must-Try Costume Party Ideas

There’s no shortage of costume party ideas, so think about the occasion you’re celebrating. For instance, if you’re hosting a milestone event — such as a 21st birthday, 30th birthday, or retirement party — you could focus your costume party around the decade in which the person was born or their favorite era. (The Roaring 20s or hippie era of the 70s, perhaps?) 

To get your creativity flowing, we’ve gathered some of our favorite adult costume party ideas, ranging from themed tea parties to spooky get-togethers. Also, be sure to use our party planner to make sure everything’s squared away for your spectacular shindig.

1. Masquerade Party

Costume party ideas: Costumes & Cosmos Card

Design: Robinson Creative House

Even if it’s not Fat Tuesday, you can certainly party like it’s Mardi Gras with the help of this costume party idea. Transform your party venue into the perfect place to host a masquerade ball — with bright colors, masks, and glitzy decorations. Encourage your guests to wear something glam, then use an invite like this Costumes & Cosmos card to spread the word.

2. Harry Potter Party

Costume party ideas: Harry Potter themed party

If the guest of honor is a Harry Potter fan, this could be the perfect party idea for their next birthday or celebration. Get together to recreate the magic of Hogwarts at home with themed party decor, food and drinks, and caps and wands.

3. Alice in Wonderland Party

Don’t be late for a very important date! Host a magical tea party with an Alice in Wonderland costume party idea. Set up your party space like it’s the Mad Hatter’s tea party, with themed party decorations and scenes you love from the book or movie. This can be a lot of fun — especially if you embrace the theme with colorful, quirky decor, food, and party favors.

4. Roaring 20s Party

Costume party ideas: Art Deco Milestone Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Transport your guests back in time to the 1920s with an epic Great Gatsby-themed party. Take inspiration from the flapper style with your outfits, decorate the space with metallic streamers, and toast and dance the night away. To kick off the festivities, you can customize this scintillating Art Deco Milestone invite.

5. Disney Character Party

For all the Disney lovers out there, this makes a wonderful costume party idea. There’s no shortage of fancy dress or costume ideas with this theme — your guests can show up as their favorite Disney princess, hero from Star Wars, or their most-loved Disney creature.

6. Murder Mystery Party

Costume party ideas: Murder Mystery Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

If you’re looking for a twist on the typical Halloween party, it doesn’t get much more thrilling than a murder mystery dinner party. Set your party in a specific era and ask your guests to dress the part, then enjoy a luxurious meal while you play the game. Create suspense from the very beginning with this Murder Mystery invitation that offers plenty of space on the back for your party details. 

7. Wizard of Oz Party

Take things back to a movie classic with a Wizard of Oz costume party. Encourage your guests to join you dressed as their favorite character from the movie, and recreate the famous yellow brick road at your party venue. This is a fun opportunity for your guests to get creative and DIY their outfits, and you could even host a costume contest to celebrate their efforts.

8. Black and White Party

For a costume party idea with an air of sophistication, host a classic black and white party. This adult party theme is perfect for a luxe birthday bash or an engagement party, where you want to encourage a theme but don’t want to go overboard with bright colors or wacky costumes.

9. Country Music Party

Bach Boots Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Can’t get to Nashville? Well, then, bring Nashville to you with a country music party. This is a great theme to celebrate a country music fan’s birthday or upcoming bridal shower — especially with this matching Bach Boots invitation. Ask your guests to wear a cowboy hat and something inspired by country music, and sing and dance to your favorite country hits.

10. James Bond Party

Invite your guests to join you for an evening of mystery and luxury with a James Bond-themed party. Dress up as spies or villains and celebrate in style. This costume party idea blends sophistication with fun, and works well if you want to host it alongside a casino night party, fundraiser, or birthday celebration.

11. Game of Thrones Party

Calling all “Game of Thrones” fans — this costume party idea is one unforgettable way to celebrate your occasion! Ask everyone to join you in your own version of Westeros for an evening of themed party games and delicious food and drink, while dressing the part as their favorite character (or dragon.)

12. Hollywood Party

Art Deco Oscar Party Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Fancy a bit of glitz and glam? Take inspiration from the Oscars and host a Hollywood-themed party. Welcome your guests with a red carpet, and snap photos as they pose before entering the party or with a dedicated photo booth inside. You can also use this costume party idea to host an Oscars watch party. Complete the experience with this matching Art Deco Oscar Party invitation.

13. Toga Party

Toga! Toga! Take inspiration from your college days and host a fun toga party. This is one of those costume party ideas that’s perfect if you want to keep things affordable, as you can easily DIY your own toga costume in moments. Encourage your guests to decorate their togas and award a prize for the most creative efforts.

14. Neon Party

Neon Party Invitation

Design: Jessie Steury

Break out the glow sticks and black light — it’s time for a neon glow-in-the-dark party! This idea is like two costume party ideas in one. You could ask guests to show up in neon outfits, perhaps with a retro twist for an awesome 80s party or rad 90s theme party. Or you could ask guests to wear dark clothing that they can customize with glow-in-the-dark markers. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to have one unforgettable celebration. 

15. Grease Party

If you’re hopelessly devoted to the magic of “Grease,” why not host a party that pays tribute to this classic musical? Encourage guests to dress as their favorite character or simply don an ensemble inspired by 1950s “Grease” fashion (Hello, poodle skirts and leather biker jackets!) Let your guests choose who they want to come dressed as, and spend your time putting together the perfect playlist so everyone will join you out on the dance floor.

16. Pirate Party

Fantasy Map Invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

Set sail for uncharted lands and host a memorable night with a pirate-themed celebration. Encourage party guests to show up in pirate costumes and join you for a treasure or scavenger hunt, followed by party games and tasty pirate-themed food and drink. We love this Fantasy Map invitation for a grown-up take on a pirate party invite.

17. Dessert Party

For a costume party idea that feels unique, host a dessert dress-up party. Ask your guests to dress as their favorite desserts — either in full costume or inspired by the colors and designs. Treat your guests to cupcakes and an ice cream bar, and enjoy this unique way to celebrate a moment.

18. Zombie Apocalypse Party

For an eerie spin on a costume shindig, go all-out with a zombie apocalypse themed party. This is perfect for Halloween, but it’s also ideal as a birthday surprise for someone who loves zombie or apocalypse movies. Dress up as zombies or survivors, play themed party games, and enjoy the moment like the world’s ending around you.

19. Clown Party

Backview of 2 clowns

There are few things as polarizing as clowns. (Are they silly or scary?) Whatever side you’re on, you’ll have a blast clowning around with this costume party idea. Set the stage with lots of colorful balloons and perhaps an outdoor tent lined with food booths and games like ring toss. Consider it a circus, carnival, and clown party all rolled into one.

20. Kids TV Character Party

We all have those TV shows we remember as kids, and this party theme idea gives you the perfect chance to  pay homage. Whether it’s Barney, Bugs Bunny, or Bart Simpson, encourage attendees to dress up as their favorite character. Be sure to create a playlist of classic TV show theme songs and celebrate all the things you loved about growing up with these characters.

21. Superhero Party

Superhero Party Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

For a costume party idea that’s always a hit, host a superhero themed party and invite your guests in style with this Superhero Party invitation. Ask your party guests to either pick their favorite superhero or create their own to showcase their creativity and humor. If weather permits, consider some of these top outdoor party activities

22. Horror Movie Party

If you want to give your guests another reason to wear their Halloween costumes, host a horror movie party. Get together to watch a horror classic or a new release, and use lighting and decor to transform your at-home movie theater experience into something they won’t soon forget.

Celebrate Big with These Costume Party Ideas

Make your next costume party one of the best yet with the help of these costume party theme ideas. Find a new way to style your annual Halloween party, or choose the perfect theme for a milestone birthday party.

Once you’ve settled on a theme for your next party, use our online invitations to spread the word. Each of our party invitations can be customized — choose the layout, wording, and colors to create a design that feels completely unique to your celebration. When it’s ready, send it to your guests and manage RSVPs from one easy place.