Do you want to know the easiest way to make your next dinner party a hit? Build the entire event by using one of these fun dinner party themes. Discover 60 fun dinner party ideas along with tips for planning the entire evening so it goes off without a hitch.
- What is a Themed Party?
- How to Host
- Expert Tips for Planning a Themed Dinner Party
- Dinner Party Ideas by Cuisine
- Seasonal Dinner Party Themes
- The Classics and Unique Dinner Party Themes
- Sports-Themed Dinner Parties
- Dinner Parties by Type of Food
- Themes Perfect for Families
- More Party Theme Ideas For Adults
I love planning and throwing parties! Whether it's an intimate gathering with family and close friends or bigger events for church groups or neighborhood friends, I love them all!!
Over the years, I've discovered that building the event around a theme makes it easier to put together the entire party. I plan out the food, decorations, and location all with a theme in mind.
Some of my favorite party dinner ideas are built around cuisines I really enjoy and want to share with others such as an Indian or Italian dinner party. While the most popular themed parties I've hosted are a Masters Golf party or a Mexican dinner party.
First, let's start with the basics and get organized, and then discover amazing party ideas you can use for your next gathering to make sure everyone is talking about your event for weeks to come.
What is a Themed Party?
A themed dinner party features food and decorations all related to one theme such as a type of cuisine or nationality, a movie, a game or a particular sport, a season of the year, a time in history, and much more.
Really, the possibilities are endless, and the more creative you can get the better.
Why Have a Themed Dinner Party?
There are lots of reasons to add a theme to your party!
- People love to dress up in costumes!
- A great way to make a special occasion unforgettable.
- Make it easier to plan!
- All the food follows the theme!
- An easy way to add games and activities!
- Ties everything together to make a truly memorable event.
- Ensures your guests have a great time together.
Types of Themed Dinner Parties
The first thing you need to consider is what type of dinner party you want to host. This may depend on the number of guests you plan to invite or how much space you have in your living room or dining room. A few things to consider:
- Catered: Hiring out the food makes it easier for you to enjoy the event and works great for groups of all sizes but especially for a crowd.
- Potluck: Have everyone bring food that goes along with the dinner party theme.
- Plan and cook: Doing it all yourself brings a personal touch to the event and is perfect for smaller budgets and easier for smaller groups.
- Seated elegant dinner party: Will everyone be able to sit? Space may prohibit everyone from having a seat which may influence the menu. If guests need to eat standing up try to include foods that can easily be eaten with fingers or a fork alone.
- Appetizers or Meal? A dinner party doesn't need to be just the traditional three courses, of meat, starch, and vegetable. Serving up a variety of substantial and hearty appetizers can also work for parties around meal times as well.
How to Host
Throwing a themed dinner party takes a little bit of organization at first. However, the good part about having a themed dinner is it narrows down your choices for what to serve and how to decorate.
It also makes it easier to choose activities centered around the food and your theme.
The first step is formulating a plan. It doesn't need to be elaborate and a simple brainstorming session is great to get the ball rolling. I have a brain dump page that is perfect to use when brainstorming. Download it in my free party planner!
Get this Free Printable Party Planner to help you easily throw a fun and memorable party. This planner will keep the process of planning a party easy and includes the following.
- Brainstorming and party details sheet
- Day of the party schedule
- Count down to-do checklist
- Party space grid planner sheet
- Free printable banner with letters
Keep everything organized by using them to create a party binder to keep all your ideas in one place.
More About Hosting a Great Dinner Party
If you have been hosting dinner parties for years or are new to opening your home to guests, you will enjoy fresh ideas and tips on hosting in these books.
More Than Just the Food!
After you've done your brainstorming, settled on a theme, and have your party binder ready, it's time to start planning.
- Map out the menu.
- Plan out decorations including a color theme, a fun place setting, and more creative ideas.
- Create a music playlist.
- Choose some fun party favors to hand out.
- Create a signature cocktail for the type of theme you choose.
- Design and send the dinner party invitations.
Expert Tips for Planning a Themed Dinner Party
- Plan out your guest list early. Knowing how many guests are attending will influence many different considerations for the event. Whether it's seated or standing, a buffet or served dinner, and whether or not there are kids in attendance will all influence the menu you decide to throw.
- Need some inspiration? Use the list below to get the creative juices flowing!
- Stay organized. Use my party planner or at least keep everything in one place such as a notebook.
- Have fun and enjoy making memories with your favorite people!
Dinner Party Ideas by Cuisine
Now we get to the fun part! Looking for the perfect theme for your dinner party. Planning an event around a particular cuisine is likely one of the most popular and easiest ideas to use.
Finding recipes related to a particular theme can easily be done online or using cookbooks. Here are some of my favorites.
Mexican Dinner Party
Italian Dinner Party
Be sure and make my favorite, Italian Herb Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread too.
Hawaiian Luau Party
A Hawaiian luau party makes a fun and exciting summertime beach party and it's perfect for backyard dinner parties.
Sushi is easy to eat whether standing or sitting and it also can be a fun party activity. For smaller groups, you can provide all the ingredients and let everyone roll up their own sushi rolls.
Moroccan Dinner Party
Host a Moroccan party with foods flavored with rich spices. The cuisine is influenced by many different types of cultures and is famous for its street food stands.
French Inspired Dinner Party
France is renowned for its cuisine. This dinner party idea is perfect for more upscale, elegant events or a casual affair serving a menu with hearty selections.
The Blonde Abroad has all the details that will help you throw a French-inspired Dinner Party including everything from music, lighting, decor, and recipes.
Greek Dinner Party
Indian Dinner Party
An Indian-themed dinner party is perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters! The cuisine is filled with tasty vegetarian dishes such as Toor Dal. You can easily mix and match a menu that will make everyone happy!
Irish-Themed Dinner Party
You can host this event any time of year or use it to put together a fun and festive St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Seasonal Dinner Party Themes
Holidays are the perfect time of year to have parties and you will find our favorites listed below! In addition, discover new exciting seasonal ideas that might work depending on the time of year of your party.
Chinese New Year
Ring in the Chinese New Year with all your favorite dishes! Cook on your own, order takeout, or do a combination of the two!
These Asian Noodles Lao Gan Ma are quick and easy to make and will work for groups!
Valentine's Day is a time of sweet indulgences, however, if you want to serve something sweet and more on the healthy side then try these Vegan Dark Chocolate Strawberry Tarts. They have the perfect combination of fresh fruity strawberries and rich dark chocolate and are gluten-free, with no refined sugars or dairy
Don't forget to offer a Love Potion Cocktail to make things even more fun! If you want to skip the romantic dinner party this year, consider these ideas!
Mardi Gras Dinner Party
Throw a Mardi Gras-themed party during the time leading up to Lent, usually in February or March. Fat Tuesday, the most famous celebration takes place on the day before Lent kicks off.
Spring Themed Party Ideas
Say goodbye to winter and celebrate the arrival of Spring with a dinner party. Serve up popular spring ingredients including asparagus, peas, artichokes, and fennel.
Summer Themed Dinner Party
Celebrate the summertime with these summer-inspired party ideas especially if you're looking for something beyond a basic backyard BBQ.
Discover everything you need for a colorful dinner gathering at home from decorations to a delicious menu.
This German festival takes place in September and October. It's a fun way to enjoy some delicious German beer and food with friends and family.
Fall Harvest Dinner Party
Creating a party around foods popular in the Fall months is a great way to kick off the fall and holiday celebrations.
Here are some ideas for hosting a Thanksgiving party that's a little different from every other year.
Winter Dinner Party Theme
Plan a winter-themed dinner party any time during the winter months! You can use these ideas to plan a custom Christmas or New Year's party or simply a fun-themed gathering during the winter.
The Classics and Unique Dinner Party Themes
Backyard Dinner Party
Create a fun and easy outdoor party with these healthy Backyard Dinner Party Ideas and decorating tips. It's an easy casual dinner party that your friends and family will enjoy.
Speakeasy Dinner Party
A fun theme to make your guests feel like they are a part of something a little bit exciting and secretive! You definitely want to offer a signature cocktail for a speakeasy event such as this Ginger Pear Cocktail or a fun and fruity Azalea Cocktail.
Farm to Table Dinner Party
A farm-to-table dinner party really highlights fresh, simple produce that's in season. This event works best for the summer months when more garden-fresh ingredients are available.
Cocktail Party Ideas
Southern Style Dinner
No one does parties like southerners! The food is downright delicious, hearty, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Wine Pairing Dinner Menu
Build a dinner party around your favorite wines! I prefer this party idea for smaller, more intimate gatherings but it could work for larger groups as well.
Virtual Dinner Party
Get together with friends and family from other cities and countries by hosting a virtual dinner party! These became all the rage during the pandemic but actually can be a fun way to get together with people you love who live a bit further away.
Sports-Themed Dinner Parties
Watching the big game is always more fun with friends but the ideas go well beyond just football. Here are a few of my favorites!
Masters Golf Party
Throwing a Masters Dinner Party with your golf enthusiast friends will be easy with plenty of Masters party ideas. Learn simple decorating tips, ideas for what to wear, and recipes to help you serve traditional foods from the Masters.
Serve famous recipes from Augusta.
- Masters Pimento Cheese Recipe
- The Masters Egg Salad
- 7 Famous MASTERS Golf Tournament Recipes You Must Try
- Augusta National Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Pimento Cheese Crackers (using the Masters Pimento Cheese recipe)
- Arnold Palmer Drink
- The Masters Peach Ice Cream Sandwich
Gameday Dinner Party
Host a Game Day Dinner Party when the next big game comes on TV. These game day party food bars are fun and easy to feed a crowd while watching your favorite team play. Get tips for decorating, setting up a foobar, and recipe ideas for the next big game day.
Basketball Dinner Party Ideas
This is perfect for March Madness, a basketball watch party, or even a fun kid's birthday.
Dinner Parties by Type of Food
Ever heard of breakfast for dinner? This theme can be used for more than just breakfast or brunch! Many of these menus work really well for groups that include children and adults.
I love to offer up 3-4 different flavored soups and a few toppings as well. Try some of these Reader's Favorite Soup Recipes.
A soup party is perfect for medium to large groups and works great as a potluck too!
Chili Cook-Off Dinner
Hosting a chili dinner is a great opportunity to have a chili cook-off. Have all your guests bring a small pot of their best chili recipe. Pick some judges and award prizes for the best tasting, spiciest, and most unique. This would be so much fun and easy on the hostess.
For some unique chili ideas that are sure to be a winner try one of these.
- Copycat Texas Roadhouse Chili
- Authentic Cincinnati Chili
- Vegan White Bean Chili
- Wendy's Copycat Chili Recipe
DIY Pizza Party
Pizza is a family favorite and this party theme works great for groups of adults or even mixed-age groups. You lay out the toppings and everyone gets to make their own pizza just the way they want it!
Fondue is a fun and tasty way to serve dinner for a smaller group of friends and family.
Themes Perfect for Families
Here are some party ideas that work great for families or groups with smaller children attending. There's lots of flexibility for decorations, games, and menus to make sure everyone enjoys the event.
Disney Dinner Parties
Murder Mystery Dinners
Enjoy dinner and let everyone work together to solve a mystery! Discover all you need to know!
Everything you need for throwing an unforgettable dinner party, including recipes, place cards, and a well-thought-out murder. This entertaining kit is wonderful for breaking the ice between new friends or adding a new angle to a gathering of old buddies, setting the stage for each guest to play a role as a suspect in a mystery set in California wine country. Kit includes a party planner including a menu with themed recipes, music and decorating tips, eight place cards, and invitations, and booklets for all suspects including their roles and background information. The mystery unfolds along with your evening, with a CD that gets things rolling and six secret clues you reveal along the way. Six to eight players.
Medieval Times Feast
More Party Theme Ideas For Adults
- Best Kickback Party Ideas, Games & Food
- The Best "Fun" Adult Birthday Party Ideas
- 50 Mexican Party Theme Ideas and Recipes
- Ultimate List For Party Bus Themes
- Game Day Party Food Bars
- Easy Indian Dinner Party Ideas and Recipes
- Favorite Adult Christmas Party Ideas and Games For 2022
- Fun & Unique Couples Dinner Party Ideas & Themes
This post was originally posted in April 2021 but was updated in June 2022 for content and more party ideas.