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Theme Parties

Thought that I'd share with you the theme parties that I did last year and the ones that I have planned for this year. I'd love to hear about your special themed events, so feel free to brag about your best ones!
  • An Evening in Paris
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
    Breakfast at Tiffany's staff
  • Enjoying Italian
  • Arabian Nights 
    Arabian Night Stage show

  • Fish 'N Fun
  • Tax-time Blues  
  • Country Club 
  • Coney Island  
  • Asian Adventure
  • Photo Spot for Asian Adventure


  1. Love,love,love some of your ideas! What did you do for Tax Time Blues and Coney Island? We have a woman who was an extra in the movie, "Picnic", starring Wm Holden and Kim Novak. It was filmed near here. Her wish was to have been a real movie star, so we got the movie, rolled out the red carpet, gave her an Oscar and a Hollywood star, & provided meals for everyone in picnic boxes. When she walked down the red carpet everyone applauded and we had several cameras taking pictures with the flash so she could get the feel of having paparazzi snapping her photo!We had celebrity tape around her table for she and her family. She was thrilled and very pleased. We also had a "take the cake" party, where families, staff and residents contributed cakes and were judged for cash prizes. Had entertainment going on both during the judging and the eating afterward. We're planning a "mashed potato bar" for February. Will have mashed potatoes with yummy toppings and plenty of desserts and entertainment. The website I found for the mashed potato bar is . I'm sure you have probably already tried this, but it was new to this part of Kansas. We always have a holiday gala. We do something called " Pie in July" where we provide the pie and ice cream on a Sunday afternoon and have entertainment. A group called " Wrinkle Box Players" is a local accordion band, and they are awesome. For our "wild hogs" party, we served bbq pork, invited the American Legion Freedom Riders ( aka Patriot Guard when riding and standing guard at funerals), and showed the movie "Wild Hogs" a couple of years ago. Did this close to Veterans Day and the Freedom Riders paid homage to all our Vets. Such a humbling and soul filling experience. Of course we have done the fashion show at Mother's Day, (using some of our lady residents as models)and had an antique car show in the parking lot on Father's Day. Did an Okto"bear" Fest a couple of years in a row, where we let the community know we were collecting stuffed animals as a service project- provided a magic show and simple carnival (like a school carnival) and donated the stuffed animals to the police departments in several nearby towns, as well as stocking the hospital pediatrics ward. Our two year total was over 1500 stuffed toys- and we donated so many that they had difficulty finding a place to store them till they could be used. Thanks for your ideas! Sue

  2. Just thought of one more that could really be a hoot for you- we do a Derby the week of the Kentucky Derby. I make a giant track by putting masking tape on the floor in the shape of small "x's". Usually have about 100 of them, and they circle our foyer, fireplace room, dining room and back into foyer. I use real people for the horses. Sometimes we have "celebrity" horses and sometimes the residents, themselves, are the "horses". We choose funny names for them and dress them in silly hats or shirts. The other residents choose which "horse" they want to bet on. We sing "Home on the Range" before we start, and toss a coin to see who goes first. The horses move by a designated roller, rolling big fuzzy dice. There is lots of cheering and chatting and silliness! The ladies who come to watch wear their red hats- and we serve mint chocolate chip milk shakes afterward. The first horse to cross the finish line makes a victory lap with a big spray of artificial roses around his/her neck, and I give a $20 gift card to the winner. The people who bet on the winning horse get 100,000 grand candy bars! You can modify it - enlarge it- serve a different refreshment- maybe you have a race track near you that you can use for inspiration? Sue

  3. Wow! You have some great ideas!! Thank you for sharing them. The two themes, Tax-time Blues and Coney Island are events that will happen in 2011. Tax-time Blues will be held in April. I'm going to ask the residents to dress as hobos, bag-ladies, etc. The food will be "depression delights" yet to be determined. The entertainment will be a jug band. For Coney Island, we will play carnival games or games like the popular tv show, Minute to Win It. The entertainment will be a duo that are good at doo woop and other styles. It should be a fun night.
    Thanks again for your ideas. I think I will work on a few of them. (and no, I haven't tried the mashed potato idea yet).
    I hope you come back to my site often since I plan to update it often and would love to hear from you again. You have a lot to offer.

  4. These are all FABULOUS ideas! Here are some of mine to share:
    Academy Awards Night. Red and Gold Balloons and tablecloths. Culinary prepares a nice menu. Popcorn boxes with “fluff” and stars shooting out of them as centerpieces. We decorate with movie posters and red and gold stars. Red carpet at dining room entrance and take pictures of residents coming in like we are paparazzi and they are the stars. Have “Plantation’s Brightest Stars” superlatives where residents vote on categories such as “Community Clown,” “Most Charming,” “Best Conversationalist,” “Most Plantation Estates Spirit,” “Energizer Bunny,” “Lifts Your Spirits” “Best Dressed,” etc in both male and female categories. One year we played a CD of familiar songs from old movies, I believe another we hired a pianist. One year we announced superlative winners during dinner and had them come up to accept their awards. Another year our Line Dance group did a show called “A Star Studded Event” at 7 pm and we announced winners throughout the show between sets. Winners get a little gift (usually movie candy/popcorn/soda) and a mini oscar trophy with their title.

    April in Paris
    Blue and white gingham table cloths (French bistro-y) Empty wine bottles as centerpieces with labels saying “Chateau de “insert various Culinary managers names here.” There was a “wine” (white/red sparkling grape juice) and cheese reception in the Atrium. Two residents volunteered to dress as French maids and went around with small trays of “wine” for everyone. I also made boards with the top ten artworks from the Louvre with a photo and info about the artwork and had a “Masterpieces of the Louvre” artwalk in the Atrium before dinner. We purchased a huge, lovely backdrop that looked like it could be outside a Parisian bistro, borrowed a bistro set from a resident, and did photo ops in the dining room in front of the backdrop.
    Christmas in July. We tie this in with a food drive for a local Help Center. Our “kick off”to the drive is the Christmas in July theme party. Residents can donate all week, but if they donate between 4:00 and 5:30 on our Christmas in July theme night, they get a raffle ticket for a special prize to be given away during dinner that night. Since this is a social accountability/donation project, the prize is a gift basket of gift certificates various PE departments donate such as “one free laundry service” from ACTS Home Health or “$25 off any housekeeping service” or “$10 off any maintenance service” and “one free guest meal” in culinary. We fluff it up with dollar store stuff like fiddle faddle and hard candies. They usually get one raffle ticket PER 5 items donated.

    Western Night. Red and White checker table cloths. Blue napkins stuffed in glasses. Hired a strolling fiddle and banjo player. Before dinner, serve root beer in the Atrium at a “Saloon.” The PE Line Dance Group performed special country-western dances during dinner. Made “Wanted’ posters of staff to display all around with catchy names and descriptions. Fried chicken, BBQ, potato wedges, corn, etc work well for this one. We had a country folk singer for entertainment in the Auditorium at 7PM.

    Tacky Night- Go CRAZY! This is so easy and fun. I put out cow print latex balloons on tables and random mylars (holidays, get well, congrats, happy bday, etc- anything goes)Red, blue and green gingham tablecloths on the tables. Encouraged residents to dress as tacky as possible. Put raffle tickets on each table place setting and winners got tacky prizes (tacky hats, mason jars, scented trash bags). Entertainment was a little tricky because you don't want to insult your entertainer with saying they are tacky, but I got an Elvis impersonator to come in and sing- it was a hoot. Oh, and for centerpieces I used a variety of things- mostly toilet paper rolls and some small plastic pink flamingos on stakes. Decor can be old Christmas lights, crepe paper, or anything really.

  5. Love your ideas too! I've done some of these themes before, but hearing new ideas for the same theme is neat! I really like the tacky theme. I've never taken it that far before. And the idea about tying in a theme event with the food drive is perfect since we do a food drive also.... which usually comes thru the administration office and has nothing really to do with me..... but could! Thanks for posting these!

  6. Stephanie, I totally love the "Tacky" theme! Soooo many possibilities here! Love the Academy Awards night theme, too! Will have to get busy and make that one happen! What kind of community do you work in? Where are you located? Gosh, I am always so happy to hear what talented, creative people are doing in the activity field- we don't have to re-invent the wheel if we have great resources like you and Martha! Sue


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