Finally: After three years away, Stranger Things is returning in 2022, and in a big way. The show will reemerge with nine new episodes across two volumes in May and July, and each episode clocks in at more than an hour long. And what better way to celebrate Stranger Things achieving yet another watershed cultural moment than with a Stranger Things party? Below are some Stranger Things party ideas to help you throw a sci-fi bash that takes you to the Upside Down.
How to throw a Stranger Things party
A great Stranger Things bash includes party snacks and refreshments to keep everyone satisfied. Suggesting Stranger Things costumes in your party invitation can further beckon guests into your spooky yet fun environment. So can decorations that make you feel like you’re literally in the show. You can also elevate the experience with party games – or just immerse yourself in a Stranger Things viewing marathon.
Stranger Things decorations
Throwing a Stranger Things party for the ages means engrossing your guests in the experience so deeply they feel like they’re actually on the show. And that means decorating your house like the Upside Down, Hawkins Middle, the Starcourt Mall, or even the Hawkins National Laboratory if you’re feeling extra scary. Below are some convincing, immersive Stranger Things decoration ideas for your party.
1. Tree trunk portal
It’s not ‘80s Hawkins without those weird, webby tree-trunk portals into the Upside Down. You can create that effect with some Halloween-party spider webs and LED strip lights that you wrap around an opening in a big cardboard box.
You can set your LEDs to glow entirely in red to make your portal especially spooky, or you can go all-white to fully mimic the portals. Either way, setting up your strip is easy. Just peel off the backing, wrap it around your “tree trunk,” and keep away, so you don’t encounter any Demogorgons.
2. Red nebula and star lights
Think about Stranger Things’ visuals. What are the first colors that come to mind? Chances are you’re either seeing the steely gray of the Upside Down or the horror-film red of the intro credits. Nebula and star lights can infuse your entire party space with the latter hue. It’ll be like walking into the credits and knowing that your Stranger Things adventure is about to begin.
The Sky Lite 2.0 is a nebula and star light great for any Stranger Things-themed event. You can shine a red nebula under shimmering stars to achieve that signature Stranger Things color. If you’d rather set the scene under rural Indiana’s glowing, light-pollution-free night skies, you can set the Sky Lite 2.0 to resemble that too. And you can do it all from your phone – you’ll guide all your guests into ‘80s Hawkins right from your pocket.
BlissLights Stranger Bundle
Shine a galaxy of red stars and a vibrant multicolor cloud.
3. Cassette tapes and vinyl
What does Jonathan love more: Nancy or his mixtapes? It doesn’t matter – you can bring both to the party, with a Nancy costume alongside cassette tape and vinyl record decorations. You can adorn your party area with a few tapes and records you buy secondhand or make your own cassette mixtapes. Just make sure that your mixtapes include “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – and that the whole room can hear them.
4. Red glowing lights
Picture this: You’re watching a scene where someone is walking down a dark corridor, with only a bit of red light occasionally flashing. Chances are you’re at the edge of your seat, your hands gripping the arms of your chair as you prepare for a jump-scare. That’s why red glowing lights are a great Stranger Things party idea. As they fade in and out, they’ll playfully immerse your party in the fear that comes with avoiding the Mind Flayer at all costs.
You can use the BlissRadia to add this glowing red light to your Stranger Things birthday party, viewing party, or any other Hawkins-themed occasion. The BlissRadia includes a Breath setting that’s a red light that fades in and out, evoking that classic sci-fi-horror fear. Connect the BlissRadia to your phone for ultimate control – in just a few taps, you can turn everything upside-down.
BlissRadia Smart LED Mood Light
From desktop to bedside, light the way to concentration, stimulation, or relaxation.
5. Alphabet and Christmas lights
Alphabet and Christmas lights can further elevate the red vibes at your Stranger Things party. For example, you can wrap Christmas string lights around your tree trunk portal to emphasize it and give it that must-have red hue. You can spell out messages of doom with your alphabet lightbox or spell out something shorter with marquee letter lights. Both types of lights let you get as creative as The Party when they face off in D&D.
A great Stranger Things party could include a game where you navigate the Upside Down. That’s a lot easier if you have flashlights lying around as decorations. Scatter a few flashlights around your party space to enhance the mystery-solving vibe, then take them with you when it’s game time. With good lighting, you’re way less likely to get tangled up in vines.
7. Mind Flayer wall decoration
Inviting the Mind Flayer to your party can truly bring Stranger Things to your space. You could buy a Mind Flayer poster to hang on your wall or paint his likeness there (assuming you can easily paint over it later). Or you could find your own favorite Mind Flayer scene and print it in a gigantic size that covers a whole wall. Your goal: Make sure the most terrifying creature of them all is right there with you the whole time.
Snacks for a Stranger Things party
It’s not a party without snacks for the whole crowd to munch on as everyone goes hunting for Will. Here’s what to serve at your Stranger Things party.
1. Retro candy
Your candy choices can add a dash of retro dazzle to your Stranger Things party. Pop rocks, Razzles, and other retro candy can bring the era home while satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth. You can stash your candy in your tree trunk portals to raise the stakes of enjoying all your favorite treats.
Cupcakes are eternal crowd-pleasers that transcend time. Lots of people love their delicate icing and dense, moist cakes. Plus, since each cupcake is for exactly one person, you won’t have to keep a knife and paper plates around like with a full-sized cake. You can also make your cupcakes part of your Stranger Things decor with Eleven or Mind Flayer cupcake toppers.
Soda is a timeless party classic that can make everyone at your party feel like a kid again. Grab a liter each of a few of your favorite sodas, then keep them in reach near ice cubes and plastic cups. Place this setup near all your other snacks so your guests can enjoy a refreshing drink right alongside their favorite treats. Bonus points if you find TaB soda – it’s an ‘80s staple that, though hard to come by, can drop you right back into the era.
Two or three pizza pies at the edge of your snack table are sure to keep the Stranger Things party going. That’s especially true if you get pizzas that work for everyone such as meatless pizza, vegan pizza, and gluten-free pizza. Sure, some of these pizzas probably didn’t exist in Hawkins in the ‘80s. But a great Stranger Things party uses the best of the present-day for a blast to the past.
5. Eggo waffle bar
An Eggo waffle bar can help everyone enjoy the night with a meal The Party might’ve eaten to start their days. Plug in your toaster oven, place a box of frozen waffles next to it, and keep your toppings handy nearby. Maple syrup, whipped cream, and berries can be a more grown-up option, but for that retro kids’ breakfast vibe, you can get more creative. Ice cream and other sweets that soak into the waffle can put the right taste on your tongue.
6. Toaster pastries
Toaster pastries like Pop-Tarts are maybe the easiest throwback breakfast-at-night snack. You and your guests can enjoy them right out of the box or throw them in your toaster for a few minutes. Either way, they’ll take you all back to childhood and place you right in the shoes of Stranger Things’ young protagonists. White and blue Pop-Tarts can be an especially fun choice to match Dustin’s unmistakable hat if someone dresses up as him.
Stranger Things costumes
It’s easier to immerse yourself in the Strangest Things universe when all your party guests look like all your favorite characters. To that end, below are some convincing costume ideas for your Stranger Things party.
With Eleven, you have all kinds of costume options. Sensory-deprivation Eleven, typical-teenager El from season three, gothed-out “The Lost Sister” Eleven – easily more than one person could show up as everyone’s favorite psychokinetic teen. Whoever plays Eleven should be prepared to occasionally switch your lights on and off to mimic her abilities.
A bowl-cut wig, yellow tee, denim vest, and regular old tan pants are all anyone needs to show up as season-one Mike. Striped polos – especially retro-looking ones – should also do the trick. Ditching the bowl cut for shoulder-length wavy hair is also a solid option for bringing out the older Mike of recent seasons. So too is being relentless about finding Will.
A camo headband, a reddish-brown jacket with a fur collar, and a trusty backpack can turn anyone into Lucas. Anyone who dresses as this Stranger Things all-star should be sure to sit down for a few good rounds of Dungeons and Dragons too. The more characters in the room, the more immersive your Stranger Things experience.
Perhaps the most iconic of the Stranger Things kids fashion-wise, there’s just no mistaking Dustin’s red, white, and blue hat and curly hair. A wig and a hat with a tee and vest that scream ‘80s adolescent style are the essence of this costume. Even better: one of those headsets with the big microphone that Dustin loves. Just make sure the Dustin in your group doesn’t accidentally bring Dart into your house.
Your guests can dress as early-seasons Steve if they want to transform from bully to hero in real-time. Or, for a more iconic look, they can show up as ice-cream parlor Steve from season three. That look is especially easy to pull off – Scoops Ahoy costumes abound on the internet. Just know that the short shorts might leave you shivering a bit in the Upside Down if your decorations successfully transport everyone there.
If anything, Steve’s trusty co-worker and best friend Robin is the one who made the Scoops Ahoy outfit iconic in the first place. Her version of the outfit involves a white-and-blue striped tee and that unforgettable blue vest and red bandana. Encourage anyone who shows up as her to practice that “so over it” stare and vocal fry. Or you could just have them scoop all the ice cream at your waffle bar.
Nancy might be the most creative and open-ended costume option of all. Her hairstyle and fashion change substantially over the seasons, so dressing as her gives you the opportunity to cast yourself in any light. One constant the costume needs: a pen and pad to perfect that investigative journalism chic. A Nancy costume is the perfect excuse to ask questions to anyone and everyone at the party for a fun bonding time.
Dressing as Billy Hargrove is a Stranger Things twist on the classic Halloween lifeguard costume. Show up with a whistle, a pair of sepia shades, and a mop of curly, auburn hair, and you’re ready to go. But don’t bring Billy’s attitude to the party – you’re best off sticking to the last-moment-hero version of him who – spoiler alert if you haven’t seen Season 3 – sacrificed himself for Eleven at the Starcourt Mall.
Arguably the most iconic Stranger Things character besides Eleven, Hopper should make himself known at any Stranger Things night to remember. He’s also a flexible costume choice – you can dress as Chief of Police Hopper, Russian prisoner Hopper, or anything in between. Pulling off this costume means being completely fearless in the face of all your party’s terrifying Demogorgons and Mind Flayers.
It may have taken a bit for the Hawkins gang to warm up to Billy’s step-sister Max, but she’s become quite an important character in the Stranger Things universe. Your redheaded guests are in luck – all it takes is a retro striped tee, denim shorts, and maybe even a skateboard to make a convincing Maxine Mayfield.
Stranger Things party games
If you’re throwing your party to celebrate the new season of Stranger Things, binge-watching it all can be your main party activity. But what if all that TV gets too draining, or what if your party is happening between seasons? In that case, try playing the below Stranger Things party games.
1. Guess that Stranger Things quote
Test everyone’s knowledge of your party theme with some Stranger Things trivia. You can go as obvious as Eleven’s “Friends don't lie” or as deep as “Only love makes you that crazy, sweetheart, and that damn stupid.” Do you know who said that last one? If not, you can probably see how this game could quickly become the life of the party.
2. Dungeons and Dragons
“The Party” in Stranger Things isn’t your typical bash – it’s Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin’s Dungeons and Dragons group. And later, it expands to include Eleven and Max. So with at least four to six people present, your party – as in, event – is a great time to play the Party’s favorite game. A tabletop and plenty of time are all you need to transport the whole group right to Mike’s basement.
3. Upside Down Marco Polo
You know the game: “Marco!” “Polo!” Now, imagine how much your shouts would echo in the Upside Down. And then, think back to when everyone went looking for Will there. At your party, turn off the lights and recreate this pivotal moment. Have someone play as Will and others as everyone who searched for him, and keep on shouting for each other until you’re reunited.
4. ‘80s trivia and board games
A true blast to the past means fully immersing yourself in the era. That could mean everyone at the party quizzing each other on big facts and events from the ‘80s. Or it could mean breaking out all the popular ‘80s board games that you may not have played in a while– Battleship, Sorry, Hungry Hungry Hippos – you name it. Think of it as Stranger Things board game night – a low-stakes, fun time that takes you back to the beginning.
5. Bike race
Lots of parties happen entirely indoors, so getting outdoors for a bike race can set your night apart. It’s also exactly what The Party does time and again to go on all their missions in Hawkins. And if your whole group shows up in costumes, a bike ride around town is sure to get all eyes on you. Once you’re all back from the bike ride, plop down, relax, throw on the TV, and lose yourself in the Upside Down.
Throw a great Stranger Things party with BlissLightsA Stranger Things event goes from an ordinary gathering to an unforgettable experience when costumed partygoers enjoy games and snacks in a well-decorated space. On the latter front, BlissLights are a great choice for that emblematic Stranger Things red and other spooky lighting choices. Browse the BlissLights collection now to take your party to Hawkins, the Upside Down, and far beyond.
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