So to celebrate turning 24, I had a 90s party. A few people have asked me how exactly one has a 90s party so I decided to do a post with everything we did. It wasn’t anything too crazy, but everyone seemed to have fun.
I told everyone that dressing up was in no way required, but they came through anyways :) Here are a few of the costume ideas:
Grunge. By this I mainly mean flannel shirts and baggy/torn jeans. It also doesn’t hurt to tie your jacket around your waist.
Preppy 90s. Not very many people went this route, but you could do a “Clueless” look. Platform shoes, cardigans, crop tops, and the like.
Scrunchies. You may associate these with 80s but they also made appearances during the 90s. My friend Emily brought a bunch and they were a nice way to accessorize outfits.
Overalls. No one at my party went this route, but let’s be honest, we all remember these making an appearance in our lives, whether we’ll admit or not. Overalls done properly can be very 90s.
Floral dress with Doc Marten-esque shoes. This idea was from me. I went to my local thrift store (D.I.) and found a floral dress which I cut off at the knees. I then went to the shoe section and pulled out anything black and chunky. There was a lot to choose from! To finish off the look I tied a denim shirt around my waist.
I know these are the “thing” right now, but it really was fun to have one (especially since everyone dressed up). I left my digital and polaroid camera out; Everyone had a polaroid photo take home and I also kept some for me as a memento of the party. My friend Courtney showed me a great tutorial for photobooth. Basically you layer three pieces of butcher paper (I found this at a local school supply store in SugarHouse) and provide a few props. I found all my props (Giant sunglasses, beads, and fake mustaches) at the dollar store. The mustaches were definitely the favorite prop.
You can see more of our pictures in this post.
What is a 90s party without a 90s playlist? I put together a mix on Spotify and since this is a free service I was able to let party guests add their favorite songs as the night went on. If you have a Spotify account you can use this link to access my playlist: http://open.spotify.com/user/124558735/playlist/07mTk25wMoFdCbIpUn8rpk Keep in mind even with 55 songs on the playlist there are still so many more you can add ( I know this particular playlist was very light on boy bands and pop teen singers). If I left out any of your favorites I’d love to hear ’em!
If you don’t have Spotify here’s an example of some bands and songs you could include.
- Natalie Merchant; Carnival, Wonder
- Fiona Apple
- Alanis Morissete
- Ace of Base; The Sign, Don’t Turn Around, All that She Wants
- Matchbox Twenty; The Real World
- Garbage; Stupid Girl, I think I’m Paranoid
- The Cranberries; Linger
- The Cardigans; Lovefool
- Smashing Pumpkins
- Pearl Jam
- Oasis; Wonderwall. Many of my friends know I have a theory about this song. Love it or hate it, this is the song that will never die. A nuclear bomb will go off, ending humanity as we know it, and Wonderwall will still be playing somewhere in the background.
- Backstreet Boys
- New Kids on the Block
- 98 Degrees
- Britney Spears
- Christina Aguilera
- TLC; Waterfalls
- Vanilla Ice
Ok I know some people are just not game people, but I felt these games really made things “90s.” Give it a shot! Plus my first activity is technically not a game.
I also made sure I had prizes for the games. I used mostly candy and chocolate, but when I was at the dollar store I found some Lisa Frank toys (Appropriate, right?), so I threw those in as well.
90s TV Personality Quizzes
To start things off I gave everyone two personality quizzes: What 90s TV character are you? and What 90s TV Sidekick are you?
I made these quizzes myself and a lot was based on my own memory, so feel free to modify them to reflect your own memories or do a little more research. I also didn’t want to have an elaborate grading key that forced me to evaluate each person’s quiz. Instead I had people tell me if they got mostly 1s, 2s, etc. I didn’t tell them this before the quiz and most people didn’t seem to think about it or try to guess what each number represented. I also prepared a tie breaker question.
For my quizzes I used characters from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Nanny, Family Matters, Boy Meets World, Saved by the Bell, Captain Planet, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Power Rangers, Home Improvement, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Full House. A fun variation of this would be to narrow it down to even more specific genres like 90s family sitcoms, teen dramas, or 90s Nickelodeon shows.
90s Music Jeopardy
This was quite fun, although you had an unfair advantage if you knew me too well, haha. It was really more of a trivia game and I didn’t care if people answered with a question, but I used a Jeopardy style board. However I did include “Bonus Round” info that you could use to create some daily double questions. I split the group up into two teams and appointed a score keeper who kept track of things on a Furbie “scoreboard” aka a piece of paper with a Furbie on it, lol (Come on, I had to incorporate those in somewhere!). I let the first person who could sing a 90s tv theme song pick the first question.
I made the first two questions of every category fill in the blank questions. Most people, even if they weren’t that into music, had heard these songs on the radio and could get these. Plus it was fun to hear everyone singing lyrics in order to try and get to the verse in question, lol. I also prepared hints or answer options for the harder questions so that no team would get stuck on a question too long.
You’ll probably want to change the categories and questions to reflect your audience and what they know best. For my categories I choose R&B/ Pop, Angsty female singer/songwriter, Grunge Rock/Rock/Rap, Boy Bands & Pop Princesses, and Miscellaneous.
Saved by the Bell Bingo
I wanted to do some sort of game which would give us an excuse to watch Saved by the Bell, but all the games I found were drinking games which wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. So instead I took those games, watched some Saved by the Bell for inspiration, and came up with Saved by the Bell Bingo. You could basically adapt this for any 90s sitcom you loved, but the nice thing about Saved by the Bell (beside it’s general 90s awesomeness of course) is all the episodes are on Netflix instant, which makes them easy to get a hold of. I made four sample boards and then created blank ones for people to fill in themselves. For my party I used Season 2 Episode 1, Dance to the Max, but you could use almost any episode.
Here is a word doc of some of the bingo boards I made: Saved By the Bell Bingo
I didn’t try to do “90s” food, instead I went with easy party food. However, when I was researching online some people suggested incorporating candy like nerds, ring pops, and fun dip, so I threw some ring pops in my game prize bag.
Note: If you have guests with aversion to diary (My sister is vegan and I also have lactose intolerant friends) a nice alternative to traditional birthday ice cream is Haagen-Dazs fruit sorbet. I inhale this stuff; it’s amazing.
We didn’t end up needing it, but I also had a few 90s movies on hand in case we wanted to watch something at the end of the night. I also toyed with the idea of doing charades using only 90s movies titles, but we had plenty of games to keep us occupied. Here are some fun 90s movies if you need a little help in this department ( I’m partial to cheesy teen comedies, myself.):
- She’s all That (1999)
- Clueless (1995)
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996)
- 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
- Drive Me Crazy (1999)
- Never Been Kissed (1999)
- While You Were Sleeping (1995)
- My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
- Groundhog Day (1993)
- Speed (1994)
- Independence Day (1996)
- The Matrix (1999)
- The Sixth Sense (1999)
- Jerry Maguire (1996)
- Forrest Gump (1994)
- Titanic (1997)
- Happy Gilmore (1996)
- Sister Act (1992)
- Free Willy (1993)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- The Sandlot (1993)
- Toy Story (1995)
- The Lion King (1994)
Well that’s it! I hope if you are planning a 90s party this inspires you! I know we had a lot of fun and there is so much material to work with (Hello, we didn’t even get into all the 90s teen crushes everyone had; whatever happened to Jonathon Taylor Thomas anyways?)!
Currently: Enjoying a boy band playlist my friend made me in celebration of my 90s birthday!