Shine Bright, 90s Style: Your Glow Party Planning Guide

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Last Updated on September 6, 2023

Feel like throwing a party? Why not a glow party like the ones we used to have in the 90s? If you love watching old movies and feel the nostalgia creeping in whenever cool kids got a glowing rave… This is your chance! Get transported back in time to the era of neon, rad beats, and fluorescent lights! 

In this article, I will guide you through the essentials of throwing an amazing 90s neon party that will guarantee your friends and guests have the most amazing time of their lives!
A bowling alley with neon lights

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Setting the (Neon) Scene

Creating the proper setting is key to any party, everyone knows this, but this is particularly true when it comes to a 90s glow party. A room with colorful lights

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This kind of party is nothing without the proper ambience… So maybe, you are thinking that putting together the right decorations is a huge chore, and that the task is absolutely beyond you, or something like that. I feel you. I really do, but, worry not! I gotcha covered. You’ll see that it’s not so hard to pull it off!

First, start by setting a ton of black lights and glow-in-the-dark decorations. Anything works, from splotches of glow paint on the walls, graffities, tape, you name it! 

Despite how basic it sounds; these are all key to getting the room looking like you want it. Details are not important, no one will see them in the dark! But getting the right pop of color here and there will work wonders to get the right mood going. 

How can you do that? I knew you’d ask! Hang neon streamers or neon signs right by the entrance to create an epic first impression, create a balloon arch using a tight corridor or hang fringes along the walls! 

You can also scatter glow sticks around the floor or give your guests glowing bracelets to wear. The goal is to create an immersive, fluorescent new world (you could even spray fluorescent paint on plants or splatter the walls… The sky is the limit!) that takes everyone along for the ride back to the neon-filled 90s.

90s Glow Party Outfits

There’s no party without the proper fashion outfit! Remember that colors and clothing work differently in a black-light environment: white cloth will shine through, while all other colors darken, unless you use fluorescent fabrics. Remember to encourage your guests to wear glow-in-the-night clothing for a better effect!

They should also remember to dress the part and add items from the 90s: neon colors (duh, right? But some people may forget!), fanny packs, slap bracelets, scrunchies, and oversized denim jackets are just some of the cool items they can add to their outfits for a retro feel.A table with many different colored objects

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If you feel like your friends might not remember to dress the part, give them some neon accessories to wear when they arrive at the party. 

Necklaces, bracelets, glasses and headbands are all great ideas, and they can easily rock them all night while adding fun lights to the party!

Glowing Games and Activities

Glow-paint! Need I say more? I mean, yeah dancing the night away to 90s hits is important and kind of the main event, but we all need a breather now and then, right? So, why not have a painting corner where everyone can draw on each other some cool fluorescent designs?A long hallway with black walls and black floor

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Another great idea is to draw fun games on the floor! Fancy some skipping along? Or maybe you remember the famous Twister? (Also known as a great excuse to get close or in compromising positions with your love interest.) Isn’t that a great idea? 
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If you want something even more chill, or something to pass the time while everyone gets there, you can also set up a corner with sofas and a table with a little light and some card games, like 90s Lyric Challenge.

It’s a great icebreaker and it will get people reminiscing about 90s songs that you can all dance to later!

Radioactive Snacks and Drinks

I mean like glow-in-the-dark, right? Let’s not get any crazy ideas! Just make those drinks feel like from out of space with eerie colors and you are guaranteed to make an impression. 

Serve colorful cocktails or go for neon glasses and glow-in-the-dark swizzle sticks, you get the drill. Name them something funny for extra lulz. And don’t forget to make them shine, sugar! 

Include normie classics from the 90s like Pop Rocks, Gushers, Dunkaroos, and Fruit Roll-Ups that you can get straight from the shop (check this article for 90s snacks inspo) if you are not feeling like being a barman/chef is your calling! Everyone loves classics!A table with many different colored glasses and cups

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Dance-Off and Costume Contest

Are you ready for some grooving?! You better be! Because if there Is something that we’ve learned from the movies, is this: There can be no 90s glow party without a dance-off! And a costume contest, don’t forget that too.

Let your guests show off their glam and their best retro tricks to the best tracks from back in the day. Plus, remember to have prizes at the ready to reward their effort!

It is only fair the most impressive costumes and moves get a little something, it doesn’t have to be costly or anything, just something funny to mark the occasion… Like a plastic tiara or crown!

You can decide who gets the first place by cheering or anonymous voting, you decide! Apart from being a great opportunity to show how much effort everyone put into their costume, it is a prom-worthy moment that everyone will cherish later on!

Check Out:

How To Throw A House Party To Remember

Grit, Grunge, and Good Times: Master the Art of Hosting a 90s Grunge Themed Party

Bach to the 90s: How to Throw a Memorable 90s Bachelorette Party

30 Greatest 90s Party Decorations to Make That Next Celebration POP!

10 Types of Party Games your Retro Night Needs

All Good Things Must Come to An End

Yes, despite your best efforts the sun will eventually come up and the party will wind down. If you are feeling generous, send your friends away with a little memorabilia to mark the occasion. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy, a little piece of cardboard with a QR code and the playlist you danced to during the party is a great, cost-effective, idea that anyone can do!A long table with plates and lights

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And Remember…

The neon decor, nostalgic games, and glow-in-the-dark outfits will create a night to remember. So, dust off your old neon clothes and get ready to dance the night away! And if the night was not enough, you can always celebrate the sunrise with a little skinny dipping by the sea or a delicious McDonalds breakfast like in the good old days!

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Lorena Lombardo
Lorena Lombardo is a fashion designer specialized in trend forecasting and fashion journalism. She studied at the UAL (University of London), ORT (Universidad ORT Uruguay), and taken various courses about traditional craftsmanship while living in Tokyo. Some of her favorite memories during the 90s include wearing bucket hats and trying to copy Rachel’s hairstyle. Her absolute favorite show was Buffy: the Vampire Slayer but she was also a huge fan of Clueless because of its amazing fashion choices. Her top track of the decade is currently disputed between How soon is Now? by the Smiths and Here with me by Dido. Both also happen to be the opening songs for two great 90s shows: Charmed and Roswell. Coincidence? I think not!