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Throwing the Perfect Throwback 30th Party

Oh, 30. Remember when that age seemed so far away? There’s only a couple years of 80s babies left who still have to make the plunge into thirtydom. And what better way to dive into your thirties than by jumping back to your childhood with a throwback 30th birthday party!

Rather than labeling it an 80s or 90s party, this throwback 30th party is all about nostalgia. Make it themed to what you remember about your childhood, reliving those days when you were a kid and blissfully unaware that the “Real World” was anything other than a show on MTV.

Here we’ve compiled some great ideas to help get your wheels turning. Let the party planning begin!


First things first, what are you going to wear? We still don’t understand why there isn’t a magic program that picks out your outfit for you like Cher had in Clueless – there really should be an app for that.

Instead of having people dress in basic 80s/90s style clothes, why not step it up a notch and have them come dressed as their favorite 90s icon, artist or character? Spice Girls, Run-DMC, Saved By the Bell, Rugrats, Doug, the Power Rangers – the possibilities are endless!


There are tons of great 80s/90s playlists on Spotify that you can use, or even better, make one yourself. Honestly, as long as it has the Fresh Prince theme song somewhere in it for everyone to belt the words out to, you should be good.


Instagram may not have been around when we were kids, but it certainly is now. Set up an easy DIY photobooth so you can capture all the great outfits and memories of the night. Pinterest has a ton of easy ideas for doing this, and Amazon has some already-put-together photobooth props you can buy. If you want to make some of your own props, we suggest using some classic childhood phrases like: “I’m rubber and you’re glue,” “Cowabunga, dude,” “As if,” “Booya,” and of course “Eat my shorts.”


Sure you could pick someone’s house to host this shindig at, but aren’t house parties for your 20s? Save yourself the hassle of having to party-proof your home, and look into renting a space. If you’re in the NC Triad area, our downtown Greensboro location has a sizeable 2,000 square feet of private event space that’s available to rent for your throwback event!

Perfectly on-theme with your throwback 30th party, this space can host up to 200 people and has a private bar, free games, flat-screen TVs, audio and visual hookups to display those embarrassing old photos of you and your friends + more. And with Boxcar’s huge assortment of old school and modern arcade games, pinball machines, and more, your guests will be thoroughly entertained from start to finish.


Water, cold beer and wine. Those are the givens. But let’s pump up the jams with some throwback themed cocktails, shall we? If you’re hosting your party at Boxcar Bar + Arcade, our bartenders can help you concoct some awesome drinks that contain your favorite ingredients, so let’s work on those drink names.

Kel may love orange soda, but your guests will love an orange colored drink that we can call the “Nickel-loaded.” Or how about a blue colored drink called “Chasing Waterfalls.” And of course our personal favorite, the “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” jello shots.

Throwback Candy Table

Take a sweet stroll down memory lane by setting up a candy table with all of your favorite treats from when you were young. We certainly had some perfect culinary confections during that time, didn’t we? Ring pops, Warheads, Gushers, Baby Bottle Pops, Bubble Tape, Fruit by the Foot. Bonus points if you can find those fruit roll-ups that let you put blurry temporary tattoos on your tongue!

This candy table is also a great place to display some of the mementos you’ve been holding onto: old Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps books, VHS movies, Tamagotchi’s, Polly Pockets, Gameboys, Furby’s and Beanie Babies – yeah, we know you still have those.

Like we said, these are just some ideas to get your perfect throwback 30th birthday (or other event) planning underway. The more customized to your own experiences you make it, the more epic it will be! Your thirties are awesome, you’ll want to welcome this era right. As always, Boxcar Bar + Arcade is here for you if you do ever need a break from adulting, equipped with all the throwback video and arcade games your inner child could dream of – and of course, drop us a line if you’d like to inquire about renting our private event space for you throwback event!

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