10 Flashy Glow Party Ideas for a Celebration That's Lit

Give your guests something to glow about.

Published May 15, 2023
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Girls at the nightclub

For so many of us, cracking the fluorescence into plastic bracelets and necklaces was the magic that introduced us to glow parties. A glow in the dark party is one of those unique universal themes perfect for both kindergarten kiddos and middle-aged parents on a rare night out. But, you can't host a black light party like it's 2003 anymore. With internet shopping and social media inspo, it's time to bring your glow party into the 2020s.

Go Beyond Glow Sticks With Your Decorations

Glow sticks are the first things people think of when they're planning to host a glow in the dark party. And, while you should buy them in abundance because there's no glow party without a glow stick, they shouldn't amount to your only themed decoration. Don't rely on your guests to wear reflective colors or be satisfied with some hoop necklaces in bright yellows, oranges, and greens.

Instead, expand your decorations to include more creative ideas.

Decorate With a Custom Neon Sign

Game controller in neon lights

No, we're not talking about a halogen sign that's going to cost you thousands of dollars. Instead, people have learned how to cover LED lights in such a way that they resemble true neon signs, and you can custom order them online from one of the many talented makers.

Extend Decorations to the Ceiling With a Glowing Cloud-Scape

A famous trend that circulated on TikTok and Instagram for a while was the glow-cloud ceiling decoration. Using strip LED lights and fiber fill stuffing, you could transform a room into feeling like you're stepping foot inside of a glowing thunder cloud. It's a great way to upscale the classic black light decoration.

@oxydoxytv How to mount a Cloudceiling #gamingroom #gamingsetup #setup #gaming #cloudceiling Close Eyes - Slowed + Reverb - DVRST

Everyone Loves a Balloon Arch or Floor

Balloons bring out the inner child in everyone, so they're a must-have for a silly party idea like black light. You can buy tons of neon balloons for super cheap and cover the dance floor in them. Or, if you've got some time and twine on your hands, you can twist them together into a balloon arch that people can use for a photo backdrop.

Display Your Thrifted Uranium Glass

Uranium Glass Teacup

Uranium glass (aka Vaseline glass) is a historic type of glassware that was created with radioactive ingredients that gave the glass its distinctive petroleum jelly color. When exposed to UV light, the electrons in the glass are activated and emit the distinctive bright neon green color. Although it's not recommended that you eat or drink from them, they're perfectly safe to be around. So, a black light party is the perfect time to put your thrifted uranium glass on display.

Provide a Whimsical Spread of Fluorescent Drinks and Treats

While food and drink aren't the highlights of a glow party, you shouldn't treat the menu as an afterthought, either. Thankfully, you don't have to master mixology or baking overnight to put together a delicious and on-theme spread.

Use Glowing Ice Cubes

Litecubes 3 Mode Jewel Color Tinted Pink

Whether you're having a party that's strictly non-alcoholic, or you've got a litany of mixed drinks on the menu, glowing ice cubes are the easiest way to keep your drinks on-theme. These ice cubes have a light in the middle and are safe to be dropped in any drink.

Drink Ingredients That Glow Under a Black Light

In addition to glowing ice cubes, you can also incorporate drinks with these ingredients to give off a distinctive neon hue.

  • Tonic water
  • Creamers
  • Energy Drinks
  • Clear fizzy sodas

Decorate Cakes and Treats With Neon Paint

A girl is holding a birthday cake under neon lights

A simple way to elevate any cake or treat recipe for your glow party is to decorate them using food-safe neon paint. You can use a brush and splatter different drops of paint on your cupcakes or cookies if you don't have a steady hand. Or use the paint to create an eye-catching mirror glaze that'll captivate all your guests.

Black Light Activities to Slay Your Glow Party

Of course, what's a party without something to do? You can't rely on food and drinks to keep your guests from leaving early, so try these glow-inspired games and activities to keep everyone entertained.

Play Black Light Beer Pong

Black light beer pong party

Swap out your bright red solo cups for clear plastic cups to play a few rounds of black light beer pong. Fill your cups with the party's signature neon punch, and use reflective tape to draw out the dimensions on your table.

Put Up a UV Paint Splatter Station

pair of lovers painted in fluorescent powder

The best part of a glow party is getting a little messy. Let guests dirty themselves up with a paint splatter station. Tell them to come in clothes they don't mind getting trashed and let them splatter themselves and each other with reflective paint. This works best if you've got an area outside where you can set everything up.

Challenge Everyone to Glow-in-the-Dark Twister

Make the pretzel game Twister even more difficult by playing it in the dark with the only thing to go off of being the colored circles. Since there aren't any neon Twister mats available, you'll have to paint your own party-sized Twister mat with fluorescent glow-in-the-dark paint.

Turn Out the Lights and Dance It Out

There's an expectation when you're going to a glow party that you're going to be dancing, and you shouldn't disappoint your guests by not setting up a dance floor with black lights and a DJ. This is the ultimate event at a glow party and so long as you have an ear-thumping playlist, your guests'll know what to do.

Give Your Guests Something to Glow About

Whether you're hosting a bunch of 12-year-olds in your house or you're a group of college kids tasked with putting together this weekend's rager, a glow party is a great interactive and silly theme to choose. People love to get involved with a theme, and there's nothing that's easier to get on board with than a glow party. Incorporate these tips or go off in a new direction entirely; either way, just make sure you give your guests something to glow about.

10 Flashy Glow Party Ideas for a Celebration That's Lit