Once you get past a particular phase of your life, expensive nights out on the town lose their appeal. Hosting a theme party at home can be more budget-friendly, intimate, and a lot of fun.

If you’re trying to think of themes to encourage your friends to enjoy a lively night in, here are some amazing party ideas on a budget.


Dungeons & Dragons Party

Once upon a time, Dungeons & Dragons had a dedicated cult following. Now, with so many fantasy-genre pop culture phenomenons, people who turned their noses up at D&D in high school are ready to give it a try.

Host a Dungeons & Dragons party for you and your closest friends. Grab a beautiful dice set from d20collective.com, don your Dungeon Master costume, and invite your friends to try a D&D character name generator. Serve theme dishes like tavern stew and fireball cupcakes. This party theme will be fun, nostalgic, and manageable with a tight budget.


Harry Potter Marathon Party

Harry Potter is another cultural phenomenon worth celebrating. Host a marathon party for you and your friends, serving a fresh batch of homemade butterbeer. There are plenty of basic Halloween decorations that can be repurposed for this theme as well, including cauldrons and witches hats.

It’s important to note that watching all of the movies would take 20 hours. This is a fun theme for a long holiday weekend when friends can crash at your place.


Bob Ross Painting Party

Painting nights have been a hit in recent years. For a while, it seemed every bar and restaurant in town was hosting these events. Host a painting party at home by picking up supplies from the local dollar store. You can even ask for a small contribution from guests to support the purchases.

Who will teach the class? Bob Ross, of course.

Bob Ross’s painting videos are a classic. You can stream these online or on Netflix. Shake things up by adding sips of adult beverages every time Bob says something inspirational about trees as friends or happy little accidents.


Vintage Video Game Party

Pull out some of your old consoles and host a vintage video game party. Sure, it can hurt to call the games you played as a child “vintage,” but the experience will be well worth it.

Challenge your friends to a Super Smash Brothers tournament or battle it out in Mario Kart. Compete for the highest score in PacMan, Space Invaders, or Frogger. With so many emulators readily available, it’s easier than ever to revisit your old favorites.


Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Bring out your acting skills with a murder mystery dinner party. Invite your friends to hit local thrift stores to create hilarious costumes. Pick up an affordable murder mystery game that assigns characters, so you can work together to solve the crime.

There are plenty of free murder mystery party games available. Find a theme that works and make your event a potluck to have fun on a budget. Don’t forget to dim the lighting and play some mood music in the background.


Spontuneous Karaoke Party

Spontuneous is a board game in which each player writes down common words used in songs. For example, baby, love, or miss, to name a few. When it’s your turn, you read one of the words. The first person (or team) to sing five or more lyrics of a song with your word in it gets to roll the dice to advance.

This game is a perfect ice breaker to get everyone comfortable for the next phase of the party: karaoke. You can get karaoke videos on YouTube for an easily thrown together party on a budget.

Any of these fantastic party options are sure to be a hit. With the mix of the right people (and the right snacks), you’ll wonder why you ever wanted a night out on the town in the first place.