Glow parties (or black light parties) are quickly gaining in traction, and understandably so! Glow parties are an excellent idea for many events, whether it’s a birthday or some other sort of celebration. Blacklight parties resonate with kids as young as five, all the way up to adults! Read on for some of the best ideas and tips for throwing a successful glow party.
While blacklight parties are fun for almost any age, you want to make sure that you’re coordinating your party toward your age group. For example, a tonic water soda bar may not be such a fantastic idea for young children, whereas a game of hiding and finding glow sticks will be just up a younger audience’s alley! Below we try to offer suggestions for groups of multiple ages. Pick and choose what will work best with your event.
A Blacklight Party
Firstly, when most people think of a “glow party” they’re thinking of a lights-off event decorated with blacklights. This is separate from a neon party, in which nothing glows but a black color scheme is paired with light, vibrant colors to create a neon look. In this article, we are going to be discussing how to put together a black light party.
Buying the Right Materials
If you’re throwing a blacklight party, most of these bulbs are actually fairly weak and will not give you enough light for your party to be successful. If you’re going to buy the standard fluorescent tubes, you need to invest in several — probably 3 to 5 lights per party room — in order to really get your desired effect. This is what the standard fluorescent bulb looks like:
If you do not have or do not want to purchase multiple black light bulbs, consider a super-powerful LED light. Check the specs on what you’re buying, check the reviews, etc. These are more expensive, but they’re worth the investment because one light will achieve your goal for a black light party. Below is an example of a powerful LED black light:
Remember, not everything that is neon-colored will glow under a blacklight. Make sure you’re actually purchasing products that either light up or glow under a fluorescent light. If you need to do so, take a black light with you when you go shopping to make sure you’re getting products that will light up! If you’re shopping online, look specifically for products that say they glow.
Here are some examples of products that glow under a blacklight:
- UV paint
- White clothing
- Blacklight-reactive tableware (look specifically for this)
- Neon balloons (such as light pink or green)
- Cotton balls & pipe cleaners for crafts
- Some highlighters
- Many foods (we’ll have more on this later)
Here are some examples of light-up products and toys:
- Glow sticks, bracelets and necklaces
- Light-up or neon rubber balls
- Light-up or flashing jewelry (such as rings)
Throwing a Blacklight Party
Now, let’s get to some of the coolest ideas on the Internet to help you put together the ultimate glow bash!
Excellent ideas for party favors is anything that lights up or flashes. Some fun examples of this are:
- Glow products
- Flashing UV rings, necklaces or bracelets
- Flashing UV lights
- Light-up or flashing hair extensions or chalk
Other fun considerations for UV or glow party products are:
- Glowing eyelashes
- Glowing nail polish
- UV paint
- Glow stickers or wall attachments
- Glowing mouth guards
- Glow or flashing rubber balls
- Glow beach balls
- Glow beads
- Glow slime or putty
- Light-up shoelaces
The Decorations & Prep
Perhaps the most fun part of throwing together a blacklight party is the prep and glow products! Below is a long list of the best decorations to consider when putting together your glow party.
- Be aware that there is a difference in party tableware! Neon party tableware does not glow in the dark. Blacklight-reactive tableware will glow in the dark. Make sure of what you’re buying. Neon tableware is more likely to have a design resembling glow sticks or something of the like. Blacklight-reactive tableware will probably be of a solid color.
- You can buy balloons that glow in the dark or that light up or flash! Look specifically for UV or glow-in-the-dark balloons; traditional solid-color balloons probably will not glow. Look for the standard latex ones.
- You can use UV paint to decorate pretty much anything or anyone for your party! Consider a splatterbash party for teenagers. In an open area, they can toss paint around at each other and each person will be uniquely decorated. Use UV paint to light up entrance ways, to show paths to the party area, to outline the guest of honor’s chair, etc.
- If you want to go a cleaner route, decorate with glow-in-the-dark or UV tape instead. Create arrows to show guests around, highlight doorways, accent porches and much more with this cool tape.
Chalkboards & Backdrops
- A cool feature for your party is a chalkboard or a glow backdrop. If you buy a backdrop, make sure to purchase one that glows in the dark.
Glow Hanging Decoration
- Paint a neon hula-hoop with your choice of color of UV paint and allow to dry. Hang black light-reactive streamers in a loop fashion from the hula hoop in even increments. Make sure that they’re long enough to decorate the party area.
Neon Fringe Curtain
- Accent doorways with a cool Neon Fringe Curtain, available online! It may not glow, but it will still be a fun decoration to help kick off the party.
Believe it or not, there are many foods that naturally glow in the dark! You can create your own edible substances that glow, or pick from this long list:
- Tonic water glows in the dark. Use tonic water to create your own drinks, such as soda or lemonade. Look online for fun tonic water recipes
- Glowing ice. Glowing ice is super fun and easy for black light parties! For glowing ice, mix up 50% tonic water and 50% water and freeze.
- Hot dogs glow!
- Macaroni and cheese glows, too!
Here are some healthy alternatives that glow in the dark:
- Peanut butter
- Oranges (when sliced)
For the sweet treats, check these out:
- Ice cream (vanilla)
- Gummy worms & bears
- Bright-colored sprinkles (pink, white or lime green)
Other foods that glow are:
- Cut lettuce
- Sour cream
- Many kinds of cheese, particularly white cheese
- Mayo, ketchup & mustard
There are a ton of great things you can do at a glow party. Consider the following fun ideas:
- Splatterbash. In an open area or outdoors, have the kids splash UV paint on one another. They will love it and it’s a free decoration for the party!
- Glow makeup party for girls. If you’re throwing a party for your girl, consider a glow-in-the-dark makeover for the guests! Things like glow eyelashes, glow nail polish, glow jewelry and glow hair extensions.
- Chalkboard Pictionary. Chalkboards glow in the dark! Consider playing Pictionary on a chalkboard. Divide the party up into 2 teams and have them take turns drawing pictures on the chalkboard. The first team to guess the picture correctly wins a point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins it.
- Glow bubbles. Glow bubbles are a fun way to get creative! Follow these instructions to make DIY glow-in-the-dark bubbles.
- Glow Twister. Take a traditional Twister game and paint over the colors with UV paint. Allow for time to dry and watch the fun ensue!
- Find the sticks. In a large area or outside, divide your party up into three or four teams. Hide as many colors of glow sticks as you have teams (ex. If you have three times, hide 3 colors) around the party area. Hide the same number of sticks (ex. Ten of each color). Each team can have fun trying to find their correct amount of glow sticks.
- Design your own clothes. Have kids create their own designs on white tee shirts or their favorite jeans with UV paint, then wear them at the party!
- Soda bar. Use tonic water and soda mix to have the kids create their own soda or lemonade drinks. Provide instructions on a chalkboard and supervise the younger children.
For party invitations, it’s probably best to go with neon instead of actual glow-in-the-dark invitations because most of your party guests probably won’t have black lights lying around. There are many types of neon invitations you can buy online. Check out these neon party invitations.
Use Discount Party Supplies for Your Glow Party Event!
Don’t forget to check out Discount Party Supplies’ huge supply of glow party products! While you’re here, take a look at our other fun blog posts for more party ideas and articles.