If you’re throwing a milestone birthday bash, then a really fun choice for a birthday party theme is a geek theme. “Geek is the new chic” as they say and this theme idea is loads of fun and you can round up ideas for it from pretty much everywhere.
In this post, I’ll list some tips for throwing a geek themed adult birthday party. Embrace your inner geek and celebrate all things nerdy!
After all, even if you were a geek or nerd in adolescence, it often becomes an advantage in adulthood. By celebrating your geeky ways later in life, you can put all those past insecurities behind you!
Geek Themed Birthday Party – Who is the Perfect Candidate?
So, who do you think is a good candidate for a geek themed birthday party? Lots of you might instantly think it’s best for a man because men generally are associated with being geeks more so than women. But I would actually say this party works for either a man or a woman. There are plenty of geeky women out there that would love to celebrate their unique version of geekiness. So don’t just think this birthday party theme is for men!
Here’s a tough question. Do you have to be a geek to enjoy and utilize this theme? Possibly. Because we are celebrating being a geek rather than making fun of it, popular jocks and people with natural social ease (for want of a better way of putting it) might seem like they are being mean bullies if they use this theme. We’re all adults now, right? We’ve moved past this behavior haven’t we? We hope anyway! I guess my point is that we want this party to be in the spirit of good fun, not put downs. It’s about seeing all the great contributions from geek culture and how this unique group have helped shape the world and society. After all, geeks have done some very impressive things and become real pop culture icons to look up to.
Geek vs. Nerd – What is the Difference Anyway?
A lot of people think of geek and nerd as synonyms. I admit that I do for the most part. And really, what about dork or dweeb? Where do they fit in? You probably won’t be surprised to know there is some debate about the differences between geeks and nerds. Most sources seem to indicate that geek, as a word, has a more “positive” connotation to it. By that I mean that more people are willing to identify as a geek versus a nerd. Geeks are perceived to be somewhat “cooler” and less socially awkward than nerds. However, there is much overlap and lots of differences at the level of the individual in my opinion. Like all stereotypes, at an individual level they fail to describe all the nuances of a person. Keep in mind that very often geeks are part nerd (nerdy geek), and very often nerds are part geek (geeky nerd). For this party theme, while drawing out stereotypes is fun, I think being inclusive of both geek and nerd pop culture is the way to go because both geeks and nerds have had great successes in life and everyone has something to contribute to society and the world at large.
Geek Themed Birthday Party Locations
Thinking about the location of your geek themed party will help you to determine how many will be on your guest list. Or, your guest list will help you to determine your location because a large guest list might not fit in a small location. Laser tag and paintball are fun choices for activities and location. Also, house parties are fully acceptable. As are movie theatres. If you can somehow rent out a comic book store, board game store, used bookstore or gaming store, they would be great locations as well.
Other locations could be model airplane / rockateer clubs, chess clubs, model train clubs, etc. They may have party rooms you can use. Also, neon bowling comes to mind, but I’m not even sure those exist anymore. Regular bowling alleys can work too. Certain pubs also fit well with Geek style, so a pub might work as well, especially a place that has a variety of beers on tap. You could even do a bit of a
If you want to go all out, you can do a “destination” party and go on a music cruise with friends and family or get a group together to go to a Comic-Con, sci fi, or Star Trek convention.
Geek Birthday Party Invitations (or Nerd of course!)
Geek themed birthday party invitations are a great way to set the tone for your geek birthday party. On invitations, have fun using geeky references to Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, etc. Think about including math symbols (pi), a little klingon, programming code or text based smiley faces. 😀
You can go all “retro” and actually send out paper invitations using snail mail. If you can actually find your friend’s street addresses that is! Or you can use email invitations or sites like evite. Somehow, using Facebook to invite people to your geek party doesn’t feel quite right. I don’t know why (can’t put my finger on it), but it feels like it doesn’t fit the theme – even though Facebook was created and founded by a nerd! But, it’s entirely up to you what you do.
As part of the invitation wording, you can choose to request that guests come in costume. Have them dress as geeks/nerds or something geek approved, such as a Star Trek character or superhero.
Here are some paper geek birthday party invitation designs from our PartySimplicity designers to help you get started. The text on these is fully customizable and they come with standard white envelopes.
Geek Themed Birthday Party Decor and Music
Depending in the location you choose, you might not have much you can do here. But, if it’s a house party, you can really Geek up your place to fit with the theme.
Have a geeky or nerdy music selection playing. Ideas include Devo, Weird Al Yankovic, Weezer, and Dr. Demento.
For decor items, you can have geek approved board games scattered around and a few Rubik’s Cubes and other puzzles as well.
Decorate with your favorite geek / nerd approved items, such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, super hero, comic book, Battlestar Galactica, and gaming memorabilia and paraphernalia. This can include posters, lightsabers, action figures, and other knick knacks.
Use old technology such as CDs and floppy disks for decor items. For example, CDs make unique geeky coasters and you can hang a variety of old floppy disks (both 5 1/2 and 3 1/4) from the ceiling. Fog machines, lava lamps and black lighting can work too because geeks are often a fan of these (they are examples of cool science at work after all). Don’t forget to decorate liberally with math equations and computer code as well! Maybe have a white board on the wall filled with some sort of complex math or physics equation. You can also troll for decorating ideas by watching a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. That show is filled with great examples of geek decorating.
Some great sources for geek party decor include:
Just browsing any of these stores will provide the perfect inspiration for your geek party decor. You don’t have to go overboard, but keep in mind that geeks just might. 😉
Most importantly, when considering your decor, think of what the party girl or party boy is a fan of and make sure to include items that particularly appeal to them. For example, do they prefer Star Wars over Star Trek? Then add in Star Wars memorabilia instead of Star Trek memorabilia. Personalize the party to the preferences of the birthday boy or girl.
Geek Themed Birthday Party Activities
Depending on your location, you might want to plan some activities. Of course, if your party is at an arcade, bowling alley, etc., the activity is already planned out. But if you have your party at some of the other locations I mentioned, you can plan out some geeky activities as well.
Video games are big with geeks and nerds and having a variety of game consoles and video games to play might be good for a small gathering and can even work for a larger gathering where there is enough room for people to break up into sections (This does not generally include sports games… unless maybe Wii bowling or tennis).
If you can swing it, it would be fun to have a console to play some of the old “vintage” games like Pac-Man, Frogger, Asteroids, Pong, and Space Invaders. You might even be able to rent a couple of stand up ones that look just like the old video games you could play at your local convenience store. You could have your guests participate in gaming competitions and give out prizes for the winners. Who will be the best Pac-Man player? And who still excels at Space Invaders?
Another idea to break some ice is to give everyone a “geek test” to fill out when they arrive as well as a nerdy “My name is” name tag to wear for the entire party. Think of your friend’s best and worst traits, make up a geeky code name for them, and write their code names on the name tags they will wear. Give out prizes for the “most geekiest” from the geek test later in the night. These make for great conversation starters.
No geek party is fully complete without a few geeky movie or TV shows available to watch or just playing in the background. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog is a great choice for the modern geek and there are many, many other perfect choices. In fact, there are endless choices! A few that come to mind are Revenge of the Nerds, any super hero movie, The Lord of the Rings, Highlander, WarGames, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Princess Bride, Tron, Firefly, Short Circuit, Weird Science, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, The X-Files, The Big Bang Theory, Star Wars, Star Trek, and 2001: A Space Odyssey just to name a few. And, just like all things classified geeky, I suspect there are some that would disagree with my list of movies. You can do your own research and choose the ones you think work best for your event.
Finally, you can have a geek “mystery” gift exchange. Just like regular gift exchanges, only with this one, the gifts must be geared towards what a geek or nerd might like. Make sure to set a dollar value limit and add this to your invitations when you send them out. Have a few extra on hand in case some of your guests forget to bring a gift for the exchange. This way, everybody gets to leave with something.
Geek Themed Birthday Party Food and Drink
I gotta say that it’s hard to think of food for a geek party. Well, that is I thought it was hard. Then I Googled it and well, there are some really amazing ideas for geeky edibles. I mean, just look at all these geeky treats!
My favorites are the Lemas Bread (you have to have read or watched The Lord of the Rings to have any idea what this is), Chewbacca Bento, Pac-Man Dumplings, and Lego Minifig Cake Pops.
There are some other outstanding ideas for geeky or nerdy party food and desserts, including cakes and cupcakes on this Geek Food pinterest board.
A favorite from that pinterest board is a drink actually. Homemade Butter Beer just like Harry Potter would drink! And, the Pi Pie is totally hilarious!
For other drinks, you could have Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper on hand. Not to mention beer. Geeks do like beer… and you can even be a bit creative with your beer. Provide some microbrewery and specialty beer varieties. And, you can’t go wrong with these Marvels The Avengers inspired cocktails.
Don’t like to cook? Well, for this party, take-out is an option as well.
Finally, don’t forget the Nerds candy!
Final Thoughts on Geek Birthday Party Theme
Well, there you have it for some geeky party ideas. For an alternative, more specific, sub-theme party idea classified under geek, you might consider hosting a super hero, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc. party. In the case of these, your decorations and costumes would, of course, center around these more specific themes.
I hope you enjoyed the ideas and inspiration in this post for hosting your own geek themed birthday party. And, of course, geek as a theme can be used for almost any party or special occasion. There are even couples having geek themed weddings. I think a geek theme would be fun for a retirement party too.
Do you think I missed anything? Do you have any other great ideas for a geek party? Feel free to post them below in the comments section. I’d love to hear more great ideas for a geek themed party.
For a final closing, the editors at www.bestdegreeprograms.org made up this fun little Geek college party infographic. It has a few fun ideas that include cocktail suggestions. I especially like the Star Trek party idea.
Image source: www.bestdegreeprograms.org
Shannon is a graphic designer for Wasootch, a special occasion stationery and gift shop that specializes in unique and affordable wedding and bridal shower stationery.