Party City

5 Out-of-the-Box Themes for Your Next Celebration

Plus, all the ingredients you need for the most Houston photobooth of all time.

By Abby Ledoux August 26, 2019 Published in the September 2019 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Shutterstock

Bayou City Blowout

  • Costumes: Houston heroes—think JJ Watt, Slim Thug, Lynn Wyatt, et al.
  • Food: Queso, kolaches, brisket
  • Signature drink: Tequila and Topo Chico
  • Activity: Pin the Ponytail on Beyoncé
  • Setting: Somewhere air-conditioned, with all the Ultimate Houston Photobooth fixings (see below)
  • Bonus points for: Throwing it on July 13—713 Day.

Image: Shutterstock

Come as You Were

  • Costumes: Whatever made you cool in middle school—overalls, leg warmers, or butterfly clips.
  • Food: Frozen pizza, Lunchables, ice cream sundaes
  • Signature drink: Spiked Hawaiian Punch
  • Activity: Arts and crafts, trust falls, Truth or Dare
  • Setting: A basement or generic event hall decorated haphazardly with paper streamers.
  • Bonus points for: Guests who get their parents to pick them up.

Image: Shutterstock


  • Costumes: Your best festival gear: mesh tanks, fishtail braids, and loads of body glitter.
  • Food: Avocado toast, acai bowls, and whatever else is trending on Instagram.
  • Signature drink: A La Croix-can cocktail à la Present Company
  • Activity: DIY flower crowns and terrariums
  • Setting: A pool so crowded with floats, no one can actually swim in it.
  • Bonus points for: Charging $3,000 for admission

Image: Shutterstock

Retirement Party

  • Costumes: Thrifted sweater vests and slacks, sensible shoes, glasses on chains
  • Food: Cottage cheese, Wheat Thins, canned soup.
  • Signature drink: Shots served in empty prescription bottles
  • Activity: Bobbing for false teeth
  • Setting: Inflatable palm trees, lawn chairs, and plastic flamingos.
  • Bonus points for: Anyone who's already balding.

Image: Shutterstock

Bougie Country Club

  • Costumes: Prep-school-chic: pearls, tennis skirts, and popped polos.
  • Food: Caviar, canapés, charcuterie
  • Signature drink: Champagne, darling.
  • Activity: Putt-putt, croquet, bocce
  • Setting: Assuming you can't afford ROCC, an extremely well-manicured yard.
  • Bonus points for: Having the most diversified portfolio—or even knowing what that is.

For the 'Gram: the Most Houston Photobooth of all Time

Your backdrop:

Get a large piece of cardboard and some black and teal paint, then attempt to re-create the iconic Be Someone graffiti over 45 near downtown. Finish it off with construction-paper bats inspired by the ones at the Waugh Street Bridge, suspended from the ceiling with fishing line.

Your props:

  • A cute, plush crawfish with no idea what’s in store for him.
  • An astronaut helmet —this is Space City, after all.
  • A cowboy hat, because you’re in Texas.
  • A roll of tinfoil for DIY grillz, because you’re in Houston.
  • Artificial bluebonnets, because while it's not technically illegal to pick the real thing, it is definitely frowned upon.
  • A Harden-style beard, to strike fear in the heart of any opponent.
  • A crown, to channel Bey.
  • Astros, Rockets, and Texans gear, pulled from your own closet.
  • A fake steering wheel, to pair with a healthy dose of existential rage.
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