Post-apocalyptic themes in pop culture are all the rage right now, and parties where you make your friends do silly things have never gone out of style. It only makes sense to combine the two and throw a party to properly enjoy the end of civilization as we know it. The best thing about a post-apocalyptic themed soiree is that the options are almost limitless, but most of them can be accomplished on a budget. I’ve compiled a few ideas to get you crafty people thinking about how you would put together your own personal end-of-the-world celebration.
Holding the party just about anywhere is acceptable. In a perfect world, you have a storm shelter/bunker that you’ve just been itching to line with streamers. For all of us less prepared folks, a house or apartment is an acceptable alternative; you can imagine you and your guests are on the run and have merely holed up in the dwelling for the night. Holding the party outside would also make a lot of sense.
You can utilize a lot of common household items to decorate. Some ideas include cutting up strips of cardboard, altering them to look like wood, and then taping them to the windows to make them look boarded up. Finding a way to spell “Help” or, alternatively, “Shelter” so that it could be seen from the window, yard, or roof, would add a hint of despair.
For the party my roommate and I recently threw, we bought a stuffed bunny from a thrift store and then zombified it using scissors, a lighter, and some red paint. The bunny was then hung from a chain outside the door to warn any other fluffy zombeh creatures that we meant business (and to er, let our guests better identify our apartment). We also used oil lamps as an alternate lighting source to add to the scrapped-together atmosphere.
Costumes partially depend on whether you pinpoint the cause of the apocalypse. We didn’t, so our party had a mixture of the military, the mad, and the infected. A few ladies went the badass Road Warrior influenced route, and some of the guys came representing the Law. A couple modeled the upper limit in biohazard suit-chic with plastic coveralls procured during a zombie run.
I put on some camo pants, a black tank top, a fancy necklace, and some hastily applied makeup. The basic idea was to look like a once capable person who had started to lose their sanity (alarming how well I portrayed that). Regardless of the costume, nearly everyone brought weapons, to include: a few nerf guns, a bow staff, a pitchfork, and a cricket bat. However, arguably the best part about a party like this is that the people who aren’t able to throw together a costume can show up in their regular clothes and pretend they fled in what they were wearing.
The first thing that came to mind for food were items that would survive the apocalypse. All manner of chemical-laden junk food fits the bill, as well as prepackaged food made for soldiers and campers. Both MREs and dehydrated trek food are a bit pricey, so we opted for loading a plate full of Hostess treats, with the golden standard of sought-after-post-apocalypse delicacies, the Twinkie, taking center stage.
Drink wise, I decided I wanted something that looked like biohazard waste. I ended up combining melon liqueur, ginger beer, and limoncello. The melon liqueur provided a nice virulent green, the ginger beer a spicy fizziness, and the limoncello made it a little cloudy. Ginger beer is an acquired taste, so I also had a version that used champagne for the fizz. My roommate concocted an ‘antidote’ drink using cherry vodka as a base.
I personally can’t imagine anything more fun than playing hide and seek outside with a group of friends dressed as zombies, but our lack of space prevented such an option. With a small enough group, Zombie Fluxx would work, as well as the new Walking Dead board game. Post-apocalyptic trivia would encourage some fun competition between guests, with the winner perhaps being designated the Sheriff or awarded with his/her choice of weapon. Our group was unwieldy enough that beer and the occasional fitting song like REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” playing in the background were enough.
In true post-apocalyptic fashion, our party was put together last minute with limited resources, and we only scratched the surface of what such a theme could entail. For those of you truly creative types out there, let your imagination run loose like a horde of bloodthirsty, brain-eating rabbits…and don’t forget to invite me (I have Twinkies, after all).