California Gold Rush Party Themes

by Donni Jones
Throw a party based on California's Gold Rush.

Throw a party based on California's Gold Rush. Images

Instead of the usual '70s party, try something original for your next get-together. Think of a theme that's sure to be a fun first for everyone in attendance, like a California Gold Rush party. This unusual and whimsical idea can be interpreted in several creative ways.


Decorate with gold streamers and balloons. Look online for pictures of miners, gold bars and an old-time map of the state of California; have them blown up to poster size and hang them on the walls. Add yellow Christmas lights for a golden twinkle. Around the room, place stacks or pyramids of "gold bars": ordinary bricks wrapped in gold foil, and for a food table centerpiece, fill a vase with "gold nuggets": small rocks or pebbles, also wrapped in gold foil.


Have a treasure hunt. Before the party, hide several of the fake gold nuggets all over the party location for guests to look for. At a kids' party, provide gold pipe cleaners and gold plastic beads so they can make Gold Rush bracelets, and let them play "Pin the Shovel on the Miner" or musical chairs for the chance to win Gold Rush prizes. At a teens' or adults' party, play charades and trivia, and have a karaoke competition using songs that fit the theme: "California Girls" by the Beach Boys, "Gold" by Prince, "Rush" by Akon, "California Bound" by California Liar, "Gold Digger" by Kanye West and "Rush Rush" by Paula Abdul.


Give away all things Gold Rush to game winners. Snack-sized sandwich bags filled with gold foil-wrapped chocolate disks make "pouches of gold" treats for kids. Shop in dollar stores for little gold key chains, bottle openers or candles. For some one-of-a-kind party favors, make your own refrigerator magnets to thank party attendees for coming: spray-paint beer bottle caps gold, glue a magnet inside, and paint "California Gold Rush Party" and the date on the front.


Place a spread of gold fare on the food table. Add a few drops of food coloring to any white dips to make them gold. Sprinkle a tiny bit of powdered turmeric over pork or chicken skewers to turn the meat gold, and serve over golden curry rice. For dessert, turn vanilla icing gold with food coloring and frost a cake, or turn whipped cream gold and put a dollop on slices of golden pound cake, or make a gold fruit salad with mango, cantaloupe, banana, peaches and pineapple. Make gold cocktails for adults or punch for kids.

About the Author

Donni Jones has been an editor and writer since 1996. She has edited articles for and contributed content to numerous publications, magazines and online businesses such as and She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

Photo Credits

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