Raiders of the Lost Ark Party Ideas

by Elizabeth Sobiski
The bullwhip was the preferred weapon and tool of Indiana Jones.

The bullwhip was the preferred weapon and tool of Indiana Jones.

Tim Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In 1981, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" made its cinematic debut and attained its place in history. People still like the movie, and its appeal has spanned generations. Boys and men still want to be Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones and save the world. Subsequently, a Raiders of the Lost Ark themed party can be appropriate for any age, and the theme can be carried throughout the affair, from invitation to the last bite of cake.

Mysterious Invitations

Have some fun with the invitations to a "Raiders" party. For a children's party, you could make cut outs of the idol that Indy takes from a South American temple. Glue the cutouts onto card stock, then list the details on the inside of the card. For adults, you can make the invitations look like secret instructions. Use a silver marker on black paper with an outline of the idol on the front. Or, you can make your own disappearing ink with lemon juice, and leave clues for your guests to be able to read the invitation. Hint: instruct your invitees to hold the invitation over a candle to make the ink appear, and they must beware to not burn the paper, or the invitation will be lost.

Jungle Decorations

It's a jungle out there. Rent potted plants to use as the main party decoration. String netting across the ceiling, which will make it appear lower and more cave-like. Keep the lighting dim enough to be mysterious without causing any tripping hazards. Drape tables in dark greens and browns so they blend in with the theme. Find Tiki carvings to use as centerpieces with exotic flowers and leaves. The food can be decorative as well: scour Halloween recipes to find ways to make edible eyeballs, like the sheep eyeballs from the movie, or jelled monkey brains.

A Costumed Affair

Have guests wear costumes, and dress up as their favorite character. Give prizes for the most realistic, best Indiana Jones, worst idea, or any other category you can think of. See how many come with bullwhips and beaten leather hats. The women can dress up as Marion, Indy's leading lady. She can either be in explorer gear to be as rough and tumble as Indiana, or in a mock wedding dress, as seen at the end of the movie.

Indiana Adventures

Have a scavenger hunt for a party game. For smaller children, you can set this up in your yard. Have the children explore using clues to find the various items. You can have them find things like plastic snakes, plastic tikis, or treasures of chocolate "gold." Have prizes such as goodie bags with small toys and candy, ready for those who find the most items on the list. A scavenger hunt can be fun for adults as well, and you can let them have free reign over the neighborhood or the rest of the city. Adults can look for items such as chopsticks, a VHS copy of the movie, and a bow tie. To keep things manageable, set a time limit. You may also want to warn your neighbors that you are hosting a scavenger hunt or just invite them to join in. A prize for the adults, besides bragging rights, could be an entire collection of the Indiana Jones movies on DVD.

Photo Credits

  • Tim Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images