For fans of dinosaurs and Jurassic Park, the latest Jurassic World movie is our chance this year to throw a party, be it for kids or for adults.
The well known Jurassic Park film series began with two novels by Michael Crichton. The first, Jurassic Park, was written in 1990, while the second novel, The Lost World, was written after fans asked for a sequel following the first book and movie.
Decorating for a Jurassic Park party | A quick checklist
Want a quick-start shopping list for your Jurassic Park party props?
- Plants. Get your ‘base’ down by covering your room with greenery to recreate the islands of either Isla Nublar or Isla Sorna. As they’re islands off the coast of Costa Rica, the islands will be rich with lush tropical greenery. Think ferns, palms, and tall grasses. If you need to create height, use hanging baskets to get ferns or vines higher up.
- Smoke machine. Of course, this is optional, but a smoke machine will recreate that steamy tropical atmosphere.
- Crates. Like equipment has just been loaded onto the islands, stack up metal crates in the corners. You can make your own from cardboard boxes by covering them with scrapbook paper with metal finishes or use a metallic paint.
- Dinosaur eggs. I imagine having dinosaur eggs as a centerpiece on the table, also making it the party favor for your guests. Excavation dinosaur eggs are good fun (so long as they realize it’s not food!) If this is for a kids party, you could also use these eggs as part of a treasure hunt. If you happen to throw a dinosaur party around Easter, I’ve also seen the massive ‘chocolate dino eggs’ they have available.
- Dino claws. You need a dinosaur just lurking around the corner in this tropical forest. Alternatively, have a few dinosaur claws available for a photo booth. Posing with these dino claws are a blast! I bought the Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws from Amazon, but there are other dinosaur claw alternatives as well. If you don’t want to go this route, you can also find free dino footprints to print and stick through your house.
- Danger signs. You can buy danger signs printed on plastic on Amazon or create your own to print for free at home on MySafetySign.com.
- Jurassic Park/ Jurassic World sign. The wiki page for Jurassic Park has a page with the different logos used for the different movies. Right-click the images to open the larger size in a new window, then download.
- Jurassic Park brochure prop. Print off a few of these Jurassic Park brochures and either send them with your invite or have a few laying around your party space. As before, visit the Jurassic Park brochure wiki page, and right-click each image to open in a new window or tab, then download the image.
- ID badges. This Masrani website was set up as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign in 2015 for the new Jurassic World film. But since it’s still available, the ID’s would make a cool gift when guests first arrive. They can choose from Intern Genetic Biologist, Veterinarian, Paddock Supervisor, Security, Dinosaur Maintenance and Park Inspector. Have a camera, computer and printer ready, then attach their ID to lanyards.
- Welcome letter invitation. Even better, the same Masrani website has a Welcome to the Masrani Corporation letter. Make a few adjustments to include when and where the guests start their internship, to make your party really authentic.
- Lab coats or khaki shirts. Depending on the ‘career’ your guests choose, you can have khaki and lab coats available for the different roles. Even if you only have a few available for a Jurassic Park photo booth, you can find lab coats on Amazon as well as khaki shirts.
Making a party a success is about hitting all the key senses. It’s not just sight, but smell, taste, sound.
- Scent. Smoke machines have scents specifically for the machines that can recreate scenes. We use these around Halloween to create a bonfire scent in our yard. If you aren’t using a smoke machine, there are scented oil diffusers that you plug into the wall. I know Air Wick does these and I think they might have a rainforest one? Make sure you try it out beforehand to make sure it’s just subtle enough and won’t give anyone who is sensitive a headache.
- Music. The Jurassic Park soundtrack is the obvious choice, but you can also set the scene with a mix of rainforest sounds.
And speaking of hitting all the key senses, let’s look at what food you’ll serve at the Jurassic Park party.
Jurassic Park and The Lost World Party Menu
If you’re wanting to throw an authentic Jurassic Park party, there are two ways to approach the menu.
The first is to use the actual food mentioned in the novels. In Jurassic Park, the theme park is currently being built on Isla Nublar, off the west coast of Costa Rica. With a hotel, visitor centre, and luxury restaurant, either built or finishing completion, the meals are more in line with hotel accommodation.
Meals in Jurassic Park | Isla Nublar
- Coffee. Costa Rica is famous for its Arabica coffee, so it’s a must-have at your Jurassic Park party. (You can also use coffee beans to decorate on the table, along with an overload of ferns and tropical greenery.)
- Banana Daiquiri. “And I could do with a nice banana daiquiri. What do you say, folks? Daiquiri sound good?”
- Grilled chicken.
- Meat-filled pastry. “…Mike said, picking through the box lunch packed by the hotel. There was unappetizing grilled chicken, and some kind of meat-filled pastry. Not that Ellen would eat any of it.”
- Vegetables, milk, T-bone steak, fish, gum, and candy/chocolate. All foods that Lex and Tim find in the hotel kitchen when looking for ice cream
- Ginger ice cream. “You must have just a little, Henry,” Hammond said. “It’s made with fresh ginger, from the eastern part of the island.”
In the second novel, The Lost World, you can separate the foods out based on location– New Mexico and California, and while on Isla Sorna, Costa Rica.
Meals in The Lost World | New Mexico and California
- Beer. Corona and potentially other brands of beers
- Green-corn tamale. “So there’s no truth to it,” Levine said, biting into his green-corn tamale.” Green-corn tamales are made from fresh corn kernels, cream, grits, chilis, and cheese, wrapped in green corn husks and steamed. I made green corn tamale from this recipe in the LA Times for my photoshoot (then ate it all afterwards. Delish!)
- Huevos rancheros. “The egg yolks ran yellow across green salsa” Huevos rancheros is a large mid-morning breakfast, typically made up on fried eggs, lightly fried corn tortilla, refried beans, rice and guacamole. *Wikipedia
- Soft-shell crab. “Dodgson shrugged, and speared a leg of soft-shell crab.”
- Lobster bisque.
- Baby organic greens.
- Seared ahi tuna. “Thorne walked over and picked up a sheet of paper on the table and read: “Lobster bisque, baby organic greens, seared ahi tuna.”
- French fries.
Meals in The Lost World | Isla Sorna, Costa Rica
The foods eaten while on Isla Sorna are food that you take on a trek. If you’re wanting to go with this idea for a menu, pack each person a ‘snack bag’, complete with a sandwich, snack bar, soft drink and candy bar.
- Tuna salad sandwich.
- Turkey sandwich in a bun.
- Power bar.
- Rehydrated meals.–herb-baked chicken breast
- Soft drinks.
- Candy bars.
- Canned beef stew.
- Frozen yogurt. (mentioned but not available)
- Diet Coke. (mentioned but not available)
Your second option is to take inspiration from the Jurassic Park locations. Both Isla Sorna (The Lost World) and Isla Nublar (Jurassic Park), are both fictional islands off the coast of Costa Rica. Take the opportunity to explore traditional Costa Rican recipes. For a starting point, try Striped Spatula’s Gallo pinto recipe or this fried ripe plantains recipe from The Spruce Eats. CostaRica.com also has a wide range of recipes, including one for Arroz con leche, that make it a one-stop shop.
Finally, if you’re throwing a dinner party for adults, dinosaur themed wine is a must. Here in Australia, I came across some wine with great packaging. What Lies Beneath is a black and white graphic with illustrations of fossils below the ground (including dinosaur skeletons). While the Land of Giants wine depicts, not a dinosaur, but a moa, a flightless bird from New Zealand that became extinct several hundred years ago due to hunting, I personally thought the packaging had a Jurassic Park feel. And if you can’t find a wine with a dinosaur themed label, at least top off your bottles with a dinosaur wine stopper!
Hopefully this checklist and list of food arms you with some ideas for your Jurassic Park party. If you use any ideas, I’d love to see them! Tag me on Instagram @brytontaylor.