Chocolate whoopie pie on white background

Chocolate whoopie pie.

provided

Whether you love astronomy or just want to get together with family and friends to watch this year’s solar eclipse, Aug. 21 is a great time for a party.

Decorations

There’s an obvious theme for any eclipse party — the solar system — so look to space for your inspiration.

Stars, crescents and circles can be a fun place to start if you want to keep the look simple, but there’s no limit to how far your imagination can go.

Have a projector? Think about projecting an image of the moon on your wall for an unforgettable backdrop.

Globes or glass balls, often sold as garden sculptures, can make great space-themed centerpieces. Glowing balls from the toy aisle can make excellent moons.

For science-fiction lovers, using your favorite spaceships or characters in the decor can provide some inspiration.

And don’t limit your creativity to decorating the room. Fun hats and star-themed hair pins can show your fun-loving side.

Food

Moon Pies: This one may be too easy, but it’s perfect for the occasion. These marshmallow, graham cracker and chocolate treats are ideal for any eclipse party, whether store-bought or homemade.

Sun-dried fruits: Raisins, dried apricots and dates can be fun and healthy ways to pay homage to solar energy.

Freeze-dried ice cream: Often thought of as treats that astronauts eat, freeze-dried ice cream pellets such as Dippin’ Dots can be a great way to cool off on a summer day. While this chilled treat was never really used on the space shuttle, it still evokes the idea of space exploration.

Themed treats: Star-shaped cookies and crystal-like sprinkles can lend a celestial look to your baked goods.

Drinks

For the adults, mixed drinks can be a fun way to celebrate astronomy. Some classic space-related cocktails include:

Black hole: Black samba with ice and club soda.

Big bang: One part vodka, one part sambuca, one part absinthe.

UFO: One part gin, two parts lemon soda.

Bailey’s Comet: One part butterscotch schnapps, one part Bailey’s Irish cream, one part Goldschlager, one part sambuca.

In addition, Blue Moon beer is also a widely available drink, with the perfect name for an astro-themed party.

Music

No party would be complete without an eclipse-themed playlist. Some ideas:

• “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

• “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra

• “Eclipse” by Pink Floyd

• “Man on the Moon” by R.E.M.

• “Moon Shadow” by Cat Stevens

• “Space Jam” by Quad City DJs

• “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden

• “Black Star” by Radiohead

• “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers

• “Blue Moon” by The Marcels