So what do you do? While you need to keep your little nerd happy, as it is his or her birthday after all, you can't go too far off the spectrum - or classmates will not want to attend.
This is where a little fun planning comes in.
Everyone loves a theme party - even adults. But you have to cautious. Don't plan a theme party that involves costumes or props that most kids don't have - or have easy access to at the last minute - unless you plan on providing said costumes or props. Which, at my house, is no problem as my son owns an entire costume shop in his closet.
The biggest key to throwing a theme party is to focus on the details. When I host theme parties for my kids, everything gets special attention... The invites are individually designed (Lucky for me, I have all the fancy programs to design book covers with, so whipping up custom invites for their parties is a breeze) for the event. The food is relevant to the chosen theme, as is the music. I create signs and props for everything.
For food, we had two stretched tables filled with everything you would find at an old school drive-in movie theater: hot dogs, popcorn, individually wrapped bags of cotton candy, movie theater style candies. Soda fountains, etc.