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Most parties are also very laid-back and modern but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. You can turn back time by throwing an Era or Generation Party which are inspired by the fashion, food, drinks, and forgotten fads of the Nineteen (but not really forgotten!). You need to party like your great grandmas and great grandpas once did and have the best time of your life in a theme party of the50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s!

Decide on which era you want to go back to and prepare everything as if you were living in that era. Create a vintage vibe that will turn back the hands of the clock to when Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles ruled the world.

Here are the best and most exciting eras and generations you can use for your parties:

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Fabulous 50’s Theme Party

The 50’s were known to be the Golden Age! It was the decade of unprecedented economic growth that benefited both the capitalists and workers, as a result of higher wages. It was also known as the Golden Age of Television.

Other than that, this was the decade when Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and James Dean got their big breaks! This decade was also famous for introducing the TV dance show “American Bandstand” which featured brisk teenage dancers showing off their moves. Everyone surely did the shake, jitterbug, rattle and roll giving way to a whole new style of dancing at that time.

Setup of 50’s Party:

A Fabulous 50’s party can be set up as a retro diner with checkered black-and-white domino dance floor, vintage counters and seats. As for the lights, you can use old school fluorescents that will add to the vintage vibe of the venue.

You can even set up a DIY vintage car made of cardboards and paint or if you have one lying around in your garage, display it during your party for guests to take pictures in. You can also rent and put a jukebox somewhere near the dance floor so that guests can pick songs and music that will take everyone back in time.

Food & Beverages at a 50’s Party:

If you are looking to give your guests a serious 50’s food Nostalgia, you can serve gelatin molds, fondue, Swedish meatballs, and tuna noodle casserole together with the classic diner favorites which are burgers, fries, and milkshakes. The guests will be in for a 50’s treat like no other!

If you wanted a cold, refreshing drink or ice cream back in the 50s, soda fountains were the ultimate answer! Set up a soda fountain in the middle of your buffet and your guests will surely love the fab touch.

What To Wear at a 50’s Party:

As every decade is marked by crazy trends or timeless fashion statements, the fifties were no exception. The decade paved the way for a new era of fashion and entertainment.

In making the party invitations, you may give out suggestions for your guests’ outfits so that everyone will look the part! The guests’ outfits can really add to the old school vibe of a generation party that is why it’s so important that they are told ahead of time what to wear.

Ladies should wear the appropriate style of the 50’s era which can be polkadot dresses or an oversized shirt over some 50’s pants. If you’re daring enough, you can also wear the famous conical bras which was a very hit source of sex appeal. It was commonly known as bullet bra or torpedo because of its cone-shaped cups!

Guys can wear black leather jackets or letter sweaters. Pretend that you are a cool kid or a jock in the 1950’s with these fashion statements. You can also sport coonskin caps that were made famous in 1954 by Fess Parker when he played David Crocket in the Disney mini series.

Another certified 50’s fashion trend is the sideburns for men! The whole sleek look with the leather jackets wasn’t complete without some gnarly burns. Famous stars like Elvis Presley and James Dean each had a pair which is about one and a half inches below the ears.

Of course, any 1950’s party outfit won’t be complete without a pair of sunnies and dancing shoes!

Games & Activities for 50’s Parties:

1. Hula-hoop Dance Contest

One of the biggest 50’s fads that gracefully stood the test of time is the Hula-Hoop. You can do a dance battle to be participated by the guests and the catch would be that they should dance while doing hula-hoops!

2. Sock Hops

It was a Prom Dance thing in the 50’s wherein the teenagers would remove their shoes and do the shake, jitterbug, rattle and roll while dancing to rock n’ roll music. This type of dance will have everyone on their feet and feel free-spirited to have the best time ever!

3. 3D Movies

Arch Oboler’s “Bwana Devil” stirred up the 3D craze of the 50s. Sixty years later, 3D movies still get rave reviews. You can have a booth or corner in your venue with a movie screen and have some glasses for guests to use and enjoy a 3D movie experience that all started in the 1950’s.

Hippie 60’s Theme Party

The Sixties was a very diverse era full of love, peace, freedom, flower power, hippies and psychedelic influence! It was the era of Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Dusty Springfield and the Beach Boys.

Setup of 60’s party:

If you have the necessary background and idea for your party, it’s pretty simple to set it up! It can be a hippie wonderland with its rainbow colored banners, peace signs, floral decors, and neon peace and flower signs, teepees, love hearts and psychedelic posters!

If you want the colors with your 1960s theme to really pop, you can turn your party party into a glow party with a black light glow. You can fill the walls and ceilings with all the decors you prepared. You can also set up your handmade rainbow colored, floral arch and a huge peace sign at the middle of the venue.

Food & Beverages at a 60’s Party:

Travel back in time with all the food you’ll serve to your guests. Fill an area in the table with snacks like Pringles, Pop-Tarts, Doritos, Starburst, Chips Ahoy!, Gatorade, Sprite, and Ruffles… all made during the 60’s!

Let the guests also try some of the popular 60’s dishes of:

  • Lipton Onion Soup Dip
  • Desserts and Salads Encased in Gelatin
  • Meatballs with Grape Jelly

To match the wonderland you created, you can also serve colorful desserts like candies, cakes and goodies all placed in equally colorful bowls, trays, wrappers, bottles and more!

What To Wear at a 60’s Party:

Attending a party as colorful as this, you should wear anything with tie-dye, large flower power print, colorful peace signs or love hearts. You can accessorize with some simple, yet creative ideas. Turn peace and flower decorations into fashion accessories! For ladies, peace sign necklaces, flower stick on earrings and head crowns are some of the best accessories for your outfit!

If you want more of an earthy tone of hippie style, you can play with soft colors with patterns such as paisley and flowers. You can be the demure flower in a garden of wildflowers!!! You can also finish your look with a pair of retro peace shaped glasses or a funky bandanna in your hair!

Games &. Activities for 60’s Parties:

There is a lot of creative and fun stuff you can try for your 1960’s party. All of these have something to do with the era.

1. Piñata

Prepare a flower shaped piñata or a love bug piñata filled with candies and other goodies. Blindfold a volunteer guest a bat or decorated stick to hit the piñata. There are also some pull-down piñatas for your convenience.

2. Pin the smiley face on the groovy girl vest.

Draw a picture or find a picture on the internet of a girl wearing a plain dress. Stick it on the wall. Blindfold each guest and give each one a festive sticker so they can help decorate the dress and make it “groovy” or “hippie”. You’ll all laugh at the outcome of the dress after everyone has stuck their sticker on the dress.

3. 60s Trivia Game

Collect lots of information about the 60s era and create trivia questions out of them. Divide guests into teams and see which team knows the most about the 1960’s! Prepare prizes to make the game interesting.

Here are some awesome 1960’s trivia questions that will get you started:

  • Which band ‘invaded’ the USA in 1964, and altered the music scene over there? (Beatles)
  • Name the groundbreaking sci-fi film released on this date that follows a stranded astronaut as he navigates his way through a strange and hostile civilization. (Planet of the Apes)
  • Which dance from the ‘60s created the largest craze? (The Twist)
  • Which film was based on the renowned stage play of the same name, took home the Oscar for the best picture of 1966?
  • What was the title of Marilyn’s last movie that hit the theaters in 1961? (The Misfits)

Rock n Rollin’ 70’s Theme Party

From Star Wars to Rock n Roll, the 70’s had a lot going on like the computerized version of Pong, “do the hustle” dance steps, doing the Village People’s “YMCA” dance and more! Throwing a party to go back to this era is going to be super awesome!!!

Setup of 70’s Party:

Choose a venue which is big enough to have a dance area. Make sure to use black lights and strobe lights to make the dance floor look like it has technicolor. Make use of metallic streamers and confetti for the tables and dance floor. On the ceiling, you can hang a big disco ball in the middle and some old school record discs to make it look like it’s raining CDs during the party.

You can also decorate the tables with brightly colored table cloths and neon and black balloons as centerpieces.

Food & Beverages at 70’s Party:

You can serve fruit punch and the other food that were popular in the 1970’s in a buffet by the side of the dance floor where people can get after they get tired dancing. Here are some of the dishes that has literally defined the 1970’s:

  • Pineapple Chicken (The Hawaiian culture spread during this decade that is why anything with pineapple became a total hit!!!)
  • Quiche
  • Cheeseballs
  • Carrot Cake for dessert
  • Pasta Primavera
  • Salad bars with ranch and green goddess dressing
  • Crepes

What to Wear at a 70’s Party:

You make sure to mention in your invitation that the ladies should wear vintage disco outfits and colorful wigs like they all did back then. They can opt for shiny dresses or jumpsuits! The guys can wear Elvis Presley style outfits and afro wigs just like they did during that era.

Games & Activities for 70’s Parties:

1. Pong

If you can find a Pong gaming set and set it up somewhere near the stage for everyone to see, you can hold a little contest for it anytime during the party. Any 70’s kid would feel nostalgic to hear the distinctive sounds of the Pong game.

2. Hustle and YMCA Dance For Everyone

These two iconic dances during the 1970’s will have everyone on their feet during the party. You can even give prizes to the guests with the most impressive moves and confidence.

3. 70’s Party Trivia Game

Gather some stuff about the 70s era and make up trivia questions on them. Divide guests into teams and see which team knows the most about the 1970’s! Prepare prizes to make the game interesting.

Here are some sample questions you can ask:

  • Aside from the Hustle dance, which 1970’s dance craze was very famous by the Village People? (Answer: YMCA)
  • Which very famous kiddie TV show was first aired during the 1970’s? (Answer: Sesame Street)
  • What do you call the 70’s fashion accessory that has a liquid crystal thermometer? (Answer: Mood Ring)
  • What was the famous American animated TV show that was so catchy that it tricked the kids into learning while watching television? (Answer: Schoolhouse Rock)
  • What was the name of George Lucas’ space opera that first hit movie theaters in 1977? (Answer: Star Wars)

Eccentric 80’s Theme Party

The 1980’s is best known for all the games people played back then. Name it all, Pacman, Rubik’s cube, the classic gameboy… These were all very popular during the 1980’s! It was also known for extreme fashions like “big hair”, rap music and breakdancing!

Setup of 80’s Party:

You can choose to create a green and pink neon wonderland with big Pacman standees and cutouts that you can spread all over the venue. You can also even place an actual Pacman video game somewhere in the venue to let guests play!

You may also buy old 1980’s toys which you can use as centerpieces on the tables. The guests can play with them during the party and bring them home as souvenirs. You can put some Rubik’s cube, cassette tapes, cassette players, roller shoes, and maybe a classic gameboy!

Food & Beverages at an 80’s Party:

Treat your guests to a food trip down memory lane with these popular dishes and snacks served during the 1980’s:

  • Cheeseballs
  • Apricot Chicken
  • Hedgehogs
  • Asparagus rolls
  • Vol au vents
  • YoYo biscuits

What To Wear at an 80’s party:

Ladies can have big hair during the party, you can wear denims and jeans with ripped knees. If you’re up for something more girly, try wearing shirts or blouses with frills which you can pair with leggings, or high-waisted jeans, or bell-bottoms.

Guys can wear denim pants paired with denim jackets, bomber jackets, baggy jumpers, Hawaiian shirts and even tracksuits!

Games & Activities for an 80’s party:

There is a lot of fun stuff from the 80’s that will leave your guests breathless with thrill and excitement.

1. PacMan

Using the video game setup, your guests can play PacMan all throughout the party. You can give prizes to the winners.

2. Rubik’s Cube

You can ask for volunteers on who would be up for the Rubik’s cube challenge and let the guests race to finish the cube!

3. Trivial Pursuit

This was one of the favorite pastimes during the 80’s. You can play a round of trivial pursuit in between the parts of your program to make things interesting and test everyone’s general knowledge!

Raging 90’s

From the romance movie Ghost to the Disney cartoon remakes of renaissance stories and to the Nickelodeon game shows, the 1990’s was a decade of New Age fun. The music during this decade was fueled by the Grunge style bands of Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

Setup of 90’s Party:

The whole venue should be filled with bold color combinations and layered patterns since these were popular during the decade. You can use old cassette tapes as invitations to be sent to every guest. You can use a geometric shapes-printed table cloth to give out a 90’s cool vibe. For the rest of the spaces and furniture in the venue, choose pastel or neon colored ones that remind you of old school skating rinks!

Make sure to utilize neon party lights (or old Christmas lights!) and spread a lot of cassette tape stacks around to add to the old school effect.

Food & Beverages at a 90’s Party:

There are a lot of 90’s creative food ideas to prepare for your party! The 90’s is all about the classic favorites so one great idea would be to make a Gourmet “Lunchables” Pizza Bar. Pizza Lunchables were a great hit during the 90’s. Since it’s a bit expensive to buy pizza lunchables, just prepare food boxes for the guests in which they could place their customized pizzas. All you have to do is dedicate a part of the buffet for different types of pizza ingredients:

  • Mini pizza crusts or flat breads
  • 2-3 types of cheeses ( mozzarella, crumbled feta, crumbled goat cheese)
  • Meats (pepperoni, sausages, chicken strips, ground pork, vegan pepperoni, sausages, etc.)
  • Veggies ( mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, etc.)
  • Sauce Options (Basil Pesto, classic marinara pizza sauce, Alfredo, Balsamic, etc.)

Aside from the pizza bar, you can also add lots of goodies and snacks that were very popular in the 90’s. These were the crowd favorites and your guests will surely be in for a nostalgic experience for their palates. Check out the classic snacks, desserts and drinks we all love:

What To Wear at a 90’s party:

The 1990’s trend was a bit casual and laid-back. Both girls and boys have a lot of choices for the outfits you’ll wear. You can choose from the following famous laid-back styles of the decade:

For Boys

  • The Plaid Flannel Shirt
  • The Oversized Shirt
  • The Zipper Turtleneck (also available in short-sleeved)
  • The Bowling Shirt
  • Salt N’ Pepper Shirt

For Girls

  • Satin Shirt
  • Spaghetti Strap Dress
  • Oriental Dresses
  • Braided Belts.

Wear any of these and you’ll surely look rad and very ready to party the old school way!

Games & Activities:

A night of retro fun with a 90’s theme needs some serious 90’s games that will bring back wonderful childhood memories. Here the classic favorite games during the 1990’s:

1. Charades

A classic favorite that always makes everyone a bit competitive. You can play this game by team. Each round, each team should have a volunteer. As a volunteer, you should guess the word that the other team has chosen for you. The other team should act out without talking or using words/sounds in order for you to guess.

The team with the most correct guesses wins!

Follow this link to know more about the game we all love! Charades Game Rules

2. Twister

For this classic game, you will need a Twister mat. Teams need to face each other on opposite ends of the mat. Players stand side-by-side with each foot on a circle nearest to the Twister name on the mat. The referee spins the spinner and calls out a hand or foot and a color circle. You will need to follow the instructions and try to twist your bodies as much as you can.

3. Guess the lyrics!

A lot of people love music and singing! This game brings both to the table. You just play a song using your phone and then abruptly pause it without warning so that the player can try to guess the next lyrics to the song!

There you have it, just pick a decade and plan that retro party you have been dreaming about. Take a step back in time and relieve yourself off all the techie and modern parties that are so in right now. Get yourself ready for a night of peace and love, disco dancing, crazy clothing, and groovy music!!!

✍️  December 28, 2020

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