31 Creative 1950s Party Ideas

Oh, to live during times of pink poodle skirts, Cadillacs, leather jackets, and rock and roll.  Do you ever just long for a sock hop and a drive-in movie theater experience in 2020?  Lucky for you, these fun 50s features don’t have to stay in the past.  We created 1950s party ideas with suggestions and a list of supplies you’ll need to help you throw the best 1950s theme party.  Read, get ready, and throw on some outfits, because your party’s about to get a blast from the past. Ya, dig?

1950s Party Ideas – Invitations

1950s Party Ideas: Invitations

1. Dinner Menu

Send that invite as a dinner menu! Your guests will surely appreciate the creativity, and they might be more inclined to dress up and go along with your theme as a result of your dinner party.

2. Postcard

We wish you were here; oh wait, you’re invited! Send your invitations as postcards, with all of your invite information on the back of the card. The front can be a picture of a diner, car, or something 50s-themed.

3. Movie Ticket

Throw it back to the diners’ days and drive-in movie theaters with an invite as a movie ticket. Make sure it matches your color scheme: think black, white, and pink or red.

4. Rockin’ Record

Nothing reminds you of the 50s more than a good old-fashioned record. Cut out circles of black cardstock and put your info in the center circle, as a record would be. Don’t worry; your invite doesn’t have to be the size of an actual record.

1950s Party Ideas – Decorations

1950s Party Ideas: Decorations

5. Black and White

Get that diner vibe with black and white accents on cups, tables, napkins, or streamers. The contrast, paired with a poodle pink, transports guests back in time to a 50s diner.

6. Record Whirls

A fun, 50s alternative to streamers. Most party stores sell whirl streamers with records on the end for 50s-themed parties (like this one!).

7. Milkshake Centerpieces

Complete the look by adding centerpieces that look like milkshakes! This can be done by filling a milkshake glass with glass beads, pink stuffing, or plastic flowers. A straw and a (plastic) cherry on top will complete the look.

8. Hot Rods

The incorporation of old-style cars into your decorations is a surefire way to give your party the 50s vibe you want. This can be in the form of a tapestry, cutout, or even little model cars as table decorations.

9. Jukebox Jams

The jukebox marked the 1950’s era which is why we included it in our 1950s party guide. If you have the means, rent, or buy a jukebox! Rental services exist just for this purpose. If you don’t feel like spending the extra money, a jukebox tapestry and your Spotify playlist will do just fine.

1950s Party Ideas – Costumes

1950s Party Ideas: Costumes

10. 50s Housewife Outfit

The housewife played an important hardworking role at home back in the day when the husband goes off to work. The wife at home that stays in fashion while doing household chores, making meals for the family, and volunteering to give back to their local community. Dress the vintage part in the typical 50s housewife outfit consisting of an apron, a dress with flat shoes, or cute heels as the only outfit worn throughout the day.

11. Sock Hop Attire

There’s nothing like a sock hop event without the sock hop attire! Throw it back to the twirling teenage girls dressed up in poodle skirts and saddle shoes with white lace socks dancing the night away. These cute poodle skirts were quite popular for a sock hop.

12. Marilyn Monroe

Play dress up in Marilyn Monroe’s clothes as this iconic beauty and a sex symbol from the ’50s. The one who stole the hearts of men and made the other ladies jealous, who wished to be her. Bring out the blonde in you and just have some more fun!

Classic 1950s Party Ideas – Menu

Classic 1950s Party Ideas: Menu

13. Hamburgers

Perhaps the most iconic diner food which is why we added it to our 1950s party guide as an essential item. Grill burgers for your guests and serve them up with lettuce, tomato, onion, and their choice of condiments. We highly recommend ketchup, mustard, mayo, or Thousand Island dressing. Don’t forget to offer cheese, too – for some people; it’s the only proper way to eat a hamburger. Pro Tip: Don’t forget the fries!

14. Club Sandwiches

If you don’t feel like grilling burgers or prefer to offer your guests something more healthy, opt for club sandwiches! Guests can make their club sandwiches by layering chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, and tomato between two pieces of toasted bread. Slice the sandwiches into small pieces to make them more fingers friendly.

15. Grilled Cheese

For your vegetarian guests, serve grilled cheese as an alternative to hamburgers and meat sandwiches. Still classic, still yummy.

16. Mac and Cheese

Classic comfort food that’s still frequently served in diners – mac and cheese. Also great for kids!

17. Chips

For an appetizer or snack food, fill large bowls with chips and place them around your party area for your guests to snack on.

18. Old Fashioned Soda Bottles

We all know, deep down, that Coca-Cola tastes better in a glass bottle. Purchase old fashioned-style glass soda bottles to give your party that exquisite diner feels. Please make sure they’re refrigerated before you hand them to guests!

19. Lemonade

Sweet, tasty, and classic. Make lemonade from scratch for a traditional diner drink, or purchase a mix from the store. You can also add strawberry or raspberry syrup to the lemonade for a fun twist on the classic drink.

20. Milkshakes

When it comes to diner foods, milkshakes are nearly as iconic as burgers! They’re super easy to make on the spot, and you can provide some flavor options to guests. Serve them in traditional milkshake glasses with those cute striped straws you can get at most party stores.

21. Root Beer Floats

An excellent dessert choice that is easy, delicious, and straight out of a time machine from the 50s. Guests can even serve themselves – provide a selection of soda flavors, vanilla ice cream, straws, spoons, and cups.

1950s Party Ideas – Activities & Games

1950s Party Ideas: Activities

22. Costume Contest

We added a costume contest to our 1950s Party Guide because it lets guests go all out and show off their style! Ask your guests to show up in 50s attire! Offer prizes to the most creative, authentic, and hilarious costumes. Extra points if someone dresses like Elvis.

23. Sundae Station

A classic dessert solution that’s also a fun activity for all! Put out different flavors of ice cream and toppings, such as whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and cherries. Because this isn’t actually the 1950s, be sure to include some non-dairy options for your vegan or lactose-intolerant friends. It’s always fun to offer fun bowls and spoons to add to the “diner” feel of the evening.

24. Sock Hop!

Grab your date and dance the night away! Throw on some 50’s sock hop attire, press play on the jukebox (or your 50s Spotify playlist), and get the dancing started. Provide fun lights, an air-conditioned space, and lots of space to move.

25. Fifties Music Trivia

Baby, let’s rock! Divide your guests into teams and play short segments of fifties music, like songs by Elvis and Chuck Berry. The teams then must try their best to guess the song and singer. Award the winners with prizes, because that’s a lot of knowledge to have!

26. Get Active!

Those kids in the 50s sure knew how to move. Host a hula hooping competition, a limbo tournament, or a hopscotch game to bring out your guests’ competitive spirits.

1950s Party Ideas – Favors

1950s Party Ideas: Favors

27. Hanging Fluffy Dice

For the car, the home, or the bag (as a snazzy keychain!). An inexpensive way to put a smile on your guests’ faces as they remember the rockin’ time they had at your party with a soft, hanging fluffy dice.

28. Cat-eye Glasses

You know, the white or black ones that girls in poodle skirts wear? Your guests will get a kick out of looking like they jumped out of a time machine. Check out those cat-eye glasses here!

29. Old-style Candy

Great table decorations as well as party favors. Go for gumballs, licorice, Milk Duds, and candy cigarettes. Personalize the packaging to really “wow” your guests.

30. Cracker Jacks

Fun packaging, fond memories, and even a prize inside! Delicious caramel popcorn and peanuts will remind your guests of good times.

31. Popcorn Bags

What better way to give your guests a parting gift than by giving them goodies in a red-and-white striped popcorn bag? Since this is such a simple yet amazing gift you can give your guest we had to include it in our 1950s party guide. The packaging pairs well with the 50s diner theme, while also reminding guests of the days of drive-in movies. Some “bags” are actually plastic cups, allowing you to stuff them with candy without worrying about the contents getting squished.  


Now that you’ve got your ideas flowing with our 1950s party ideas, go throw that 50s party of your dreams! With our list of 1950s costume ideas, invitations, decorations, and favors, we hope that your guest will also love the fifties party that you will throw! For more blogs like this or for tools to plan your next party, check out Easy Event Planning!

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