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30 Creative 1950s Party Ideas

1950s Party

Updated on: Feb 19, 2024

Oh, to live during times of pink poodle skirts, Cadillacs, leather jackets, and rock and roll. With these 1950s party ideas, you no longer have to long for a sock hop and a drive-in movie theater experience in 2021. Lucky for you, these fun 50s features don't have to stay in the past. We offer you 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?

Aside from just general party ideas, we can also help you succeed in other party planning aspects, like budgeting and gift ideas.

1950s Party Ideas - Decorations

1. Record Table Runner

Get that diner vibe with record accents on a table runner. The contrast, paired with a solid color table will, transports guests back in time to a 50s diner.

Printed Rock & Roll Table Runner Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)

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2. Milkshake Centerpieces

Complete the look of your 1950s-inspired party by adding centerpieces that look like milkshakes! This can be done by easily filling a milkshake glass with glass beads, pink stuffing, or plastic flowers. A straw and a (plastic) cherry on top will complete the look.

3. 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!).

4. 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.

5. Jukebox

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 or mini jukebox and your Spotify playlist will do just fine.

1950s Party Ideas - Favors

6. 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.

Zone Tech Pair Black and White Mirror Fuzzy Dice – 3” Pair Black and White Plush Car Decorative Hanging Mirror Fuzzy Dice Pair

► RETRO CLASSIC - The Zone Tech black and white plush dice gives your car the ultimate retro look. These fuzzy dice were very popular in the 50’s and 60’s and still make a great accessory for your rearview mirror today. The black and white print allows you to express your personality in a small and inexpensive way. The Zone Tech black and white plush dice is not only an accessory to your car, it is also great for home and office decoration.
► STYLISH - The Zone Tech black and white plush dice adds style to your car's interior, a fuzzy dice designed to hang inside an automobile. The plush dice will add style to your environment.
► VERSATILITY - The Zone Tech black and white plush dice is not only an accessory to your car, it is also great for home and office decoration. You can also use it as a key chain.
► PREMIUM QUALITY - The Zone Tech black and white plush dice is made from premium quality plush fabric material with black printed design to ensure durability for long lasting usage.
► WASHABLE & BREATHABLE - The Zone Tech black and white plush dice material is 100% washable and breathable and it absorbs moisture without the worry of any lingering smell. The plush dice has good air permeability and is a perfect accessory for a nice drive on any weather condition.

7. 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.

8. 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!

9. Cracker Jack

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

10. Popcorn Bags

What better way to give your guests a parting gift than by giving them goodies in a pretty 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 1950s party theme, while also reminding guests of the days of drive-in movies. Some of the "bags" are actually plastic cups, allowing you to stuff the bags with candy without worrying about all that candy getting squished.

1950s Party Ideas - Food

13. Grilled Cheese

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

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12. 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.

11. 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. Add a touch of nostalgia by serving the hamburgers on a plastic tray. Pro Tip: Don't forget the fries!

14. Mac and Cheese

Classic comfort food that's still frequently served in diners - mac and cheese. Also great for kids! Make sure to serve a large bowl of this for your guests to share and enjoy. This classic dish will surely remind them of the 50s, and it will give them the opportunity to indulge.

15. Chips

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

16. Milkshakes

The 50s are notorious for their milkshakes! A milkshake bar with vintage glasses would be a treat that guests of all ages could enjoy.

17. Jell-O Pie

There were many strange recipes during this time that are super easy to recreate, one being the Jell-O pie. This is a fun creative dessert that would have guests feeling as if they are in a diner ordering this crazy dish.

1950s Party Ideas - Activities & Games

18. 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.

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19. 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.

20. 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 neon signs, an air-conditioned space, and lots of space to move.

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21. 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.

22. 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! Buying a fifties music trivia game or 50s movie trivia would also be another good option.

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1950s Party Ideas- Supplies

23. Vinyl Record Plates

These paper plates will have you feeling like 1950s rock royalty! Guests can put food on these records without having to worry about scratching them.

24. Soda Shop Table Cover

Get this table cover for your party and you'll really feel like you're hanging after school with Sandy and Danny! From the bright pink and blue to the stools on the side, everything about this cover screams the 50s.

25. Old Fashioned Plastic Sundae Cups

What better cups to go along with your table cover? These cups are designed to look like ones from a 50s ice cream shop. The only difference between these and the real thing is that they won't break when the party gets too rockin'.

Anchor Hocking 12.5-oz Vintage Soda Glass, Set of 12

INCLUDES: This Anchor Hocking set of glasses comes with (12) 12.5-ounce soda fountain style glasses. Raise a glass to styles of yesterday.
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USE: These soda glasses make perfect wedding gifts, holiday gifts, and birthday gifts. Made for all manner of mixed ice-cream, floats, drinks, juices, iced-teas, water, and more.

26. 1950s-Themed Napkins

In order to complete your 1950s table set, you just need to buy these 1950s-themed napkins! Because there are so many aspects of the 50s to choose from, you have the liberty to choose the type of napkin that you feel most represents the party that you plan to hold. Or, simply purchase ones that roughly match the color of the rest of the table.

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27. Black Utensils

It's important that the utensils that you provide also match with the plates. Thus, if your plates are vinyl record-themed, the utensils that you choose must be coordinated in color. So in this case, plain black plastic utensils would work best. After all, utensils are small, so it would be difficult finding some with 1950s designs.

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28. Polaroid Camera

Black and white polaroid cameras were huge in the 1950s! You can now purchase them at an affordable price and it is a great memory for guests to take home. All you have to do is buy a camera and film and then guests will be able to take their own pictures during the party.

1950s Party Ideas - Invitations

29. Dinner Menu Invitations

Send a digital or printable 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.

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30. Postcard Invitations

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.

31. Movie Ticket Invitations

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.

32. Guitar Invitations

Nothing reminds you of the 50s more than a good old-fashioned rock-and-roll guitar. Inviting people to your party using a rock-and-roll guitar invitation is thus an amazing way to impress them and get them excited for the 50s-themed party that is about to come.

33. Sock Hop Invitations

Are you looking for a more music-centered invitation that still encapsulates the 50s? Try these jukebox invitations! It is a creative design that will surely impress your guests and put them in a groovy mood for the upcoming party!

1950s Party: Conclusion

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. We've got other adult birthday party ideas, general birthday party ideas, other party themes, and so much more!

Written by Jessica Bundy and Jillian Smith; Contributors: June Park, Stephanie Tse, Daniel Ong, and Stacie Lowe

June Park

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

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Stephanie Tse

Binghamton University School of Management

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