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20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s Theme Party Ideas for Adults

Posted by Rae Lynn on 7/1/2014 to Birthday
Decade parties are a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or commemorations of an event or date. Guests love dressing up for “the look” of the period; just add nostalgic playlists, decorations, food and drink to create a memorable occasion.

The most popular idea for a decades theme party is to combine vintage elements from the period or even a specific year. Alternatively, you may choose to make one specific event or trend your theme, such as a Sock Hop Party for the 50's. Another idea is to combine elements of all eras for a Retro Party or Come As Your Favorite Decade Party.

And to get your creative juices flowing, we have put together our best 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, & 90s theme party ideas. Whether you are celebrating a year, date or age, we've dug up the party-friendly highlights in trends, fads, icons, music, TV, movies, people and fashion from each decade from 1920-2000. 

Roaring 20s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • Gangsters & Flappers/Speakeasy
    • Silent Movie Premiere
    • Gatsby/Black & White Grandeur
    • King Tut/Egyptian 
  • Events & trends: Prohibition, King Tut's tomb discovered
  • Iconic: Charleston (dance), raccoon coats, cigarette holders
  • Arts/Culture: Art deco, Great Gatsby, flappers, gangsters, speakeasies, prohibition
  • Fashion: Bob haircut, finger waves, flapper dress, cloche hat, fedora, bowler hat, newsboy cap, bright red lipstick
  • Movies: The Jazz Singer, On With The Show
  • Music: Jazz age; George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington
  • Famous people: Charlie Chaplain, Greta Garbo, Buster Keaton, Harry Houdini, Babe Ruth, Johnny Weissmuller, Al Capone, Rudolph Valentino
  • President: Harding, Coolidge
Dirty 30s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • Gone With The Wind
    • Wizard of Oz
    • Horror Movies: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy
    • Comedy Teams: Laurel & Hardy, 3 Stooges, Marx Bros
  • Events & trends: The great depression, dust bowl, Hindenburg crash, rhumba
  • Iconic: Empire State Building, Superman, comic books, Betty Boop
  • Arts/Culture: Art deco, radio
  • Fashion: Floral prints, fur, double-breasted overcoats, fedoras
  • Music: Jazz, Swing, Big Band
  • Famous People: Laurel & Hardy, Marx Bros, Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Alfred Hitchcock, Boris Karloff, Amelia Earhart, Bonnie & Clyde, Jack Benny
  • President: Hoover, FD Roosevelt
Fabulous 40s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • Polynesian/Hawaiian Luau
    • Wartime: Army, Navy or Air Force
    • Casablanca
    • Detective/Private Eye
  • Events & trends: World War II, plastics mass produced, rationing, swallowing goldfish
  • Iconic: M&Ms, Bugs Bunny, war bond posters
  • Fashion: Animal skins, floral print dresses, peep-toe shoes, bright colors, bold make-up, bomber jackets, gloves
  • Music: Swing, Big Band, bebop
  • Television: Howdy Doody, Ed Sullivan
  • Famous People: Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Joe DiMaggio, Abbott & Costello, Betty Grable, Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth
  • President: FD Roosevelt, Truman
Nifty 50s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • Rock n Roll Sock Hop
    • Soda Shops & Car Hops
    • Tiki Luau
    • I Love Lucy/Babalu
    • MASH (Korean War)
  • Events & trends: Television, commercial jet travel, Sputnik launched, Korean War, Playboy magazine, Disneyland, Cold War
  • Iconic: Jukebox, drive-ins, atomic bomb, soda shop, The Twist, 3-D movies, Edsel, coonskin hats, Slinky, tikis, hula-hoop, Pez, tupperware, tail fins
  • Arts/Literature: Beat generation of writers/poets, abstract expressionism
  • Fashion: A-lines, poodle skirts, letter sweaters, bobby socks, saddle oxfords, leather jackets, sideburns
  • Movies: Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve, On the Waterfront, Ben Hur, Rear Window, Some Like It Hot, Rebel Without A Cause
  • Music: Rock and Roll, Doo Wop, Folk Revival, Blues, Elvis
  • Television: I Love Lucy, Ozzie & Harriet, Leave It To Beaver, Gunsmoke, Dragnet
  • Famous People: Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Chuck Berry, James Dean, the Kingston Trio, Ray Charles, Marlon Brando
  • President: Truman, Eisenhower
Swingin' 60s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • James Bond/Casino
    • Breakfast at Tiffany's
    • Annette & Frankie Surfer/Beach Party
    • Flower Power/Tie-Dye Hippie/Summer of Love
    • Gilligan's Island/Luau
    • Pink Flamingo
  • Events & trends: Hippies, Woodstock/Summer of Love, civil rights, space race, Vietnam War
  • Iconic: Barbie, lava lamp, smiley faces, pink flamingos, peace sign, VW bus
  • Fashion: Mini-skirts, pillbox hats, nehru jackets, false eyelashes, pale lipstick, bikinis, bell-bottoms, paisley, go-go boots, afros, tie dye, beehives, neon colors
  • Movies: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pink Panther, Mary Poppins, The Birds, Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals
  • Music: Beatles, Doors, Supremes, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Mamas & The Papas, Jackson 5
  • Television: Twilight Zone, Gilligan’s Island, Bonanza, Star Trek, Andy Griffith, Flintstones
  • Famous People: Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Andy Warhol, Muhammed Ali
  • President: Kennedy, Johnson 
Super 70s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • Studio 54/Disco
    • Smiley Face Hippie
    • Rocky Horror Picture Show
    • Trucker/Smokey & The Bandit
  • Events & trends: Oil/energy crisis, women's rights, imported cars, streaking, macrame
  • Iconic: 8-tracks, bean bag chairs, black lights, shag carpet, pet rocks, puka beads, waterbeds, fuzzy dice, clock radio
  • Tech: Calculators, microwaves, CB radios
  • Fashion: Bell bottomed pants, flowered & geometric prints, sideburns & beards, platform shoes, leisure suits, suede with fringe, hot pants, headbands, turtlenecks, tube tops, polyester, plaid, feathered bangs, fat ties, wide belts & collars (not fashion's best moment)
  • Movies: Star Wars, The Godfather, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, Jaws, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Smokey & The Bandit
  • Music: The Carpenters, Black Sabbath, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Bee Gees, ABBA, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, KC & The Sunshine Band.
  • Television: All In The Family, The Partridge Family, Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Brady Bunch, Good Times, The Love Boat, Sonny & Cher, Hollywood Squares, MASH
  • Video Games: Pong, Asteroids, Space Invaders
  • Famous People: Bruce Lee, Raquel Welch, Robert De Niro, Farah Fawcett, Hank Aaron, John Travolta, Walter Cronkite, Robert Redford, Sally Field
  • President: Nixon, Ford, Carter
Big 80s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • 80s Arcade/Pac Man
    • Miami Vice
    • Indiana Jones
    • Pretty In Pink
  • Iconic & trends: HBO, Rubik's cube, Cabbage Patch dolls, break dancing, Care Bears, hacky-sack, MTV, Baby On Board, gay rights, moonwalking
  • Fashion: Big hair, hair gel, shoulder pads, jean jackets, ripped jeans, Members Only jackets, legwarmers, Wayfarers, big earrings, fingerless gloves, over-sized tops, Swatches, stirrup pants, jelly shoes
  • Tech: VCRs, answering machines, car phones, Walkman, boomboxes, PCs
  • Movies: Back to the Future, Top Gun, E.T., Indiana Jones, Rambo, Crocodile Dundee, The Breakfast Club, A Nightmare On Elm St, Flashdance
  • Music: Michael Jackson, Madonna, Guns N Roses, Flock of Sea Gulls, Duran Duran, Whitney Houston, Metallica, Bananarama, Beastie Boys, B-52s, INXS, Huey Lewis & the News
  • Television: Dallas, Miami Vice, Golden Girls, Magnum PI, The Cosby Show, The Dukes of Hazzard, Cheers, Hill St Blues, The Facts of Life, Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Designing Women
  • Famous People: Princess Diana, Pee Wee Herman, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Hulk Hogan, Richard Gere, Patrick Swayze, Joan Collins, Donald Trump
  • Video Games: Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Tetris, Frogger, Centipede, Q-Bert
  • President: Reagan
Grungy 90s Theme Party Ideas
  • Theme Ideas
    • High School/Saved By The Bell
    • Latin Macarena 
    • Where's Waldo?
    • Jurassic Park
    • 90210
  • Iconic & trends: Y2K, beanie babies, aerodynamic cars, Furby, Napster, rollerblades, Macarena, Tickle Me Elmo, 24 hour news, Where's Waldo?, Power Rangers, slap bracelets
  • Fashion: Overalls, fanny packs, leotards, slouch socks, flannel shirts, Maxi dresses, flared pants, high-waisted miniskirts, parachute pants, piercings, sagging pants, hypercolor shirts, bleached hair & tips, Reebok pumps, "Rachel" haircut, chain wallets, scrunchies, Wonderbra
  • Tech: AOL, Discman, pagers, Gameboy, chat room
  • Movies: Titanic, Forest Gump, Jurassic Park, Men In Black, The Lion King, Home Alone, The Matrix, Silence of the Lambs, Clueless, Scream
  • Music: Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, Backstreet Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, OutKast, REM, TLC, Spice Girls, Dr. Dre, Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Television: Friends, Seinfield, Saved By The Bell, Ren & Stimpy, Roseanne, Frasier, Married...With Children, Beverly Hills 90210, Baywatch, Beavis & Butthead
  • Video Games: Pokemon, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Super Mario, Doom, Legend of Zelda, Chrono Trigger
  • Famous People: Luke Perry, Ellen Degeneres, Monica Lewinsky, Britney Spears, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Newt Gingrich, Justin Timberlake
  • President: GH Bush, Clinton
Share your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s theme party ideas.

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2 Comments

Jasper
Date: 10/31/2015
As for the 70s, very good, I can use and will steal some ideas. Right now I have only found these pages: rustyzipper.com and wew.dk/70s-theme-party
Andrew Woods
Date: 6/22/2017
I am organising a summer ball amd need to decorate the event area. Theme is 70s /80s retro. Looking for back drops, wyc

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