Throw a Rock and Roll 1950s Party with these simple, budget-friendly ideas.
Amount of Time: 5 to 20 hours
Budget: $150 to $500
Age Group: Best for school-aged kids, 7 to 16
Number of Guests: Large groups work best, 15+
Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor works well, preferably in a basement or other large open space.
Special Notes: This is an especially favorite theme for school-aged kids and is relatively simple to organize. Guests add a lot to the feel and theme of the party by coming dressed up in 50s attire. Also, many of the activities take place on the sock hop dance floor, so planning time can be minimal if that is a factor. Also, if your kid wants a lot of people to attend his or her party, this theme works well and is manageable with a large group.
Check out thematic Rock and Roll party supplies to match this 1950s theme perfectly!
Rock and Roll 1950s Invitations:
Use pink material and cut it into a poodle skirt, then trace out pink card stock into the same shape. Paste the skirt material onto this colorful card stock. On the paper side, include all of the party details.
Use ClipArt to decorate an invitation off of the computer with a jukebox and other 50s memorabilia.
If you have a bunch of old 45 records lying around that you wouldn’t mind getting rid of, you could peel off the labels and print your own labels with the party details on the album and send these. You could use album language. For example, as the host, you could be the record producer, the guests could be the recording artists, etc.
Rock and Roll 1950s Decorations:
Dress the birthday child up in complete 1950s attire: a full skirt, cardigan, Mary Janes, pink scarf, jeans, leather jacket, etc.
Have your guests dress in 1950s attire: pink poodle skirts for the girls, jeans and white T-shirts for the boys. If a girl comes wearing just a poofy skirt, have her pin a pink poodle craft on it herself. You could provide goody bags to the girls at the beginning of the party with stuff they could use to dress up with: pink knapsacks full of mini tubes of red lip gloss, bubble gum, jewelry, scarves, etc.
Play 1950s music.
Make a jukebox out of styrofoam. You can do this either before the party as a decoration or as a craft at the party.
Have bright colored balloons and streamers throughout the party area, and try to find one or two 50s-themed helium balloons.
Have 50s-themed posters if you can find them.
Hang old records from the ceiling with brightly colored streamers.
Rock and Roll 1950s Crafts:
Have guests draw or color a pink poodle and decorate it with sequins, pink cotton balls, etc.
Provide black vests to the guests, and have them decorate a pink poodle pin that they can immediately clip onto the vest.
Play Pin the Tail on the Pink Poodle.
Have a 1950s sock hop!
Enjoy a hand jive concert to the music of Grease, of course!
Have hula-hoop and jump rope contests.
Enjoy a limbo competition.
Give away prizes of T-shirts and CDs like they are from a radio station. For smaller prizes, give out key chains, stickers, yo-yos.
Have a bubble-gum blowing contest.
Rock and Roll 1950s Menu:
Serve 1950s drive-in food: hot dogs, hamburgers, curly fries, onion rings, and milkshakes in a variety of flavors.
Make your own banana splits and root beer floats.
Serve the food in vintage red/white paper baskets.
Rock and Roll 1950s Cake:
Make a round cake and decorate it as a record album with a personalized label for the birthday kid.
Make a sheet cake, and frost and decorate it with a dance scene.
Make cupcakes, and decorate each one as a 45 LP with a different label from that era.
Rock and Roll 1950s Goody Bags:
For goodies, you could use popcorn boxes from the movie theater, and fill them with an assortment of goodies. Some ideas include glitter sunglasses, combs, microwave popcorn, mini coke bottles, gel pens with little notebooks, and Blow Pop lollipops.
Or, buy vintage soda pop glasses and fill them with an assortment of candies.