Flappers and gangsters, speakeasies and jazz. A 1920s theme party is one filled with glamour, glitz, and good old fashioned fun. Here are some of our favorite roaring 20s party ideas to help you plan a spectacular event.
Invitations for a 1920s Theme Party
Great invitations are the calling card for an amazing party. Here are some fun ideas for 1920s themed party invitations.
Secret Password Invitations — During the 1920s, prohibition was in full swing and so parties had to be held privately in speakeasies. Invite your guests to your party by sending them an ivitation containing a secret password which they will need to enter. Then, as they arrive, you might direct them to enter through the secret (back) door where a bouncer (the party host) checks to see if they can give the party password.
1920s Fashion Invitations — Dressing up is half the fun at a 1920s party. Inspire your guests’ costume ideas by sending invitations written on postcards of 1920s fashions.
Cocktails and Dancing — Give your guests a glimpse of what the evening has in store by sending a fun, themed invitation. Add your party information and be sure to ask everyone to come in costume! Here are a few invitations we found that would work well at a 1920s theme party:
Stylish Symbols Invitations
Cocktail Fun Invitations
Dressing for a 1920s Theme Party
Here are some 1920s costume ideas to inspire you:
For the Ladies:
- Flapper dresses
- Cloche hats
- Feathered headdresses
- Long strands of pearls
- Feather boas
- Long cigarette holders
- Sleek buns with side spit curls
Decorating for a 1920s Theme Party
Turn your party into an elegant 1920s dance hall or speakeasy with some of these old time decoration ideas:
Start with a Basic Color Scheme — Lay the foundation for your roaring 20s party decoration by using a color scheme of black and white, with accents of silver and red. This will give your event a classic 1920s art deco feel. Using these colors in party basics such as tableware, balloons and streamers is an easy way to create a festive atmosphere.
Make a “Secret” Entry — Turn your party venue into a speakeasy by having your guests come through a special entrance. You might put up yard signs directing them to a back door, or post a sign on the door telling guests to knock twice for entry. Then hang a metallic fringe curtain in your entryway to lead them to the party beyond.
Play Some Jazz — Jazz and ragtime were popular music styles in the 1920s. If you are going all out, consider hiring your own jazz band to play at your event. Otherwise, cue up some 1920s jazz hits or ragtime dance music to set the party mood.
Use Art Deco Posters — A great way to get a lot of bang for your buck is by covering your walls with posters from the 1920s. Hang these in key areas of your party space to create a retro feel.
Dim the Lights — Speakeasies of the 1920s were usually dim and smoky. You can create this mood by using twinkle lights. Candlelight is also great. Set out glamorous candelabras on your tabletops, or stick candles in old wine bottles to further the prohibition feel.
Serve Your Drinks in Washtubs — Bathtub gin was all the rage in the prohibition years. You might not have to resort to serving hooch, but you could still use big metal washtubs
as decorative party ice buckets. If the party is in your home, you might also consider turning your actual bathtub into an ice bucket.
Play a Movie from the 1920s — During your party you might choose to show some classic 1920s themed movies as a background scene setter. The Great Gatsby, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and The Cotton Club, or a black and white Charlie Chaplin film are all good choices.
- Calla lilly centerpieces
- Candles (set on mirrors for extra sparkle)
- Hanging shimmery stars
- Martini glasses, pearls, peacock feathers and flasks
- Life-size cardboard stand ups of gangsters or jazz musicians
- Candy cigarettes and chocolate cigars (A fun idea is to have someone dress up as a cigarette girl and serve these to guests on a tray)
Use Coordinating Tableware — Here are a few party supplies that would go well with the roaring twenties theme:
Star Attraction Tableware
Black and White Party Supplies
Roaring Twenties Banner
Activities for a 1920s Theme Party
Great activities are what makes a party truly memorable. Here are some suggestions to make your 1920s theme party shine!
Turn Your Party into a Murder Mystery — There are some super murder mystery games available where guests are given roles to play and a mystery is unveiled at your event. These are great fun and an easy way to make sure everyone is actively engaged in the party. There are also lots of companies who will send actors to your party to interact with your guests and play out a mystery for you.
Have a Costume Contest — Is everyone dressing up for your event? Why not give out costume awards? Some categories might include: best dressed, sexiest, funniest, toughest, most sparkly, etc.
Teach Some Dances of the 1920s — Dancing is always fun at a party, especially a party where everyone is dressed to impress. Consider hiring an instructor to come teach your group some popular dances of the era like the Charleston, the fox trot, or the jitterbug!
Take Black and White Photos — Taking black and white photographs at your party is a great ice breaker and can also provide some fun memories of the event to either send to your guests or to keep in an album. Depending on your budget, you could rent a photo booth, hire a photographer, set up a photo backdrop area with a camera for guests to visit during the party, or place disposable cameras on the tables for people to use throughout the celebration.
Food and Drinks for a 1920s Theme Party
Here are some ideas for cocktails and appetizers that were popular during the 1920s:
CLASSIC HORS D’OEUVRES
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Deviled Eggs
- Cheese Platters
- Olive Platters
**If you are serving a full dinner, consider a classic gangster-style Italian meal of pasta and meatballs, bread, and salad.
DRINKS OF THE ’20s — You might serve your drinks in teacups or hidden in brown paper bags like they did during prohibition times.
- Punch (Serve this in a big bowl and label it “Bathtub Gin”)
- Mint Juleps
- Gin Fizzes
- Tiger’s Milk
- Your favorite cocktails with prohibition era names, such as “Hood Giggle Juice” or “Mickey Finns”
Hope you’ve found some helpful 1920s theme party ideas on this page. For more ideas that you might like, be sure to take a look at these other party pages: