Are you in the mood to rock around the clock? Host a sock hop party! Gather your friends and roll up your jeans. This is a great party theme for getting everyone involved and up on the dance floor. Here are our favorite ideas for a 50s theme party that’s a blast from the past!
Sock Hop Party Invitations
Fun invitations can make your guests feel special before the party even starts. You can purchase some pre-made invitations, or with a little creativity, make some yourself. Here are some ideas for both options:
Cool Shades Invitations — Thinking of having your guests come in to your sock hop party in 50s costumes? Give them a head start by sending your invitations with your party information written on a decorative tag and attached to a pair of cool sunglasses. You could send black sunglasses to the guys and cat eye sunglasses to the gals. Then they’ll be ready to party in style!
Sock Invitations — Want your party to truly be a sock hop? Send your guests invitations written on a crazy sock! Suggest that they wear their brightest, silliest, or most outrageous socks to the party, or ask for a donation of a pair of socks from each guest to give to a local charity.
45 Record Invitations — Scour second hand stores for old 45 records, or make some of your own out of black posterboard. Write up your party information on a smaller sized circular label for the inner part of the record. If you use real records, be sure to send them in padded envelopes so that they don’t break in the mail. Here are some 45 record invitations (and some others we like) that you can purchase from our friends at Amazon:
Greatest Hits Invitations
In a rush??
You can always find lots of great online party invitations with a free RSVP manager at Evite.
**General Invitation Tips** — If you choose to make your own invitations, don’t forget to include the date, location, and time of your party. It is also helpful to put the host’s name, RSVP by date, and either your phone number or email. If you want your guests to come in 1950s costumes, your invitation should also mention this.
Sock Hop Decorations
Create a Fun 1950s Table Setting — Start with a checkered tablecloth, add color coordinated tableware, and use black sunglasses as napkin rings to hold folded napkins. Then make a centerpiece by using a six-pack of small glass Coca Cola bottles on a record as an anchor for a balloon bouquet. Scatter pieces of Bazooka bubblegum on the table as edible confetti!
Use a Larger Than Life Guest Attendee — Purchase a life-sized stand up of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, or James Dean. These also make a fun addition to a photo area where your guests can get their picture taken with the stars!
Create a Dance Floor — If you’re having a sock hop party, you are going to have to have a dance floor. Clear the furniture from an area so your guests can rock around the clock. If you want to go all out, buy a roll of poly vinyl and lay it down for a true dance floor feel.
Hang 45″ Records — Use these classic records as ceiling danglers throughout your party area.
Make or Purchase a Cardboard Jukebox — Every 50s theme party needs a good jukebox to keep the music rolling. While you may not have a real jukebox available, you can purchase a pre-made cardboard jukebox, or make one of your own using a large piece of butcher paper. Scattering inflatable guitars and microphones can also create a sock hop feel to your party (and get your guests rocking out at the same time!)
Play a 50s Movie — If you have a television in or near your party area, consider playing a classic movie like Grease for when your guests want to take a break from the dance floor.
Check Out These 1950s Party Supplies:
1950s Soda Shop Signs
Fabulous 50s Tableware
Sock Hop Ideas for Attire
Wondering what to wear to a sock hop party?? Go all out! Dressing for the party is half the fun. Here are some ideas for 50s costumes:
For the Ladies:
- Saddle Shoes and Bobby Socks
- Poodle Skirts
- White Blouses
- Cuffed Jeans
- Scarves for your Hair and Neck
- Cat Eye Glasses
- Pink Ladies Jackets
For the Guys:
- Cuffed Jeans
- T-Shirts with Rolled Up Sleeves
- Leather Jackets or Varsity Jackets
- Converse All-Stars
- Greased Back Hair
- Black Sunglasses
Of course, you could always wear a costume. Here are some fun 50s theme party costumes we’ve found online:
Sock Hop Party Activities
DANCING! — If it’s a sock hop party, there has to be dancing! Make sure that you’ve come up with a 1950s playlist for your event, or found a DJ or music station that will keep the hits rolling all night. Use iTunes, or choose from the many great 50s CDs available and put together your own party hit list.
Karaoke — What’s the next best thing to dancing to the oldies…singing them, of course! Set up a karaoke machine and watch the fun begin. This is a party activity that tends to get better and better as the night goes on.
Hire a Dance Teacher — If your budget allows, consider hiring a dance teacher to come teach your guests some popular dances of the 1950s. Some fun group dances from the 50s were the Twist, the Limbo, the Hand Jive, the Mashed Potato, and the Stroll. Learning a dance as a group gets everyone involved and your shy guests out on the floor.
Dance Floor Avalanche — This game will help you “to warm-up” shy people. As the music plays, one pair begins to dance. At the instructor’s signal this pair splits up and asks 2 more partners to dance. Again, at the next instructor’s signal these 2 pairs break and ask to 4 more partners to dance etc. The number of dancing pairs grows like an avalanche.
Set up a Photo Backdrop Area — If everyone at your party is wearing their coolest 50s attire, setting up an area for pictures can be lots of laughs and a super ice breaker. Buy a 1950s photo backdrop, or hang a large piece of 50s motif fabric and set out some props such as sunglasses, wigs or jewelry. Then either get someone to be a designated photographer or leave out a camera for some impromptu fun. These photos make great souvenirs or party keepsakes.
Have a Hula Hoop Contest — Who can keep it going the longest? Give out hula hoop awards to the best hip swiveler.
Have a Bubblegum Blowing Contest — Give everyone one or two pieces of Bazooka, which was very popular in the 1950s, and see who can make the biggest bubble.
Play Name That Tune — Play a few notes of some well-known 50s hits and see who can name that tune in the shortest time.
Sock Hop Party Food
Here are some classic 1950s favorites that you might consider for a sock hop party menu:
- French Fries
- Milk Shakes or Coke Floats
- A Make Your Own Sundae Bar
Sock Hop Party Favors
Party favors are a fun way to send your guests home with a special memory of your dance. Here are some great options for favors:
If you enjoyed these sock hop party ideas, you might also enjoy these parties: