The decadence and glamour of the 20s make it the perfect theme for an indulgent birthday party. Flappers, gangsters and socialites are the perfect guise for guests; vintage prohibition cocktail recipes and swanky small bites make ideal food and drink. Read on for our tips on throwing a roaring 20s theme birthday that guests will never forget.
1920s Theme Party Menu Ideas
Small Bites & Cocktails
Create dual gourmet hors d’ouevres bars that provide guests with delicious, upscale options perfect for the decadent 20s:
Caviar bar: chopped hardboiled egg- chopped onions- crème fresh
Seafood bar:- crab legs- oysters on the half shell- shrimp cocktail- accoutrements that include melted butter, champagne mignonette and cocktail sauce
Prohibition Era Cocktails
The Prohibition act was passed in 1920, making it illegal to sell or make alcohol. To let loose and get their favorite drink, patrons turned to the underground speakeasies. Create a prohibition era cocktail menu that includes the following popular drinks from the 20s:
- Old Fashioned- The Gin Martini- Moonshine (create a strong drink of your choice, like a Long Island Ice Tea, and label it moonshine)- The Roaring Twenties
1920s Party Playlist Ideas
The 1920s were also known as the 'Jazz Age.' Jazz became the most popular type of music over the course of the decade, a trend that continued into the 1930s as well.
Use iTunes to download tunes from popular jazz musicians of the 20s and 30s, and create a playlist for the party that makes guests feel like they’ve stepped into a hip speakeasy.
Dancing became an extremely popular pastime in the 20s. The most popular dances of the era were the fox trot, Charleston and the Breakaway; brush up on your period-appropriate dance moves online by watching YouTube video dance demonstrations.
1920s Party Decor Tips
Set the scene for your roaring 20s theme birthday party by creating a swanky speakeasy vibe. Asking guests to arrive in costume will play a big part in getting people into the era, but a few simple decor tips can also help send them back in time to the Jazz Age.
Speakeasies were often underground, or at very least had all of the doors and windows blacked out to avoid detection as a club. To create the intimate, illicit vibe of a 1920s speakeasy, turn off all the electric lights in the house and use abundant candlelight to set a swanky glow upon the party.
Set the tone as guests arrive to your party by asking them for a secret password and the name of who sent them (just be sure to include this information on the invitations). Or, send out vintage skeleton keys with the invitation and ask that they present their key upon arrival to secure entrance to the speakeasy.
Art Deco Accessories
The 1920s also marked the golden era of Art Deco design. Celebrate the unique aesthetic of the art deco era by adding elegant but affordable statues (80s replicas of things like sleek porcelain greyhounds can be found at thrift stores and at home decor outlets) and poster prints of vintage alcohol posters (ordered from an affordable online store) to your home for the party.
Extra points for playing jazz music of the era over a vintage Victrola. Keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and antique fairs to score one, or turn to eBay to find a Victrola without the lengthy search process.