The 1960s was the decade spanning from 1st January 1960 to 31st December 1969. The term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties.

Having a party? Birthday, House warming? Engagement? Any excuse for a party and an idea to get your guests in the party mood. Why not try a 60’s themed party. The 60’s are renowned for psychedelic colours, “flower power”, hippy and for the great swinging sixties! The 60’s would make for a great themed party and definitely get your guests in the mood. Here are some 60’s tips to get your party swingin!

Start to plan your party at least a month to six weeks in advance; the key to any successful event is always in the planning. You need to decide on your guest list and where you are going to hold the party? Next you need to get the party invitations ready, it is good to get some 60’s themed invitations and to post them in plenty of time, giving your guests ample time to choose their 60’s outfits. Try to encourage your guests to RSVP, that way as a host it makes it easier when you know the number of guests attending your party. Get your invitations posted; start planning your 60’s party food and drinks. Arrange any necessary glass hire and order your 60’s party decorations, table ware, room decorations, balloons, streamers and dig out those 60’s disco cd.

Two weeks prior to the party you will need to finalise your guest list and follow up on anyone who has not responded. Now the fun starts, you can start shopping for your party. Start to buy any non perishable foods and any foods that can be made in advance and frozen. You can also start to stock the drinks cabinet up, looking particularly at popular 60’s tipples, especially the 60’s popular Whiskey sours.

If you’re braving it and holding the party at home, you will need to start preparing the house a few days before. You could divide your party into two areas; have one area designated for food and the other for dance area. A good spring clean from top to bottom and you can start to rearrange the furniture to maximise on the space and to make for a comfortable social environment for your disco and for your guests to relax and enjoy the ambiance. You can now start shopping for the perishable items and begin to thaw in the fridge any previously frozen foods in preparation for your party.

It is Party Time!!!!!!!! Prepare the food, ensure the drinks are on ice, and get the snacks and nibbles ready. Put the finishing touches to your decorations, don’t under estimate the power of decorating the room to complete the ambiance and get your guests in the swinging sixties mood. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to have a whiskey sour, a relax in the bath and to achieve that excellent sixties look.

1960’s Party Decorations and Tableware

Depending how full on you want your decorations to look you can go for the subtle look or a full on time machine back to the 60’s.

* Balloons can be the key to success on decorating a party area. they can transform any size room into a cosy space.
* Tye dyeing was fashionable in the 60’s and you could use cheap fabric to tie dye and dress your party area.
* A disco ball is a must have for a 60’s night.
* Bean bags chairs for a groovy gathering area for your guests.
* Line the area with 60’s memorabilia. Posters, TV shows and movies.
* Some lava lamps placed around the room.
* You could give your house a name and turn it into a commune.
* Also colourful rugs on the floor for guests to sit on will add more to the themed feel.
* Use smiley faces, peace symbols, rainbow streamers and burning incense to add to the 60’s vibe.
* Black or red lights provide a great atmosphere for your party
* Daisy beaded curtains hanging in doorways are a great effect or you could try a shimmer curtain.
* Try decorating with glitter and metallic 60’s.
* Light up your glassware with some flashing glasses or some light up ice cubes to give your drinks some pizzazz.
* Themed 60’s tableware, napkins, paper plates, cups, bowls and even snack trays. All disposable.
* If it is a 1960’s birthday party you are holding, perhaps blow up some pictures of the birthday boy or girl in their 60’s era (if they are old enough!)

1960’s Music
You cannot forget about the music, Hippie sixties music. You could not pick a better theme for the music; it is the key to the success of your party. Here are some 60’s favourites you would definitely want to include, guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser for all ages.

* A 60’s party would not be a proper party without the Beatles, hits including Help! A Hard days Night and All you need is love, plus many many more.
* Tommy James and The Shondells – Mony Mony
* Manfred Mann – Do Wah Diddy Diddy
* Searchers – Sweets for my sweet
* Sonny and Cher – I got you babe
* Cliff Richard – Do you want to dance?
* Tom Jones – What’s new pussycat?
* The Troggs – Wild Thing
* The Mamas and the papas – Monday Monday
* Louis Armstrong – “Hello Dolly”
* The Supremes – Stop! In the name of love
* Lulu – To Sir with love
* The Doors – Light my fire
* The Foundations – Build me up Buttercup.

The list is endless with so many great tunes to choose from, not forgetting Elvis and Chubby Checkers “Twist”. Bet you can’t wait to get the music pumping.

1960’s Outfits and Costumes
1960’s theme can be one of the easiest yet most fun themes to have for a party.

* Put on your sandals, bell bottom jeans with a tie dyed tank top and your ready for the swingin sixties party.
* Try out the Austin Powers look.
* Groovy baby costumes
* Flower power costumes – “Peace Man”
* You could be a hippy chick
* Try out a Psychedelic costume
* Get the mini skirts out girls with the long boots.
* Dress up as a hippie
* Try out a beehive wig or hippie wig to complete your 60’s look.
* Get yourself a peace medallion, its accessorising that completes the costume!
* Girls, try out the blue eye shadow and plenty of body glitter!
* Not forgetting those ever important go go boots.

What ever look you go for it is sure to be great fun to do.

1960’s Party Food
Party food and party nibbles, is always fun to try to keep the food and nibbles within your 60’s theme, this will get your guests reminiscing and give a talking point at your party. The only thing that would not be right for a 60’s theme would be a formal meal!

* Serve pizza
* Snacks like pigs in blankets
* Devilled eggs were a popular 60’s party food.
* Plain crisps with an onion dip
* Hot dogs and Hamburgers are a sure hit for any party
* Pork Pies
* Gammon joint, all 60’s party food was fairly basic compared to today’s standards.
* Piccalilli
* Sausage rolls
* Scotch Eggs
* You could also have a candy bar or a candy bowl, with a variety of 60’s sweets, you could try Strawberry bon bons, jelly babies, flying saucers, Parma violets, coconut mushrooms and cola cubes.
* For dessert you could try serving fairy cakes and ice a peace sign on them.
* Brownies were popular
* Jellybeans!!!
* Or the late sixties saw the start of the fondue so you could try a chocolate fondue for you guests to indulge.

Now we have the table filled with food and delights so next we move onto drinks, a party is not a party without a tipple or two

1960’s Drinks

The drink of the evening would have to be the Whiskey Sour, a true drink of the 60’s; you could start by welcoming all your guests with the themed drink of the evening, drivers excluded of course!

* ther drinks of the evening could include a Harvey Wall banger, to make a Harvey wall banger mix 1 part vodka to 4 parts orange juice and pour ½ part of Galliano over the top to serve and they should slip down nicely.
* Tequila Sunrise – Mix 3 parts tequila with 6 parts orange juice. Add 1 part grenadine, do not stir and the grenadine syrup should sink to the bottom.
* Pina Colada was another popular choice made by adding 1 part white rum with 1 part coconut cream and 3 part pineapple juice mix with crushed ice and serve. Adding the novelty umbrella of course.
* Chablis would be a good choice of wine to serve.
* Baby Cham, now don’t forget that!
* Snowball is a blast from the past drink, advocaat and lemonade.
* The 1960’s was definitely a low point for beer – sorry boys. You could try serving Carling Black Label as that was about in the sixties but most lagers didn’t come into play until the 70’s.
* The only other choice was between mild and stout.

So what else might we need just to finish off your 60’s swingin party?

1960’s Fun and Games

Games I hear you say, but you will be surprised how much your guests enjoy a few party games once the cocktails get flowing.

* You could give out prizes for the best dressed guest.
* Try pinning the smile on the smiley face! Obviously taken from the classic pin the tail on the donkey idea.
* Rent or buy a karaoke machine and have a sing along to the 60’s records.
* Have disposable cameras scattered around the place to capture all those magic moments you will all be talking about for years to come.
* 1960’s charades, music, books, TV and films from the 60’s.
* Piñata is always good fun.
* If you fancy trying something a bit different, or maybe a good idea for a summer party game that can take place outside. Place a large white sheet of cloth on a wall and give your guests some paint. Ask them to draw or write a comment. A fabulous keepsake from you 60’s party.

Now you have all the ideas and are ready to enjoy your hippie, psychedelic, swingin sixties party!!!!!!!!

by Peter Walker

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