Before there was hip-hop, there was the sock hop! Take kids way back to the era of soda fountains, drive-ins and rocking around the jukebox with these sock hop party ideas.
From pre-made designs available at party supply stores to do-it-yourself embellishments found in craft stores, there are several ideas from which to choose when sending invitations to a sock hop party.
If you prefer the homemade method, you can cut colored cardstock into the shapes of things such as poodle skirts, jukeboxes, vinyl records or saddle shoes.
Another idea for a birthday party invitation is to let the birthday child dress up in 1950’s attire, take a photo and turn it into a postcard-style invitation.
If you have access to actual vinyl records (with which you are willing to part), you can make your own cardstock record labels that display the party details and then glue them over the original labels.
Whatever style you choose, when filling out your invitations, remember to ask guests to come dressed in their best 1950’s attire.
A fun way to set the stage for your sock hop party is to mimic the decorating style of the 1950’s soda shop. Think black and white checks combine with pastel blue and pink. Red and chrome were also popular design elements used in the restaurants of the era.
Whatever color scheme you decide on, use it for items such as table coverings, dinnerware, serving trays, balloons, and streamers. Once you have built this foundation, you can accessorize with some of the following ideas:
- Jukebox: rent an actual, working one or purchase an inflatable or cardboard prop jukebox from a party supply store. You can even make one of your own out of a large, cardboard box.
- Vinyl records: hang them on the walls or use ribbon to dangle them from the ceiling.
- Posters: Hang movie posters from the 1950’s. You can also find prints online and have them blown up to poster size. Other prints to turn into wall hangings include images of convertible cars, 50’s celebrities, drive-in movie theaters, and 1950’s diners.
- 1950’s memorabilia: Accessorize the party space with 1950’s memorabilia such as poodle skirts (hang them up), record album covers, saddle shoes, glass soda-pop bottles, milkshake glasses, and roller skates.
If dancing will be the main activity at your sock-hop party, you may want to mix things up with some of these dance party games. Create a playlist of oldies music from the 50's. You may even like to teach kids some of the popular dance moves of the era. In addition to dancing, ideas for sock-hop party games and activities include:
- Hula hoop contest
- 1950’s fashion show: Have guests line up and show off their 1950’s outfits
- Drag races: Use remote control cars to have mini drag races across the dance floor
- Karaoke featuring music from the 50’s
- 1950’s charades, Pictionary or trivia contest
1950’s soda shop and diner fare fits the theme of your sock-hop party. Serve food in paper-lined baskets to mimic the drive-in, car-side service that was a popular trend of the decade.
Sock-hop menu suggestions:
One idea that is fun for a sock-hop party favor is a milkshake glass and flavor straw. You can find the straws in many supermarkets, they contain the powder to turn milk chocolate, vanilla or strawberry as you sip milk through them. Place one straw in each milkshake glass and then wrap with cellophane.
More Ideas for Sock-Hop Party Favors
- CD with a collection of 1950’s music
- 1950’s style sunglasses
- Miniature, die-cast convertibles
- Bobby socks
- Chiffon scarves
- Root beer
- Root beer float fudge