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8 Old-Fashioned Party Themes That Need Reviving (Slideshow)

Take real inspiration from days gone by for your next decades party
tiki party

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8 Old-Fashioned Party Themes That Need Reviving

8 Old-Fashioned Party Themes That Need Reviving

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Taking entertaining inspiration from nostalgia for days gone by doesn’t have to be so literal. You can easily pull from real old-fashioned party themes that people from any time period enjoyed. People in the 1960s didn’t dress in tie-dye clothes to party; they threw Hawaii-inspired tiki parties. So if you want to throw a decade-inspired party, put away those disco shoes, break out the fondue pot, and consider these old-fashioned themes.

Chautauqua Assemblies

Chautauqua Assemblies

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During the turn of the century, these educational lectures spread across the United States like wildfire. Tackling hot-button issues of the day such as temperance, women’s suffrage, and labor laws, speakers would come to town and educate people on both sides of the issues. In these politically divisive times, reinstating small lectures and political action parties can help to foster debate and bring communities together.

For “4 Classic Entertaining Trends We'd Like to See Come Back,” click here.

Cobweb Party

Cobweb Party

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This unique spin on a mixer was popular during the Victorian era. Each party guest picks a color of yarn, and the beginning of each string will all be together in one room. The other end of the yarn, across the house, will have a name of a conversation partner or a small goodie bag attached to it. Between the starting point and the end of the string, the yarn will wind under the furniture, crisscross with other yarn trails, and go down (or up) staircases. As guests bump into each other, they can make small talk and get to know one another.

For 10 clever gift exchanging games, click here.

Curio Dinner

Curio Dinner

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Named after the cabinets meant for storing knickknacks, this turn-of-the-century party is essentially a grown-up version of show and tell. Each guest brings his or her most unusual object to dinner and shares a related anecdote. You could also turn this concept into a game, having people guess which item belongs to whom. If you’ve found that your dinner parties have grown stale, this is an easy way to foster conversation and allow your guests to get to know one another.

For “11 Best Games for Dinner Parties,” click here.

Fondue Party

Fondue Party

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This 1970s food fad is already starting to see a bit of a revival, but the fondue party is something that anyone can throw and enjoy. Set out rounds of fondue: cheese with bread for appetizers, oil with meat and vegetables for the main course, and chocolate for dessert. This leisurely way of eating makes for a relaxing evening.

To learn how to throw the ultimate fondue party, click here.

Homemade Dinner Parties

Homemade Dinner Parties

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Before catering and fast food took over the nation, hosts and hostesses poured over their dinner parties for hours. You don’t need to be eating vegetables and ham secured in a gelatin mold or ham and bananas hollandaise, but putting effort into your menu will show you care and channel days gone by. If you want to stay on a retro theme, consider making old-fashioned dishes that are good, such as cheese balls, deviled eggs, and crepes suzette.

To find out what retro foods we’d like to see come back, click here.

Murder Mystery Party

Murder Mystery Party

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If the 2010s are all about escaping rooms, the 1980s and ‘90s were all about the murder mystery party. You know the drill: Throw a classic, fancy dinner party and — tragically! — one guest is killed. This interactive party takes a little effort to put together, but pick a theme, find a script or board game that goes along with that theme, and get ready for a night of sleuthing.

To learn how to host your own murder mystery party, click here.

Speakeasies

Speakeasies

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Despite their “roaring” nature, the 1920s were marked with the era of Prohibition. Though few want to go back to the days when alcohol was banned, there’s something kind of fun of doing a “forbidden” activity. Create your own faux-speakeasy by throwing a party complete with a dress code, secret password, and plenty of hidden treats scattered throughout your house. Really channel the vibes of a speakeasy by serving beers and types of liquors (such as absinthe) that you can’t buy in your state.

Tiki Party

Tiki Party

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Hawaiian-inspired tiki parties were all the rage in the 1950s and ‘60s, so go back to the days of when Hawaii was just a new state and party with tiki torches, leis, and vases filled with colorful, tropical flowers. Don’t forget the fruity cocktails or a Hawaiian-inspired menu of poke bowls, fresh seafood, and desserts made with tropical fruits.

To learn how to throw a tiki party, click here.