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Hippie Party Ideas
Tie-dyed shirts, lava lamps, peace, and free love were things that made the Sixties memorable. The Hippie movement was an important part of the culture of the 1960s, at a time when the world was plagued with war and disillusionment with modern society. While the Summer of Love has come and gone, many people today are still profoundly influenced by the values and beliefs of the Hippies.
The colorful and non-conformist lifestyles of the Hippies are a perfect theme for parties. Many people today like to explore retro themes, and Hippie themes are near the top of the list. While the Hippie movement was known for drug use and promiscuous sexual activity, you don’t have to go that far to enjoy the era. You can have a rad, far-out, groovy occasion for all ages with these tips for a Hippie theme party.
Part of what made the Hippie subculture so memorable and important was the music. Many music acts and groups of the 1960s continue to sell well way into the new millennium. Music festivals, especially Woodstock, are still influential today.
To give your party a real hippie feel, you need to have tracks and beats listened to by the Hippies back in the day. Here are some songs by 1960s artists and bands you may want to play as background music for your Hippie party:
- Janis Joplin: “Piece of My Heart,” “Kosmic Blues,” “Summertime”
- Grateful Dead: “China Cat Sunflower,” “The Golden Road,” “Born Cross-Eyed”
- Ravi Shankar: “Raga Jog,” “Kafi-Holi,” “Raga Multani”
- Joan Baez: “Farewell, Angelina,” “Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word,” “The Unquiet Grave”
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Purple Haze,” “Let Me Light Your Fire,” “Stone Free”
- Bob Dylan: “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’”
Hippie Costumes and Venues
Hippies were known to be nonconformists, and that held true especially for fashion. Hippies dressed for comfort, and also for them to identify with other people who share their beliefs. You can make your Hippie party feel more like a Free Love convention with these interesting costume ideas.
- Long hair and sunglasses. You don’t need to get hair extensions to make yourself look like a Hippie. You can get wigs from any fashion boutique or costume shop. To add a cool Hippie look to your outfit, you can also add old-fashioned aviator glasses to your attire. Big shades were common in the 1960s to protect their eyes from the sun during protests and sit-ins.
- Eastern-inspired robes. The Hippie subculture was heavily influenced by traditional Eastern cultures, particularly Buddhism and Hinduism. Many Hippies wore saris and sarongs to reflect the influence of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy in the 1960s. You can buy these clothes and all sorts of ethnic attire from specialty shops or from auction houses on the Internet.
- Prayer beads and peace symbols. Hippies used accessories more as just fashion statements. Buddhist prayer beads, headdresses, and peace symbols were used to communicate messages of peace, love, and self-discovery. You can buy many of these Hippie accessories from specialty shops or gift stores.
- Tie-dye apparel. Tie-dye is a very popular way to give shirts and clothes that classic psychedelic look of the 1960s. It’s easy to make tie-dye; all you need is a shirt, some paint or pigment, and rubber bands. You simply dip a portion of a tied shirt into paint, repeat the process with different colors, and you have a cool shirt straight from the days of Flower Power. (More tips on how to tie-dye)
Hippie Party Décor
One way that you could make your party venue look like a scene straight from the Hippie era is to decorate with objects from the 1960s. Here are some readily-available decorative items you can use for your Hippie theme party:
- Incense sticks can be bought from specialty goods shops at an affordable price. Incense comes in many different scents that you can use to give the party venue that heady Sixties experience. You can buy incense in many forms, including powder, cored sticks, coils, or solid sticks of pure incense. If anyone invited has asthma or any other respiratory problem, you may want to use less incense, or not use it at all.
- Posters. Nothing could remind people of the Sixties more than posters of bands and artists from the generation. You can have posters printed out at a print shop, or you can look for 1960s band posters from music stores or specialty bookstores.
- Hookah. If some of your friends smoke, then they can try their hand at a hookah. Hookahs are vessels with pipes specially designed to inhale and consume flavor-infused tobacco. The hot smoke passes through water, which cools the vapor down and adds an interesting dimension to smoking. You can buy hookahs or rent them out from specialty shops.
- Macramé. To pass the time, many Hippies made ornate mats, animals, and other figures out of lengths of rope or yarn knotted together. You can decorate the party venue with all sorts of macramé goodies. You can also set aside long lengths of rope or yarn for your guests to make their own macramé masterpieces. (Learn how to make a hemp macrame bracelet)
- Paper chains. Like macramé, many Hippies made chains out of discarded wrapping paper from chewing gum. You can decorate the party venue with streamers made from paper chains. You can also use paper chain-making as a way for your guests to enjoy and socialize.
- Lava lamps. Nothing says “The Sixties” more than cool-looking blobs of wax moving around inside a lava lamp. You can scrounge your attic or basement for old vintage lava lamps, or you can buy new ones.
Hippie Party Food
The Hippie generation was known for many delicious and healthy foods that are easy to prepare. What makes Hippie food items special is that they can be enjoyed by people of many different food preferences; you don’t have to worry about vegans, vegetarians, or people who are sensitive to particular foods. Here are some recipes you can try for your Hippie theme party:
Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes are traditionally made from corned beef or ground meat, although you can make a vegetarian version that everyone can enjoy, and tastes just as good. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Canola oil or other healthy cooking oil
- Louisiana Trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper)
- Textured vegetable protein
- Cooked lima beans or fava beans, lightly mashed or pureed
- Firm uncooked fresh tofu
- Chili sauce
- Soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the ingredients in a pan, and serve warm with rolls or hamburger buns. You can make as much of the vegetarian sloppy joes as you want, because your guests will definitely want second or even third helpings of this delicious dish.
Cakes are a must-have for any party. Even ordinary cakes can be made into a total Hippie trip with these nifty decorating ideas:
- Decorate the cake with multi-colored candies
- Use multi-colored icing
- Decorate the cake with symbols from the Hippie era, like peace symbols
- If you have the time and the baking skills, bake a cake shaped like a peace symbol
Greens and Seeds
Greens and seeds were an important part of the Hippie movement, and gave rise to organic health foods which are still being sold today. Organic vegetables can be used for your party platters, and served with hummus or chickpea dips. You can also serve nuts and sunflower seeds for party snacks. Other healthful snacks from the Hippie era that you can serve to your guests are granola and fried sweetened tofu.
Punch and cocktails are great for quenching party thirst. Here’s a quick recipe for Purple Haze, a mild alcoholic punch you can serve at a Hippie party:
- Four parts cranberry juice
- One part vodka
- One part rhum
- Two parts clear lemon-lime soda
- Lemon wedges
- Crushed ice
Mix the ingredients in a punch bowl, or if you plan to make a stronger cocktail, mix the ingredients together in a drink mixer or shaker canister.
Hippie Party Favors
To make your party a memorable experience, you can give away small tokens of appreciation for your guests. Here are some affordable gifts you can give away to your guests as party favors.
- Peace symbols. Rings, bracelets, or necklaces adorned with the Hippie peace symbol can be bought at curio shops or specialty gift stores.
- Tie-dye shirts are very easy to make, and are also very affordable. You can buy white T-shirts in bulk, tie-dye them on your own, and then give them away to your guests. You’ll be sure to see one of them wearing your funky party favors in the next few days.
- Flowers. Hippies used to give flowers to strangers to spread the message of love. You can also give flowers to your guests not as party favors, but as tokens of appreciation.
- Love Vans. Miniature versions of the classic “Love Van,” or a Volkswagen Transporter, can be found in toy stores. You can paint these miniature vans in psychedelic colors to give as memorable tokens for one memorable party.
Check out this video for hippie party theme celebration.
The Summer of Love may have been over 40 years ago, but the spirit of the Hippie culture still lives on. Peace, love, and life made popular and important by the Hippies of decades past can still be remembered through Hippie parties.
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Disco Party Ideas
Love it or hate it, disco was an important current in pop culture. The late 1960’s up to the early 1980’s was a musical era where disco ruled the airwaves. Rainbow-colored afros, tight white pants, and slick dance moves on lighted floors may be out of place today, but it was a cutting-edge lifestyle choice for its time. The Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever, and Studio 54 were all icons of the Disco Revolution.
While some people may not like the musical genre or the lifestyle associated with disco, some people still have nostalgia for the bygone era. Many artists and bands have revived or incorporated the disco sound into their music over the years, and became successful chart-toppers and dance crazes. Disco also has a profound influence on pop culture and other forms of pop music after the disco revolution died down. Many people also like to go retro every once in a while. If you’re up to party like it’s the 1970s all over again, you can hold a disco-themed party for just about any occasion you can think of.
Planning a Disco Party
Like any theme party, disco parties require a lot of careful planning to succeed. You should have a good idea of what to buy and what to prepare for weeks before you hold the party.
Theme parties are a bit on the expensive side, so you need to set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend. You’ll need to consider the following factors when you make your party budget:
- Food is the lifeblood of any party. A good part of your party expenses will go to keeping your guests well-fed and satisfied. As much as possible, don’t skimp on food expenses; if you do need to cut costs, you’re better off preparing party food at home than to have a caterer do it for you. It’s also important to match the theme of your party with the food you’re serving to your guests.
- Equipment rental will also take up a significant fraction of your party budget. If you don’t own your sound system or if you don’t have disco or dance-club equipment stored in your home, you’ll need to allot some money for rented equipment. Many rental shops rent out disco balls, lighting, light rigs, and other equipment by the hour. You don’t need to buy your own equipment for a party that you’ll hold every once in a while.
- Utility bills increase during parties, especially if you’re using a lot of electrical equipment. Set aside extra money for you to cover electric bills during a disco party.
- Party favors are a must in any party. Party favors need not be expensive; you only need mementos that your guests can keep to remind them of that cool disco bash you threw for them.
- Miscellaneous expenses are needed, especially if you’re not sure how much you’re definitely going to spend. It helps to have extra money on hand just in case you need to pay extra for some expenses you didn’t expect when you planned the party.
Invites and Dress Codes
Make sure that your guests are aware that they’re invited to a disco party, and the point is to relive the memories of the disco decade. Tell your guests to come in their best disco-inspired gear. You’ll be surprised how many of your guests will show up dressed up like Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, or Sandy Olsson from Grease. Be appreciative of your guests’ efforts to live up to the lifestyle and the dress sense of the disco era. You may even find a guest roll into your party wearing roller skates, a pastel-colored polyester suit, and a giant rainbow-colored afro. (Learn how to grow an Afro)
Colored polyester suit
Disco Party Equipment
Compared to other theme parties, you’ll need a lot more equipment for disco-themed parties. You don’t have to remodel your entire home to look like the New York Limelight or Studio 54 to hold a disco party. Here are the equipment you need to make your disco party a smashing success:
- Sound systems are a must, because disco is all about the music. While you can use the sound systems that you already have at home, you can make things even more retro by using boom boxes and turntables. If your vinyl records and eight-track cassette tapes still work, you can use them for your own disco theme party. The sound wouldn’t sound so good, but you can really get a feel for the good times of the 1970s. You can also break out guitars, synthesizers, and even keytars to give your party a real club feel.
- Disco balls and lighting are essential for disco theme parties. You don’t need to buy your own disco ball or lighting rigs for your disco-themed party. You can rent the equipment out from rental shops, or borrow them from friends. If you can afford it, you can rent and assemble your own illuminated dance floor, so everyone will feel like they’re John Travoltas and Olivia Newton-Johns all over again.
- Disco memorabilia are a great way to decorate the venue. Old movie posters, album covers, and other collectible items from the 1970s can be used to decorate the party venue.
Disco Party Food
Part of the fun of disco parties is on the food. You can play around with names of specialty party foods and give them funky disco-related names. Disco parties will involve a lot of dancing, so you need to prepare foods that are light but satisfying. Here are some disco-inspired recipes that you can use for your disco party:
“Funkytown” by Lipps Inc was a popular disco beat from the 1980s. Decades after the familiar electronica beat first hit the airwaves, it’s still a staple of retro today. To make Funkytown Pizza, follow these steps:
- Take ordinary pizza dough and cover the top with tomato sauce.
- Prepare a batch of toppings that include onions, ground lamb, pineapple chunks, green peppers, and olives.
- To give the pizza that pink funky feel from the Funkytown album, top it with some fatback bacon strips, sausage slices, and thin slices of salami.
- Bake the pizza at a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the toppings are fully cooked.
Nights on Broadway Nachos
In 1975, the Bee Gees produced and performed the chart-topping hit “Nights on Broadway.” You can make a terrific bunch of nachos named after this dance hit with these simple steps:
- Grate some Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and pimento cheese. Mix the grated cheeses with a small amount of water or buttermilk, and melt them over a double boiler. Keep the molten mixture of cheese hot once it has melted.
- Open up a can of bean-based vegetarian chili, and heat it through in a saucepan.
- Heat through some tortillas or nacho chips and place them on a microwave-safe ceramic bowl. Pour the cheese mixture on top, and add the chili. Sprinkle some bits of garlic chives and fried or toasted garlic. Serve and enjoy.
Mighty Real Corn Dogs
Sylvester James was one of the most popular vocalists of the disco era, with his 1978 dance floor favorite “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” Here’s a take on corn dogs that can add some added zing into your party:
- Fry, boil, or steam a batch of hot dogs or chicken sausages. You can also use bite-sized cocktail wieners.
- Prepare a light batter out of cornmeal, soda water, flour, and buttermilk. To add some extra bite to the corn dog, add a handful of shredded potatoes, paprika, cayenne pepper, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Stick the hot dogs or sausages into skewers, and dip them in the batter. Deep-fry them in hot oil until golden brown.
- More tips on how to make a crispy corn dog.
Delicious corn dogs
Barry Manilow has been in the music industry for a long time. His 1978 hit, “Copacabana,” is still a mainstay for many dance clubs around the world. To make the coolest cocktail worth the hottest part north of Havana, mix the following in a shaker:
- 1 1/2 ounces of Brazilian cachaça (a liqueur made from fermented sugarcane syrup)
- 3/4 of an ounce of chocolate syrup
- One ounce of apple juice
- One and a half ounces of papaya juice
- 3/4 of an ounce of light cream
- 3/4 of an ounce of pineapple juice with crushed pineapple bits
Disco is all about dance, fun, and total locomotion. There’s no shortage of games and activities you can enjoy in disco-themed parties. You can dance or even sing along to many of the chart-busting hits at the golden age of the disco revolution. If you’re stumped or at a loss about what music you should play at your party, here is a list of songs that are a must for any disco-themed party:
The Trammps Collection
Village People Collection
- ABBA, “Dancing Queen”
- Alicia Bridges, “I Love The Nightlife”
- Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had the) Time of My Life”
- Donna Summer, “Hot Stuff”
- Earth, Wind, and Fire, “Boogie Wonderland”
- Hues Corporation, “Rock the Boat”
- KC and the Sunshine Band, “Get Down Tonight”
- The Trammps, “Disco Inferno”
- Urszula Dudziak, “Papaya”
- Village People, “I Am What I Am”
Disco Party Favors
To end the party, you should give away party favors to your guests to show how much you appreciate their presence, and their efforts to make your party a smashing success.
The best and most affordable party favor to give away after a disco-themed party is an audio CD of the best hits of the disco era. CDs are easy to make and are even easier to give away, provided that you use legal downloads and that you have enough CDs to go around. Pack the CDs in jewel cases with a customized inner leaf, reminding them of the coolest party to rock the casbah in a long time.
Check this out a 70’s and 80’s Disco Music Dance.
It’s a disco night, and your guests won’t stop ’till they get enough. Whether they were born to the sounds of jive talkin’ or are still stayin’ alive despite the end of the disco era, your guests would know that thanks to your disco party, the sun won’t rise to stop the beat just yet.
Watch this movie and make a move!
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