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How to Throw a 1960s Hippie Theme Party
1960s Theme Party
Peace, love and rock and roll. That was the ideology of the hippie culture in the 1960s. To get the party off to a great start start, you'll need some invitations.
Below, you'll see a peace sign. Feel free to print it out to use on your party invitations. This clipart is free. Be sure to let guests know to come in the clothing of the era. That will make it even more fun.
Hippie Party Decorations
Put up some psychedelic posters and turn on some black lights. You might also want to have some lava lights around.
You could also put up posters of popular rockers of the time such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
An additional poster idea is Woodstock posters. (Posters were very popular during this decade.)
Flower Power was in during this decade as well as peace signs, so these could be added to your décor.
Burn some incense to add to the ambiance. If children are there, be sure to keep it a safe distance from them.
Hippies were very much against violence and war, particularly the Vietnam War. Get a poster board and write Make Love, Not War on it.
String long strands of beads in the doorway of the party area that guests can walk through.
1960s Party Food
Hippies were into more natural and organic foods, so you might want to consider salads, especially with bean sprouts, humus, fresh fruit, veggie sticks like carrots and celery, yogurt, veggie burgers, and granola. I suggest avoiding meat as many hippies wouldn't eat it.
Keeping in mind that most hippies didn't have a lot of money, if you're planning on serving alcohol, I would recommend sticking with beer.
Now, if by chance this party is for kids, I would go for more traditional kids party foods. As far as beverages go, juice, punch or soda would do nicely.
Hippies were not formal people, so I suggest setting up a casual buffet. If you want to make it decorative, toss some flowers petals around the table or counter as hippies were known for their flower power.
Of course there must be dessert and I would recommend brownies. Plain, of course.
Vietnam Song (Don't listen with young children around.)
Tie Dye T-Shirt
Tie die shirts are a must! Thrown in some bell button pants. Here's a simple way to make them. Take an old pair of jeans or pick up a pair at a local thrift store such as Good Will or Salvation Army.
Cut a slit in the bottom of both pant legs and sew in a piece of fabric. Something with flowers would work quite well to keep with the flower power mentality of the era. Now, you have bell button pants!
Long flowing skirts can work for girls if they prefer not to wear pants. Sandals and boots were common as were suede, fringed vests.
For accessories, add a headband and some love beads or a peace sign necklace. You can also put flowers in your hair. Now, you're all set! Remember, hair was long then, so you may want to add a wig.
Would you dress like a hippie?
Music can be the backbone of any great party and the 1960s offered a wide array of musical choices that can work with a themed party.
A big musical during that time was Hair, so I would suggest the song Hair, performed by the Cowsills and The Age of Aquarius, by The 5th Dimension. Jimi Hendrix was huge, so songs like Foxy Lady and Purple Haze would fit in nicely.
Janis Joplin was a top rocker back then, so don't forget to include Piece of My Heart and while you're at it, you may want to consider Somebody to Love and White Rabbit from The Jefferson Airplane. Additional songs suggestions include:
- In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly.
- With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker.
- Where Have All the Flowers Gone by Peter, Paul & Mary.
- Mellow Yellow by Donovon
- Evil Ways by Santana
- San Francisco by Scott McKenzie
- Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone
- Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan
- I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) by The Electric Prunes
- California Dreamin' by The Mamas & The Papas.
If you want to play some background music, you can put on some music by Ravi Shankar. If gathering music from different artists seems like too much of a hassle, you can always just get the CD or DVD of Woodstock which contains many of the songs I listed above.
Hippie Party Activities
Pick up some inexpensive white T-shirts and some fabric dye and let guests make their own tie dye T-shirts that they can take home with them. It's a great party keepsake.
Set up a bead stations with beads and string and everyone can make their own love beads. Once again, a nice keepsake to help guests remember how much fun they had at your party.
If guests are pretty familiar with the music of the 1960s, play Name That Tune using music from the era.
Twister first came out in the sixties and is still a popular game. Why not play a few rounds?
Another idea is to have an area for face painting. Pick up some supplies and have one or two persons paint interesting animals, peace signs or flowers on guests' faces.
If people come in costume, have a costume contest. Everyone can secretly vote for their favorite costume by ballad and when the winner is announced, hand over a prize.
Heart of the Hippie Movement
To make sure your party is really groovy, learn some sixties slang. It will definitely add to the amusement of the party. Here are some, with their meanings, to get you started.
- Far out-Cool
- Outta Sight-Really good
- Flower child-Hippie
- Gimme some skin-Shake hands
- The man-The boss
- Right on-OK
If you want to quiet things down at your party, consider a group meditation. Meditating was quite popular with hippies and Transcendental Meditation made its mark on society.
Should you know how to meditate already, lead a group meditation focusing on peace and harmony. Put out blankets on the floor and have everyone get into a meditating position. Start with some deep breathing exercises to get people calm, then go into the meditation. I would suggest keeping it no longer than ten minutes.
If you not know how to lead a group, I have a video below you might enjoy. The meditation can be done towards the end of the party to wind down the day or evening.
You're now all set to plan your party. If you want to get a feel for the era, I suggest watching the movie Hair. It will give you a sense of what life was like back then.
In addition, the film is filled with great music. Although it's rated PG, I would caution watching it around children as some of the words and subject matter of certain songs would not be appropriate.
Happy party planning and have a far out time!
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