Ideas for Throwing a 70s Themed Party

Sometimes, what’s old becomes new again. This is true when it comes to fashion and music. These things are never truly out of style – they just aren’t as popular as they once were. And when it comes to a throwback theme that never gets old, the 70s is the one to beat.

What’s more fun than a disco-themed 70’s party? The decade is all about excess: loud clothing, disco music, and big, feathered hair. If you want to host a party that makes the people go back in time, the ‘70s is a fun era to set your party at. The ‘70s are big in fashion, decoration, and music with bold patterns, bright colors, and wacky shapes, making it a perfect theme for a fun shindig.

If you want to plan a ‘70’s themed party, here are some ideas that may help you:

Invitations

Make sure your guests know your theme from the start by choosing a themed invitation. Get groovy with your invitations. Anything with disco balls, a funky color palette, and retro-inspired decorations will do. Make sure you indicate that on the invitation and ask your guests to go in their best 70s attire!

Decorations

Though the 70s is defined by its excess, you might not want to cram every 70s detail to your party. When people look back at the 70s, they may think of Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta, and the disco era in the latter part of the decade. You may want to dial in the theme a little tighter and get specific with it. The early part of the 70s was more like the 60s in terms of music and fashion, and it wasn’t until the latter part of the decade where glittering disco clubs and tight leisure suits became popular. Don’t forget that there was a huge wave of rock and roll culture too, which appealed to plenty of people who hated disco and everything it represented.

Take your party to disco (Saturday Night Fever or Studio 54), glam, or rock and roll, or all three. But you may like to settle on something, though, to help your guests know how to dress and what to expect.

The party space needs to fit the theme for the night. The period of the 70s your party is celebrating will dictate how you decorate, but a disco ball is a must-have, no matter what. Hang a giant one in the middle of the room, and hang some smaller ones around. You may also want to set up a rotating mirror ball instead – luckily, tabletop mirror balls are easy to find, so you don’t have to install them in your ceiling. Great lighting can send this party to the next level.

When it comes to a color theme, decorate your house in 70s inspired earth tones like yellow, orange, brown, and split-pea green. Incorporate these colors using your area rugs, sofa throw pillows, tablecloths, and beaded curtains. Bean bag chairs and low coffee tables are also common in the era, so throw them on in. You can check local thrift shops for a low-cost, groovy retro couch and a few ottomans and pillows. Shag carpets were also huge during the era.

Don’t skimp on the décor – hang beads and tie-dyed everything. Other decorative items that will take your guests back in time include fuzzy dice, strobe lights, vinyl records, and disco-ball curtains. Decorate with tapestries and green shag rugs if you’re going for a rock-and-roll theme.

If you want to go all out, get a fog machine and some strobe lights to recreate the 70s experience. If you have a large space, you can set up a disco dance floor and dance out with disco songs.

Costumes

The most fun part of a disco-themed party is the costumes. Men and women can have a blast picking out a 70s costume to wear for the party. Just follow the fashion of the day – especially the disco-going celebrities –, and you will be fine.

Here are 70s-themed costume ideas for women:

  • One-piece jumpsuit in a bright or metallic color
  • Bell bottom pants with flared sleeve top
  • Metallic or rainbow-colored makeup
  • Mini dress or mini skirt
  • Bodycon dress
  • Snug jeans
  • Platform shoes
  • Brightly-colored converse
  • Retro or vintage roller skates
  • Afro wig
  • Farrah Fawcett’s feather haircut
  • Low-lying pigtails
  • Brightly-colored accessories
  • Big hoop earrings
  • Peace signs

Here are 70s-themed costume ideas for men:

  • Polyester leisure suit
  • Band T-shirt and bell-bottom pants
  • Long-sleeve shirt with matching metallic bell-bottom pants
  • Bowling shirt and white snug-fitting pants
  • Open-chest, long-sleeve tops with matching bell-bottom pants
  • Orange and brown track jacket
  • Brightly-colored converse
  • Wire-rimmed glasses ala John Lennon
  • Large, round sunglasses
  • Afro wig
  • Cane and matching hat
  • Platform shoes
  • Roller skates

Food

Don’t forget that you can also dress up like your favorite 70s actor or actress or musical star. Look at their movies, TV shows, and concerts during the era, and you can imitate a costume from there. Look at bands like ABBA, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, and others and get an idea of what they wear. You can also dress up as the famous people during the 70s, like Sonny and Cher, Donna Summer, Olivia Newton-John, Dianna Ross, John Travolta, Jack Nicholson, Farrah Fawcett, Richard Nixon, and more.

Food and Drinks

Nothing takes you back in time like the foods popular during a certain era. When thinking of foods to serve at a 70s party, think of fondue, roller skating rink menu, Twinkies, melon balls, Hamburger helper, pigs in a blanket, deviled eggs, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Cheez Whiz. Here are some food ideas for your 70s party.

For your appetizers, serve Ritz crackers with Cheez Whiz and black olive on top, some deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, and Twinkies.

Fondue reached new heights in the 70s, so you have to serve it at a 70s party. Melted Swiss cheese is always a favorite, but if you want something nuttier, try Gruyere. You can also get substitute for gruyere cheese in the market. Serve your cheese fondue with slices of crisp bread like ciabatta or a baguette. Also, serve some crudités and chunks of ham and turkey. Don’t forget the casseroles of different kinds, potato salads, oysters in a half shell, and shrimp cocktail.

Alternatively, you can prepare an easy and fast menu from roller skating rinks, like hotdogs, French fries, nachos, and hamburgers. Nachos and fries, as well as some chips, can be served next to cheese fondue.  

The fondue theme can carry right into dessert with a pot of melted chocolate. Serve it with strawberries, apple slices, raspberries, apple slices, and pound cake.

When it comes to drinks, think creamy, like a Brandy Alexander. Other popular drinks from the era include the Tequila Sunrise, the Grasshopper, the Pineapple Sunshine, and of course, the legendary Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail.

Lastly, you can also buy 70s candies in bulk, like Zotz, Sugar Babies, Bubble Gum Cigars, Sweetarts, and Boston Baked Beans to serve at your dessert table.

Activities

Disco dancing, which is synonymous with the decade, can be easily turned into a fun competition. Make each guest vie to be John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John. Motivate them and raise up the stakes by promising some prizes for the best dancer. Section off a large area that guests can use as a dance floor. The key to any great party, especially a 70s party, is music. Make sure you play some disco music, and 70s hits  as a background for your dance party.

Another fun game is to host a 70s trivia contest, all about the music, pop culture, movies, politics, and anything and everything about the era. The person or group with the correct answer wins a prize.

Pet Rock was one of the biggest pop culture fads of the decade, so have guests create their own. This activity only needs clean, smooth rocks, few colors of tempera paint, and paintbrushes. You may also place glue, glitter, googly eyes, yarn, and other crafting supplies for decoration. At the end of the night, ask guests to vote on the Pet Rock with the best personality.