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How to Throw a 1960s Hippie Theme Party

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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.

Peace Sign

Psychedelic Poster

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

Hippie Costumes

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.


Hippie Poll

Hippie Music

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

Haight Ashbury

1960s Slang

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.

  • Dig?-Understand?
  • Far out-Cool
  • Outta Sight-Really good
  • Flower child-Hippie
  • Gimme some skin-Shake hands
  • The man-The boss
  • Bread-Money
  • Fuzz-Police
  • Right on-OK
  • Rags-Clothes


Hippie Meditation

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.

Peace Meditation

Hippies

Hippie Party

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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What do you like best about the 1960s?

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 04, 2015:

Love anything hippie. Great party ideas.

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on September 27, 2014:

Our retirement community has a 60's Hippie Party once a year. I missed it this year, but I hope to be there next year! :)

Janis (author) from California on September 22, 2014:

Incense would certainly give an authentic smell to the room. Great idea. Thanks!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on August 30, 2014:

Don't forget the sarongs, incense and lucky Tikis! I like the idea of a hippie party because people can be a bit more versatile and creative in the way they dress. Voted interesting!

Janis (author) from California on August 30, 2014:

Oh thank you so very much!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Suzie from Carson City on August 05, 2014:

Janis.....THIS is, without a doubt, one of the best and most creative ideas for a party I've come across. Love it! This is especially interesting to a genuine Boomer!...Thanks.....Voted UP! UI&A......tweeted.

Janis (author) from California on July 09, 2014:

NateB11,

The music would be so fun.

Janis (author) from California on July 09, 2014:

Astra Nomik,

How fun that you have been to a couple of themed 60s parties.

Janis (author) from California on July 09, 2014:

grand old lady,

I love the idea of hugging trees. You don't ramble. You're actually quite interesting.

Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on May 31, 2014:

Fun and cool party ideas for a fun and cool era. That would definitely be a colorful party with cool music.

Cathy Nerujen from Edge of Reality and Known Space on May 27, 2014:

Hippie stuff from the 60's is never out of fashion. The 1960s have seemed to have become almost a state of mind, of change, a catalyst for many things in culture, for many people, especially those who have lived through the hippie era. In some ways it teaches us about how informed people were back then, morally and socially....

I have been to only 2 themed 60's parties, but they were so much fun.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on May 21, 2014:

I wanted to celebrate a hippie Christmas years ago, but I couldn't find a marijuana tree to use as a Christmas tree. So instead I went into an organic Christmas and hugged trees everywhere. I ramble. Loved your article. I'm listening right now to In-a-gadda-da-vida. Forgot how great the song was. cool, man.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

VioletteRose Happy you think you.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

Au fait I did include Joplin with her epic Peace of My Heart.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

WriterFox So many people were against the U.S. participating in that war.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

BNadyn Kids will have so much fun making the shirts.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

Cloverleaffarm, I have a real hippie here!

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

ChristinS Party on!

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

DDE, maybe one day you will be able to attend a party like this.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

Shinkicker2 You're right. The Doors had some great music. Flashing the peace sign to you.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

AliciaC, I'm glad you like the ideas.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

Deborah-Diane How cool that you were a real hippie. Peace baby.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

Eddy, Thanks so much for the vote up!

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

Raymondphilippe2 You're still a groovy guy.

Janis (author) from California on April 08, 2014:

FlourishAnyway2, Outta sight! Thanks.

VioletteRose from Atlanta on March 29, 2014:

This is so interesting, sounds so much of fun :)

C E Clark from North Texas on March 29, 2014:

You need some Janis Joplin too. Don't forget free 'love.' The brownies won't be quite right if you don't put a little weed in 'em, dig? ;) Clothing should be well worn, threadbare if possible, and frayed. True hippies weren't interested in material things. Sounds like an interesting party.

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on March 29, 2014:

I think the Vietnam War really began the hippie movement. So many things from that era are still with us today. Enjoyed your article for planning a hippie-theme party and voted up!

Bernadyn from Jacksonville, Florida on March 28, 2014:

Great idea for a simple but colorful, fun party! Since hippies were so laid back, the party planning and what to expect doesn't need to be so over-the-top to reach the theme. Maybe one birthday for my kids, I'll use this theme. I especially like the idea of dying the shirts at the party for the guests to bring home, taking care of an activity to do and party favors. :)

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 25, 2014:

Great hub! Loved the 60's, especially the music. Still dress like that today, so I'd be all set for a party. Have a groovy day!

Christin Sander from Midwest on March 25, 2014:

As a modern day hippie who was born in the wrong era ;) I totally am coming to your party for the music, granola and meditation - groovy hub! :)

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 25, 2014:

A well-advised hub on this event I have not attended such a party but your ideas sound most helpful.

Shinkicker from Scotland on March 24, 2014:

I would stick some late Beatles on the old parlaphone too and maybe some of The Doors but many great ideas there. I love the Hippie banter too.

It's amazing that the image is still so popular and fun today.

Voted up with a peace sign \\//

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 24, 2014:

This hub contains some great ideas for a party and is an interesting overview of the hippie era at the same time! Thanks for sharing all the suggestions.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on March 24, 2014:

"Totally Awesome" article! I actually was a hippy in California in the 1960s. My husband and I were married in a park in Berkeley in the early 1970s. I love your party ideas!

Eiddwen from Wales on March 24, 2014:

Wonderful Writer Janis ;I haven't been one of a 'Hippy' crowd but loved this great read. Voting up and looking forward to so many more.

Eddy.

Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on March 24, 2014:

Just missed the Hippie lifestyle by an inch. But I do have In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida! So I did come close. Voted Up

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 24, 2014:

This was far out, groovy. Voted up and pinning, right on!