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A Nifty Fifties Soda Fountain Theme Party

A Fun Party Theme for All Ages


Fifties Soda Fountain

Fifties Soda Fountain

Rod Long/The Image Bank/Getty Images

When you’re looking for a party theme that works equally well for young kids, teens, or adults, think back to the early days of rock and roll, a time when life was simply swell - the nifty fifties! A nifty fifties soda fountain theme party would be perfect for older milestone birthdays such as 50th, 60th, or even 70th. On the other hand, if you need a party theme that’s fresh to a generation that grew up years after that time period, the nifty fifties will make them smile.


Any of the following riffs on 50s era song titles would work well as the lead-in to your invitations:

“Let the Good Times Roll” at a Birthday Party for Donna

Join Us “At the Hop” to Celebrate Brittany’s Birthday

“Rock Around the Clock” to Celebrate Sam’s Big Birthday

Come “Shake Rattle and Roll” with Us to Celebrate Rose Marie’s Big Day

Setting the Stage

Invite your guests to come dressed in appropriate fifties sock hop attire. That means poodle skirts for the girls and cuffed jeans and white tee shirts for the guys. Extra points to guests who come in saddle shoes. Why not award a prize to the most authentically dressed male and female at your party?

Vinyl records, both LPs and 45s, should be part of your decorations. Hang them from the ceiling, put them on the walls, stack them in the center of your tables.

Rent soda shop tables and stools to create a authentic soda fountain ambience.

Decorate with old-fashioned soda fountain items such as milkshake glasses and tall sundae cups.

Rent a juke box and load it with songs from the 1950s.

Use a black and white check table cloth to duplicate the popular soda fountain look of the period.

Create a centerpiece using model cars from the 1950s.

Barbie was born in 1959 so it would be appropriate to use classic Barbie doll replicas in your centerpieces. Dolls could be perched on your model cars.

Use ads from the period as decorations on the walls or in frames on the tables.


Hold a twist dance contest. Although Chubby Checker arrived on the scene in the late 1950s, the twist music is still true to the vibe of the decade. Play all of Chubby Checker’s twisting songs and see who can hold up the longest, who can go the lowest, and who can laugh the hardest.

Have a hula hooping contest. Hula hoops were very popular during that era and watching someone keep that hula hoop going and going will entertain your guests even if they can’t make it around one time with the hoop. Challenge your more talented guests to see how many hula hoops they can spin at one time. If your party includes both kids and adults, make sure you supply hula hoops in different sizes.

Organize a dance contest where dancers are tapped off of the dance floor by a judge until one couple is left and awarded a trophy.

Play music from any and all of the following pop artists from the 1950s: Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Everly Brothers, The Coasters, The Platters, Ritchie Valens, Bobby Darin, or Dion and the Belmonts.

When you’re ready to slow things down a bit, play songs from this collection of Enduring Love Songs of the 1950s.

The Menu

Milkshakes must be on your menu for all. For adults, you could serve cocktails that mimic the flavors of a milkshake such as the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream cocktail.

Hamburgers were a popular item in soda shops of the time period. Serve both plain and cheese topped options.

What would a burger be without french fries on the side?

Ice Cream Sundaes need to be on the menu along with birthday cake.

Appropriate 1950s cake options would be Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Lemon Chiffon Cake, or a Mile-High Coconut Layer Cake.

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