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’70s-theme party guide

Illustrated animating disco ball.

Looking for an opportunity to show off your best disco moves? Host a 1970s-themed party! Here’s our guide on everything you need to plan one, from invitations and decorations to food and activities.

Invitations

Make sure your guests know the theme from the start by choosing a themed Evite invitation, like this Pastel Disco Ball invitation. Or, opt for one of these groovy invitations!

Decorations

The early ’70s perpetuated the lazy-daisy attitudes that blossomed in the ’60s, while the latter part of the decade celebrated glittering disco clubs and tight leisure suits. Politics, anti-war sentiments and the continued persistence of the peace sign signified the ’70s.

Decorate in ’70s-inspired earth tones colors such as orange, yellow, brown and the popular split-pea green. Hang beaded curtains to add color and flair. Be sure to have plenty of incense burning as well to really create a ’70s atmosphere (something earthy like sandalwood or patchouli will make it feel authentic). Pay homage to the advent of the disco era by setting up a rotating mirror ball that instantly turns any party into a dance party. Luckily, tabletop mirror balls are easy to find, so don’t worry about having to install it into your ceiling.

Costumes

The best way to construct your ’70s costume is to ransack consignment stores. Here are come classic clothing and accessory ideas:

  • Wear wire-rimmed glasses à la John Lennon, snug jeans, bright green Converse and Farrah’s famed feathers.
  • Pair an orange and brown track jacket with pastel-inspired sneakers and zippers galore.
  • Don a bowling shirt and white, cotton snug-fitting pants — think John Travolta.
  • Pay tribute to iconic film and TV characters from "Star Wars", "The Godfather" or "Happy Days".
  • Slip on a mini-skirt with platform shoes, or short shorts with white athletic knee-highs.
  • Tie up low-lying pigtails or a side pony to pay tribute to Suzanne Somers’ Chrissy in "Three’s Company".

Activities

The Pet Rock was one of the biggest pop culture fads of the ’70s — so have guests create their own pet rocks. This activity requires a few colors of tempera paint, paintbrushes and clean, smooth river rocks. Your guests can also decorate their rocks with familiar ’70s icons like smiley faces, vibrant flowers and ladybugs.

The ’70s was synonymous with disco dancing. Section off an area that guests can use as a dance floor. Make sure to play disco-era artists like ABBA, Donna Summer and The Village People. Add some bright flashing lights and a fog machine to give your dance floor a Studio 54 feel. For added inspiration, set up a TV in the background, and cue up some of the famous dancing scenes in movies like "Saturday Night Fever" and "Fame".

Food

Fondue reached new heights in the ’70s and is a fun food idea for your theme party. Select a cheese that melts easily for your fondue. Swiss is always a favorite, but if you prefer something slightly sharper and nuttier, try Gruyere. Serve with slices of crisp bread like a baguette or ciabatta, which make for perfect fondue accompaniments with their crunchy crusts and light, airy centers. Crudités and chunks of ham and turkey are also great for dipping and make your fondue into something more of a meal. Don’t worry if you don’t have extra fondue forks—just buy some wooden skewers and place them in a cup near your fondue pot.

The fondue theme can carry right into dessert with a sizzling pot of melted chocolate—dark, milk or white chocolate all work well. Serve with strawberries, raspberries, apple slices, cookies and some chunks of challah or pound cake.

Drinks

Pineapple Sunshine (Serves 6)

  • 12 ounces pineapple juice
  • 12 ounces orange juice
  • 12 ounces sweet-and-sour mix

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill glasses with ice and pour drink over. Garnish each glass with a pineapple wedge.


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