Home Decade Themes 1920s

1920s – Jazz, flappers, prohibition, gangsters and Gatsby!

Jazz, flappers, prohibition and gangsters. This era was called the roaring 20s with good reason, and it makes a fabulous theme. Browse down the page for food and party ideas.

See The Great Gatsby at the movies for more ideas. Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories was set in the 20s as well – watch the series with David Suchet to soak up the art deco buildings and clothing.

20s Party Ideas

The 20s was all about Jazz and Prohibition, which meant loud music, lots of illegal drinking and organised crime.

  • Decor – Do your house up as a 20s location like a Speakeasy (no admittance without a password), or a Jazz club. Art deco styles and colours also add to the ambience.
  • Themes – Gangsters, Prohibition, Radio, Art deco, Jazz, Silent and B&W movies,
  • Great Gatsby – read the book, watch the movie and recreate the characters and scenes.
  • Chicago – the musical was written and set in the 1920s
  • Poirot
  • Celebrities – Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel, Greta Garbo, Harry Houdini, Jean Harlow, Louis Armstrong and Mae West.
  • Activities – Learn 20s dances like The Charleston and Shimmy. Have everyone make up a 20s Gangster name for themselves, give a prize for the best one. Use 20s slang like: ‘bees knees/cat’s pyjamas’, ‘big cheese’, ‘baloney’ and  ‘going to see a man about a dog’ (buying illegal alcohol).

20s Party Food

The Prohibition made alcohol more popular then ever. Speakeasies were noted for their horrendous food, as alcohol was the main event. Most did, however, serve salty snacks to make their patrons thirsty

  • ‘Bathtub’ Gin – just put a handmade label saying ‘Bathtub Gin’ over the real label
  • Cocktails and Champagne – if you break the Prohibition, do it in style.
  • Salty Snacks – chips and dip, peanuts
  • Chinese Food – this was new and fashionable in this era

Decades and Milestones

Decades: | 1920s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s |
Milestones: | 30th Birthday | 40th Birthday |