We're back in the 20s, and the winds are calling for a roaring good time. In honor of the bombastic parties that went down in legend during the Prohibition Era just 100 years ago, we've got all sorts of creative ideas to help you bring a new-age 20s speakeasy party to life.
Switch Things Up With an Industrial Setting
Instead of just looking at nightclubs to rent or friends' basements to borrow, try finding a plain industrial space to set up your speakeasy party. The exposed brick and beams will give it an aged feel and provide you with enough open space to put together any decorations or drink tables you're thinking about.
Cover the Place in Balloons
Not everyone can afford to rent an expensive nightclub or genuine speakeasy space. To transform a basement or spare room into an exclusive speakeasy party, go heavy handed on the balloons. Yes, balloons were around in the 1920s, and they were a staple at every raucous gathering. Mix and match helium with self-blown ones, so you've got layers and layers of balloons for people to walk through.
Set Up a Champagne Pyramid
No speakeasy party would be complete without the booze. Prohibition has the reputation for being more boozy than any decade before, and you can't host a speakeasy party without having drinks on drinks. A really cool centerpiece you can set up to wow your guests from the start is a champagne pyramid. Balance champagne glasses (though plastic ones will work fine) on top of each other to create a pyramid shape. Then pour bottles of champagne from the top and let it cascade down to the bottom layers.
Hire a Jazz Band
A must-have at any speakeasy party is a live jazz band. If you want to do it right, you won't just queue up a playlist on your phone, you'll have the real deal there. See if you have any local jazz bands in your area and if they've got any openings. Once you've got them secured, let them play the hits or go off script for a beat that can't stop your feet from tapping.
Screen Silent Movies in the Background
If you want to spend all your money on music and booze, one way to set the tone for the party without having to pay for expensive decorations or venues is to project silent movies onto one of the walls. The film industry was just coming into its own during the period, and there are hundreds of silent movies you can find online for free. And being silent makes them perfect for a party where dancing and drinking are the main attraction.
Set Up Tutorials on the Charleston
If you really want to party like it's 1929, you're going to have to learn the Charleston. If you already know it, you can teach guests as they come in. Or, break up the snacking and mingling with a hired professional to give everyone a step-by-step breakdown on the dance that rocked the nation.
Put Up a Poker Table
At the heart of the speakeasy spirit was rebelliousness and a penchant for illegal behaviors. It's hard to believe today, but one common practice that used to be against the law was gambling. In honor of the speakeasy tradition, you can set up a poker table at your party to occupy your guests who're feeling particularly lucky.
End the Evening With a Group Séance
Spiritualism was a huge movement happening in the late-19th century and into the 1920s. As you party well into the night, you can close out your party with a group séance. If you're interested in having the real deal, hire a psychic to perform one at your party and see just who decides to make a visit.
All in the Name of Good, Clean Fun
The 1920s continue to be a popular party theme, and for good reason. The rule-breaking and debauchery going on sets the scene for the perfect kind of party, where everyone can let loose. So whip up some speakeasy cocktails and put your own personal stamp on a speakeasy party with these show-stopping ideas.