Roarin’ 20’s Summer Soiree

With three teenagers (well, one is 12) living under my roof, I often find my front door is revolving as kids (not necessarily mine) are constantly coming in and out.
I have always believed in an open door policy, allowing our home to be a hang-out for my kids and their friends.  There are multiple reasons for this ranging from keeping them out of trouble to the fact that I am a rather protective parent. I want to raise my kids, not the streets.  I know not every parent agrees with my style, but my kiddos don’t complain and actually enjoy having parents that mingle well with their friends.
And, I know where my kids are and who they are hanging out with!
When our youth minister and his wife asked us to host a summer soiree for the youth group back in June, we were more than happy to comply.  They wanted to do a “Roarin’ 20’s” theme and I took it from there.  While the male side of our youth minister was thinking gangsters and the like, I was all about “the Great Gatsby”, which is one of my all-time favorite novels.  With a movie remake starring Leonardo DiCapprio coming out late this year I immediately had visions of croquet and bocci ball, dapper guys, and beautiful gals.
Guess which direction our party went?

Our Youth Minister & his Mrs.


With a simple (& period) menu in mind, and a vision of decorations, party planning commenced.
First up was menu planning.  We were expecting approximately thirty teens, so a huge quantity of food would be needed!
I researched a food habits of the 1920’s and came up with an easy and delicious menu for our party.  Since BBQ’s were all the rage, it seemed the most natural direction to go.  After all, you can cook for a whole lot more using a grill!
Roarin’ 20’s Menu:
BBQ Chicken Thighs
Finger Sandwiches (Sliced bread in the form of Wonder Bread was first sold in stores in the 20’s)
Baked Beans (Heinz baked beans were quite popular)
Chips and salsa (just because kids love them)
Assorted jelly & cheese filled mini-pastries
Decorations were the next challenge.  I wanted to something they would notice, but didn’t want to spend all day on the decorating.  Peacock feathers, pearls, long white gloves, candles, banners, paper lanterns and stained-glass painted mason jars were easy to acquire and colorful enough to appeal to teens.
I served all of the food outside.  We gave the choice of pink or yellow lemonade in cans which were served in a galvanized bucket.  Simple paper banners acted as decoration as well as informative measures.
Did our party guests have a good time?
You be the judge!
Dancing to period music
Playing Bocce ball in the yard
There are lots of ways to entertain teenagers.  From throwing pizza on the table to hot dogs on the grill, you can’t go wrong as long as you have good food (& plenty of it), great music and some activities to keep everyone occupied!
**Keep it simple.  From menu to decorations, think creatively, but easy.  Just enough to capture their attention and fit the theme, but simple enough to set up and then clean up when everyone leaves at midnight.
**Think like a teen.  It can be hard, I know, but remember back to when you were young and think of games and music that appeal to this fun age group.
**Encourage creativity from your guests.  Costume/themed parties are always a hit in any season! And make your invites match just to kick-off the party spirit.
**Have plenty of food on hand.  For example, five pizzas do not feed 20 kids!  Teenagers have voracious appetites.  They want food, and lots of it.
**Have fun!  Yes, Grown-ups can have fun at a teenager’s party!  Mix and mingle; get to know your children’s friends.  Make them feel wanted and welcome.  Some kids just don’t have a good home life so positive attention and encouragement could make all the difference in the world for one child!
I’m linking up with On the Menu Monday this week at Stone Gable.  Check out all the other delicious inspiration linked up!

2 thoughts on “Roarin’ 20’s Summer Soiree

  1. You must be one of the best assets the youth pastor has in his arsenal of fun teen things. It looks really cool. Did the kids also have a Bible lesson or study? Just wondering what the direction took…plain old fun and socializing or a combination.


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