My friend Sheri loves all things tropical so when her girlfriends (myself included) started planning her 50th birthday party, we knew this was a starting point, but we wanted something more unique for this golden celebration. Something more than a luau or Jimmy Buffet theme. We wanted to have more fun with it and that’s how we landed on the 60’s style themed beach party.

We started planning the menu with a brainstorming session of what we ate as kids. Further research included a call to my mom to recount her food memories from that era. There was much laughing as we remembered some of these things for the first time in years. It was hard to narrow it down but the finalized menu of retro favorites ended up being:

Doritos (1966)
Bugles (1964)
French Onion Dip (1952)
Peanut M&M’s (1954)
Pringles (1968)
Certs (necessary after all the French Onion Dip) (1956)
Bottle Caps (1972)
Kraft Easy Cheese (1965)
Chicken in a Biskit Crackers (1964)
Ritz (1934)

Wonder Bread Buns (1921)
Hot Dogs
Cabbage Salad with Top Ramen
Jello Salad
Deviled Eggs
Macaroni Salad

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Rice Krispie Treats
No Bake Cookies
Twinkies (1933)

Tab (1963)
Pepsi (in Retro Cans)
Hamm’s Beer
Rainier Beer
Miller High Life Beer (in Retro Cans)
Tang Dreamsicles  (Tang 1958)

We had our event at the only beach in our landlocked city – a sandy spot at the local reservoir. We grabbed a big grassy area and set up lawn darts, badminton, hula hoops and croquet. I labeled the different foods with sticky notes with the year that the different foods debuted which proved to be a great conversation piece.

It was a really fun day and I think everyone enjoyed the blast of the past, especially the birthday girl which was really all that counted.