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Eight Old-Fashioned Activities For The Modern Twenty-Something

Roller skates
Do you ever feel like there ought to be more to the weekend than trying to hear what your friends are saying over throbbing club music? Did you ever secretly wish you had your grandmother’s dance moves? (Yea, I know – stay with me here.) Check out this list of eight old-fashioned activities for the modern twenty-something and then let me know how your weekend was!

1. Roller skating…
Well folks, this is about as old-fashioned as it gets. Roller skating was the go-to activity for all the hip young things way before you were writing down “Roller Blades” on your 1994 Christmas list. I always thought roller skating sounded like a nice break from the overdone bowling trip but figured it would be difficult to find a rink.

Not so! Apparently roller skating is so retro that it’s ironic. (Translation: You won’t be considered old-school if you hit up the rink with the girls, but you may want to wear flannel and bring a Polaroid.)

2. …or ice skating?
Does roller skating bring back too many memories of awkward family photos of mom’s childhood days? Ice skating is a timeless alternative. Bonus: While making a trip of it can be fun, it won’t look weird if you go it alone. I for one am always up for ice skating so long as I’m armed with a pair of earbuds and my iTunes library! I am so looking forward to practicing crossovers in time to “Let It Go” this winter. (The cold never bothered me, anyway!)

3. Dancing (not grinding)
Because there’s gotta be something to do besides twerking when your favorite song starts playing, right? I can tell you from experience, there’s nothing quite so invigorating as really truly knowing how to dance. Ballroom lessons tend to be more expensive than swing lessons, but prices vary considerably depending on where you live.

Don’t be afraid to shop around – I’ve found a lot of groups where the population averaged age 65+, but recently I hit gold with a much younger group and it was a lot of fun.

4. A sing-a-long
You warble out T-Swift songs in the shower, your best friend is a Broadway fanatic, and your boyfriend never goes anywhere without his guitar. So why not do something about that?

In the early 20th century it was popular for guys and girls to get together wherever there was a grand piano and belt out new tunes like, “Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning.” Some things never change, eh? A modern version might look more like breaking out your ukulele and some Mike’s.

5. Drive-in theater
Drive-ins were hugely popular in the ’50’s and ’60’s, though in recent years they’ve become more of a glorified #throwbackthursday. Break out of the social rut of dinner-and-a-movie. Send a group text, pack some snacks, and ask nicely to borrow your brother’s pick-up so you’ll have the best seat in the house!

If you’re feeling a little more Daisy Buchanan than Sandra Dee, head out to a speakeasy. The perfect blend of cutting edge and days-gone-by, this is a place where you can sip cocktails, chat, and feel all-out classy without sacrificing modern conveniences. (Although some places require that you turn off cell phones!)

My favorite spot for northeasterners, The Bookstore, has live music on weekends, usually featuring new music with a jazzy old-time sound. It can’t be beat!

7. Dinner party
OK, there’s a personal bias here: I have been dying for dinner parties to come back ever since 10-year-old me got her hands on a post-WWI etiquette book. But seriously, how can a jovial evening of wine, food, and friends have fallen by the wayside? It’s time to bring it back, my fellow Gen Y-ers!

The best part about the old-fashioned dinner party is that it thrived throughout multiple decades. You can have your buds over and include some subtle ’50’s and ’60’s themes, or go all out with a Downton era sit-down dinner! (For best results, add the Dowager Countess).

8. Game night

Oh yea, I just said it. Rumor has it that only squares stay in on a Saturday night, but you’re about to prove that rumor false. In the thirties and forties twenty-somethings (assuming they weren’t married with kids yet – things sure did move fast back then!) would hold parties entirely centered on those newfangled board games.

But hey, this is 2014 and maybe Sorry! just doesn’t cut it anymore. How about a few rounds of Scattergories? (I don’t care if you think I’m a nerd. I love this game. #noshame)

Our twenties are a time for trying new things, not staying stuck in rut because “everyone else is doing it!” Sometimes that means looking to the past for inspiration, taking something old and unfamiliar, and making it new and special.

About the Author

Clare Behe

Clare holds a B.A. in History from Christendom College. She enjoys philosophy, personal style, Oscar Wilde, and ancient history. Her long-term career goal is to be an editor for a meaningful publication. Along the way, she would also love to creatively use her love of drawing for a good cause.