It’s my birthday! In honor of turning 42, I’m sharing a few fun facts about the 80s and some things that I enjoyed as a kid.

Today’s my 42nd birthday! I’m at a place in my life now where I find myself reminiscing a lot about my youth and happy memories from when I was a kid.

Travis and I were talking about this very thing about a week ago. He said life seemed so simpler back then. Probably because we didn’t have all of the adult responsibilities we have today, and we weren’t as aware of the harsh realities of “the real world.”

I know many of us can agree adulting is hard AF! I mean, life in general is pretty tough.

And after experiencing a global pandemic and trying to recover from the impact this illness has had on our economy, health, and routine living, I just would like to focus on happy memories.

So, in honor of turning 42, I thought I’d share a few fun facts about the 80s and some things that I enjoyed as a kid.


  • riding my bike in my neighborhood with friends
  • playing outside until the streetlights came on
  • going roller skating (This was especially a favorite activity of mine when I was in middle school.)
  • going to the movies with my family
  • jump rope and kickball were my favorite recess games
  • playing Nintendo video games like Super Mario Bros. 2 and Tetris
  • playing with my Barbie dolls (I had the Barbie mansion and I hope one day I can get one for my kids, too.)
  • Pizza Hut’s Book It reading program (I couldn’t wait to read a bunch of books for that personal pan pizza!)
  • listening to music on my Walkman
  • playing fast-pitch softball (I played throughout my youth and into high school. One big regret I have: not playing softball my senior year of high school!)


Dallas (Photo credit:
  • On the day I was born, 350 million people tuned in to find out “who shot J.R.” on the popular 80s primetime soap opera Dallas. My mom often tells me about this story. haha!
  • President of the United States: Jimmy Carter (Ronald Reagan won the next election.)
  • Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Princess Diana were married in 1981.
  • MTV premiered on television in 1981.
  • Garbage Pail Kids were very popular in the 80s. It was like a creepy side of the Cabbage Patch Kids.
  • Rubik’s Cube was another popular toy. I don’t think I’ve ever solved one.
  • Michael Jackson ruled the decade. I still remember my dad having a Michael Jackson cassette tape and I would play it on his big boom box.
  • Minimum wage: $3.10
  • Loaf of bread: 50 cents
  • Gallon of milk: $1.60
  • Gallon of gas: $1.22
  • A house cost $47,200!
  • postage stamp: 15 cents (22 cents by 1985)
  • movie ticket: $3.55 by 1985 (Remember the 99-cent movie theater, though?!)
  • A few of my favorite TV shows back then: Cosby Show, Full House, Family Ties, Who’s the Boss.


Sixteen Candles movie
Sixteen Candles was a cool movie when I was young, but looking back as an adult, some of the sexual assault scenes weren’t so cool. (Photo credit: IMDb)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • E.T. (1982)
  • Trading Places (1983)
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
  • Breakin’ (1984)
  • The NeverEnding Story (1984)
  • The Karate Kid (1984)
  • Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
  • Purple Rain (1984)
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • The Color Purple (1985)
  • Labyrinth (1986)
  • Dirty Dancing (1987)
  • Coming to America (1988)
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Purple Rain
Prince’s Purple Rain (Photo credit: IMDb)

One of my favrite things to do when I was a kid was go to the movies with my mom. I thought it was exciting to watch a movie on the big screen. It was a magical experience!

Keep in mind, a lot of these movies I didn’t get to watch until a few years after they came out. For instance, Star Wars, E.T., Breakin’, and The NeverEnding Story were movies that came out when I was under the age of four.

And… some other movies I had to wait until I was a little older to watch, i.e., Bevery Hills Cop and Purple Rain.

TOP HIP HOP ARTISTS IN THE 80s (just to name a few because there were so many!):

MC Lyte
MC Lyte (Photo credit: Pinterest)
  • Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five
  • LL Cool J
  • Kurtis Blow
  • Public Enemy
  • Queen Latifah
  • MC Hammer
  • MC Lyte
  • Kool Moe Dee
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
  • Salt-N-Pepa
  • The Sugar Hill Gang
  • Eazy-E
  • Ice-T
  • Run DMC
  • Big Daddy Kane
  • NWA
Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella (Photo credit: Pinterest)

My first introduction to hip hop music was through my mom. I remember when I was a kid, she used to listen to a lot of hip hop music albums on her stereo and she’d watch Yo! MTV Raps. Always dancing in the living room!

We listened to a lot of Salt-N-Pepa, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, and MC Hammer, just to name a few. Who were your favorite 80s hip hop artists?


  • My Little Pony
  • Rainbow Brite
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power
  • Gummi Bears
  • The Muppet Babies
  • Inspector Gadget
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
  • The Care Bears
  • Tale Spin
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Jem
  • Duck Tales
  • Chip’n Dale: Rescue Rangers

What fun memories do you remember about your youth?

Also, you may like: 40 Things I’ve Learned Since Turning 40 and A Birthday Letter to My Daughter on Her 17th Birthday


Written by

Jennifer Hamra

Freelance creative Jennifer Hamra created her blog Good Life Detroit in 2015 after relocating from Tennessee to Southeast Michigan.

Inspired by her love for personal blogging and photography, Jennifer likes to share her favorite Detroit things, from cool places to visit (the hidden gems are her favorite!) to the amazing people she has connected with over the years.

When she's not busy juggling family life and her creative projects, you can find her at an art gallery, community event, farmers market, or spending quiet time at home with a good book and cup of tea.

Jennifer lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband Travis and their six children.

Connect with Jennifer on social media @goodlifedetroit on all social media platforms. Email at [email protected].