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50th Birthday Party Ideas

Fifty is Nifty and Impressive!


Two women laying table outdoors
Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Let’s forget about over the hill, it’s overstayed its welcome. Fifty is no longer what it used to be, and whether it’s the new 30 or 40 doesn’t really matter. It simply shouldn’t be mocked or written off. In fact, fifty is pretty nifty and when someone achieves that birthday milestone he or she should be celebrated, instead. There are cultures that already believe that reaching age 50 is an age that deserves special, respectful attention. In the Netherlands, a woman reaching 50 celebrates her “Sarah Birthday” and a man is considered an Abraham, both after the biblical couple.

So if you’re looking for ideas to celebrate someone special on their 50th birthday, give some thought to any or all of the following to show the world just how wonderful this milestone really is.

Planning the Party

Invite 50 guests to this grand occasion. Be sure you plan a space that’s big enough to fit all of these guests. If it’s an outside party, there may be enough room, but be prepared for a change in the weather. If it’s going to be an inside party, and your home can’t fit that many guests, you can hire a catering hall to host the event, rent a room at the local VFW club, book a room at your golf club, or see if your church has a room you can rent.

All About the Nifty 50-year-old

Fifty is an impressive number. A person reaching that age has accomplished many things both professionally and personally. Kindly roast the birthday boy or girl by reading off any or all of the following lists during your party that describe the guest of honor. You can ask your guests to help fill in these lists either during the party or when they RSVP for your celebration. Just be sure you have a complete list ready in case guests don’t bring ideas for you.

  • 50 Fun Facts About ...
  • 50 Great Accomplishments of ...
  • 50 Little Known Facts About ...
  • 50 Reasons Why We Love ...

Decorate with 50 of Everything

Visually display how grand 50 can be by decorating with 50 of any of these items:

String a clothes line around the party and use it to hang 50 pictures of the guest of honor. You may need to ask guests to supply pictures to you before the party.

Hang from the ceiling 50 words that best describe the wonderful things about the birthday girl.

Fill a table with 50 framed photos of important family moments in the life of the birthday boy.

Float 50 helium balloons in his or her favorite color at the entrance to the party room.

Put together a playlist of his or her 50 favorite songs across the decades.

Present Food in Displays of 50 for Additional Drama

Serve finger food that can be displayed on large trays in quantities of 50, to continue showcasing the impressiveness of 50. If this party will be a potluck , be sure to give your co-hosts clear instructions regarding the food theme, and how to present their contributions. If you don’t have enough large trays or platters, most party stores sell inexpensive trays that can be used for this purpose.

Party Favors

You can give guests small silk pouches filled with personalized M&M’S that have the number 50 printed on them.

If chocolate isn’t your guest of honor’s favorite thing, give out personalized cookies from Elenis’ New York with the number 50 on the cookie.

If you'd like to find more of Donna Pilato's advice on hosting parties and entertaining friends and family you can visit her at The Delicious Dozen.

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