50th Birthday Party Ideas

photo of friends celebrating a 50th birthday at a garden party

Warning! Before you start gathering 50th birthday party ideas, make sure you know your guest of honor's feelings about hitting this milestone.

This is especially important if you want to be on speaking terms after the big day's over!

If you think he/she would prefer not to be reminded of his/her wrinkles, bags, and ever-increasing nearness to death, better opt for a more generic birthday bash.

If, on the other hand, he/she can laugh about getting older, feel free to roast away.

50th Birthday Themes

Almost any theme would work well for a 50th birthday party; it really all depends on the interests of the guest of honor. So let his or her passions, hobbies, interests, and personality be your guides when choosing a theme.

Here are a few theme ideas to get you thinking:

Another Option: Hosting at a Special Venue

This works especially well if you find a venue that matches up with a particular passion of the guest of honor. For example:

  • bowling alley 
  • boat (a "booze cruise")
  • rent an area in a baseball or football stadium (arrange to put a birthday message on the scoreboard)
  • arrange to meet in a city or on a college campus that was special to everyone
  • rent an art gallery for the evening
  • book a castle or other fabulously outrageous place (yes, sadly not an option for most of us!)
  • plan a scavenger hunt that takes everyone on a tour of the birthday guy's or gal's favorite spots in the city (the local donut shop, a favorite store, a childhood haunt, and so on), the last stop being a celebration at their favorite restaurant
  • hire a limo to drive everyone to a favorite beach for the day (or weekend if you can swing it)
  • arrange for a group lesson of an activity you know he or she would love to learn how to do (sky diving, skiing, or knitting perhaps?) and then spend the day DOING it