80th Birthday Ideas

I am in need of ideas for my Father In Law's 80th birthday. I would like for it to be a surprise. His health is really bad so we would have to have it at his house. Any ideas would be appreciated.


Martha from TN


Number of...

i did this for my grandmothers birthday and she loved it. The numbers were made up as close as I thought was possible.

  • number of meals cooked
  • number of diapers changed
  • number of gallons of dishwater used
  • number of miles driven
  • number of fish cleaned
  • etc.
As you can see you can use any list! (04/15/2005)

By Jeanie

Open House

Here's what we did for my daddy's 100th birthday. We put an ad in the local newspaper about a week or two before his birthday, inviting all his relatives, friends and neighbors to help him celebrate by sending him a birthday card and/or attending an open house the day of his birthday and enjoying a piece of birthday cake and coffee or iced tea or punch. (Be sure to include his mailing address!)


We rented a local meeting room for the open house. I covered a table with pictures of his life. (I bought a length of the clear plastic yard goods from WalMart and placed it over the pictures so no one would spill food or drinks on the old pictures!) I also found a booklet that told what the prices of various items were the year he was born. Folks enjoyed reading it. I think I found it at a Bob Evans restaurant but have also seen them at Cracker Barrel.

One of the granddaughter's brought a fancy decorated birthday cake and the rest each brought a variety of sheet cakes so folks had plenty of choices.

We made up some invitations (at Kinko's) to send to special family members and those who lived far away. We put a picture of him as a dapper young man on the front and had it done in sepia tone.


We had a couple of the grandsons bring his recliner from his home so he had a very comfortable seat of honor at the open house.

We kept the open house fairly short; 2:00 to 4:00 so we wouldn't totally exhaust him.

He was so very excited over the amount of birthday cards that started pouring in days before his birthday! We put a basket on a table at the open house for folks to drop cards in also. He reread all the cards for months on end. That really gave him a lot of pleasure! Whatever you do I'm sure your father-in-law will appreciate it. Have fun!


By Grandma Margie

Cowboy Party

If your father-law is a country boy, I suggest that the invitations suggest to all his guests to come dressed in their cowboy and cowgirl attire and play western music and have a guitar shaped cake or cake decorated with western motif also decorations of western setting. (04/15/2005)

By Dottiiie

White House Greeting

Write to the White House and request a birthday greeting to be mailed to your father in law. The White House sends out birthday greetings to individuals who are 80 years and older. Here is the url for complete information.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/greeting/ (04/16/2005)

By Las Vegas Angel

Telling Stories

For my father's 80th, we gathered his family and his grandchildren and children took turns telling stories and special memories they had of him while growing up. They were funny, uplifting and at times emotional. My father loved it. We had a special cake made with his picture on it. We decorated his chair, and took pictures of him with each generation. My father died a couple months ago. This will always be one of our fondest memories. (06/29/2005)

By Laurie

Age Gauge

http://www.frontiernet.net/~cdm/age1.html is called Boy the Bear Age Gauge. It takes a birthrate and tells how old the person was when movies and events took place. It also compares ages with famous people - It is fun and it is free (01/08/2006)

By Linda

Our Party

Thanks for some great ideas - here are some of mine:

We blew up old photos to hang on the walls - about $5 each at Kinkos. We hung posters of some of his most common sayings - e.g. - "If that skirt gets any shorter you'll have 2 more cheeks to powder."

We made up a quiz - how will do you know Joe - and placed them on the tables as conversation starters. We made up a word search with some words related to him (one of his favorite hobbies). We scanned in all sorts of photos and made CDs as favors for guests and showed the slide show during the event. We printed photos onto card stock paper and glued floral wire between 2 photos and inserted these in the flower vases on the tables. We had the smaller grand kids write 10 things I love about grandpa.

MO<We made name tags for the guest so no-one would forget a name or relationship. We played music from his favorite bands. In all a great event! (05/21/2006)

<p class="art">By Kathleen

Memory Book

When my grandpa turned 80 we sent his friends and relatives a questionnaire and SASE for them to fill out: How did you meet? What's your favorite story about him? etc. We bound the responses and made a book to present to him. He loved it and we got to hear some great stories. (09/06/2006)

By KB in NJ

DVD Slide Show

I am planning a surprise party for my grandmother's 80th birthday. My husband and I are making a DVD slideshow of photos of her through the years as well as video clips from home movies. I am also making video clips of family and friends wishing her happy birthday to include in between photos in the slideshow. I have picked several fitting songs to play in the background. (I am still looking for a couple more songs if anyone has any suggestions.) My husband made postcard invitations that have a photo of her when she was young and a recent one along with the party details on one side, and a request for any photos or stories from her past on the other side. At the party, I plan to read a bio of her life, play the DVD then go around the room letting people share any stories they would like to about their memories of her from the past. I also plan to give out questionnaires for the guests to fill out with any memories or birthday wishes they wish to share with her. These will be put up on a large bulletin board along with photos. I will later take these and make a memory book with them and photos taken at the party. I'm still in the planning stage. (09/08/2006)

By Melanie


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