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This article features ideas that were shared in response to a question posed by a reader in 2005 who was looking for cheery and unique 50th birthday ideas.
What about rock and roll night, with everyone dressing up. You could also serve food to match.
This is in response to the request for fresh 50th Birthday ideas.
One year the wife of a friend had a 50th birthday party for her husband. We wanted to give an unusual gift. We brought some fresh grapes and a bottle of olive oil as our gift to the husband. We also presented him with a tape which all the guests listened to. It was the comedic story of Dionysus and his love of wine and women and how things changed as he got older. We laughed so hard, we cried! You could put this in the context of a wine and cheese party and celebrate all the good things about aging.
Brejean from NB, Canada
When my brother turned 50, we had an "Over the Mountain" party. We printed mountain banners from the computer, and made a camping scene in the corner of the room, with sleeping bags, lanterns, and a fake campfire. We invited the guests to dress in hiking clothes, with backpacks and hiking sticks. Centerpieces were bandannas and mess kits, cans of beans, mountain pie irons, etc. Everyone loved it, and we got tons of great comments! It's a very masculine theme, and a lot more upbeat than the "over the hill" idea.
By Patty Zion
Something we've done is given that person 50 (60, 70, 80... whatever age!) items to celebrate each year. For our friend who turned 50, we gave her 50 "old person" items bought at the dollar store, gotten for free or "recycled". This included things like big pillboxes, Depends, fiber, etc. We screamed with laughter at each opening.
What about a 50s party as in 1950s. The 50s had great music and everyone could dress in poodle skirts and leather jackets, a sock hop type thing.
We through a party for my mom's 50th with a Flashback party. We researched events that took place the year before (whilst in the womb), the year of, and the year after her birth. We found items that fit, record albums from the thrift store, hula hoops, saddle shoes, but also items that were important to history and politics and science. We used the items as centerpieces on the tables and we placed cards underneath each item and we played trivial pursuit (shout out version) as a group. It was enormous fun. We only played relevant music and we even learned the older dance moves and taught the guests. We had period items of clothes around and everyone truly got into the spirit. My mother cried at the end of the night and said that besides the birth of her children she had never felt so loved and cared for. That's about the highest praise any daughter could hope for. Good luck.
How about "50 Years Young" or "Aged to Perfection"? Both of those are upbeat themes. Maybe do a collage of photos of his life, include school photos, military pictures, wedding photos, old drivers licenses, and the cars he once owned.
By Cheryl from MO
Start with 50 pennies, then 50 nickels, then 50 dimes, then 50 quarters, then 50 1/2 dollars, then 50 $1.00 bills. Give them on consecutive days with the 50 $1.00 bills being on the actual birthday.
How about a 50 and Fabulous or 50 and Fantastic party?
By Toni Krys
My little sister gave me a great 50th gift. First, she helped my daughter print up and frame a plaque listing 50 reasons I love my mom, then she handpainted 4 wine glasses with different designs and all having the number 50 on them somewhere, and finally she gave me a jar filled with tiny handmade envelopes containing messages with 50 happy thoughts for me. I love my little sis!
My wife was thrilled with her 50th birthday gifts. I gave her a gift each day for 50 days leading up to her birthday. They were mostly small things with a few larger ones thrown in. The last was a spa day. Believe it or not, it is not the easiest thing to do, gather up 50 gifts, that is.
When I turned the big 5-0, my sister did something for my birthday that was very exciting. For this occasion, I received a large box in the mail. When I opened the box, I found not one or two large gifts, but rather 50, yes 50, much smaller, wrapped gifts. I was surprised to say the least. The gifts were not expensive by any means, but it was so much fun to open all the little ones. She made me feel very special. I thought this would be a great idea to pass on.
My wife has organized my 50th birthday but has drawn a blank for how to make it interesting in a semi-dignified way. I've read the ideas here and have spun off from them these thoughts.
My work made me a poster which said "I use to like antiques, but now I'm one". They also wore the same color of clothes. Even my students got into the groove. It was different, but I liked it.
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My husband is turning 50 and I want to throw him a surprise party, but he hates being reminded he is turning another year older. I am trying to think of a creative theme that does not involve a number associated with the celebration. I would love to hear your ideas.
Why not a celebration of life. Find a way to represent all his accomplishments and all the things he loves. Don't forget to remind him of all the things you love about him, too. You could have a journal for his friends and family to write down a special memory of time with him. I'm sure you can come up with more ideas if you have a direction to go. Good Luck.
Jen in PA
Just like what I did with my husband's 50th birthday instead of using numbers. I made a big poster or tarpauline greetings which says ... "Hubby turns Gold!" and included with it, I have chosen a best picture of him.
I will be celebrating my 50th birthday in June. I need birthday ideas for what to do? I want something different, not the usual theme parties, etc.
When my brother turned 50, we had an "Over the Mountain" party. We printed mountain banners from the computer, and made a camping scene in the corner of the room, with sleeping bags, lanterns, and a fake campfire. We invited the guests to dress in hiking clothes, with backpacks and hiking sticks. Centerpieces were bandanas and mess kits, cans of beans, mountain pie irons, etc. Everyone loved it, and we got tons of great comments! It's a very masculine theme, and a lot more upbeat than the "over the hill" idea.
When my husband turned '60', on the invitation we wrote: In lieu of gifts, please bring any type or amount of pet food, treats or litter, which will be donated to the local humane society in my husband's name.
We were overwhelmed with the generosity of our family and friends 'gifts'. When we dropped off the 'booty' to the shelter, the staff was shocked and grateful for the items. My husband was so proud to do this - being a life-long animal lover.
The total of food, treats and litter donated: 265 pounds! It was awesome! My husband even received a Thank You note from the shelter, signed by all the staff and volunteers.
My 5 year wedding birthday is also the day of my 50th birthday. I want to celebrate them together. I want to rent a banquet hall or pavilion for the celebration. I'm at a loss as to what I should call it. I am a 3 year cancer survivor and want to share this occasion with family members and close friends about 60 people. I would like to have a elegant setting with a color theme of gold for 5o years old, sapphire which is my birthstone and is also the color that marks the 5 year anniversary. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should call the event? Thank you.
How about "Fifty is Nifty" party!!
I would like ideas for a 50 birthday party for my mom, its going to be next month and would like ideas like for centerpieces, food and drinks.
What about a "Back in Time" theme and just decorate with things from when they were young. Get games about news and headlines back when they were a teenager and have people guess on that I'm about to throw my mom a 50th surprise party where i work and were doing like a mix between over the hill and memories.
Today is my mom's birthday and I'm at school asking friends on what to do. My mom loves birthday parties; she plans one for me all the time, but my dad said she can't plan her own. She loves animals, but I already drew her favorite animal on a card. She always works hard and helps me with everything even when I don't deserve it. What should my dad and I do?
Spoil her. Take her to dinner, or cook and clean up dinner at home. Give her a back rub, spend some time with her. My kids still (even as teens) make me coupons for car clean outs, cookies, back rubs, foot rubs and such that I can cash in during the year.
What ideas can anyone suggest? I am having a 50th birthday party in a couple weeks, but unfortunately my parents could not afford to have photos taken when I was younger, and I seem to always be behind the camera, so there are very few photos to show. What can I do instead of having photos to show on the day?
Have some fake newspapers made and make up or use real stories about your lives. There are many to choose from if you google "fake news papers". If you can only afford two however, do get two. That way you can frame the fronts and backs. I hope this helps.
I need games for a ladies 50th Birthday Luncheon held at my mom's home on June 24th. The party is for my sister.
Catherine from HUntington Beach, CA
Ok, here's a fun one and it'll get everyone interacting with each other. Get notecards and put the names of famous people (or infamous, the funnier the better) on them. When each guest arrives, you pin one to their back, and they have to circulate the room asking everyone questions about who they "are", but only questions that can be answered by YES or NO. Use names like AnnaNicole Smith, Oprah, barbara Walters, etc, names that the age group would be somewhat familiar with. You don't want them too easy, but not too difficult either. It really is alot of fun, and gets strangers talking and laughing with each other.
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Any suggestions on my finance's 50th birthday in September?
By JB from Cincinnati
Have a 1960's party. Decorations, costumes, music, refreshments. Just the way a party would have been done the year he was born. (09/17/2010)
My husband wears plaid shirts all the time flannel, cotton whatever, so for his 50th everyone was asked to wear some type of plaid shirt, pants what ever they had, We had a really good laugh! (09/17/2010)
Doing a fake newspaper is so much fun. This is the google link to dozens of sites. Make up your own stories and blend them with the things that happened that day!
If you can, make sure to get two. That way, they can frame each side without losing the "news." (09/20/2010)
For my husband's 50th, I typed up a list of "50 things I Love About You." I wrote about happy memories, things he did for me, his character, when I've been proud of him, etc. Then I cut up the list and hid each strip of paper all over the house (make sure you number the list, so you'll know when he finds all 50). I taped one to his beer in the fridge. I taped one on the lawnmower. I put one inside his work shoes. They were everywhere! It took him over a week to find all 50! It was so much fun and he felt so good reading all those kind things about himself. Have fun! (09/21/2010)
By Lee Taylor
My best friend of 46 years is turning fifty in January. I'm having a huge sleepover with girlfriends from high school, church, elementary school, neighbors, etc. We will be sharing appetizers, chocolate, wine, beer and soda. Playing Wii Dance Party, pictionary, pool, fooseball, chatting about the good old days etc. We will have a big fondue donut breakfast in the A.M. then all go out to the outlet mall to shop post Christmas sales. I bought awesome "purse" ornaments at Nordstrom's as take home gifts too. Best of all no kids or husbands for 24 hours. (12/24/2010)
Here's my take on a 50th Surprise Birthday Party: Invite the party boy or girl to your house. Using garden stakes, create a timeline along the path to your front door noting 10 (1 for every 5 years) special moments in his or her life. The timeline will give the person a sense that something is up, but won't give them enough time to bolt. When you answer the knock at the door, be sure to hold up the last garden stake with the date and "So and so's Surprise Birthday Party!" written on it. It's fun to keep the garden stakes, and even use them in the garden. (12/26/2010)