15 Best 50th Birthday Party Ideas

There is no better way to make your loved ones feel special than throwing a spectacular 50th birthday party celebration. You will find that there are many different strategies to make the honoree feel special. With the perfect combination of food, decorations, and supportive guests, you can make the day a memorable experience for the guest of honor.

If you are searching for gift ideas for your grandfather on his birthday, you may check out our list of 26 Gifts for Grandpa for some recommendations.

Deciding which type of party to throw can be tough. It is always crucial to try and match the personality of the person to the kind of party you will throw. Does this person enjoy quieter, intimate settings, or does he or she thrive in loud, dynamic crowds? In this article, we provide you with a variety of different party ideas so that you are not stuck thinking of ideas off the top of your head.

1. Honoring Through Photos and Memories

Pictures can tell a meaningful story for the guest of honor. With this party theme, you can do a “through the years” string of photos on a wall, which detail photos from specific time windows of the life of the person. Encourage the guests to provide pictures ahead of time so that you can include everybody in the decorations.

You can also compile photos into a single scrapbook or multiple books that would get distributed around the party. The table of contents will organize the book into relevant and fun sections of the honoree’s experience on earth. Examples include key success moments in the person’s work or personal life, births of children or grandchildren, childhood photos, and other nostalgic events.

The goal of this party is to bring people together through visual moments and experiences from the past. People will appreciate what the person has accomplished and contributed to each of their lives. Providing photos will also create interesting talking points to reminisce about and make the honoree feel important and loved.

2. Childhood Games Party

If you are looking to make the guest of honor feel young and create a feeling of nostalgia, throwing a childhood games party could be a great option. Think back to your loved one’s childhood experience and figure out what their favorite games and activities were. How did the honoree spend his or her recreation time while growing up? What commonalities did he or she have with childhood friends?

Recreate this with the themes and activities of the 50th birthday party. Have a wiffleball game going in the backyard or open outdoor space. You could also coordinate a scavenger hunt that divides the group into various teams. A great idea would be to set up a badminton net to let the guests partake in a staple childhood yard game. You could even have hula hoops and go all out with a bounce house.

It is great to combine this party with balloons, bright colors, and youthful decorations to support the theme. You could supply party hats or apparel to go along with the birthday celebration. When going with the childhood games party theme, you can pair this with a barbecue or cookout setting to make the honoree feel like they are a kid in the backyard with the family again.

You may also check out our Guide to Picking Fun Games for Birthday Parties for more tips and recommendations.

3. Scavenger Hunt

If the birthday honoree enjoys puzzles or adventure, organizing a scavenger hunt could be an excellent party theme to implement. You could create a trail of 5-10 clues that the person could follow. The checkpoints could then incorporate a memorable or essential part of their life. The various segments would remind them of a specific life event, friend, or other nostalgic feelings.

If you still live in or near the town where the person grew up in, it would work out even better. If not, you can always do the scavenger hunt on the personal property or neighborhood. To end the chase on a high note, you could have the rest of the party guests waiting to surprise the honoree after the last step. This effect will make the culmination of the scavenger hunt fun and exciting.

Once the crowd surprises the birthday guy or girl, you can begin a toast or celebration and commence the rest of the party by highlighting the critical parts of the scavenger hunt or sharing fun memories with input from each party guest.

4. Dinner Party

If the honoree is a food lover and enjoys elaborate dinners or eating out, a dinner party could be a perfect theme for the 50th celebration. Depending on what he or she likes, this could be a catered event or homecooked meal with an extra helping hand. The goal of this party is to create a meal that combines the all-time favorite entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks that the guest of honor treasures the most.

This type of party could be for a large crowd, but it would preferably be more successful with a smaller, more intimate group. You can combine the meal with a complimentary toast that honors the birthday guest. If you don’t have a catering service, you can amass a team of friends, family, or other helpers that can work to serve the food. To save personal hassle, you can always reserve a party room at a nice restaurant.

When everyone is seated and eating, you can add to the love of the party by taking turns sharing your personal quality or memory about the guest of honor.

5. Favorite Alcohol and Spirits Party

Is the birthday honoree a big fan of alcohol and spirits? You can make their day special by throwing a party themed around their favorite drinks of choices. You can set up drinking stations around the venue, or even hire a bartender that serves for the entirety of the party. You can throw this party at a rented space or your house if the favorite drinks are served or are available!

Another great thing to add to this part is a themed shot glass for the 50th birthday party celebration. There are many ways for you to customize this. By handing out shot glasses, the guests can also take them home to keep, and they have a memory from the party celebration. The birthday party is something that they should never forget, so it would be a significant value-add to send them off with a collector’s item.

Depending on the preference of the person, you can make this a beer party, wine party, or liquor party. Make sure to plan the snacks and food accordingly with this. If it is wine, you can supply cheese or charcuterie boards. You can begin the party with a complimentary toast to the person.

6. Favorite Decade Party

Another great strategy would be to throw back the party to dedicate that is special or memorable to the person of honor. Figure out if there was a time that the birthday party honoree values the most, and theme the party around this. If you want to center it around the 70s, you could implement at dress code. If it is the 80s, you can also throw a party that gets themed around a disco ball or dance.

You can match the period with the type of decorations you set up, the music that gets played, or even the food. Find out which artists the guest loved the most during that decade, and create a playlist that highlights the top songs from those musicians. Were there any particular life events that happened during this decade that you could highlight for this party?

Depending on what theme you go with, you could rent out an old dance club or throw the party at a former high school gym to simulate the idea even more. Regardless of what you decide, your goal is to make this party as nostalgic and authentic as possible.

7. Roasting the 50-Year Old

The term “roasting” usually applies to make fun of a specific person, but you could twist this into something fun-loving for the guest of honor. Because he or she turns 50, you could go around the party and have the group collectively provide the proper number of jokes, memories, and accomplishments for the guest of honor.

You can have the honoree sit in a unique chair at the front of the room and hook up a microphone system or something similar. Take turns passing around the microphone and have each person share something special. Another strategy would be to create a PowerPoint that lists go through the top 50 of whatever type of content you choose. Assign each slide to specific people who can speak on the honoree.

If the person loves attention and loves the spotlight, this is a great option to bring people closer together and reminisce about the person’s time on earth. Keep it lighthearted, and do not let the person feel too embarrassed, however. You want them to feel loved and unique without making fun of them too much!

8. Backyard Cookout

If you are feeling nostalgic, you can re-create a setting from his or her childhood, like a backyard cookout. This party option is great for the summer months because the weather will be most suitable for it. You can combine this party with fun outdoor games, music, and food that remind the guest of honor of what it was like to a cookout with the family in their younger years.

If the person played sports when they were younger, you can find old pictures and set them out to reflect on childhood and what it was like to relax with the family after a sports event. For food, you can cook hotdogs and hamburgers and set up a bar of condiments to other fixings to put on the menu. You can also implement a table with fun, summer-themed drinks like lemonade, tea, and soda pop.

You can go all out with the picnic theme on this party by decorating the tables with fun plaid and have pennant banners to give the celebration a “ball-park” feel. You can add to the effects by selecting a free playlist for the most lighthearted of grill-outs.

9. Halloween Party

You can take dressing up to a higher level by planning a Halloween party theme. By having everybody dress in a costume, you can add to the festive style and make it fun for the honoree. This party idea would be especially significant if the person were born in October, but you could implement this at any time of the year. To make it more fun, you could turn it into a contest and award the best costume.

If you want to combine this with a decade them, you could have people dress up for a specific period or decade. Whether it is the 70s or 80s, you can simulate the setting by having people attend accordingly. To add to the Halloween aura, make sure to buy the guest of honor’s favorite candy choices and have it lying around the party for people to grab. You can also handout themed treat bags to take home.

If people are of proper age, you can serve alcohol in cauldrons to make the party more authentic. You can also help the drinks in themed Halloween glasses. You can maximize the October holiday by combining it and making it unique for the birthday guest of honor.

10. 50th Birthday Brunch

Who says the party needs to get thrown at night? If the birthday honoree enjoys day parties or value breakfast, you can go all out with a brunch theme party. You can set up an omelet bar for people to partake in and serve mimosas to get the party going. The most efficient way to do this would be to hire a catering company. Also, you should ensure the bar gets operated for the entirety of the party.

What is great about this party option is that you can celebrate the party and have the whole rest of the day to relax. The use of natural light at a venue with windows can impact the party in a different way than you would not normally expect. There is nothing better than the smell of breakfast sausage and pancakes in the morning, and this could have an extraordinary impact on the guests of honor and attendees.

You can end this party with a special toast of mimosas to the birthday guest. Everyone who comes will be impressed with the unique, early day twist of a brunch. Take advantage of this!

11. Tailgate Party

If the guest of honor attended a bigger school that provided fun tailgates, you can turn back the clock and throw a themed party around this idea. You can simulate gameday by hanging college sports memorabilia around the party, such as flags, school theme songs, blankets, towels, shirts, and more. You can have someone operating the grill and set up tents around the party to add the tailgating effect.

To make this even more unique, you could also attend an actual game and reserve a spot for the party. You can hang banners and other themed decorations to make sure that everyone knows who’s birthday it is. You can supply megaphones and other fun party games, such as cornhole or bags, beer pong, frisbee, and more.

This event is great because it will get people outdoors, and you can involve a lot of different people, even those who are tailgating neighbors and did not initially invite to the party! You could also rent an RV for the weekend for this special day and make it an extended trip. The possibilities are endless for this theme!

12. Barn Party

Another fun theme would be to rent out a bar and convert it into the ultimate party destination. You can simulate this theme by adding folk music and turning it into a dance or hoedown. You can cook homestyle food and set up a tasty food bar for the guest to partake. For the drinks, you can provide summer options but also country-themed alcohol and spirits like whiskey, bourbon, and beer.

This party theme would be perfect for the summer and warmer months, and you can decorate with fun colors, balloons, and other banners. If the guest of honor enjoys big crowds, you can invite everyone you know and even turn it into a surprise party. To make the person feel even more unique, you could set up an old-style projector that shows the highlights or fond memories of the honoree’s life.

This party idea is sure to be fun-loving and upbeat for everybody who enjoys square dancing and outdoor music. It also puts a unique twist and change of pace for the guest of honor and attendees.

13. Black and White Party

The black and white party is an excellent option because it is symbolic of the guest of honor. The color black gets designed to signify the passage of youth, and the white would perfectly balance the color scheme. You can implement this theme by decorating the venue with white and black tablecloths, balloons, or hanging drapes and other signs that project both colors.

For food, you can make black and white bookies, decorate or enhance Oreos, or serve vanilla or chocolate milkshakes. You can even show black and white movies through projected onto a big screen. To add to the passage of the youth theme, you can go around the party and share some of the defining moments of the guest of honor’s life. You can hang many “then and now” pictures that also amplify this theme.

Celebrating how a person improved over time can be a special gesture for the birthday honoree, and you can hit home with the black and white party by having people dress in black and white.

14. Wine and Cheese Tasting

If the person is a big wine fan, you can implement a wine and cheese tasting for the 50th birthday party celebration. There are two routes to go with this: you could hold the party at your house, or you could rent out space at a winery or vineyard to add to the authenticity.

If you have it at home, you can buy many different wines ahead of time and have them served throughout the party. You can buy themed and labeled wine glasses that people can take home as collectibles. Throughout the house or party venue, you can have full cheese or charcuterie boards that complement the wine perfectly.

Having at a vineyard could be a more costly option, but this could be a special gesture for the guest of honor. You could even rent out a bus for a wine tour and combine the party with this option. The opportunities are endless, but make sure to have many different wine options for everyone to try. Ensure that you begin the party with a sweet toast to honor the special guest.

15. Golf and Country Club Party

Just like the barn theme party, celebrating at a country club could be a unique twist for the guest of honor and the attendees. Most country clubs will allow you to rent out space at the clubhouse, especially if you are already a member, or a guest owns a membership. You can combine this party with a brunch or special dinner with a toast.

If the guest loves to golf, you could even incorporate a golf outing on the course and supply birthday-themed golf balls and other collectibles. After the round, you can celebrate in the clubhouse and end the day on a high note. If the guest of honor is a golf lover, this will be a perfect surprise to honor him or her on this day.


As you can see, there are a variety of different options to honor a loved one in your life who celebrates 50 years of experience. Regardless of what you choose, make sure to maximize the food and decorations to match the guest of honor’s favorites or options that match the theme at hand. Be sure to match the tone of the party to what the guest would honestly want: an intimate gathering or an elaborate celebration.

It is all about making the birthday guest feel unique and loved by those around him or her. Invite the people who have played a unique role in a person’s life or have uniquely impacted him or her. Most importantly, have fun and be safe! A cheer to 50 years is a unique event that should be treasured and enjoyed with loved ones.

If you are searching for gift ideas for your grandmother on her birthday, you may check out our list of 26 Gift Ideas for Grandma for some recommendations.