Birthdays are fun to celebrate – especially when the guest of honor has reached a milestone like 70 years of age. After seven decades, your loved one has probably seen a lot. You want to make their birthday celebration something they’ll enjoy and cherish. We’re here to help with some recommendations for the 70th birthday party ideas.
If you are thinking about giving your grandfather a gift on his birthday, you may check out our list of 26 Gifts for Grandpa for more ideas.
The Best Birthday Ideas For A 70-Year-Old
When it’s time to plan a birthday party, it helps to have a theme. You want your guests to have a good time, but remember that the day is all about the guest of honor. The theme should reflect the birthday boy’s or girl’s personality and interests.
Remember to keep the party small if your guest of honor does not like big get-togethers. It’s all about the birthday guest’s personal preferences. Don’t forget about guests’ possible food allergies or tolerances, or about their mobility. If your guest of honor can’t walk upstairs, you don’t want to pick a venue that’s on the third floor – no matter how amazing the view would be.
On the Day You Were Born
Themed parties are always a hit. One idea you could try is a theme called “On the day you were born.” With this party idea, you can bring the past back to life. Visit your local library and check out old newspapers from the day your guest of honor was born. See if anything interesting happened.
Do the same research online for events that occurred throughout the nation or the world. Once you have some ideas, think of a way to present them in a fun and exciting way. You can put these facts out on a chalkboard, or illustrate them on a poster board with images of old family pictures from the same time.
For younger generations, it’s a great way to introduce them to the way things used to be. Think about how different things are now than they were when you were a child. Now imagine how interesting it would be for younger generations to see such differences.
Slideshow – Now and Then
Create a slideshow that displays pictures from the guest of honor’s seventy years of life. Include pictures from when they were young, as well as current photos. Show comparison photos like one from when they were seven to now that they’re seventy.
Show where they started in their career and where they stopped. Do they have any fun hobbies that they’ve developed throughout the years? These slideshows let you learn new and exciting facts about your loved one and allows everyone to relive old memories.
You could even include photos of what the guest of honor would like to still do in their lifetime. It’s fun to see their bucket lists. You might also discover fun things you could do together.
Milestone Photo Book
A milestone photo book might not be for everyone. In this album, you’ll include photographs of the guest of honor’s life, including family members that have passed. If your birthday person has problems looking at old photos without getting upset, you might want to consider a different idea.
This book will be a chronological story of the birthday guest’s life – how they grew up, who they were close with, who they married, what they did with their lives. Even the family members who swear they know everything about their loved one is sure to find one or two surprises.
Don’t forget to include photos of people that are still present in the guest’s lives, like friends, children, grandchildren, and siblings. It’s helpful to remind the birthday guest what they still have to look forward to in their lives after they’ve had time to go back and see what all they’ve done so far.
Surely you’ve seen a celebrity roast on Comedy Central. A bunch of people get together and tell hilarious stories about the guest of honor. Why not do that for the birthday person too? It can be a fun way to reminisce and share fun memories.
Don’t just get speeches from the guest of honor’s offspring. Ask the best friend, the business partner, and indeed the three cousins they grew up with for 60 plus years. It’s always fun to hear stories of our loved ones when they were young and dumb.
It can make you feel like you’re not screwing up as bad as you think if you don’t have all your ducks in a row yet. Most of us have done a thing or two that we now realize wasn’t such a great idea. Host a roast and see what secrets the birthday boy or girl has hidden.
Classic Car Theme
Who doesn’t love the sight of sexy curves and shiny metal? Sorry to you younger generations but they certainly don’t make cars like they used to. I’ve owned a few classic vehicles myself, but they all required restoration – meaning lots of money.
Your guest of honor is sure to have had his or her fair share of cars that some of us would happily maim our best friend over – just kidding. Go through old photo albums and find pictures of the different vehicles that your family member owned in his or her life.
Print these pictures onto big posters for party decorations. Have a cake made in the shape of the guest of honor’s favorite car. If you want to wow them, find out their dream car and rent it for the day so they can ride or drive around town. It can make them feel years younger.
Not everyone likes to gamble, but if your senior citizen does like to hit the tables or slots, he or she is sure to enjoy this themed party. Depending on the size of the party, you might want to have a decent size venue, like a country club or a room at your local community center.
Rent a few big tables and set up a couple of different games of poker. You can even find roulette tables and craps. Have one table for Texas Hold ‘Em, one for 5 card stud, and even a high limits table. Are you worried about your guests that don’t want to gamble? Have one or two separate tables for gin rummy or hearts.
You can customize the poker game for your guest of honor by having his or her picture printed onto the poker chips, cards, table covers, dealer visors, napkins – basically, anything you want. Make sure it’s obvious who’s birthday it is.
If your family isn’t big on elaborate parties, not to worry. You can celebrate the guest of honor’s birthday with a simple outdoor picnic or barbeque. Pick a shady spot at a local park or the birthday guest’s favorite place.
Bring along some kites, blankets, checkerboards, sports equipment, and even cards so there will be plenty to do throughout the day. Here’s a bonus tip. Got a birthday person who likes to fish? Have the party by a lake and bring fishing poles and bait.
You can keep the decorations simple. Just pick a solid color theme based on what the birthday person enjoys. Have colored napkins, a birthday banner, plates, cups, and plastic silverware — spice up the cake with your favorite photo of the birthday guest of honor. And don’t forget to bring coolers so you can keep everything cold while you’re not serving.
Make it Fun
Some senior citizens are still full of energy and life at the young age of 70. If your birthday person isn’t handing over the reins, or the spatula, for your family barbeque, don’t fret. Instead, honor his or her dedication with a personalized birthday apron that says, “Kiss me, I’m 70,” or “Made in 19??.”
Not everyone likes a big get together. This party idea is suited more for women than men. And it’s not really for a large gathering of people. If your grandmother or mother enjoys sipping tea with her friends, why not host a legitimate afternoon tea party?
Rent a reception room at the best hotel in town or seek out a quaint bed and breakfast with a fancy ballroom. In a lot of cities, there are even parlors where they serve afternoon tea. Be sure to dress to impress. Many of these parties require you to be dressed for the occasion, right down to the little white gloves and bonnets.
Not only will the guests get to sip tea, but you can also arrange to have small, decadent finger foods and appetizers. If your prim and proper birthday girl says no thanks to big parties, consider taking her and a few friends to tea time instead.
Since we included a party that was geared more towards women than men, we had to do the same for the gentlemen. Granted, a lot more women are playing golf these days, but older, retired men certainly seem to enjoy it a lot more.
Turn their hobby into the theme of their 70th birthday party. Book a party at their favorite country club. Or, if you want to make sure it’s an event for all ages, consider doing miniature golf instead. You could even set up your own small, simple golf course at home if you’d prefer to keep it simple.
Keep all the decorations golf-themed, including the personalized cake. Fill a couple of clear vases with golf balls and tees and scatter them around the party. Let everyone submit their guess on what the jars contain. The winner gets a prize.
If your guest of honor is still active and enjoying the time of their lives, host a dance party. Pull together their favorite music throughout the decades. Throw in some tunes that have dances with them. How good are you at the Hand Jive?
You can hire a DJ to make it a dance party. Host a dance competition and see who has the best moves. Include some songs that even the kids can dance to like the Hokey Pokey or a Congo line. Does the birthday boy or girl keep up with the times enough to do the Cha Cha Slide or Cupid’s Shuffle? All you have to do is follow the song’s directions.
No DJ? No problem. Create a playlist before the party and use a soundbar or Bluetooth speaker to play the list. Play songs that mean something to the guest of honor. If your parents or grandparents are still together, play the song they danced to at their wedding.
Make it a Sing-a-Long
Borrow your kid’s karaoke machine for double the entertainment fun. If someone gets tired of dancing, they can sing. Dedicate a song to the birthday boy or girl and see if you can convince them to come up and sing a few lines.
Don’t forget to include songs from the early years of the guest’s life, as well as songs that have been popular over the years. And throw in a few that everyone will know, no matter the age or genre.
Sometimes, you have the most fun when you look the stupidest. Don’t worry if you don’t sound good while you sing. It’s not a competition – unless you want to turn it into one. And don’t be too scared to sing if you want to. No one expects you to be Mariah Carey.
Fishing seems to be one of the most popular hobbies of retired men – although people of all ages enjoy the activity as well. If your guest of honor is a die-hard fisherman, consider using a fishing theme. Can anyone say fish fry? Yum.
Set up small fishing games for the kids to play so they won’t be bored with the adult party. Or better yet, have the party at a park or lake so there’s real fishing involved. Trust me when I say having memories of fishing with your grandfather (or dad or great-grandfather) can be some of the best times of your life. They are for me.
Have posters printed and set up throughout the area of fish the guest of honor has caught over the years. Make sure to include pictures of him fishing with friends and family too. As a perfect birthday gift, have a collage made of these same family fishing pictures. Or for a cook, an apron that says, “Catch of a lifetime.”
Remember the Fishing Decorations
Get a cake made in the shape of a fish, or have a photo cake with your favorite picture of the guest of honor and their biggest trophy. Include a catchy phrase like “Catch of a Lifetime” or “The Fish Whisperer.”
Pick up some fish-shaped balloons and a cute banner that says, “If the birthday boy is a missin’, you can bet he’s gone fishin'” or “I’d rather be fishing.” Fill a tackle box full of gummy “worms” and have a blue jello “lake” with “fish” candy in the middle. Don’t forget the goldfish crackers in a fishbowl and the individual chips hanging in fishing nets.
Around the World
If your guest of honor is an international traveler, you’ve got the opportunity for the perfect 70th birthday party. Go through old photos and find pictures of all the different places the birthday person has been. Have these blown up into posters to set out around the room.
Buy some chalkboards to set up next to each photo. Have all the guests write a comment about the location. You could even make it into a game where people have to guess where the photo was taken, what age the person was, what year or whatever.
Individualize the decorations around each photo to reflect the details of the picture. The guests will be able to experience what the guest of honor did. If the photo was taken in Mexico, set out a sombrero and some maracas. Was it in China? Chopsticks and dragons.
Don’t Forget the Food
An international theme gives you the chance to have a vast selection of different foods. Next to each photo, include a few different cuisines from that area. Stick with small appetizers rather than serving large entrees for each location.
For the cake topper, include small mementos from each country that can be kept as souvenirs. Make it a photo cake and have a recent picture of the entire family or an old photo from his or her travels that is genuinely significant to them.
Photo parties are one of the best ways to get younger people involved in a party for their elderly family members. Kids these days are obsessed with selfies, so they’ll relish a theme that’s all about taking pictures of themselves and everyone else.
Buy a bunch of cute props to set up around the room. Have one area that’s set up for goofy looks like oversized glasses and goofy hats. Another could be a western theme. Or, set up seven different areas for each decade of the birthday guest’s life. Set up a specific photo of the guest of honor and then use props so the guests can recreate the picture.
Make sure the birthday person keeps a frame with him that says “70th birthday party” or “I’m 70”. Everyone will love running up to be able to take a selfie with the guest of honor and their unique frame. You could even set up a birthday throne, where the birthday boy or girl sits, surrounded by party props like balloons, horns, hats, and streamers.
Take it Back Old School
If you want to create a hint of nostalgia, purchase some instant cameras so the younger generations can see how things used to be. Bring along a laptop and picture printer so you can print out keepsakes right there for everyone to take home.
Also, stock up on disposable cameras. Pile them on the tables next to the photo centers and let everyone take their shots. Have these developed and mailed out to guests with a thank you note for attending.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why but everyone seems to want to have an 80s themed party. I lived through the 80s. I shudder at the memories of big hair, Aqua Net, and acid-washed jeans. But it does make a great party theme.
For your 70th birthday party idea, you have seven decades to choose from, so don’t feel like you have to stick with the 80s. You don’t even have to stay in your guest of honor’s lifetime. Take it way back and go Renaissance or Victorian.
Does the birthday guest consider themselves a hippie? Flower power theme. A mobster during the Prohibition? Hello Tommy Guns and greased back hair. Don’t forget the black and white film or filters, so your pictures have an authentic 30s feel.
Who doesn’t love the chance to get dressed fancy? Host a 70th cocktail party for your birthday guest. Book a three-hour cruise on a riverboat or rent out a fancy restaurant. Make sure you put on the invitations that this will be a classy event, so everyone shows up appropriately dressed.
Hire a caterer to provide food or find a couple of teenagers who would be willing to help serve the meals and drinks. Don’t forget a professional bartender or two to mix your tasty cocktails. If your guest of honor is a foodie, find a private chef to make a delicious meal, your guest of honor has always wanted to try, or that is their favorite dish.
Have a DJ to provide music or book a great band. If you prefer, you can always use your phone and the PA system to blast your playlist. Just set it to play and leave it alone. Make sure you include some fun songs to dance to, as well as some of the guests of honor’s favorite songs.
Have a Happy 70th Birthday
We’ve given you fifteen fun 70th birthday party ideas, but remember, at the end of the day, your loved one is going to remember having all of his or her family gathered together. They aren’t going to care as much about the theme. Even if you just all get together for a simple birthday dinner, it can still be a memorable and perfect night.
If you are thinking about giving your grandmother a gift on her birthday, you may check out our list of 26 Gift Ideas for Grandma for more ideas.