50 & Fabulous: 50th Birthday Ideas


Have a friend who’s halfway to a century? You can’t let the event pass without throwing a birthday bash. Humorous or elegant – or maybe a mixture of both – all depends on the guest of honor. Here are five 50th birthday ideas to get you started.

Gosh, You’re Getting Old

Greet the guest of honor with a walker and oh-so solicitously escort him or her to a comfy chair – people of advanced years need help getting around.

Decorate with 50th birthday balloons or create bouquets with those two digits in a Mylar at the center. Create centerpieces from the accoutrements of aging – Geritol, Fixodent, and more. Use personalized labels to create custom beverages such as Old Geezer Ale.

For your last stunt of the night, serve the guest of honor a special meal – applesauce, prune juice, dry toast, and a soft-boiled egg.

Retro Dance Party

Today’s 50-year-olds were teens and young adults in the 80s, so celebrate their milestone birthday by celebrating that decade.

Decorate the decade’s omni-present neon colors. Ask guests to come as their favorite big-hair band member star or political figure. Music is a must, and the play list won’t be hard to find whether the guest of honor is into country, pop, or punk.


This classic Jimmy Buffett party anthem was popular when today’s 50-year-olds were coming of age, which makes it a margarita party a fantastic theme for celebrating their half century.

No one’s sure of the exact coordinates of Margaritaville, but it has to be on the shore. And that means beach party supplies for decor. It need not be expensive either. Fish net goes a long way, and seashells are cheap even if you live inland.

Plan a margarita bar – of course! – with plenty of food to ward off any ill effects. Mexican munchies are a great pick. Offer a chili bar if you want something more substantial. Send guests home with a custom drinking glass as a favor.

A Golden Anniversary

Gold is the classic color for celebrating half-century marriages, so why not adapt it to a 50th birthday party theme as well? Think of it as a gentler way to recognize a milestone.

Shop this Cheers To You theme for all your decorations, invitations, and tableware. Instead of a birthday cake, serve a tiered anniversary cake.

50 and Hot

Drape the tables with gold taffeta and trim the chairs in red velvet to create a fiery scene that says, yes, 50 still is hot. Go glam with your menu or continue to play off the "hot" theme with spicy selections.

For women with a sense of humor, focus on hot flashes. Throw a menopause party that combines cocktails with candid talk about the change of life.