Party Ideas

Tips for an Extra Special 80th Birthday

By JoAnna Carpentier

Someone special in your life is about to turn 80 years old. It’s a milestone! They’ve lived a long life and you’re ready to celebrate. Here are a few party ideas to make your loved one’s birthday special.


Know the difference between surprising and startling.

Many older people like quiet, calm surroundings. It’s very sweet to throw them a surprise party, but you don’t want to alarm them. Instead of leaping out from behind furniture and yelling “SURPRISE!” just assemble the guests in a room with balloons and party hats. The surprise will speak for itself.


Select your guest list carefully. 

You know your loved one best. Would they prefer a small, intimate gathering of close family and friends, or a big surprise party with extended family? Make sure the guest list works well with the environment they favor.


Opt for daytime over the evening. 

Chances are, at the age of 80, they’re early to bed, early to rise. You don’t want to plan a party for them in the evening hours when they may be tired or not up for it. Instead, opt for a midday party or luncheon. That way, they’ll have plenty of energy to keep up with their guests!


Get sentimental. 

One of the most important things you can give someone for their 80th birthday is your appreciation for the memories shared. Collect photos from other family members and friends to create a slideshow. Pair it with a beautiful song and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable birthday gift. Just don’t forget the tissues!


Take photos. 

This is a big moment in your loved one’s life and you’ll want to look back on it someday. This is a great opportunity to get a photo of multiple generations if you have extended family present. Ask your Photographer for advice on staging your photos and make sure to get some candid shots as well!


Celebrate with a custom cake. 

This is a special birthday! Ask your Cake Decorator to create a cake that celebrates the occasion and ties in the birthday gal or guy’s interests. You could get a cake inspired by one of the activities they love like crossword puzzles, gardening, quilting, painting, or card games.


Serve their favorite foods. 

You probably know them pretty well by now. Whip up some of their favorite dishes or hire a Caterer to do the cooking for you. Nothing says “special birthday” like a buffet in your honor!


Entertainment is a nice touch for some. 

For many, entertainment is a great way to celebrate a birthday. Some older folks don’t always have the energy to go out to a concert, but you can bring the show to them as an alternative! If they love music, search for an act you think they’d like. Opera, Jazz, Barbershop Quartets, and Singing Telegrams are all great options! On the other hand, if your loved one has a great sense of humor, you may want to invite a Comedian to entertain your family instead. You could even fill them in on some of your family secrets for a special roast – all in good fun, of course!

At the end of the day, you just want to make sure that the birthday gal/guy is feeling loved and appreciated. They’ve made it this far with the help of wonderful family and friends like you. Now go give them the birthday party of a lifetime!


Looking for entertainment or party services for your special celebration? Book the best at GigSalad.


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