Plan for the big day with these great 50th birthday ideas

Planning a 50th birthday celebration does not need to be a stressful event.

Whether you choose a funny, teasing theme or a simply elegant gathering, we have suggestions for invitations, decorations, cakes, games and food.

Why choose a 50th birthday party theme? It can be fun to take the emphasis off of the 'gravity' of the moment, and make light fun of the person whose milestone you're celebrating.

Suggested themes:

    Over the Hill
    Certified Antique
    Retro Celebration

50th Birthday ideas for Invitations

If you are moving forward with a humorous theme, make sure that the guest of honor is willing to laugh at being halfway to 100! Some of the funniest 50th birthday ideas play gentle fun on the guest of honor.

Funny invitations may be shaped liked a casket with the word "Celebrate" in somber lettering on the front. Inside, "You're not dead yet!" in bold fun letters on a bright background will set the tone for someone who has a good sense of humor.

The antique-themed invites may be created on a computer. Copy a page of antique listings from any antique website. Create an entry with a photo of the birthday person as the "item" and a brief description that might include:

    Certified antique [insert guest's name]. 50 years old and in good condition, with minor wear and tear. No chips or cracks,  just a few wrinkles. Bids will be accepted at [insert party info here].

For a retro celebration, invitations can be fashioned to include images from the years the birthday person was born. For example, if he was born in the 60s, a circular black invitation that resembles a record could have a picture of the Beatles on the "label", along with the party information. A party themed for the late 60s could have a hippie vibe with tie dyed T-shirt invitations or peace signs.

Here are some 50th invitations from Amazon.

50th Birthday ideas for Decorations

Throwing caution to the wind, the funereal tone can move into the decorations. Gravestones, somber music, fake obituaries, and all black balloons and streamers will emulate the mood.

Antique items are always readily available at flea markets, or grab some premade wooden items at the local craft shop and antique them with crackle paint, foils, and sandpaper. Shred streamers for that worn-out look. Include candles on the tables, but make sure they look well-used.

When decorating for the 60s, be sure to include pictures of icons that represent major events from that decade. The 1960s might include images of the Volkswagon van, the fashion icon Twiggy, Andy Warhol's work, and peace signs.

If possible, play dvds of 60s hits like Get Smart, Mission Impossible, or Star Trek.

Here's a ton of great ideas from Amazon. Enjoy free shipping and secure online shopping.

Coffin 50th birthday party decoration for a guest of honor with a sense of humor!Little coffins with 50, 60, 40 or Over the Hill on the cover
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50th Birthday ideas for Cake

One of the funniest 50th birthday ideas is an open grave cake... A fresh grave cake can be fashioned by baking a flat, rectangular layer and rounding the edges. Frost with chocolate frosting and dust with crushed chocolate cookies for the "dirt". Complete with a gravestone (for edible, use two square layers together for stability) with the name and date of birth of the birthday person and a question mark for date of death, just to be safe!

An old-time radio can serve as the model for an antique cake. Round one of the short sides of a rectangular cake and use varying shades of chocolate icing to frost and provide details. Include the number 50 as the radio station.

An easy 1960s themed cake could be a peace sign or smiley face. Simply bake a round layer cake and frost bright yellow for the traditional smiley face. Store-bought black gel icing in a tube provides the eyes and mouth.

The peace sign can be simple, with a brightly colored base and contrasting lines, or more complex, by cutting out the sections around the lines of the peace sign, frosting the whole cake and filling the hollowed sections with 60s treats like Cherry Heads, Good & Plenty, Jujubes, Mike & Ike, Lemonheads, or Necco Wafers.

Here's some great cake accessories to give you inspiration, all available from Amazon.

50th Birthday ideas for Party Food

Finger foods and casseroles are appropriate for the pseudo-somber party. Mismatched serving plates that appear to be dishes brought to pass at a wake will emphasize the theme.

Antique food would be disgusting! Why not try some Victorian-era dishes like tea sandwiches and applesauce cakes?

The 1960s were the era of Tang! Be sure to offer other timely drinks like Coca-Cola, Sprite, or Gatorade. Snacks reminiscent of the 60s include Fiddle Faddle, TV dinners, Shake-n-Bake, and Rice-a-Roni.

If you are serving a buffet, try using rectangular dishes that give that TV dinner feeling.

Here's some cool snacks and treats from Amazon. We especially like the retro candy!

50th Birthday ideas for Party Games

In the case of the "Not Dead Yet" party, guests can be supplied with a list of facts being considered for inclusion in the eulogy. Provide a list of accomplishments from the life of the birthday celebrant. Make sure to include some from childhood, to make the game more challenging. Intersperse some false facts. Guests must separate fact from fiction to win.

Place a long sheet of paper, available in craft stores, on one wall for the antique themed party. Create a timeline of the guest of honor’s life, asking each guest to add a unique memory to the timeline. This will serve as a fun keepsake after the party!

Collect 60s trivia facts online for a team trivia challenge. Include pictures or video clips of classic television shows from the era for a twist. Grab some classic 60s games like Twister, Life, or Mystery Date and put them on the tables for some small groups to play.

50th Birthday ideas for Printable Party Games

This pack of more than 20 printable games for a 50th birthday party are cute, funny and appropriate for the occasion.

You can buy and download them in moments, sent straight to your email, and print them at home, in the office, or a copy shop or superstore, like Staples or Office World. Click to read more, or buy from Python Printable Games.

A 50th Birthday Party is a Breeze to Arrange

We hope these 50th birthday ideas have helped to inspire you. Really, being in charge of this special day need not be a chore. It can be really easy to arrange and give the guest of honor a milestone to remember.