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60th Birthday Party Ideas

Posted By Laurie Grant


Throw a sensational 60th birthday party and create memories that will last forever.  Get inspired with some of these 60th birthday party ideas that are perfectly suited for your favorite 60-year-old guest of honor.

Wine and Cheese Please!

If you’re on a budget assign a particular region to each guest and ask them to bring a bottle of wine from that region and a suitable type of cheese that pairs well with it.  You supply the venue, wine glasses, breads and fruit.  You can also serve crackers that go well with the cheese and wine you’re having.  Choose either a casual buffet or a more formal table setting by placing the cheese and wine on separate tables dressed in elegant linen.  Give each guest a unique wine glass charm when they arrive.  Don’t forget to give your guests an elegant “thank you” gift as a token to remind them of this special birthday.  Some options are a cheese spreader, personalized wine glass, wine charm, mini cheese grater or wine stopper.  Remind your sexagenarian (pronounced sek-suh-juhnair-ee-uhn) that they are getting better with age — just like a fine wine!

1960’s Party

If you want to go all out choose a venue such as airplane museum filled with vintage airplanes and parts.  But you can also have a blast at home —  just having your guests arrive in costume is half the fun!  With everyone all gussied up make sure to set up a place to take pictures.  The easiest way to create a photo booth is to drape a sheet up on a wall and then have some 1960’s props on a table.  Enjoy playing 1960’s vinyl albums on a vintage turntable — everyone will love to dance to Runaround Sue by Del Shannon and Wild Thing by the Troggs!  For more fun set up some casino tables where guests play for fake money or tokens that they can redeem for popular gift items or gift baskets.  Everybody loves to eat and you can carry the 1960’s theme by serving a variety of scrumptious items such as pigs-in-a-blanket, deviled eggs, cheese fondue, Swedish meatballs and a wonderfully delicious chocolate fountain.

Who am I?

Here’s a fun idea that is sure to get everyone interacting with each other.  Write the names of famous people (or infamous — the funnier the better!) on note cards.  Choose well-known people who are relevant to your guest of honor’s era.  When each guest arrives, pin a note card to the back of their clothing.  Have them circulate the room while asking everyone questions about who they “are”.  Only YES or NO answers should be allowed.  Provide some accessories that are relevant to your famous people so that when the identities are discovered they can dress more like them and take photos.  Make a Hollywood style backdrop on a large wall for photo ops.  Print the photos so that each guest can take home a memento of the best 60th birthday party ever!

Movie Night

If you or someone you know has a home movie theater with enough room for all of your guests then you’ve got the perfect venue for this special movie night.  Or, you might be able to find a small local theater that will allow you to rent their space by the hour.  Another option is to rent a projector and show your movie on a large wall or outdoors on the side of your house.  Find as much video footage, photos or slides of your birthday person and create a personal movie with highlights throughout their life.  No one can resist this sentimental option that will serve as a piece of family history for future generations.  Decorate your space like a real cinema and add some red carpet to welcome everyone.  Serve traditional movie food:  pop corn, sodas, chili dogs and boxed movie theater candy.  Your birthday star will never forget this wonderful event!

60 Reasons

If you’re looking for a sentimental 60th birthday idea ask each friend and family member to write down several reasons why they love your guest of honor.   Better yet, send a blank sheet of paper or card along with the invitation.  Complete enough pages to create a 60-page book or bind together 60 individual cards.   For decorations, use photos of the birthday person through the years (childhood, high school, wedding, birthday parties from years past).  Everyone will enjoy the display.  Have some tissues on hand for the waterworks that are sure to erupt when you present this touching gift.

Over the Hill

First,  make sure that your 60-year-old has a good sense of humor and will enjoy an “Over the Hill” party.  Decorations for this type of party are readily available at party supply stores, and most people have black clothing they can wear for the “somber” event.  Ask guests to bring “Over the Hill” gag gifts such as laxatives, a cane, reading glasses or adult diapers.   Party supply stores also carry an assortment of these types of gag gifts.  Continue the theme by making an “Old as Dirt” cake.  You can easily find dirt cake recipes on the internet.  Write “Getting Old Sucks” on a large bucket and fill it up with suckers for a humorous centerpiece and also as a treat for everyone.  Your birthday honoree will coast into another happy year now that he/she is over the hill!

50’s Party

Relive the happy days with a 1950’s theme birthday party.  From juke boxes to drive-ins you can set the scene for good old-fashioned fun.  Have your guests wear bobby socks, poodle skirts, rolled-up jeans and leather jackets.  Play 50’s music and have a sock hop.  Serve ice cream in parfait glasses and don’t forget the whipped cream with a cherry on top!  For your tables, layer a checkered and clear table cover.  In between the two, put a bunch of back to the fifties cutouts. Guests will love the themed diner-style tables, and the clear tablecloth keeps everything from getting messy!  Jukebox pinatas make great centerpieces at a 50s theme party!  Just add some metallic music note balloons to each one.  This rock and roll party is sure to get a big thumbs up!


Everyone loves an outdoor cook-out especially during the warm-weather months.  Make your barbecue stand out by choosing a theme such as Hawaiian luau, a clambake, surf and turf or even just deciding on a color scheme.  Choosing a theme will also help you to design your invitations and narrow down menu options.  Digital “E-vites” make it easy for guests to respond.  Include the basic details like time and place, but also whether kids are welcome and if guests should bring a side dish, dessert or beverage. This is your opportunity to ask about food allergies or restrictions, too.  As the sun goes down, you’ll want to add lighting such as Citronella candles and/or strings of lights draped over the party area.  Sure, you can throw some beers in a cooler and call it a day. But to make your barbecue memorable, select a special drink to serve guests.  Consider spiking up the classic lemonade or making a batch of refreshing sangria that you can make the night before the party.  Create a playlist the night before so your guests can listen to good music. Classic backyard games like horseshoes or badminton, corn hole or even trivia can liven up your party and keep guests entertained.  If there will be children at your party, offer activities that will keep them busy such as a slip and slide, water balloons or inexpensive water guns.  An arts and crafts table will also serve as a memento for the kids to take home.

Around the World Potluck

Celebrate and enjoy the best cuisine from different countries around the world.  Assign a country or region to each guest as part of their invitation.  You can ask them to bring a main dish while you provide the venue, side dishes and drinks.  Turn it up a notch by asking each guest to wear clothing related to their specific country.  Make a display with interesting facts about all of the countries featured.  Play some worldly trivia games or have a geography “bee” for a fun way to learn something new about international cultures.  Play a variety of music from around the world and do a little research to learn a few native dances to have fun learning with your party guests.  Print and bind the recipes featured and give everyone a copy to take home.  This 60th birthday party will be a global success!

Surprise Party

First of all, make sure that your birthday king or queen truly likes to be surprised and will enjoy being the center of attention.  Also consider the extent of the surprise they might most enjoy — he/she might appreciate an intimate surprise, a surprise trip with a few good friends or a special one-on-one dinner.  If you’ve come to the conclusion the birthday person would LOVE to be surprised then follow these steps to pull off your secret mission.  When coming up with surprise party ideas, think about their hobbies, the music they like, the food they like, the things they are sentimental about; anything that may lead you to a specific theme they would enjoy.  Contact someone who is living with them, husband, wife, neighbor, etc. to get information about them.  Call just to say “Hi”, and towards the end of the conversation ask what their plans are for a specific day/week, etc. This is an important part; you want to make sure that the Surprisee doesn’t make plans on the day of the surprise party you are planning.  Another important person is the assistant (the one who brings the Surprisee to the Surprise party). This needs to be a person who is highly reliable and trustworthy, is on time, can be spontaneous and improvise, has been very much involved with planning the party — and most importantly someone who can keep the secret with a very straight face.  So that the guest of honor is less likely to suspect something, have the party a few days earlier than their actual birthday.

Laurie is a busy mother of four who loves travelling and spending time anywhere outdoors from the Blue Ridge mountains to the sandy white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

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