Divine Dinner Party

80th Birthday Party Ideas:
Honoring Eight Decades of Life

Reaching eight decades of a life lived is a momentous milestone... one that should be celebrated! Want to do it right? You'll find some great 80th birthday party ideas right here that will help you do it... without having to spend eight decades of your own getting it done!

What Makes the 80th Birthday Special. There are a few things that set an 80th birthday apart from earlier years... this is a time in a person's life where they've really earned the right to be celebrated and treated to a special day dedicated only to them. And a few good ideas to help you make it special can really help. So read on to get some! And when you're done her, check out Birthday Bash Central for more ideas on birthday food, decor, and more!


By the time you're eighty years old you've learned everything. You only have to remember it.

- George Burns


Six Excellent Ideas for Celebrating an 80th Birthday

Tailor Planning your Party. The first and most important thing to do before you start planning is to really know your celebrant and spend real time thinking of what he or she would enjoy. Some people like quiet, friendly parties --especially as they get older-- while others might enjoy a bit of dancing or playful party games. Choose your favorite 80th birthday party ideas based on what you know about this person and their life story. From that perspective, begin fleshing out what you want to do.

1. A Charity Affair

By the time a person reaches 80 they usually have little in the way of wants or needs-- if they've reached 80, it usually means their needs have been met! So, rather than giving birthday presents, you could turn the birthday celebration into a fund raiser for the person's favorite charity. Donate the money raised by the end of the event in the Celebrant's name as a way of helping future generations.

Of course, if you opt for this 80th birthday party idea, it doesn't mean you shouldn't give a small gift or two! Check the bottom of this page for some great gift ideas for an 80th birthday.

2. Time Capsule Birthday Party

Party Time Capsule IDea
This is one of my favorite 80th birthday party ideas if you want to do something really sentimental and special.

How does it work? Have guests bring notes and tokens that represent the celebrant's life. Have an air tight container into which to place these items, each with an explanation to the celebrant about why the item or memory was chosen. Seal up the time capsule and put it somewhere safe to open in 10 years at the 90th birthday party. This gesture looks to the future with hope, and also gives the family great memories after a senior member of their family finally passes.

3. Around the World in 80 Years

This can be really fun! Create a photographic time line of major events that took place in the Celebrant's lifetime. Start at one side of the room in which the party's being held, putting the oldest images up. Follow around the room from left to right (which is natural reading motion) with the last image being the most recent. Have a presenter share the story, and what the Celebrant was doing during the years noted. At the end, have a special toast. You can revolve your whole party around this idea, or make it a nice activity or party game for everybody to get involved in.

Another fun variation of this 80th birthday party idea is to have the guests and family members (the ones younger than the celebrant, that is) talk about where the celebrant may have been or might have been doing during the year of their birth. "When you were born, I..." this can be a lot of fun and bring up a lot of warm memories.

4. Tea and Trivia

Tea Party for 80th Birthday

Hosting a tea is a good choice for an 80th birthday party idea, particularly if the guest of honor has some limited mobility. A high tea takes place sitting down. As it proceeds, guests around the table can share trivia about the Celebrant (perhaps accompanied with a slide show).

By the way, this particular type of party blends nicely with a memory cake. Decorate the cake with little tokens that represent important moments in the celebrant's life. For example, you might have a model of their first car, the address of their first home, etc. This visual ties together your theme perfectly.

5. Birthday by the Numbers

Looking for ideas to birthday decorations and foods? You might choose to use the number 80 as an aid to party favors or decorations. For example, you might have a jar of 80 pieces of classic candy on each table for snacking, and a money tree with 80 silver dollars for the celebrant. You can also blow up 80 balloons, or possibly a centerpiece with 80 flowers at the main table.

6. Jazz it Up

80th Birthday Speakeasy Idea
People turning 80 will definitely remember --and probably have fond memories of!-- the jazz era. This would be an active party for the 80 year old with lots of life and energy, who still has their dancin' shoes. Get a CD filled with jazz music, offer a few dances, maybe have guests come in costume, and offer a speakeasy bar complete with manhattans, mint juleps and sidecars. Offer some classic appetizers, and let the guest of honor spend an evening living in the past.

This is such a fun 80th birthday party idea-- it's a great way to acknowledge the guest of honor's rich life, and give a spunky 80-year-old a chance to feel young again.


Creative 80th Birthday Gift Ideas

An 80th birthday is a time for celebrating memories-- those rich memories of all the moments that make this person special.

Photo Books and Photo Albums. With that in mind, photo albums or home documentaries make a fantastic gift. You'll need to give yourself plenty of time to get people involved, and a little scrapbooking experience wouldn't hurt the project (or you can opt for a printed photo book with digital photos and scanned family photos). Along with this walk down memory lane, put together a song medley reflective of songs that bring back good thoughts.

Memory Box. An alternative to the album project is a memory box. Have people send in "I remember when..." notes. Transfer these onto nice paper, type written so its easy to read. Fold them up and put them in a decorative wooden box. That way the celebrant can read about good memories any time they want.

Hire a Photographer. Last but not least in our list of 80th birthday party ideas is a family portrait or photograph. This is one occasion when you'll have LOTS of family and friends in one place. Don't miss the moment! Have one copy framed for the person of honor and offer smaller versions to family and friends as a party favor.



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