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90th Birthday Party Ideas:
Planning a 90th Birthday Party

Coming up with 90th birthday party ideas can be a little overwhelming... after all, when a person reaches 90, it means they've got a lot of history behind them!

90th Birthday Party Cake IDea
Planning a 90th birthday party for somebody special in your life? Where do you begin? A milestone birthday like a 90th is nothing more or less than a celebration a person's life: his or her accomplishments, the people he or she loves, the scope of their life so far. But how do distill 90 years of a full life into one celebration?

Well, let's break your 90th birthday party planning into a few key steps to help get some focus.

3 Important Steps Before You Plan

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Before you send out invitations or decide on a space, there are several things that you need to keep in mind, that are special aspects of planning a 90th birthday party.

1. REALLY Know Who You're Planning For

Step one is to make a list of the birthday person's achievements: the jobs they've held, any awards they received, the interesting people they've met, if they served in the military, etc.

If you're planning for somebody not-so-close to you and don't have enough information, now's the time to get family and friends involved. The more information you gather from your "sources", the easier it will be to come up with 90th birthday party ideas the guest of honor will love... and the easier your party planning becomes.

2. Separate Your Party Planning into "Preference Sections"

Step two is considering the Celebrant's tastes. When you're planning a 90th birthday party, it's not an "anything goes" kind of occasion. The kinds of things one 90-year-old would find lively and fun would be bothersome to another. So separate your party planning into a few of the following concepts:

  • What kind of music will they enjoy?
  • Would this person want any party games?
  • What are this person's favorite foods, and is there anything he or she shouldn't eat? (Check here for tips on planning your party food!)
  • Do they like casual settings or more formal affairs?
  • Who would they most want to attend their party?
  • Will they want a big crowd, or will a large group be bothersome?

Again, having this information helps you flesh out the specifics of your party. Some celebrants prefer a quiet night with family to a big bash, for example. This party is about them, so be sure to gear all of your 90th birthday party ideas accordingly.

3. Choose a Comfortable Location

90th Birthday Party
Step three is location. Think about your Celebrant's comfort zone. Some 90 year olds require wheel chair access, use a cane, or may get uncomfortable if they have to sit too long in hard chairs.

You need to make allowances for his or her physical condition in your party planning. Additionally, the number of people you're inviting can narrow down your list of choices for location too. Let's face it – there are a LOT of potential people on that list who might enjoy well-wishing, but you can get 90 people in your living room? That's a whole other question.

One of the most 90th birthday party ideas is making the guest of honor as comfortable, happy, and content as possible.

You'll find more general tips for planning a party here.

90th Birthday Party Theme Ideas

As with other parties, sometimes finding a theme for the party makes everything else go much more smoothly-- and makes the final result a lot more fun. You could pick the Celebrant's favorite decade, for example. Or you could even use the number 90 as your theme. Other possible 90th birthday party ideas for great themes include:

  • The Wayback Machine
  • Over the Hill and Back again!
  • It's not the Years it's the Mileage
  • On the Day you were Born (or in the Year you were born)
  • Aged to Perfection

Or go here for a few more unique birthday ideas and themes.

Activities for a 90th Birthday Party

Play a Trivia Game

Trivia games are usually a great choice for 90th birthday celebrations (be warned, grandparents make great historians!). You can pick trivia questions by decade, topic, whatever you like. This is a flexible 90th birthday party idea, so have fun with it!

Share Special Memories

Additionally, having some of the people who attend the party share memories is always nice (ask them to put together their thoughts in advance, and maybe write them down so the final words can go into a book that's given the celebrant).

"How Much Do You Know About...?"

Another possible activity for a 90th birthday party would be a contest with questions about the celebrant. The prize goes to the person who knows the most details. Make these questions HARD!

Create a Family Tree

Family Tree Activity for a 90th Birthday
I love this 90th birthday party idea, and think it would make a wonderful activity for any milestone birthday! Either provide a blank wall of paper for people to use, or create a large blank family tree template that will fit on the wall. Either have people put together their family tree on their own (using markers or their own photos for a visual family tree), or add just the celebrant's name to the template and have family members map their relationship to him or her on it.

You can also make this a thoughtful, creative gift for a 90th birthday: You can make this a keepsake by having everybody create a little felt leaf with their name on it, and using that to create a family tree as a gift to the celebrant.

Show off Photos

A wonderful 90th birthday party idea that the guests and celebrant alike will love is to show photos. Put together a video or slide show of previous birthdays or special moments in the celebrant's life. Someone can MC this part if you want so people who aren't as familiar know what they're seeing.

No matter what activities and 90th birthday party ideas you choose, there's one thing you want to make sure of: take lots of pictures! Remember, you're making memories as much as you are re-living them!

More 90th Birthday Party Ideas: Help and Hints

There are three more suggestions that will help make your event successful:

1. Plan in Advance

90th birthday party ideas require some advance planning. You're probably going to have people coming from out of town on such an auspicious occasion, so get those invitations out in the mail in plenty of time so those folks can get time off, find a hotel, etc. It's nice to include a list of suggested lodging with your invitations if possible. That will make your guests feel a little more confident about their booking.

2. Schedule the Important Stuff Earlier

Limit your party activities, getting all the important moments in fairly early. Many 90 year olds aren't up to long engagements. While you can certainly have food and music for people who remain after the Celebrant departs, it would be a shame to have them weary before memory presentations, for example.

3. Provide a Quiet Space

While not all 90-year-olds will need this, many will, so make sure you have a means for your Celebrant to rest when they're ready – be it having a car to take them home, or by providing them with a hotel room or a quite space in your home to rest.

If you follow these basic guidelines and use some of the fun 90th birthday party ideas presented here as starting points, your event should go off very well!

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Coming Up...

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Share and share alike! If you have a great dinner party idea or tip, send it in!

After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

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