Remember when 50 was considered old?
Those days are long gone...or perhaps it's our perspective that's changed.
If someone you know is turning the big 5-0 and you're searching for ways to make this milestone birthday EXTRA special, we can help!
We’ve got lots of suggestions on things to do, gifts to give and unique ideas they’ll never forget.
Throw a 50th birthday party
By the time people reach the age of 50, they have the things they need (there aren’t many 50-year olds without clothes or household appliances!) and many of the things they want.
A party is an outstanding way to celebrate their birthday. It allows the birthday person to be surrounded by the most important people in their life. Similarly, it allows the person's family and friends an opportunity to acknowledge the occasion and wish them well.
If a birthday party sounds fun, but you're not sure where to start, put yourself in the birthday person's shoes...or heels!
Consider the TYPE of 50th birthday party the person would most appreciate. There's no right or wrong answer, just think which one they would most prefer:
- A small intimate dinner party with close friends
- A big blow-out bash filled with a mix of family, friends and co-workers
- A gathering of girlfriends or guy friends only
- An elegant cocktail party
- A casual backyard event
Plan a 50th Birthday Getaway
A significant milestone deserves special treatment! If you’re looking to do something truly memorable, plan a getaway.
Since there are literally countless places to go, a good place to start is by deciding WHO will be going. Will the trip be a:
- Romantic escape for two
- A family trip to cross off a bucket list item
- A group of girlfriends going away for a long weekend
Regardless of where you go and who helps celebrate, one of the MUST DO’S for a birthday trip: take a photograph to capture the happy moment!
My suggestion is to do this early in the trip, so that you don't forget! If there will be a celebration over birthday cake, that also makes for great pictures.
Want more tips for planning a birthday getaway? Check out Take Your Birthday Celebration on the Road.
Give an awesome 50th birthday gift
Milestone birthday gifts provide a great opportunity to be creative! Rather than getting a “normal gift”, you can celebrate the magnitude of the milestone.
It’s also a great time to join forces with others and give a group gift. Pooling resources from multiple people allows you to give a much bigger, more significant gift.
A group gift also allows the birthday person to associate a gift with a particular event and group of people. For my 50thbirthday, my family gave me a beautiful necklace. I think of them every time I wear it and how lucky I am to have them in my life.
Some great 50th birthday gift ideas:
A gold-themed gift-50 is said to be the “golden” birthday, so giving a golden gift is right on target. A piece of gold jewelry such as a bracelet or ring can work well for men or women. Keychains, a gorgeous picture frame, a stunning gilt-edged mirror...
- 50 happy memories-gather 50 photos, memorabilia and notes to wish the person well. This is especially fun as a group gift because everyone can contribute.
- 50 of a favorite item-If the birthday person loves golf, gift 50 golf balls. For the individual who loves to curl up with a cup of tea, an assortment of 50 tea bags. 50 candy bars for the chocolate lover in your life are bound to be a hit...
- 50 gifts-for someone truly special to you, give 50 items that you think they would like.These can be anything from favorite kitchen utensils to books to notepads. An amazing friend did this for me and it was absolutely awesome!
- Something that is 50 years old-give a gift of something that is also celebrating its 50th birthday!
- A classic book that was published the year they were born, perhaps even a first edition, would be a standout gift.
Wondering what books were published in 1969? GoodReads provides a list of 200 works celebrating their 50th birthday.
There are a range of wonderful titles to choose from, including the top 5 from that year:
- A vintage bottle of wine or spirit-A special bottle would surely make their birthday more special.
- Music from the year they were born or from their high school years. If the person is into music, a few vintage vinyl albums from the year they were born could be a lot of fun. You could also gift music from the person's high school years.
- A favorite game or toy from year they were born-for the 50 year old who is still a kid at heart, gift a classic game or toy that was introduced the year they were born.
The original Nerf ball debuted in 1969 and would be an amusing gift for someone turning 50.
The Snoopy Astronaut was introduced in 1969 to commemorate the Apollo 10 mission to the moon. (How fun would it be to include a card that read, "Hope your 50th birthday is out of this world!")
Photo Courtesy of Lucky-Dragon-Tiger, eBay
And who can forget that game that made so many kids giggle, Ants in the Pants.
- Music from the year the person was born or from the person's high school years.
- Food from the year they were born-if you're looking for an entertaining gift that will generate a lot of conversation, gift some consumer products from the year they were born!
1969 saw many new food items introduced. Yet only a very, very small fraction of them have lasted 50 years, including these:
Charitable Acts for Turning 50
You could also celebrate a 50th birthday through an act of charity. This is a great option for someone who prioritizes philanthropic causes and who frequently talks about making the world a better place.
There are a variety of easy ways to do this, including:
- Making a gift to a charity in their name-From National Public Radio to the Red Cross to Meals on Wheels, there are may wonderful organizations you can donate to.
- Plan a group volunteer activity to celebrate their birthday-organize the person's friends and family and serve at a soup kitchen or volunteer as a team on a local Habitat for Humanity project.
- Adopt something in honor of their special day-similar to making a charitable donation in their name, this approach makes the abstract concept of philanthropy a bit more tangible...and more fun.
Want to mark this milestone birthday with a truly out-of-this world gift?
You can adopt a star to celebrate their 50th birthday...or even a confirmed planetary system!
The non-profit Adopt a Star organization makes this possible and uses the money it receives to support astronomy research.
(Even if you don't want to give a star as a gift, please consider donating to this very worthy cause---science research is woefully underfunded in the US!)
For a charitable 50th birthday idea that hits a bit closer to home, consider DonorsChoose.org. This organization shares requests from public school teachers who are in need of items for their classrooms.
Project requests range from the high tech (Kindles, Chromebooks) to the very, very low-tech (tissues, paper) and allow you to see what a great difference your dollars can make inside of a classroom.
To make a contribution that will wow! the birthday person:
1. Go to DonorsChoose.org and enter the person's zip code
2. Select one of the projects that would resonate with they birthday person's interest
3. Make a donation on their behalf
Whatever idea you decide on, the birthday person is lucky to have such thoughtful people like you who want to make this milestone extra special!