50th Birthday Ideas to Delight, Excite and Make You Glad Did

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.  

Click here for our Ultimate Guide to Milestone Birthdays.

Throw a 50th Birthday party: 5 Ideas

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. 

Black and gold birthday decorations for 50th party for wife

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:

  1. A small intimate dinner party with close friends
  2. A big blow-out bash filled with a mix of family, friends and co-workers
  3. A gathering of girlfriends or guy friends only  
  4. An elegant cocktail party
  5. A casual backyard event

    Check out our  Secrets to Throwing an Unforgettable Birthday Party , as well as Ask This One Question to Make Your Birthday Party More Memorable.

    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. 

    50th birthday idea for wife plan a getaway with friends


    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.

    Click here for our Ultimate Guide to Milestone Birthdays.

    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:

    1. 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...

      2. 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.

        3. 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...

          4. 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!

            5. Something that is 50 years old

            Give a gift of something that is also celebrating its 50th birthday! 

                a. 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 1970?  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:

                  Slaughterhouse Five introduced in 1969 is a great 50th birthday idea for husband

                  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Published in 1969 Makes a Great 50th Birthday Gift for Wife

                  The Very Hungry Caterpillar Introduced in 1969.  Great 50th birthday idea for wife. 

                  Great 50th birthday gift idea for husband, The Godfather introduced in 1969

                  Great 50th birthday idea for husband, The Andromeda Strain published in 1969

                  b. A vintage bottle of wine or spirit.

                  A special bottle would surely make their birthday more special. It turns out that 1969 was a vintage year for ports and Italian wines, so  a bottle of one of those would be ideal.  Learn more about the available options at Vintage Wines and  My Vintage Winery

                  A vintage bottle of wine interesting idea for 50th birthday

                  c. 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.

                    What's so special about that time period? It turns out that the music we listen to in high school tends to be the music we love for a lifetime!
                    Playlist for a 50th birthday party - prom songs from the 80's
                    d. 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.

                      Fun 50th birthday gift for husband: original 1969 Nerf ball 

                      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!")

                      1969 Snoopy Astronaut Perfect Gift for a 50th Birthday

                      Photo Courtesy of Lucky-Dragon-Tiger, eBay 

                      And who can forget that game that made so many kids giggle, Ants in the Pants.

                      Ants in the Pants game a fun gift for husband 50th birthday

                      e. Music from the year the person was born or from the person's high school years.
                        What's so special about that time period? It turns out that the music we listen to in high school tends to be the music we love for a lifetime!

                        f. 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:

                        Capri Sun


                        Capri Sun introduced in 1969 Great gift for 50th birthday idea 


                        Funyuns introduced in 1969. 50th birthday idea for husband

                        Orville Redenbachers Popcorn


                        Orville Redenbacher popcorn introduced in 1969. Awesome 50th birthday idea for husband.


                        Frosted Mini Wheats 

                        Frosted Mini Wheats Cereal introduced in 1969. Awesome 50th birthday idea for husband.


                        Manwich introduced in 1969. Awesome 50th birthday idea for husband.

                        Hawaiian Tropic

                        Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil introduced in 1969. 50th birthday idea for wife.


                        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 3 easy ways to do this, including:

                        1. 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.

                        2. 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.

                        3. 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!)

                        50th birthday idea for husband adopt a star


                        Cool 50th birthday idea adopt a star

                        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

                        50th birthday idea for husband fund donorschoose.org project for classroom tissues

                        Make a difference with this 50th birthday idea Donors Choose project

                        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! 



                        50th Birthday Ideas to Delight Excite and Make You Glad You Did-Birthday Butler