When someone has already experienced 79 birthdays in their life, how can you be sure to make their 80th birthday party truly special? Whether you decide to host an intimate party with a small guest list, or plan to invite all of their friends and family for a multi-generational affair, it’s worth putting a lot of thought into the occasion to make it a memorable one. From choosing the right location to celebrating their life thus far, here are 10 special 80th birthday party ideas to get you started!
1. Make a montage of memories
Children’s birthday parties are about making new memories, but 80th birthday parties are about looking back at past ones. Pay tribute to your guest-of-honor’s life by presenting a slide show or a montage of old photos and videos. See if you can find a photo from each year of their life, or ask each guest to provide a photo or video clip celebrating a time they shared together. Whichever option you choose, put it together in advance so you can screen it on a home projector.
2. Find the right venue
For an 80th birthday party, it’s especially important to choose a venue that’s suitable for elderly guests. While your guest-of-honor may be in good health, not everyone who attends will be, so browse Peerspace to find a venue that can accommodate young and old guests alike. Decide on whether you want an indoor or outdoor party and consider how many guests you want to invite.
On Peerspace, you’ll find everything from backyard gardens in Los Angeles, CA, to rooftops in New York City. Check the listings to see which venues are wheelchair accessible and what other amenities are available on site. If something you need isn’t listed — such as A/V gear for a slideshow — call up the Concierge service to see if you can rent it from a nearby vendor. They can also help you set up professional catering and photography services, making it easy to get everything you need taken care of with a single booking!
3. Have a birthday roast
No, not a roast beef dinner. We mean the other kind of roast — a comedy roast — which is among the most entertaining 80th birthday party ideas for someone with a great sense of humor. Of course, make sure your guest-of-honor is okay with this plan in advance, and only suggest it for a group of close friends who know each other well and trust each other. Choose this idea as a way to honor someone who prefers a good laugh over a straightforward toast or a sappy slideshow.
4. Play a game show
For a fun game that can appeal to everyone in attendance, play a version of Name That Tune that spans eight decades. Break your guests up into teams, and see how much the grandkids and grandparents know about the music that each generation grew up with! Your games don’t have to be music-related, though: if your guest-of-honor is a fan of a specific game show, like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy!, play a version of that instead.
5. Have a time-travel party
Take everyone back in time by playing music, serving drinks, and wearing clothes that were popular during the decade when your guest-of-honor was born. Help them relive their childhood by finding vintage gear from their favorite sports team and other nostalgic items. In addition to learning classic dances moves, you can play old-fashioned lawns games and other activities that were popular in the 1940s and ’50s.
6. Host a formal dinner or tea party
Show your guest-of-honor how much you appreciate them by throwing them the formal dinner or tea party they always wanted. You can take them out to a fancy restaurant, or host the meal at a stylish Peerspace venue. Rent an entire mansion and hire a professional caterer to be your chef for the evening. This 80th birthday party idea can range from a small feast to a large banquet!
7. Rent their dream car
Take your guest-of-honor out in style with a spin in their dream vehicle. Book a ride in an antique car or rent a modern luxury convertible from the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise.
8. Go on an adventure
If your grandparent or great-grandparent is in good health, then there’s no need to stay close to home. Book a birthday wine tour to celebrate at a local winery, or charter a yacht for a birthday party on the water. This is a good chance to cross an item off the bucket list. Even skydiving isn’t out of the question — that’s what George H.W. Bush did on his 80th birthday in 2004!
9. Book live entertainment
For a truly special 80th birthday party idea, book a private concert by a cover band that can play some of their favorite songs. Or, rent a private theater to host a screening of their favorite movie. This is an easy way to celebrate someone without putting them on the spot, since all of the main activities are taken care of and they don’t have to worry about being the life of the party.
10. Plant a tree
Help your loved one leave a legacy for years to come by planting a tree in their honor. You can have a tree planted in their name in a national forest through a reforestation effort such as the Arbor Day Foundation, or plant one together in their own backyard. A tree-planting party is the perfect way to honor their life while making the world a little better for future generations. In some places, they may even qualify for a free tree for their yard or sidewalk. Organizations like City Plants in Los Angeles can deliver a tree to your door or plant it for you!
An 80th birthday party is more than just another year gone by — it’s a time to celebrate eight whole decades of life! We think these 80th birthday party ideas will help you get started — but the most important thing is knowing how your guest-of-honor likes to celebrate. Not everyone wants an epic party, so sometimes it’s better to keep it simple and low-key. Choose the idea that’s best suited for your guest-of-honor, then search for a memorable Peerspace venue to host it!