15 Fun 80th Birthday Party Ideas to Celebrate Your Loved Ones

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There are plenty of reasons to celebrate when someone turns 80 years of age. Of course, if you have never planned or even attended a loved one’s 80th birthday, there are some things you need to know. Some helpful tips regarding 80th birthday party ideas can go a long way.

Today, we offer you a curated selection of 80th birthday party ideas for mom, 80th birthday party ideas for dad, and 80th birthday party ideas for grandma and grandpa, together with a short guide at the end to help you plan an unforgettably happy 80th birthday for your beloved geezers.

To start, let’s talk about gifts. You can’t celebrate an 80th birthday without ’em. We know that when someone reaches 80, family and friends have probably known them long enough to pick out a good present. Still, if you want a couple of more suggestions, we recommend you to see our list of best gifts for mom (that you can also adapt for your grandma) and our list of best gifts for men (because you might find there something your dad or grandpa might love).

For more inspiration, party ideas, and themes to choose, we also recommend you check out our guide on 70th birthday party ideas, as you can adapt many of them to the current situation.

Now, without further ado, let’s see some of the most interesting 80th birthday party ideas for your loved ones!

15 80th Birthday Party Ideas to Celebrate Your Loved Ones this Year

1. Feature the Year of Birth

Feature centerpieces made of cardstock that display a top 5 list of events or fun trivia facts from the day or year the guest of honor was born. For instance, the centerpiece could list the price of a gallon of milk at the time the birthday gal or guy was born. You can focus on important events that had a political, social, or economic impact (along the lines of “eighty years ago in history….”).

If you want a trip down memory lane with a fun, whimsical, nostalgic mood, you can focus on trivia or events that revolve around the birthday person’s hobbies and interests (“this was the most popular jazz song 80 years ago…”).

Featuring the year of birth as theme – including music, foods, movies, fashion trends, etc. – makes everyone take a moment to remember how far they’ve come, how much the world has changed, and how amazing their journey has been until this day. This is one of the best 80th birthday party ideas for grandma, who’s seen a lot and can tell you some unforgettable stories.

2. Tell a Story Through Pictures

Speaking of stories, instead of prompting the guest of honor to re-live moments from his/her life, you can turn the situation the other way around and make them hear stories about them. Ask guests to bring pictures that feature them with the guest of honor. Take the pictures and place them on a poster board. Everyone can have fun sharing their favorite stories behind each picture – especially if there are childhood photos.

Also, the special birthday guest can keep the posters as a keepsake to hang on the wall. This one makes one of the best 80th birthday party ideas for dad or for mom, as the family, relatives, friends, and even close neighbors can make a contribution to the poster board. From sweet family moments to spicy honeymoon details, the board is the fuel that can ignite an evening of sharing memories and plenty of laughs.

3. Add Some Pep to Your Step

When it comes to entertaining guests at an 80th birthday celebration, there is nothing more fun than music and dancing. Get everyone up and grooving to music that was popular during the time the guest of honor was born. For instance, that may entail swing music or jazz.

Besides letting mom and dad show you how it’s done on a dance floor, you can create an entire scene and theme following this idea. The young generation can sport some 80-years-ago outfits, bake some trendy cookies that were all the rage back then, and so on.

4. Host a Roast of a Toast

If the elderly person you plan on throwing a party for has a good sense of humor, consider hosting a roast. Make sure the guests know to keep it clean, lighthearted, and fun. The goal is to make sure everyone gets a good laugh without any feelings getting hurt.

If you’ve never seen a celebrity roast before, Comedy Central has plenty of examples. However, do not turn into a “queen of mean” or a “roastmaster” on your grandma’s expense. You can have your share of fun without going in too deep and personal on past mistakes, personality traits, etc.

5. Enjoy Photo Ops from the Decades

Starting with the year your elderly loved one was born, select clothing from thrift shops that represent each decade of the person’s life. Encourage guests to dress up for fun photo opportunities using either a hired photographer or a rented photo booth complete with props.

Image via Unsplash

6. Play Fun, Applicable Games

Among all the fabulous 80th birthday party ideas is the opportunity to play games. Coming up with fun games for the guests and guest of honor to play is a great way to add fun and enjoyment to the party. One example is setting up a picture bingo game, which is played like regular bingo, except the board features pictures of loved ones rather than numbers.

For more inspiration, check out our guide on the best fun family games to play. If the guests don’t have a taste for modern board games or society games, pick a game that you know they used to play when they were younger. Instead of having your mom, dad, or grandparents learn the rules of contemporary games, do the opposite and let them teach you how to play the games they loved – even if it means going outside in the yard.

As an alternative, the Never Have I Ever game is always an excellent choice. It also makes one of the best 80th birthday party ideas for dad or 80th birthday party ideas for mom because your parents have done plenty of things and probably have plenty of “secrets” to share.

7. Choose Live Entertainment

Live entertainment can often spice up a party and make it fun. For instance, a DJ can set the tone for any event, including an 80th birthday party.

Another option is to hire a live band to play music, particularly some of the birthday guest’s favorite tunes over the years. If the situation allows, don’t be shy in hitting that dance floor, especially if your mom or dad still have their groove on.

8. Create a Birthday Inspired Video

Before the party, gather all the guests together and have them help you create a video montage that you can play on a big screen TV or large projection screen. Inspire guests to retell their favorite moments with the celebratory guest. Make sure everyone leaves their own personal Happy 80th Birthday message on the video.

Take advantage of this idea and call people your mom, dad, or grandma knew who cannot be at the party to record a message for them. Seeing old friends, colleagues, and relatives who are far away but still by their side is a magic moment.

9. Host a Themed Birthday Bash

Themed parties are great for a loved one no matter their age. However, you should select a theme that best suits the 80th birthday. For example, you can host a Hollywood themed bash featuring photos of actors and actresses from when the guest of honor was young. If everyone is on board with this, you can take things up a notch and try a costume party with a theme.

10. Get Creative with Foods

If you plan on feeding everyone who attends the 80th birthday party, try getting creative with the foods you choose. One idea is to pick foods that were popular around the time the birthday gal or guy was young. For instance, chocolate covered pretzels would work well for someone born in the 1930s since pretzels were first introduced in 1933. Take a look at our guide on the best 70th birthday party ideas and check out the “Food Throughout the Years” theme. We’re sure it will get your creative juices flowing and the kitchen filled up with tantalizing flavors.

11. Take the Party Elsewhere

Hosting a fun and exciting birthday party does not mean you are limited to a specific residence. In fact, it is sometimes better to take the party elsewhere.

For instance, if the celebrant has a love of gardening, see about hosting the party in a nearby public garden. You can invite guests to enjoy the beautiful view while enjoying a luncheon birthday celebration. You can also find beautiful outdoor views in a friend’s backyard and create a birthday tea party.

Of course, a fancy restaurant skilled in organizing themed events is also a great idea if it fits in your budget, especially if the venue can play oldies but goldies music and come up with dishes originating back in the day.

12. Prep Before the Party

To ensure that your loved one enjoys their 80th birthday party, make sure you prep beforehand. Perhaps take them out to get manicures, pedicures, or even a new hairstyle before the party starts. A barbershop for a spiffy haircut and a shave is always an option for men.

In fact, consider this as one of the best 80th birthday party ideas and gifts. When was the last time your mom went for a mani-pedi-hairstyle session? Or your dad received a full grooming session? Pay for a spa day for your birthday guy or gal or take them shopping for new outfits to wear at the party.

13. Host a Potluck Birthday

Nothing can destroy the fun of a birthday party like having to cook for many guests. Ask the guest of honor to list some of his or her favorite dishes and have your guests pitch in on cooking them all.

By asking each of your guests to bring a small dish of the celebrant’s favorite foods, you will relieve the stress off your back and everyone will get to pitch in and have fun tasting different dishes.

14. Add Some Light to the Event

Considering that an 80th birthday is meant to be a time for celebration, consider entertaining the celebrant and the guests in attendance with an incredible fireworks show.

Of course, you would need to contact your local city hall to determine if you can light off fireworks. If you get the green light, consider hiring a professional for the job.

15. Hire Professional Dancers

To really throw a birthday party with a bang, hire some professional dancers to come in and show guests some popular dance steps back from when the guest of honor was younger.

For instance, a professional could teach you some jazz steps or even how to swing dance. Your loved one will love seeing some familiar moves, and the guests will have fun learning how people killed that dance floor back in the day.

80th Birthday Ideas: Bottom Line

If you are looking for 80th birthday gifts, you should know that the traditional gift for the 80th birthday is oak.

And the traditional color scheme for an 80th birthday party contains black and gold, so you can use these colors for decorations, cake, balloons, or outfits.

However, in our more modern times, the gift of pearls or diamonds is an excellent choice. When you are searching for 80th birthday party ideas for mom, make sure you put pearl jewelry on the list of possible gifts for your family to buy her. Or, since the 80th birthday is a ruby jubilee, rubies can also work great.

In terms of 80th birthday party ideas for dad, since he probably doesn’t wear pearls or diamonds, you could go with a traditional gift made from oak. Otherwise, there are plenty of gift ideas out there to consider. We also recommend you look at our housewarming gifts ideas, party themes, and menu suggestions, as you can easily “steal” a couple of tips from there too.

All-in-all, the possibilities for a terrific 80th birthday party are endless – as long as you are creative enough. In the end, all that matters is that you are there to celebrate an important milestone in the life of someone you care about.