People over the age of 65 are growing in number in the United States.
According to the U.S. Census, there were 40.3 million people over 65 in the United States in 2010, making up 13% of the population. By 2050, indications are that seniors will comprise 20.9% of the population. And this growing sector is living longer, healthier, more active lives.
With that comes a large part of the population ready and wanting to mark milestones, whether it’s birthdays or anniversaries. Today’s seniors and their families are planning parties, travel and adventure, as well as large multi-generational trips and celebrations. Whether you have the resources and desire to do it up big, or would prefer a smaller, more intimate celebration, here are some fun and creative ideas to get you started.
Simple, Fun and Memorable
Themed parties are a great way to celebrate a milestone. It can be as elaborate as renting out a beautiful hotel or outdoor venue, or as simple as reserving a spot at a local park.
Senior retirement communities are also a great place to throw a themed party. Many have party or community rooms that you can use if you’re a resident. Just talk to the director of the residence.
Here are some creative themes and ideas to get you started
“This Is Your Life” Celebration
What a great way to celebrate a long, beautiful life or marriage.
Grab your favorite photos and family highlights from over the years. You can make collages, or frame them and set them all around the room.
Gather your closest friends and loved ones and have them tell favorite stories and personal anecdotes about the guest of honor. You can even bring in “surprise” guests—maybe a friend or family member that lives far away.
A Period in Time
Choose a decade or time period that is particularly special to your loved one, such as the 40’s or 50’s. Decorate within that time period and have guests dress for the same time. It’s a lot of fun to see what kind of costumes everyone comes up with. Then you can design the food and music around that same decade.
Take Me Out To The Ball Game
If your loved one is a sports fan, this one is a no brainer. Get pennants, posters and memorabilia from their favorite team and start decorating.
You can even have guests dress the part. And the food will be easy. Just think hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn and anything else you can typically find in a stadium. The cake can be shaped as a mitt or football.
Better yet, if you have a photo of the guest of honor in their favorite team jersey, have the baker make you a “picture” cake.
Even if you don’t have a beach nearby—a summertime barbeque with a beach theme is always fun.
Decorate with beach balls, sunglasses, straw hats and anything that says “summer” anytime of the year. And no, it doesn’t even have to be outside to make it sunny and festive. Just bring in your favorite BBQ from a local caterer or favorite restaurant.
1920’s Speakeasy Vibe
Just think Great Gatsby. Whether your loved one lived through this period of time or not, it is truly a fun party to plan that everyone can participate in.
Get out your best flapper outfits, gangster suits or flashy Gatsby best. You can decorate with posters from films of the twenties, or popular celebrities of the time.
There’s even a 1920’s party website where you can find a list of popular party foods of the twenties (Chinese food was popular!) and drink ideas. The key to success will be to get party attendees into the spirit and dressing the part.