50th Birthday Party Ideas

50th Birthday party decoration of balloons

Those of us who have reached this milestone, already know the feeling of being torn between wanting to mark the occasion... and not wanting to acknowledge it at all....


This is a badge of honor!  A rite of passage!  This is a time in life when you can really be yourself and not care what anyone thinks about you!

Let's CELEBRATE!  After all, 60 is right around the corner! 

50th Birthday Party Ideas 

Over-the-hill themes would seem the way to go, but we all know that 50 is nowhere near the top of the hill!  Take it easy on the jokes and gags about gray hair, stiff joints and memory lapse.  That's not everyone's story!

Retro Theme Party: 50 year old celebrants are children of the 70's and 80s. Have everyone dress in the fashion of that era. Play music from that time, decorate with retro items like cultural posters, and serve food and drinks popular during that period. Plan a dinner party or cocktail party

If you're fortunate enough to still have albums and album covers, place those around the room and if you have the right equipment, play the albums with someone acting as DJ

Burn candles and incense and play Karaoke or sing "old school" songs as a group.

Roasted!: Invite friends and family to share funny and endearing memories and stories about the birthday person. This can be a lighthearted and entertaining way to celebrate. The French Feast menu would be a real treat here.

Sporting Event, Concert, Stage Show or Streaming Special: Whatever the birthday person loves! Get the tickets and rent a limo or party bus. Plan for a meal before or after the event. The meal could be a brunch, lunch, dinner or cocktail party. Try a special menu like Surf and Turf for this occasion.  

Wine Tasting: If the person enjoys wine, organize a wine tasting event at a local winery or even at home. Plan a cocktail party with hearty appetizers to pair with the different wines.  See our Food and Wine Pairing Chart.

Birthday Party Menu Ideas
Dinner Party Menus
Cocktail Party Menus

Ideas for 70's era fashion
Foods of the 70's


These 50th Birthday Party Menu Ideas won't turn back the clock but they will help create a "best birthday ever" memory for you and your guests.

French Feast

Nothing too fancy here, simple ingredients with big flavor---enough food to impress a large crowd. Serve with red wine or beer.  Good as a hearty lunch or casual dinner. 


Easy Pissaladière: Onion Pizza

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Sautéed Sausages

Chicken Provençal

Buttered Rice

Mixed Salad Greens with Garlic Vinaigrette

French Pear Pie



Luau Party

These flavors may put you in a tropical mood. Start off this 50th birthday party feast with pineapple punch or other tropical drinks

Honey-Lime Grilled Shrimp
Serve with crackers, flatbreads, breadsticks

Rum and Pineapple Glazed Ham


Baked Ham with Orange Sherry Sauce

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Buttery Grilled Bananas and Pineapple

Butter Lettuce and Radish Salad

Lime-and-Basil Vinaigrette
(recipe below)

Spiced Coconut Cake

Pistachio Ice Cream or Orange Sherbet

How to Cook Ham


Lime-and-Basil Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

3/4 cup lime juice (from about 6 limes)
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
10 scallions, including green tops, sliced thinly

In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice with the mustard, sugar and salt. Add the oil slowly, whisking. Stir in the basil and scallions right before serving


New Orleans Party

Nobody parties like the Big Easy.  Also serve Spicy Hot Crab Dip and start off this 50th birthday party idea with a Hurricane drink. 

Creole Boiled Shrimp

Roast Beef Po-Boys
Prepare a roast beef, slice thinly and serve on French bread rolls with mayo, pickles and shredded lettuce

Strawberry and Spinach Salad
Use your favorite salad greens instead of spinach

Ice Cream with Praline Sauce

Easy Southwestern Style

Turn this lunch or dinner into a brunch by substituting a breakfast casserole for the enchiladas. Add Spanish rice (mix) with peas for an even heartier meal


Purchased Guacamole

Homemade Salsa and Tortilla Chips

Chicken Enchiladas

Layered Southwestern Salad

Spanish Flan

Easy B-Day Lunch

Soup, sandwiches and salad--good for last minute surprise gatherings. Serve with mineral water, juices, smoothies or milk shakes and coffee.

For this 50th Birthday party menu also consider: Curried Chicken Salad and Orange and Almond Salad

Easy Ambrosia


Fresh Fruit

Baked Potato Soup

Chicken Pecan Sandwiches
Also serve as full sandwiches

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

Purchased Cookies or Cake

Grilled Surf and Turf for the Big 5-0

Celebrate the big day outdoors. Start the night with chilled white wine or of course, champagne. And don't forget to check out these tips on preparing lobster tails.

Grilled Steak and Cheese Salad with Pink Mayonnaise

Lemon-Grilled Lobster Tails

Twice Baked Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese

Grilled Asparagus

Lime Sorbet and Crisp Cookies


Top of 50th Birthday Party Ideas


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