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What to Do for an 80th Birthday Celebration

Updated March 23, 2017

Eight decades of a life well lived is certainly something to celebrate. Whether you're celebrating for yourself, a friend or family member, choose a celebration style and venue that fits the guest of honor's personality and preferences. An 80th birthday celebration should be a jubilant event that leaves the guest of honour with plenty of new, wonderful memories.

Take it Outside

If you have enough shade and the weather is nice, an outdoor party can be the perfect way to celebrate an 80th birthday. Hold a big cookout in the park. Supply playing cards, music and plenty of refreshments. Guests can mingle, dance or play. Young party guests will have room to run around. Or, rent a boat and have a more intimate celebration on the water. Invite a dozen guests to enjoy a few hours on board with cocktails, dinner and reminiscing.

Make it Fancy

If the guest of honour prefers a low-key, elegant celebration, have a tea party. Serve scones and finger foods with English tea or fruit punch. Play table games, such as Bingo or even trivia based on the guest of honor's life. Make a birthday "memory" cake with tiny tokens that represent important life events, such as a toy replica of her first car. You could also reserve a hotel ballroom and have a black-tie birthday celebration. If the guest of honour knows a lot of people or is an important community member, this party will demonstrate respect for her achievements and provide enough room for dozens of guests.

Get Away

Rent a mountain cottage or beach condo for immediate family and have a quiet weekend birthday celebration. The guest of honour can enjoy plenty of quality family time while getting a change of pace and scenery. Or, drive the guest of honour and his closest friends to the nearest big city and let them enjoy a couple of days of sightseeing and fun. You could also take the guest of honour, along with friends and family, on a river cruise.

Keep it Simple

A simple 80th birthday celebration doesn't have to mean one that is less meaningful. Have a potluck dinner party at the guest of honor's home. Tell every guest to bring pictures and stories to share. If the birthday girl is good-humoured and laid-back, you could reserve the banquet room at her favourite restaurant and have a birthday roast. If she is disabled or dislikes big crowds, hold an informal drop-in birthday party at her home. Provide refreshments and take photos of the guests with the birthday lady.

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About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.