How to plan a memorable 60th birthday party

Celebrate the 60th birthday of a friend or family member with festivities that are as memorable as the milestone and the guest of honour. Enlist the help of relatives to go beyond store-bought invitations and decorations to design meaningful and nostalgic embellishments for the party location.

Organise games and activities to commemorate 60 years of friendship, adventures and accomplishment. The extra effort you put into planning the event will show your love and appreciation for the birthday honoree.

Create invitations with blank 5-by-7-inch cards in a colour that matches the party decorations. Make reprints of a 4-by-6-inch baby photo of the guest of honour and affix one to the front of each card with double-stick tape. Print "60 years later" on a piece of card stock that coordinates with the card base and attach it across the bottom of the photo with double-stick tape. Print party information like the address, time, date and RSVP specifics on a 4-by-6-inch piece of white card stock and adhere it inside the card.

Decorate the party location with 60 balloons in the guest of honour favourite colours, embellished with stickers that represent his hobbies and interests. Create a banner on a piece of butcher paper that stretches across a wall. Use double-stick tape to add photos from each decade that capture the birthday honoree's life from childhood to the present. Leave pens near the sign so that guests can write well wishes and anecdotes about the guest of honour on the poster.

Prepare foods to remind the birthday person of a favourite vacation. If she celebrated her 50th birthday in Hawaii, for example, organise a luau-inspired feast with dishes like macadamia-crusted mahi mahi, jasmine rice, tropical fruit salad and beverages like mai tais, fruit punch or pineapple juice. Instead of a cake, make coconut-topped cupcakes and arrange them in a "60" shape on a decorative platter.

Organise games like a 60th-birthday trivia quiz featuring 60 questions about the birthday honoree's childhood, school years, career, aspirations and hobbies. You can also use a stopwatch to play 60-second birthday games to see which guest can name the most fads from the 1960s in 60 seconds or list the most fun facts about the guest of honour in 60 seconds.

Surprise the guest of honour by inviting people like long-lost friends, former neighbours, coworkers and classmates to make the event even more memorable. Ask those who can't attend the 60th birthday party to send a personal note that you can read aloud during the festivities.