Cool things to do on a 50th birthday

happy 50th image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from

A 50th birthday is a significant milestone worthy of a special celebration. A big party is often thrown in honour of this occasion, but for the 50th birthday celebrant, something more than the typical dinner and birthday cake may be in order.

Consider ringing in the 50th birthday with ideas that symbolise the number 50 or reflect on the first while looking forward to the next 50 years of life.

Birthday Bucket List

A bucket list is a list of things you'd like to do before you "kick the bucket." Create several bucket lists to celebrate turning 50. Start with a list of 50 things you are proud to have already accomplished. Follow that list with a collection of 50 things you would like to do in the next 50 years. Items for your future 50-year list might include places to which you wish to travel, a degree you wish to earn or a skill you would like to master. Another bucket list to compile is a list of 50 things you would like to do in your 50th year. Select things you can reasonably accomplish in one year so you may spend your 51st birthday reviewing a completed list. Select one or two of those items that can be done in one day and spend your birthday completing them. Ideas for things you can accomplish in one day include taking a dance lesson, writing a letter to a long-lost friend and trying a new, exotic recipe.

Destination Celebration

Fifty is considered the golden year, so choose to spend your birthday at a golden destination such as Australia's Gold Coast or visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Head to Las Vegas and play the 50-cent slot machines or place £32 bets on your game of choice.

You don't have to travel far to have a destination celebration. Consider places you can go for a day trip or weekend getaway. Select a town that is 50 miles from home and spend your birthday exploring it.

50 Photos Scavenger Hunt

Invite friends and family to join you on a digital photography scavenger hunt. Divide your group into two teams and provide each team with a digital camera, map and list of designated locations from which they must return with 50 photos. Choose locations that are meaningful to your life. Assign a few photos to each location to avoid having to travel to 50 separate places. For instance, send players to your high school to collect one photo taken in front of the school, one taken on the bleachers and one taken in the parking area. Other location ideas include your childhood home, favourite restaurant or the hospital where your first child was born.

Fifth Birthday Party

Celebrate a 50th birthday with a children's theme party. This is a children's party for adults, complete with balloons, party hats and noisemakers. Find a photo of yourself celebrating a childhood birthday. Copy it and use the image to make postcard invitations. Add text that reads, "We've dropped the "0" from the 50th birthday, Join us for a 5th birthday celebration!" Grown-ups can enjoy acting like kids again with games of musical chairs and freeze dance between servings of pizza, birthday cake and ice cream.