Have you been tapped to plan a 90th birthday party for Mom, Dad, a grandparent or friend? Then you’ll want to check out our 90th birthday party ideas.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit the disclosure page.
Great Ideas for Celebrating a 90th Birthday Party
90th birthday parties can be a bit tricky to organize. When someone is turning 90, they’re usually past the funny over-the-hill party that is popular for 50 and 60 year olds.
A milestone event like 90 should be celebrated with a bit of respect, although the odd humorous touch can be appreciated.
The best birthday parties for someone turning 90 include a bit of reminiscing and family history, and are also a chance to enjoy good times with family and friends.
Formal Party Ideas – An Elegant 90th Birthday Party
For the birthday man or woman who likes glamour and glitz, a more formal celebration is in style. Here are a few party theme ideas to get you started on an impressive party that’s sure to be enjoyed by all!
- Dance Party – Anyone who’s still dancing at 90 deserves to take a few spins around the dance floor with family and friends! Hire a band or DJ to play their favorite tunes from all the different types of music that they’ve enjoyed over the years.
- Champagne or Wine Tasting Party – There should be tons of toasts when someone reaches 90! Organize a champagne or wine tasting celebration.
- Cocktail Party – Book space at a fabulous bar (try to get one with an impressive view) and serve cocktails and hors doeuvres in an elegant setting.
- Dinner or Cocktail Cruise – If you live near the ocean or a sizeable lake or river, see if you can charter an elegant dinner or cocktail cruise.
- Formal Dinner – Splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime celebratory dinner at a favorite restaurant, or a restaurant that the birthday man or woman has always dreamed of visiting.
- Night at the Museum – Not the movie! Reserve a room at a local museum for a special birthday gala. An added bonus – museums frequently have professional party planners to help you organize an incredible event.
- Masquerade Ball – Suspense and elegance in one party! These fun costume parties require guests to wear elaborate masks in addition to their formal wear. You can find a great guide to hosting a masquerade ball at TLC.
Casual 90th Birthday Party Ideas
Some people prefer most casual celebrations. These informal 90th birthday party ideas are fun for party-goers of all ages.
- Luau – Whether the birthday celebrant has actually been to Hawaii, or just dreamed of going to Hawaii, a luau is a festive theme for any birthday celebration. Click here to find everything you need to throw a lovely luau!
- Bingo – Easy and fun for almost everyone! You can use a standard bingo set, or make your own bingo set customized with information about the birthday man or woman.
- Bunko – Bunko (or Bunco) is an easy-to-learn game that almost anyone can play. And since you change tables after each round, it’s a great way to have guests mingle in a fun fashion. Need to brush up on the rules? You’ll find all you need to know here
- Scrabble – A unique party theme for the word game lover. I love the decorating and invitation ideas from The Party Wall.
- Travel Theme – Whether the guest of honor is still traveling or just enjoys reliving past travels, a travel theme is a unique 90th birthday celebration idea. You’ll find some great hints on travel themed parties here.
- Hollywood – Who doesn’t want to be a star? Real Simple has 5 different Hollywood party ideas.
- Casino – Bring all the excitement and fun of Vegas to your birthday party! Click here to find easy ways to organize a casino celebration.
- Fiesta – A bright, cheerful fiesta is a fabulous way to celebrate this milestone occasion! I love the colorful fiesta party decorations at this site.
- 70s Party – Disco balls, glitz, and funky music! The birthday gal or guy is sure to remember the fashions and fads from this fun decade. You can find some easy and unique decorating ideas for a 70s birthday party here.
7 Things to Consider When Planning a 90th Birthday Party
Have fun, but don’t forget these points!
- Physical Condition of the Birthday Man or Woman – At 90, some people are still very healthy and active (my grandfather was jogging 3 miles a day and playing tennis well into his 90s!) while others have slowed down quite a bit. When choosing party ideas, be sure to consider any physical restrictions the participants might have.
- The Guest List – Do you want to plan an intimate gathering for just family, or perhaps just family and close friends? Or would you rather include a wider range of people from all aspects of the recipient’s life? You should also consider the age range of the people who are attending. Depending on the type of party, the age range could vary from infants to seniors. Do you need to plan activities for young children, or perhaps book someone (a teenager or babysitter) to look after them?
- The Date – Although it would be great to have the party on the actual birthday date, you should consider who will be attending when choosing a date for the party. If you would like people to attend from out of town, you might want to choose a Saturday near the actual birthday so that it’s easier for everyone to get there.If a lot of family members or attendees live out of town, you might want to consider school calendars and vacation plans. In our family, we celebrate milestone birthdays during the summer months regardless of when the actual birthday is so that it’s easier for families with children to attend.
- Time of Day – For an active senior, this might not be an important consideration. However, some seniors have unusual sleeping patterns and sometimes get tired during certain times of the day. You might want to consider a breakfast or brunch party for the early risers. An afternoon or early evening tea or cocktail party is great for someone who gets tired early.
- Cost – What’s the budget for this event? The price of a birthday party can vary widely, depending on how you decide to celebrate. If you really need to keep costs down, you can plan a very inexpensive pot-luck style gathering at home, church, or a park.If more than one person is paying for the party, be sure to agree early in the planning process on how much you want to spend on the party. Remember that the cost of the party doesn’t reflect how much you love the person you’re planning the party for!
- Surprise or Not? – Many people feel strongly about whether surprise parties are fun or not. If you’re not sure whether the recipient considers surprise parties fun, don’t plan one without putting out some feelers about that.A surprise party can be difficult to organize, but it’s a very thrilling moment for the recipient. Be sure to remind the invitees that the birthday man or woman is not in on the secret!
- Indoors or Outdoors – If you’re pretty confident about the weather, an outdoor party is especially nice for gatherings with small children. Try to book a place that has shelter or have a back-up plan in case the weather turns.
16 Fun Venues for a 90th Birthday Party
Choosing the perfect place for this milestone party depends upon a variety of factors. Cost, availabilty, and size all play a part. A great way to find unique party locations is to search the internet for “reception ideas” in the town the party will be in.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Home or Backyard – The least expensive option! Perfect for open house or smaller family-style gatherings.
- Neighborhood Clubhouse – Many neighborhoods have a clubhouse that you can rent for a nominal fee. They usually contain a small kitchen and flexible seating arrangements
- Park – Another inexpensive option that’s great if you think you’ll have great weather. Many parks have shade shelters that you can rent. This is a wonderful option if small children will be attending or if you have a group that likes to play active games.
- Restaurant – Book a private room at a favorite restaurant. Depending on the restaurant, there may not be any additional charge beyond the cost of the meal. Even inexpensive buffet-style restaurants frequently have private rooms that you can reserve.
- Church – Most churches have a gathering room, frequently with a kitchen, that you can reserve.
- Recreation Center – If your neighborhood has a recreation center, check out their options. They frequently have gathering rooms that can be rented for a nominal fee.
- Bar or Pub – See if you can get space at a favorite bar or pub. This probably works best for adult-only gatherings, as many bars do not allow minors inside.
- Boat – If you’re near the ocean or a sizeable lake, look into renting a boat large enough for your party.
- Golf Course -Many golf courses have wonderful party facilities. A golf clubhouse can be a fabulous place to hold a party, even for the non-golfer.
- Beach or Lake – Perfect venue for a fish fry or lobster bake!
- Tea Room – Do you have a charming tea room nearby? Consider booking that for a brunch or ladies tea party.
- Game Room – I’m not talking Chuck E. Cheese’s here! Is there a billiards room or a fun game room such as Dave & Buster’s nearby?
- Museum – Many museums will rent out event space for parties.
- VFW, American Legion, or Elk’s Club – Almost always have conference or party rooms available.
- Hotel – Most hotels have conferences rooms and catering facilities available. Sometimes there is no charge if you have guests staying at the hotel.
- Garden – Many cities have spectacular gardens that can be rented for galas. Or perhaps you have or know someone who has a spectacular garden that would be a beautiful setting for a birthday bash.