Trying to figure out what to do on your 50th birthday? We've got you covered with these 50 great ideas on how to celebrate this milestone birthday.
Turning 50 is a milestone birthday in everyone’s life! It’s a time to take stock of all your accomplishments and look back on all your beloved memories. It’s also an opportunity to look ahead and plan for all the exciting events still to come.
If you’re searching for ideas on how to commemorate your 50th birthday, we’ve compiled a list of fifty exciting and unique ideas for you. We have something for everybody, whether it’s a huge celebration or a more low-key affair. So read on to get started planning your big day!
Here’s a list of 50 great things to do on your 50th birthday.
- 1. Throw a Back to the 80s Birthday Bash
- 2. Arrange a Girls’ Trip
- 3. Plan a Spa Day
- 4. Visit an Amusement Park
- 5. Have a Photoshoot
- 6. Visit a Michelin-Starred Restaurant
- 7. Sit at the Chef’s Table
- 8. Hire a Personal Chef for an At-Home Dinner Party
- 9. Rent Out Your Favorite Restaurant
- 10. Book a Weekend at a Luxurious Hotel
- 11. Throw an Outdoor Movie Night
- 12. Have a Trivia Night
- 13. Host a Wine Tasting
- 14. Take a Cooking Class
- 15. Wear an Outfit that Turns Heads
- 16. Host a Black Tie Affair
- 17. Throw a Throwback Prom
- 18. Sing Karaoke
- 19. Have a Pajama Party
- 20. See an Old Favorite Band
- 21. Visit a Psychic
- 22. Book a Wine Tour
- 23. Make Your Birthday Cake
- 24. Get Glamorous
- 25. Travel First Class
- 26. Have a Destination Celebration
- 27. Rent a Party Bus
- 28. Do Something Adventurous
- 29. Meet a Personal Goal
- 30. Learn Something New
- 31. List 50 Accomplishments
- 32. Go Glamping
- 33. Visit an Old Friend
- 34-Have an In-Home Concert
- 35. Host a Murder Mystery Party
- 36. Make a Scrapbook
- 37. Buy Yourself a Meaningful Piece of Jewelry
- 38. Have a Retreat
- 39. Take a Road Trip
- 40. Cross Something Off Your Bucket List
- 41. Indulge Your Inner Child
- 42. Take a Vacation to Learn Something New
- 43. Throw a “Golden Jubilee” Party
- 44. Have a Craft & Cocktails Party
- 45. Get a Bunch of Free Stuff
- 46. Get a Tattoo
- 47. Write a Letter to Yourself
- 48. Volunteer
- 49. Buy Some Lottery Tickets
- 50. Plan an Exceptional Family Vacation
1. Throw a Back to the 80s Birthday Bash
You’ve had a lot of fun in your life, so why not revisit some of the best parts of your youth? Throw a back to the 80s birthday party with music from the era or show videos on a big screen. Of course, you’ll want everyone to come dressed in their best 80s-inspired outfits and remind every that they’ll need lots of gel and mousse for their retro hairstyles.
If the 80s are just a little too far back for you, head back to the 90s with a grunge-themed party.
2. Arrange a Girls’ Trip
A 50th birthday is a perfect time to get away with your besties for a fun trip together. May I suggest my hometown of Nashville? It’s perfectly suited for a birthday celebration girl’s trip. Rent an Airbnb so you can all stay together, have a fun dinner out, and then hit the clubs on Broadway to enjoy the live music. It’s the birthday girl’s golden jubilee so, of course, she’ll need a tiara. And everyone in the group will need matching t-shirts, of course. You’ll all have a weekend you won’t forget.
3. Plan a Spa Day
If you and your besties can’t get away for an entire weekend, maybe everyone can sneak away for a spa day. If not, go by yourself! Find a spa with everything you want and book an entire day of services for yourself. Give yourself over to a day of total relaxation and you’ll be feeling refreshed and ready for the second half of your life.
4. Visit an Amusement Park
Do you remember the last time you went to an amusement park? If it’s been a while, then your 50th birthday is the perfect time for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Be sure to hit all your favorite rides, but don’t forget to try something new as well. And of course, you’ll need to buy a giant stuffed animal to commemorate the occasion.
5. Have a Photoshoot
You’re a beautiful, strong, and sexy woman, and what better way to celebrate that than to have a photoshoot? Book a session with a professional photographer and have them capture you at your best. You’ll love looking back on these photos for years to come.
6. Visit a Michelin-Starred Restaurant
There’s no better time than your 50th birthday to visit a bucket list restaurant for a special meal. Gather some close friends to try out the new hot restaurant in your town or head to another city and check out their Michelin-starred options. Just be sure to make a reservation well in advance!
7. Sit at the Chef’s Table
Another very special restaurant option to consider is to book a meal at the chef’s table at a fancy restaurant. The chef’s table is an area in the kitchen where you can watch the chef cook a special meal (called the tasting menu) before it is served to you and is the ultimate VIP experience. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and will be a night you’ll never forget.
8. Hire a Personal Chef for an At-Home Dinner Party
If you want something a bit more casual, why not host a dinner party for your closest friends and family? But you don’t want to spend your time in the kitchen on your big night, do you? So, hire a private chef to cook a special meal you’ll all remember.
A private chef for a dinner party is surprisingly affordable. You can expect to pay around $440 for 8 guests. Services like Table at Home, Take a Chef, and Thumbtack can all help you find a chef for your dinner party.
9. Rent Out Your Favorite Restaurant
You can even have a private party in your favorite restaurant by renting out part or all of it for your special occasion. We rented a local french restaurant for our wedding, and it cost much less than you might expect. Plus, all the guests had an amazing meal. Our friend celebrated his 50th by renting a private room at a local brewery. We celebrated with fresh beer and were treated to a brewery tour. It was a fun way to celebrate a special day.
10. Book a Weekend at a Luxurious Hotel
Why not celebrate by booking a stay at a special hotel? If you find a hotel with a spa, a nice restaurant, and a fun bar, you can have a fun vacation without ever leaving the hotel! The Roxbury Motel in the Catskills seems like just the place for this type of visit. I am a sucker for a elegant bathtub.
11. Throw an Outdoor Movie Night
Celebrate your big five oh with an outdoor movie night celebrating some classic films from the year you were born. (Did you know The Godfather was released in 1972?)
You can purchase an inflatable screen or just throw up a white sheet against a wall and use a portable projector to show the movie. Tell all your friends to bring folding chairs, make some popcorn, and fun vintage cocktails. You’ve got the perfect 50th birthday party!
12. Have a Trivia Night
See which of your friends remember the most about their youth by holding a trivia night. Grab the classic version of Trivial Pursuit or the Trivial Pursuit Millennium Edition (which covers the last 1000 years!) Be sure to have prizes for the winners like a Rubik’s Cube or a Swatch Watch.
13. Host a Wine Tasting
A wine tasting is a fun way for friends to get together and learn about new wines. There are online services that can plan your wine tasting for you or even host a virtual wine tasting for you and your friends. You can also visit your local wine shop and have them help you plan what wines to serve or you can go super-casual and just ask everyone to bring a wine they like for tasting. After all, it’s your birthday and how you celebrate is up to you.
14. Take a Cooking Class
There’s no time like your 50th birthday to learn a new skill! Many kitchen supply stores, like Sur la Table, also offer cooking classes. Or just google “Cooking classes near me.” You can learn how to cook a new cuisine, like french cuisine, or pick up a new skill, like finally learning how to learn a knife properly. Virtual classes are still available, so you can gather some friends and learn how to make croissants in the privacy of your kitchen if you like.
15. Wear an Outfit that Turns Heads
This is the time to show everybody that you’ve still got it, baby. Find an outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars and proudly wear it out on your birthday. Bonus points if it’s a little more revealing than you normally feel comfortable in. You’re not dead and you’re not old and this is your time to shine.
16. Host a Black Tie Affair
Is there any event more important than your 50th birthday? No, there is not and why are we pretending otherwise? Make your friends bow to the occasion by insisting they show up in black tie (or, you know, whatever they consider being black tie). If you want to have a reason for the elegant dress code, host a casino party and donate the winnings to your favorite charity.
17. Throw a Throwback Prom
As adults, we don’t have enough reasons to put on long dresses and vintage tuxedos and dance ourselves silly to the hits of yesterday. Let’s change that, for one night at least. Find a big empty space, hire a dj or live band, spike the punch (obviously!) and invite your friends for a prom night they’ll never forget.
18. Sing Karaoke
Rent a private room at a Karaoke Bar or rent a machine so everyone can sing in the privacy of your own home and let everyone belt out their favorite songs. Be sure to give out awards at the end of the evening like “Best Performance” and “Most Enthusiastic Singer.”
19. Have a Pajama Party
Invite over your besties for an old-fashioned slumber party. Give each other mani-pedis, slap on some facials, eat junk food, and watch romantic movies all night. You can even talk about your secret crushes like you did when you were 13. Just don’t stay up too late or you’ll be a sleep-deprived mess the next day.
20. See an Old Favorite Band
We’re getting older but still going strong and the same is true of the bands we used to love. Many of them are still touring and they’re often on the same bill. There’s something so fun about gathering a group of friends to sing along with all the songs you used to love so long ago. So check and see if any of your old favorite bands are coming to town and buying some tickets to their show!
21. Visit a Psychic
Who knows what your future holds? The psychic knows! Just for fun, visit a psychic with a group of friends to find out what’s in store as you enter a new decade of life.
22. Book a Wine Tour
Have fun, learn about wine, and see how the grapes are grown and processed with a wine tour in a wine region like Napa or the Finger Lakes. If you book a tour, you’ll have a designated driver and everyone can enjoy the experience.
23. Make Your Birthday Cake
Let’s face it, nobody knows what you like better than you. So bake yourself a very special birthday cake as the ultimate act of self-love. Add all your favorite flavors and frosting and take your time to make it beautiful. After all, it’s for a very special person.
24. Get Glamorous
Have a makeover party at home with a few friends! Book a service like Glam Squad and have them come out to your home and give everyone a blowdry and makeup. You can even have them do your nails. Spend the rest of the day taking selfies around town.
25. Travel First Class
I can’t think of a better reason than your 50th birthday to finally spring for that first-class seat. First-class and business-class plane seats can be surprisingly affordable if you plan in advance. We once lucked out with business class tickets to Ireland for under $700 each. Be sure and visit the first class lounge before your trip so you can saunter in like the big deal you are.
26. Have a Destination Celebration
Celebrities do it and you can too. Why not throw yourself a fabulous destination birthday celebration? It really doesn’t have to be far from your home. Just find a cool Airbnb and invite your friends to stay for a few days. Start the festivities with a “welcome everyone” cocktail party and then fill the weekend with fun activities. You can have backyard games, host a backyard barbecue and even have a pool party. The options are endless when you’re the birthday girl!
27. Rent a Party Bus
For a really fun night out on the town, rent a party bus and invite all your friends to come along for the ride. You can drink, dance, and listen to great music all night long as you cruise around town.
28. Do Something Adventurous
There’s no better way to celebrate your 50th birthday than to do something you’ve never done before. Go sky diving, take a hot air balloon ride, or try scuba diving. It can be anything you’ve always wanted to do!
29. Meet a Personal Goal
This one requires some planning, but the rewards are so worth it. Meet a personal goal you’ve always wanted to achieve like running a marathon, learning to play the piano, or writing a book. You’ll feel amazing as you celebrate your 50th birthday and look back on what you’ve accomplished.
Or be like me and use your milestone birthday as the chance to set a personal goal. When I turned 40, I realized I had devoted the last 10 years of my life to raising kids. I decided I was going to do something just for myself and decided to run a marathon, even though I hadn’t run in 10 years. It took me two years but I’ll never forget how good I felt when I crossed that finish line. You can have that feeling too.
30. Learn Something New
My aunt started piano lessons on her 65th birthday. Was she ever good? No, she was not. But she really enjoyed her lessons and she loved playing for us, even if we weren’t the most appreciative audience. You’re only 50, you have to chance to be good at your new skill! Why not try something you’ve always wanted to learn today?
31. List 50 Accomplishments
A friend of mine recently celebrated her 40th birthday by listing 40 things she had accomplished in her life. They ranged from things anyone would be proud of (being published in a national publication) to very private wins (learning to hold her tongue when faced with people she thought were idiots.) I’m sure you have similar accomplishments in your life as well.
If you’re having a hard time thinking of your accomplishments (I’m terrible at this), ask your friends to help you. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised and pleased at their answers.
32. Go Glamping
You could, of course, plan a regular camping trip to celebrate your birthday if you like. But doesn’t a special occasion like a 50th birthday deserve a special celebration? Glamping is the perfect way to enjoy all the best parts of camping without having to rough it. You can enjoy the sites and sounds of nature from inside your climate-controlled tent or tiny cabin. You can find glamping sites all over the country and there are even some international options as well.
33. Visit an Old Friend
Do you have an old friend who just feels like home? Make your birthday special for both of you by getting together for a visit. Spend time looking at old photos, reminiscing, and laughing at all the fun you two have had over the years. Be sure and take some photos of the two of you during this trip so you can have another memory to look back on later.
34-Have an In-Home Concert
Did you know some of your favorite artists will actually come to your home and perform? It’s true! Businesses like Sofa Concerts work with artists to play in-home shows. Find an artist you love, invite your friends, and sit back and enjoy the music.
35. Host a Murder Mystery Party
This one takes a little bit of planning but it can be so much fun. There are lots of different murder mystery games you can buy or you can even create your own. Once you have your game, invite some friends over, provide some snacks and drinks, and let the fun begin.
36. Make a Scrapbook
If you’re like me, you probably have boxes full of old photos and mementos just waiting to be compiled. Make a scrapbook of all the best parts of your life or pick just one part you want to remember especially. You can create a physical scrapbook using old photos or scan everything in and use a service like Shutterfly to create a book. If you have a group of old friends, you could make a book celebrating your friendship and give a copy to everyone. I can’t think of a more special gift.
37. Buy Yourself a Meaningful Piece of Jewelry
We wait too often for other people to buy us special pieces of jewelry like a diamond ring or special earrings. We think these gifts show how important we are to our loved ones.
But aren’t we important to ourselves? Show yourself some love on this milestone birthday by getting yourself a special piece of jewelry like a Tiffany bracelet or those earrings you’ve always wanted.
38. Have a Retreat
Turning 50 is a big deal and you may want to take some time to yourself to process just what that means for you. Why not schedule a getaway to a cabin or hotel and spend a weekend meditating, journaling, and hiking? It’s the perfect way to reflect on your life and set some goals for your next phase.
39. Take a Road Trip
Grab your BFF or go alone and hit the road. Stay in fun, dive motels, and check out all the cheezy roadside attractions. Be sure to take lots of photos and make a photo book at the end of the trip so you can remember all the fun you had.
40. Cross Something Off Your Bucket List
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time or opportunity? This is your chance! If you have a bucket list (either written down or in your head), look it over and see if there isn’t something you can’t cross over. Maybe now’s the time to finally learn to tango or take that once-in-a-lifetime golf trip.
41. Indulge Your Inner Child
This is something a friend does and I think it’s brilliant. Celebrate your day by revisiting something you loved as a kid. Did you love Medieval Times? Have your birthday there. This time you can have alcohol! Or visit the zoo and catch up with your favorite animal. Play on a playground. The possibilities are endless.
42. Take a Vacation to Learn Something New
I’m a huge fan of vacations, like everyone, of course. But there’s something really special about a vacation where you can go deeper into the place you are visiting. You can learn to cook pasta in Italy, for example. Or learn photography with National Geographic. There are so many choices.
43. Throw a “Golden Jubilee” Party
Fifty is your golden jubilee year so throw yourself a golden jubilee party worthy of the queen herself. Have a party with a “gold” them to celebrate your 50 years on earth. Decorate with gold balloons, banners, and confetti. Use gold plates, cups and tableware. Have an elaborate gold cake. Dress up in a gold party dress and you’ll need a crown, of course. Use your party as the start of your own personal golden age.
44. Have a Craft & Cocktails Party
This is a super easy and fun party that’s also a play on the phrase “craft cocktail.” Find an easy craft (like these cute paper flowers?) and pair them with a fun craft cocktail (maybe a blushing rose cocktail?), put on some fun music and let our your inner Martha Stewart. Everyone is sure to have a fun time.
45. Get a Bunch of Free Stuff
What is the point of getting older if we can’t get free stuff? Your fifty turns around the sun should be worth something to someone, right? Good news, it is! Check out this list of birthday freebies and celebrate your 50th birthday with all the free stuff you can get.
46. Get a Tattoo
Yep, this is extreme. And permanent. But if you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo, why not get one to commemorate turning 50? After all, living for half a century is a big deal and deserves something meaningful to remember it. Just make sure you do your research and find a safe and competent artist to do the work.
47. Write a Letter to Yourself
You have a lot of years left to live so this is a good time to think about how you want to live them. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How about in 10 years? Write a letter to yourself talking about your past struggles and accomplishments, your pride and disappointments, and what you want your life to look like in the future. Keep it in some place where you can refer back to it now and then.
If you’re feeling blessed by how your life has turned out, consider giving back by volunteering. There are so many ways you can choose to volunteer; check out Volunteer Match to find the organization that suits you best.
49. Buy Some Lottery Tickets
Hey, you’re pretty lucky by living this long, right? Pick up a few lottery tickets to see if your luck might lead to some cold, hard cash.
50. Plan an Exceptional Family Vacation
We want the people who mean the most to us with us on our most special days. So plan a meaningful trip with the people you love the most, your family, for your 50th birthday. Include lots of downtime to connect and talk. After all, that how memories are really made.
How did you celebrate your 50th birthday? Or what do you plan to do? Let me know in the comments!