Every year, we close one chapter and begin a new one. Birthday parties are an opportunity to celebrate all the incredible moments that defined the last chapter and prepare for the adventures that await us in the next. While every chapter is special in its own right, chapter 60 marks the beginning of an exciting new journey, filled with opportunity and discovery.
But how can you plan a 60th birthday party that tops the last 59?
Read on for 12 of the most memorable 60th birthday party themes and ideas guaranteed to start the decade with a bang.
60th birthday party ideas
Every birthday is worth celebrating, but a 60th birthday takes the cake. It’s often referred to as a person’s diamond jubilee or the start of their golden years. In fact, in Chinese culture, turning 60 marks five full cycles through the Chinese zodiac, bringing the guest of honor back to their birth zodiac, symbolically beginning a new life cycle.
As many people in their 60s will retire, become grandparents, or downsize, it seems fitting that a person’s 60th year should mark the start of their journey into a new life, carrying past experiences and wisdom with them.
Whether your loved one embarking on this new adventure is a father, mother, friend, or spouse, consider the following 60th birthday ideas to capture the sparkle and excitement of this milestone birthday.
“Around the Sun” by Paperless Post
1. Drinks, dinner, and dancing
Swing into the 60th decade with a night of cocktails, cuisine, and cha-cha (or whatever your favorite dance style may be!). Invite guests to dress in cocktail attire or spice up the event by hosting a roaring 20s-themed party where guests don dapper suits and flowy flapper dresses. Create a specialty cocktail menu of classic gin martinis, Manhattans, and Old Fashioneds before serving guests an elegant sit-down dinner.
A live band is a perfect complement to this vivacious celebration of life and will help encourage party-goers to get out on the dance floor. Plus, there’s nothing like a live rendition of “Happy Birthday” to warm your guest of honor’s heart.
2. Beer, wine, and small bites
For a more intimate celebration, throw your special guest an informal 60th birthday party paired with simple drinks and tasty appetizers. The celebration for this special occasion can be held at a favorite restaurant, art gallery, or a local park.
Consider serving finger foods and hors d’oeuvres that allow guests to easily mingle throughout the venue, such as:
— Pigs in a blanket
— Veggie or meat skewers
— Stuffed mushroom caps
To stick with your small bites theme, serve cupcakes instead of cake, or create a colorful donut wall for guests to enjoy (it’s both decorative and delicious). And don’t forget the drinks! Beer, wine, and ciders or seltzers will pair nicely with your laid-back vibe.
“Pink Flamingos” by Paperless Post
3. Daytime party
Soak in the sun and celebrate 60 with an outdoor bash complete with food, drinks, and games. And by hosting the event in a large backyard or at a local park, you’ll have plenty of space to mingle, lounge, and, well, party. That means no limitations on your guest list (and no tough decisions to make)!
For entertainment, guests can challenge each other to fun lawn games, including:
— Bocce ball
— Giant Jenga
— Ladder toss
Games and good times with close friends, but early enough to be home for a reasonable bedtime? Now that’s something the entire guest list will be able to get behind.
“The Number Oh (Sixty)” by Paperless Post
4. Casual backyard BBQ
Is your guest of honor feeling saucy as they round the corner on 60? (Barbeque sauce-y, that is.)
Celebrate the big six-oh with a casual backyard BBQ—a perfect party option for those turning 60 in the summer months, or those who simply love the warm, laid-back feel of this classic summertime tradition.
Serve backyard BBQ favorites, such as burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and grilled ears of corn. You can even make the event a potluck where guests bring the dishes they’re most famous for. For dessert, skip the traditional birthday cake in favor of classic summertime sweets, such as snow cones, cotton candy, popsicles, or ice cream.
“Sailor’s Delight” by Paperless Post
5. A celebratory cruise
If you can easily travel to a port, consider setting sail on a celebratory 60th birthday cruise. Your guests can enjoy food, drinks, and live music as they take in the salty ocean breeze and bask beneath the sun (or stars, or glowing sunset).
There’s one way to create an even more magical experience for your guest of honor: a sunset cruise. Your loved one can blow out the candles on their birthday cake (and their 59th year) as the last bits of sunlight scorch the sky and the lights of the city twinkle in the distance.
Then, you can dance the night away beneath the stars—the best of many worlds.
“Seaside Sunrise” by Paperless Post
6. Tropical getaway
If you’re looking to plan a birthday celebration that extends a little longer than a sightseeing tour, surprise your loved one with a tropical getaway. Plan a weekend in sunny Florida, the Dominican Republic, or Mexico. It can be a location your guest of honor loves to travel to or a new spot they’ve never visited before.
Not only does a weekend getaway provide a stunning, natural backdrop for an unforgettable birthday party, but it also allows for a more intimate celebration with close family and friends. For guests who are unable to make the journey, be sure to plan a virtual call-in during the night of the big event. These video attendees can take turns wishing the guest of honor a spectacular birthday, sharing a special memory, and toasting to another memorable 60 years.
“One-Armed Bandit” by Paperless Post
7. Weekend in Vegas
Celebrating 60 can feel pretty lucky. So why not celebrate the special day with a weekend in Vegas? The guest of honor can try their hand at blackjack and slots, explore the Vegas strip, or catch a live show.
For a more budget-friendly celebration, bring Vegas to you with a casino-themed birthday party. Decorate with classic casino colors, such as black, red, white, and green, and set up casino tables and games. You can even hire staff to help run the event.
During the party, guests can take advantage of their casino favorites, including:
Add colorful lights and lively music for a one-of-a-kind 60th birthday bash guaranteed to replace your guest of honor’s poker face with one of pure glee.
8. Private concert
Help your loved one shake, shimmy, and spin their way into 60 with a private backyard concert. Hire a local band you know your guest of honor loves or choose an ensemble that can play all their favorite songs, as well as classic hits. It’s sure to set the tone (and tune) for your loved one’s 60th year.
9. Decade-themed party
What better way to celebrate the 60s than with a 60s-themed birthday party? Get into the groove with a rainbow or tie-dyed color palette. Then, decorate with peace sign wall decals, lava lamps, and posters of the birthday guest’s favorite 60s icons, such as Janis Joplin or the Beatles.
You can also choose a 70s-themed party for a nostalgic look back on the decade that shaped your guest of honor’s young adulthood. Invite attendees to break out their best disco attire and dance the night away to the Bee Gees, David Bowie, and ABBA. A decade-themed party will leave your loved one reminiscing about everything that brought them to where they are today (and probably feeling grateful they no longer rock the shag mullet).
“Neon Exclamation Surprise (60)” by Paperless Post
10. A surprise party
Just because the birthday star has accrued 60 years of wisdom doesn’t mean they’ll be able to detect a surprise 60th birthday party. Shatter your guest of honor’s birthday expectations by inviting all of their closest friends and family members to what they believed was an intimate birthday dinner.
With uniquely designed surprise party invitations, you can let your attendees in on the secret while also ensuring they don’t spoil the surprise.
“Grand Cru” by Paperless Post
11. A small dinner with friends
Host an intimate, friend-filled dinner to celebrate your guest of honor. This party idea also allows the guest of honor the opportunity to say, “Thank you for being a friend,” to those who’ve added color, joy, and love to their incredible journey.
A birthday dinner with friends emphasizes community and connection rather than surprises or decor. It can also be especially meaningful for those whose friends may live in other states or countries. Invite attendees to toast the guest of honor and tell stories of the memorable times they’ve shared. While 60 years is certainly worth celebrating on its own, so too are the friends who made those 60 years shine. For more information about the best dinner party themes, read our blog post.
“Vintage Book Save the Date” by kate spade new york for Paperless Post
12. Back and better in 2022
If you had to postpone a 60th birthday celebration this past year, throw your beloved guest a party to celebrate the end of their 60th year. Connect them with family and friends in what is sure to be a fun-filled birthday and a much-needed reunion.
With save the new date party invitations, you can pick up right where you left off and continue the celebration.
60th birthday party invitation wording
Once you’ve decided on the most fitting (and fun) way to celebrate the next chapter in your loved one’s life, you can choose a birthday invitation to match. With Paperless Post, you can even personalize invitations with your own unique text and colors.
If you’re at a loss for the perfect words to mark the start of chapter 60, consider the following birthday invitation wording:
“It’s All Uphill from Here” by Paperless Post, “Flip the Script” by Paperless Post, “New Party Hat” by The Indigo Bunting for Paperless Post, “The Number Oh Photo” by Paperless Post
— Please join us in toasting [Guest] on the occasion of her 60th birthday!
— [Guest] is turning 60! Join [Guest’s spouse, children, friends] in toasting his grand achievement!
— Please join us for birthday drinks to celebrate [Guest]’s 60th birthday!
— [Guest] is turning 60! Join us in making it one for the books.
Be sure to also include the date, time, and location of the party, as well as any party-specific details—instructions on where to park, the dress code for a themed party, suggestions of what to bring for a potluck, or the fact that it’s a surprise party.
What’s the traditional 60th birthday gift?
For anniversaries and birthdays alike, the traditional gift for a celebration of 60 years is a diamond. While this precious gemstone may not be in everyone’s price range, it’s an exceptional birthday gift to give to a woman turning 60, whether she’s a beloved mother or a lifelong spouse.
In fact, for anyone who wants to further commemorate the occasion, a diamond necklace, bracelet, or earrings can be presented alongside a proposal to renew their vows—a promise to continue to love and honor each other in this new stage of life.
For 60th birthday celebrants who have recently retired, consider the gift of reignited passion or creativity. That could include a class or supplies for a once-beloved hobby, such as:
— Creative writing
— Glass blowing
To make it even more special, opt to partake in the class alongside your loved one for some quality time.
“Impasto – Gold” by Paperless Post
What colors are best for a 60th birthday?
No matter how you choose to celebrate your loved one’s 60th birthday, decorating your event with silvers and iridescent whites can capture the shine and sparkle of their diamond jubilee. You can even add pops of color to this palette, such as bold blues, regal purples, or flashy golds. By choosing bright accents, you can add excitement and energy to the 60th birthday festivities.
For a more formal affair, create an elegant look with blacks, whites, silvers, and golds. Not only does this color scheme exude class, but it can also add an air of nostalgia. Consider coupling this color palette with black and white photos of the guest of honor to personalize the party with a trip down memory lane.
How can you make a 60th birthday special?
Celebrating someone’s 60th birthday is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To make the most of the occasion, you can incorporate unique and thoughtful party elements, such as:
— A slideshow of the guest of honor’s accomplishments and memories
— A commemorative 60th birthday gift, such as a video of the special day or an album filled with hand-written messages from all their party guests
Above all, the best way to make a 60th birthday special is to fill it with the people who’ve made the past 60 years worth celebrating.
Set the date for your 60th celebration with Paperless Post
To celebrate the previous 60 years and start the next 60 with positivity and love, you’ll need a way to alert the guest list to the upcoming 60th birthday party. For that, you’ll want a uniquely designed invitation from Paperless Post.
At Paperless Post, we offer a wide selection of virtual 60th birthday party invitations you can personalize with your own text, colors, envelope, backdrop, and photos. Plus, when you order with Paperless Post, you can save time by importing a guest list and sending out all your invites with one quick click. Then, track your RSVPs and communicate with guests to answer any questions they may have about what to bring, what to wear, and what to gift.
For a 60th birthday celebration that’s certainly one for the books, start with a one-of-a-kind invitation from Paperless Post.