Golden birthday: what is it and ideas for how to celebrate

If you’ve ever wondered where the tradition comes from, you’re not alone. Your “gold birthday” or “golden birthday” is the year you turn the same age as your birthday–for example, turning 25 on the 25th. Joan Bramsch, a midwestern author, started celebrating her five children’s golden birthdays in the 1950s. The concept of a lucky birthday caught on with her friends and family, and it spread across the world. Pull inspiration from Joan’s genius idea by adding a little extra shine to your next birthday party. Follow our golden birthday party ideas to make your birthday party worth its weight in gold.

1. Get your groove on with a golden roller disco

Images (top to bottom): Gold Disco Ball: Amazon. “Foxy” Vibe for Flyer. Skating Trophy: Amazon. Sip Sip Tumbler: Ban.do. Heart Sunglasses: Ban.do.

 

Elegant dinner parties aren’t everybody’s thing, which is precisely why the gods invented roller discos. Rollerskate; karaoke to disco hits; gift a gold medal (in the form of an old school trophy) to the guest with the best Boogie Nights-esque costume, or when all else fails, do The Hustle

Invitation:  Gold is as disco as it gets and makes an equally appropriate theme for a casual throwback rager as a seated fête. Start with our Flyer Foxy Vibe, and the rest is no sweat. 

Serve: Looking for golden birthday ideas for your bar that double as party favors? Keep the party going wherever the boogie takes you with disco ball tumblers, and for the birthday celebrant, a flask fit for a Dancing Queen (or King).

 Do: Rollerskate; karaoke to disco hits; gift a gold medal (in the form of an adult sippy cup or old school trophy) to the guest with the best Boogie Nights-esque costume, or when all else fails, do The Hustle!

2. Throw a bubbly Champagne birthday celebration

Images (top to bottom): “Impasto” by Paperless Post. Gilded Rim Coupe: Anthropologie. Spray painted centerpieces: Will Anderson for Martha Stewart Weddings. Cake: Jenna Rae Cakes. Shoes: Loeffler Randall.

 

A golden birthday party is also sometimes called a Champagne birthday. This is fitting, as Champagne is always celebratory, even more so when you serve it out of gold-rimmed coupes. Even King Midas could get behind this Champagne birthday cake idea: add edible gold sheets to the night’s dessert. 

Dress code: You may be the guest of honor, but let all your Champagne birthday guests feel like royalty by granting them golden crowns at their place setting. Go even further and ask them to use gold as dress code inspiration. From gilded Grecian gowns to pleated 

Decorate: Spray paint leaves gold in any floral arrangement to instantly elevate the feel of the room. 

 

3. Host a silver and gold celestial-inspired bash

Images (top to bottom): “Exuberant” by Kelly Wearstler. Golden Star Sparklers: Tops Malibu. Gold Mylar Balloon: Amazon. Zoë Chicco Itty Bitty Star Earrings: Bloomingdale’s. Meri Meri Star Plates: Amazon.

 

Give new (and better) life to the tired pick-up line “What’s your sign?” by hosting an elegant affair inspired by the zodiac. Start with one of our Kelly Wearstler invitations and the rest is in the stars. Not everyone believes in astrology, but everyone believes in a good party. Certainly figuring out other guests’ signs is a fun way for your guests to get to know each other while celebrating the day (and moon, and sun) of your birth.

Decorate: Get your venue in celestial shape with these Mylar star and moon balloons. Likewise, fill a star-shaped piñata with gold confetti and flash tattoos.  Or use a metallic paint marker to add a dash of Milk Way to your tablecloth and napkins.

Serve: All twelve signs in the zodiac are composed of either fire, water, earth, or air, so if you can incorporate foods that nod to each of the elements, all the better. For example, cocktails with cayenne on the rim represent fire, tuna tartare is water, shoestring French fries are earth, and cotton candy is air. Or, just serve whatever’s convenient (like cake!) and add a little celestial sparkle with sparklers.

Do: Whether they admit it or not, almost everyone gets a kick out of getting a glimpse into their (possible) future. Hire a tarot card reader or astrologer to do readings for your guests, or have a deck on hand for people brave enough to read for themselves.

4. Plan a “gold record” costume theme party

There are few things more synonymous with gold than gold records. Whether you love music or a good costume party, this is one of our favorite golden birthday party ideas. Bring your party to life with an on-theme playlist and give out prizes to the best dressed. 

Dress code: Ask everyone to come dressed as their favorite “gold record” artist. Need some inspiration? You can view the entire list here.

Do: Dance the night away! Make your own playlist of songs off of gold records, or find one on Spotify to get the party started. 

Decorate: While you can find plastic gold records from most party supply stores, with a little work you can make your own to look like the real thing. Simply head to your local thrift store and buy its cheapest vinyl records (most will be only 99 cents!). Coat with gold spray paint, and you’ve got an authentic replica for only a few dollars.

Serve: A cake in the shape of a gold record, of course!

5. Go for gold with an Olympics-inspired field day

Whether you’re planning a golden birthday party for kids or kids-at-heart, throwing a field day gives everyone a chance to engage in some friendly competition. Let the birthday honoree play referee if they don’t want to pick sides, or let them hand out the gold medals for the winning team at the end of the party. 

Serve: Help everyone stay hydrated with jugs of water or boozy gatorade for adults. 

Do: Classic field day games like a water balloon toss, tug of war, or hula hoop contests are fun at any age. For little birthdays add in other activities like egg-and-spoon or sack races. For adult-friendly golden birthdays add beer pong or disc golf. 

Dress code: Encourage athleisure or activewear, anything that’s easy to move in. Then hand out sweatbands or bandanas as a fun party favor. 

6. Celebrate a mini golden birthday

Golden birthday parties aren’t just for adults and 50th birthdays.  If your child is turning one on the first or six on the sixth it’s their lucky birthday as well. Nothing beats a golden first birthday party! Start their day with gold additions to their morning routine: a breakfast plate with a gold rim or glittery stickers tucked in their backpack.

Searching for gold: Any theme can become a little more magical with a hint of gold: think other-worldly unicorns with hints of gold, a pretty gilded princess party, Harry Potter wizard theme with Golden Snitch-inspired accents, or gold medals for everyone at a laser tag or gymnastics party

Decorate: Keep things easy by sticking with a simple shiny palette. You’ll be surprised the difference a gold curtain and tablecloth can make in setting the tone. Then, add interest with gold stars, stripes, confetti, or a “Happy Birthday” banner announcing the child of honor from a specialty party store like Meri Meri––our go-to for partyware.  

Food ideas: Use gold-wrapped chocolate coins in piñatas or treasure chests. Ask your local baker if they can create gold donuts for a decadent sleepover breakfast. For a DIY take any kid-friendly treat can shine with a little edible gold spray paint

More golden birthday ideas for adults

Many people wonder exactly what age is the “golden year.” But there are actually multiple chances to celebrate. Don’t worry if you’ve missed your golden birthday, there’s three more chances to party. Some people celebrate a golden birthday the year you turn the year you were born, (turning 80 if you were born in 1980). Others celebrate a double golden birthday. 

What is a double golden birthday? you might ask. It’s when you turn double the age of the day you were born on, (turning 24 on the 12th). Turning 50 has also been considered a golden birthday year, and many people choose to decorate with black and gold. Any of the above ideas can be easily translated to a 50th birthday party—just go extra big on the golden birthday gift and cake!

 

Now that you’ve got a solid gold party plan, get your guest list going with Paperless Post Flyer or add a Midas Touch with a classic card. Similarly, set the scene for your little nugget’s  birthday with a kids’ birthday party invitation.

For more birthday inspiration check-out Meri Meri’s guide to magical birthdays30th birthday party ideas, or Derek Blasberg’s take on throwing yourself a high-low birthday party.