Milestone birthday invitation cards

Someone you love is celebrating a big event — not only are they turning a year older but they’re also hitting a milestone birthday. That means it’s the perfect time to break out the party planning checklist and get ready to mark this momentous occasion. If you’re planning a milestone birthday bash for a loved one, we’re here to help. Let’s explore some of the best milestone birthday party ideas — along with fun party invitations — that are just as special as the moment you’re celebrating.

What Is a Milestone Birthday?

Milestone birthday: man giving a birthday gift to his friend

We’ve all heard the term “milestone birthday,” but you might be wondering, what exactly does it mean? A milestone birthday, also known as a landmark birthday, is one that is often celebrated with more fanfare than others.

For adults, the first milestone birthday is when someone turns 18 or 21. This moment marks their transition into adulthood and all the excitement and responsibilities that come along with it. After this, it’s common to celebrate all the years ending in a zero.

The most popular milestone birthdays to celebrate for adults include:

  • 18th birthday or 21st birthday (depending on culture, tradition, and legal “adult” status)
  • 30th birthday
  • 40th birthday
  • 50th birthday
  • 60th birthday
  • 70th birthday
  • 80th birthday
  • 90th birthday
  • 100th birthday

When it comes to kids, celebrating a first birthday is usually a big event even though the little one won’t remember it. Also, a quiñceanera (15th birthday) is an important milestone for young women in Hispanic cultures and a sweet 16 birthday party is another fun milestone for teenagers.

12 Fun Ways to Celebrate a Milestone Birthday Party

Planning a milestone birthday celebration is an opportunity to show someone just how much they mean to you. Use these birthday party ideas to get your creativity flowing so you can create a memorable milestone birthday your loved one won’t soon forget.

1. Use the Guest of Honor’s Age as the Theme

Milestone birthday: Golden Age Invitation

Design: Stellax Creative

Invitation idea: Golden Age invitation 

For a fun way to celebrate a big birthday, take inspiration from the guest of honor’s age for your party theme, activities, and decor. For a 21st birthday, create a centerpiece that features 21 characters from their favorite movie or TV series, or decorate the party space with 50 photos of them for a 50th birthday celebration. For a 40th birthday party, ask guests to add to a list of 40 things you love about the guest of honor. For a party game, you can have guests list “x” number of things found in the birthday honoree’s home — simply adjust the number of items based on the milestone age.

2. Host a Decade-Themed Party

Get excited about all those amazing decades from the past by hosting a themed party to celebrate someone’s milestone year. Throw it back to the days of big hair (and even bigger shoulder pads) with an awesome 80s-style party or host a 90s-themed party for someone’s 30th birthday. Whatever their favorite decade was, you can amp up the fun by making it a costume party.

3. Celebrate Their Favorite Childhood Memories

Instead of focusing on a decade, transport the guest of honor back to their days of childhood. Perhaps you want to decorate the party venue with elements from their childhood (like old movie posters or toys they loved) or you might even host the event at their favorite childhood spot if it’s still around. Add to the ambiance with a playlist of songs they loved and a menu of their old favorites. And don’t forget all those adorable childhood photos.

4. Celebrate a Hobby or Interest

Rally around your loved one on their big day by taking an interest in one of their hobbies or passions. Plan a day of crafting or DIY projects, or head on an adventure exploring an area they love or trying a new sport. Whatever they’re interested in, find a way to honor it for a thoughtful take on a milestone birthday party.

5. Make a Charity Donation

For a sweet gift idea, make a donation to your loved one’s chosen charity to reflect their milestone year — for example, donating $70 for their 70th birthday. Write a thoughtful note inside a digital birthday card and let them know you’re making a contribution to a cause they care about. You can also encourage other family members and friends to contribute to make a larger donation.

6. Create a Scrapbook or Video

Person designing a scrapbook

Celebrate all the amazing moments of your loved one’s life by creating a scrapbook, photo album, slideshow, or video of their achievements and memories. If you’re tech savvy, ask friends and family members to submit photos and video clips, then put them together to create a thoughtful digital memento. If you’d rather work with paper materials, you can gather photos and supplies beforehand and reveal a lovely scrapbook at their birthday party.

7. Check off a Bucket List Wish

Many of us have things on our bucket list that we haven’t experienced yet. Use your loved one’s milestone birthday as the perfect opportunity to make one of those wishes come true. Surprise them at their 50th birthday party with a skydiving experience, or book a private tour of their favorite wildlife center or museum for their 21st birthday. Think about what they’ve always wanted to do or experience, and make it happen.

8. Recreate Their Favorite Moment

Use this milestone birthday year as a chance to recreate one of the guest of honor’s favorite moments or memories. Maybe they loved the restaurant you dined at for New Year’s a few years back, or perhaps they’re always talking about a picnic they once enjoyed at a specific park. Gather as many details as you can about what made it feel special, then recreate it for their birthday celebration.

9. Host a Family Game Show Night

For a fun way to celebrate a special birthday, host a family game show night. Ask the guest of honor what their favorite TV game show is and make your own version at home. Split into teams, battle it out, and dig into some friendly competition. If your loved one is a huge fan of TV game shows, this is a perfect milestone birthday idea.

10. Add to a Hobby Collection

Many of us have items we like to collect or hobbies that encourage us to build a collection of resources, materials, or finished products. Whether the birthday honoree is into Warhammer or collecting beautiful mugs, adding to their hobby collection is a sweet and thoughtful birthday gift idea.

11. Host a Celebrity-Themed Dinner Party

Treat your birthday guest of honor like they’re a true VIP with a decadent dinner party — and make them feel like a celebrity. Get dressed up, book a private dining space, and ask guests to come prepared with a few words or something else they’d like to share about the birthday honoree.

12. Watch Classic TV or Movies Together

For a dose of nostalgia and plenty of laughs (or shrieks!), revisit your favorite TV shows and movies from the past. Plan a binge-watching birthday bash featuring the guest of honor’s favorite cartoons, rom-coms, or horror movies, complete with popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Talk about the good times, how TV just isn’t the same these days, and marvel at how different all of your tastes are when it comes to what you love to watch.

Invite Your Guests with These Fun Milestone Birthday Invitations

With your theme and ideas chosen, it’s time to find the perfect invite to match. Our digital invitations give you the perfect balance between stylish and customizable — without making a dent in your milestone birthday party budget.

Each of our designs can be customized, so you can change the color scheme, fonts, photos, and wording. There’s plenty of space for your party details, plus it’s easy for guests to RSVP in a few clicks. It’s party invites and management made simple.

Here are a few of our favorite milestone birthday party invitations to inspire your own design.

Art Deco Milestone Invitation

Art Deco Milestone Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Capture some signature styling of the era with this Art Deco milestone invitation. Choose from the classic black and gold, or use your own color combination. If you’re hosting a dinner party, Roaring 20s soiree, or Great Gatsby-themed event, this invite is a perfect match.

Oh Invitation

Oh Invitation

Design: Bonjour Berry

For something bright and modern, this Oh invitation is a great option. With space for a small photo, you can feature the birthday guest of honor at their best. Celebrate someone’s big 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, 6-0, or any other “oh” and get ready for a fabulous milestone birthday bash.

Bold Surprise Invitation

Bold Surprise Invitation

Design: Shari Margolin Design

Ask your guests to say “happy birthday” with this Bold Surprise invitation. The simple design with handwritten script details works beautifully for any surprise party, and you can work with our designers to feature the guest of honor’s favorite colors in the background.

Honor Someone Special with These Milestone Birthday Ideas

Your loved one is celebrating a huge birthday this year, and you’re excited to plan an event to match. Use this guide to inspire your party theme and decide what you’re going to do together to honor this special birthday.

Once you have your ideas sorted, use one of our milestone birthday invitations to let your guest list know all about it. Choose your favorite design, customize it with all your party details, then send it on its way. Those RSVPs are sure to roll in and before you know it, you’ll be celebrating a big moment for a very special someone.