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Generation Jones is turning sixty, and you can be sure that these boomers will not be slowing down as they approach retirement (in fact, 25% say they’re not even going to retire!). Therefore, don’t shy away from putting on a big 60th surprise party to show your loved one just how much you care.
Over the Hill or Memory Lane?
As with any surprise birthday party, it helps to organize the event around a theme. Two of the most popular 60th party themes are ‘Over the Hill’ and ‘Memory Lane’.
Be careful before planning an ‘Over the Hill’ theme as this will focus squarely on the trials and tribulations of the big ‘six-oh’, and requires your celebrant to have a healthy sense of humor. Receiving a tombstone-shaped cake and baby food favors might not go down well with those in denial. If you’re confident that the party boy or girl can handle it, you could take it to the extreme with a mock wake. Some ‘Over the Hill’ surprise parties even have the guest of honor lie down on a table while friends and family read witty eulogies.
If this seems a little bit touchy for your liking, the ‘Memory Lane’ theme is sure to be a winner. Decorate the venue with framed photographs that represent the celebrant’s life, and put up a pin-board where friends and relatives can add their own photos and messages. Try and track down old school friends or significant people from the celebrant’s past; if they can’t attend in person, ask them to email a greeting that can be pinned to the board.
For something a bit more upbeat, consider a 50s or 60s themed party. For a 50s theme, set up a milkshake bar and have waitresses serve guests on roller skates. Or remind them of their teen years with songs from the Sixties. Relevant tracks might include ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ by ‘The Beatles’ or Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing.’
Invites & Postage
When inviting guests, make sure you include a suitable RSVP date; this will help you to organize the catering well ahead of the big day. JaclinArt has designed some fabulous 60s themed invites and postage to help build the excitement.
There are more Surprise Birthday Invites here
There are some hilarious and creative party games that are perfect for the sexagenarian, including ‘Pin the Toupee on the Bald Man’ and ‘Spin the Bottle of Prune Juice’. Alternatively you could simply set up a trivia quiz about the celebrant’s life.
Tips for Keeping the Secret
Ensuring the party is a surprise is one of the more difficult roles of the organizer. Try scheduling the party a couple of weeks ahead of the big day itself, and choose a venue that is quite commonplace. Ask guests to arrive early and to park away from the venue (you don’t want the guest of honor spotting familiar vehicles in the parking lot). Make sure you have the support of one or two key (discreet) friends and family members and always try to anticipate potential hiccups (our four-year-old daughter almost scuppered proceedings by insisting we went back to ‘Nana’s House’. Fortunately, an impromptu tour of our new trailer tent kept Nana away from the house just long enough to finish setting up the party.)
Browse more 60th Birthday Planning tips here
Neil Hocking is a Torbay copywriter with clients from around the world. His work includes writing web copy, newsletters, sports journalism and advertising material. Design services are also available
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