64 Milestone Birthday Ideas for Every Age

Birthdays are one of our favorite occasions because they are an opportunity to show someone special how much you adore them—and that you're glad they were born! 

Many families and friends have unique birthday traditions. No matter what you enjoy, we want to help you feel equipped with the best milestone birthday ideas—whether you're throwing a bash or shopping for the perfect birthday present.

If we're getting super-specific, we're partial to the perfect pop-up birthday card. But you already know that!

Milestone Birthdays

Whether you're celebrating with family or friends, milestone birthdays are the extra-special years to celebrate your birthday; these are the ones that people usually throw parties for most often.

Children's most commonly celebrated birthdays are their first birthdays, "double digits" at ten, their thirteenth as they become teenagers, and the Quinceañera for 15-year-old girls in Hispanic culture or "Sweet Sixteen" celebrations for many teenagers who have made it over halfway through their second decade.

The most commonly celebrated adult milestone birthdays are the 18th—as a rite of passage into adulthood—the 21st, and then every decade after that. 

For children, milestone birthday celebrations are fun because their friends & family can celebrate their growth and make a big deal out of all the ways they've grown. 

Adults enjoy celebrating milestone birthdays because they provide opportunities to gather and see faraway friends & family, reminisce about memories of the past, and celebrate all of the life they have lived & enjoyed.

In this article, we will share some of the best ideas for celebrating milestone birthdays—the best milestone gift ideas & party ideas. And, of course, the best birthday cards & pop-up gifts for these super-special birthdays, too!

Milestone Birthday Celebration Ideas 

There are oh-so-many ways to party—here are some milestone birthday celebration ideas for inspiration!

15th Birthday Party Ideas

In Hispanic cultures, the fifteenth birthday is a monumental rite of passage for teenage girls as they celebrate their quinceañeras—the transition from girlhood to womanhood. More families have honored Quince Años for their sons in recent years with celebrations, too.

  • Cinderella Quince. One of the most popular quinceañera themes out there, going with a Cinderella theme is a surefire way to ensure your 15-year-old has a night to remember forever. 

  • Hollywood-Themed Quinceañera. Roll out the red carpet—literally! Make it a night to remember for the birthday star! Decorate with golden stars, hire "paparazzi" to capture photos of the night, and offer mocktails & fancy Hors D'oeuvres. 

  • Fabulous Fiesta Quince. Celebrate the birthday lady with a vibrant & lovely fiesta celebrating the Mexican roots of the quinceañera! Incorporate tissue paper flowers, multicolored streamers, bunting & backdrops, and piñatas. Feliz Cumpleaños!

16th Birthday Party Ideas 

A "Sweet 16" is another milestone birthday that calls for big celebrations! These party ideas will be perfect for teenagers driving, preparing for adulthood, and becoming themselves. Sweet 16 celebrations are common across all genders in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Great Gatsby Soiree. Party like it's...1929! Fancy flapper dresses, feather boas, glamorous pearls, gold-gilded desserts & decor, and sparkling mocktails will produce a memorable celebration for the 16-year-old you love. 

  • Pool Party. Splish, splash, they’re turning sixteen! There are many ways to personalize a pool party. For example, you can create a sparkly balloon arch, enjoy time in the sun, and an outdoor movie when the sun sets. Fun in the sun + time with friends = win-win!

  • Take a trip! Plan an epic trip somewhere they've always wanted to go—within your budget! It could require a passport or a short road trip with friends; the most important thing is to let the birthday guy/gal help plan!

18th Birthday Party Ideas 

Celebrate their passage into adulthood with one of these parties fit for a brand-new adult! The milestone birthday party ideas will help you plan the big shindig. 

  • "Picture Perfect" Party. Invite your 18-year-old's friends to a photography lesson, where they will learn a new skill & DIY their party favors. Hire a photographer to document the experience. This picture-perfect party will help them create everlasting memories.

  • Camping Party. Bring out the tents, plan a hike, and pack ingredients to cook dinner over the campfire. What a perfect way to celebrate the entry to adulthood. 

  • Sports-Themed Party. Take them out to the ball game—a real one, or have a watch party at home with everyone's favorite snacks!

21st Birthday Party Ideas 

Turning 21 is a big deal because it's the legal drinking age, so you can enjoy a traditional celebration at a favorite local bar—or choose one of these creative party ideas.

  • Visit a theme park with friends. Time to grab your BFFs and head to Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando, FL), Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, Pennsylvania), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN), Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, CA), or any of the other fantastic theme parks in the U.S. or abroad!

  • PowerPoint Presentation Party. This one's creative & fun! Have your friends come prepared with funny, informative, or creative PowerPoint presentations; once everyone has had a couple of drinks (or so), each person will present someone else's PowerPoint. 

  • Food Tour or Wine-Tasting. Take a food tour of your city, or find a local wine tasting. You still get to drink legally without the alcohol being the end-all-be-all. 

30th Birthday Party Ideas

This milestone is one of the biggest in a person's life—comparable to graduating, marriage, first homes, and babies. Yet, it can feel emotional for some who aren't ready to leave their twenties behind. These parties are perfect for commemorating this moment.

  • "Roaring Twenties" Party. Enjoy "the twenties" for one more night with flapper attire, golden decor, and a fancy celebration with friends. 

  • Game Night! When turning thirty, many young people focus on their careers & families. Hosting a game night for new and old friends can be a fun way to celebrate with everyone. Turn it into a slumber party by having everyone pack pajamas.

  • A Pearl Party. The traditional 30th birthday gift is a pearl. Create a pearly balloon arch, wear pearls, serve oysters, share treats in mother-of-pearl serving dishes, and listen to Pearl Jam.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

This famous milestone is often called "Over the Hill"—there are many hilarious party ideas & themes for 40th birthday celebrations.

  • Visit a landmark. Celebrate this landmark birthday by visiting a special place you've always wanted to. A memorable trip amid this crazy-busy stage of life is a true gift. 

  • Surprise! Throw a surprise party and gather friends & family for an epic celebration. 

  • Paint party. Book a paint night at a studio, or invite an artist to come guide you & your friends through a paint project while you mix & sip your favorite drinks.

50th Birthday Party Ideas 

Half a century! How can you celebrate 50 years of one of your favorite people? These 50th-birthday ideas are a great place to start.

  • A night to remember. Reminisce by having guests bring framed photos with the birthday honoree to display. Then, share a meal & stories about your beloved friend's life. 

  • Costume party. It's probably been a while since you've all dressed up. So throw a costume-themed party to celebrate with lots of laughs. 

  • A '50s party. Dress, dine, and dance like it's the 1950s again!

60th Birthday Party Ideas

Each decade’s passing provides a more profound desire to reconnect with friends and family—especially those who may live far away. So reach out and invite them to one of these memorable birthday bashes.

  • An elegant garden party. Invite close friends to join you for an elegant afternoon in the garden with delicious treats. 

  • A family movie night. Host a movie night for the extended family, bring all the kids, and enjoy a movie & everyone's favorite snacks together. What a great party idea for a fun-loving grandma! 

  • A rooftop dinner with friends. Find a restaurant with rooftop dining and invite a couple of close friends to celebrate your birthday! 

70th Birthday Party Ideas

Gather the kids & grandkids for a 70th birthday celebration to remember!

  • Family karaoke night. Gather the whole family for lots of laughs to celebrate Grandma or Grandpa's impressive milestone. 

  • Blast from the past. Choose a place & time that means a lot to the honoree, and recreate it as much as possible! 

  • Fancy surprise party. Surprise them with dinner at a fancy restaurant, and have a few close friends or family members there waiting! It'll be a night to remember.

80th (And Beyond) Birthday Party Ideas

In some cultures, the 80th birthday is a milestone celebrating a life lived fully & completely; many people celebrate it as a milestone of perseverance and determination.

  • Eight-"tea" party. Throw a tea party to celebrate their 80th. Bake or order their favorite sweet treats & invite their friends. Connecting with friends still alive and well is a precious part of turning 80. 

  • Vintage party. Decorate with old black & white or sepia photos, items that were special to them over the years, and enjoy a party filled with stories from years past. 

  • Golden party. Celebrate their golden years with golden everything. Invite guests to wear gold clothing or jewelry & decorate with all the sparkles & gold you can find!

Milestone Birthday Gift Ideas

In addition to throwing the most epic milestone birthday party, giving a meaningful gift for each milestone year is top of mind. The ideas below are the ultimate milestone birthday gift ideas for these landmark years! 

We recommend including a special pop-up birthday card with your amazing giftbut remember: the most beloved gift comes from the heart. 

15th Birthday Gift Ideas

What are the best gifts to give a quinceañera for her Quinceañera? Here are a few great ideas!

  • An adorable pop-up card. This piñata pop-up card or Felices Quince crown card are both unique & are sure to bring a smile when the birthday girl reads your handwritten words of love.

  • Beauty products. From the practical to the fun & frivoloushair styling accessories, skincare products, makeup, and more will be adored by the birthday lady. Help her level up to 'young woman' status. 

  • Cool new gadgets. Teens love technology—a new pair of wireless headphones, a Polaroid camera or pocket printer, or even a new phone case or pop socket. These are all fabulous gifts for a 15-year-old.

16th Birthday Gift Ideas

The perfect Sweet 16 gift is easy: it's a car! But these should be close seconds. *Wink.*

  • A fab photo shoot. Give the gift of professional photos of herself at this stage of life—invite her friends to join, too, if the photographer allows. 

  • Keepsake jewelry. It's a perfect time to give an heirloom piece of jewelry. Whether you have something valuable to pass down or buy a new necklace or pair of earrings to pass through generations, this idea is excellent! 

  • Stationery or a journal. The birthday recipient may like to write notes to share or just for self-care. A lovely journal or personalized stationery are delightful customized gifts.

  • Level up card. Gamers will enjoy this pop-up card as a token of your love & celebration.

18th Birthday Gift Ideas 

What kind of gift is best for celebrating a child, grandchild, or other loved one as they transition into adulthood?

  • A customized memory book. Document the sweetest memories from birth to 18, so they can bring a piece of the past with them as they move into adulthood. 

  • Investment accounts. Help your 18-year-old open an investment account and set up recurring contributions. It may feel like a "boring" gift now, but they'll thank you in the future when they realize how valuable this gift was. 

  • Birthstone jewelry. A lovely birthstone necklace or ring makes a memorable keepsake forever. 

21st Birthday Gift Ideas 

Time for a party! Once the party ideas are covered, it's time to find the perfect gift to celebrate your new "legal" friend or loved one.

  • At-home coffee maker. Twenty-one is a great age to start making coffee at home—after a wild night out, before a big day at work, or to save those hard-earned dollars. 

  • Beer presents. Gift a fun beer assortment with this Happy Beer-th Day Pop-up Card. Best 21st gift ever! 

  • Nice pans. A 21-year-old won't likely prioritize nice pans for themselves, but they'll be grateful that someone else did!

  • A beautiful tote bag. A quality, high-end tote is perfect for job interviews, taking to work, and other special occasions.

30th Birthday Gift Ideas

Make them feel loved, young, and worthy of luxury. Being thirty can feel fun & flirty—and also exhausting. So pamper them into this new decade with these pick-me-ups.

  • Fancy towels. Home goods don't have to be boring. Soft bath towels in vibrant colors, organic waffle towels, and Turkish tea towels are fun, practical treats.

  • Gemstone necklace. A beautiful necklace with three gemstones is perfect for celebrating this milestone year. Choose classic 30th birthday pearls—or their favorite gemstones. 

  • Perfume or cologne. Go shopping for their new signature scent together and buy their first flacon.

40th Birthday Gift Ideas

Over-the-hill themed gifts are perfect for the 40th birthday—or other thoughtful gifts.

  • Sign up for a class. There's no time like 40 to learn a new skill. Has the birthday guy/gal always wanted to play piano? Learn to ski? Paint? Sign them up alone—or join in the fun! 

  • A sling bag. These bags are handy, popular, and lightweight—so they're good for those aging backs that can't carry what they used to. Just don't tell them that's why you got this one. 

  • Houseplant. By now, they've made clear whether they're a "plant parent," so speak their love language with a new houseplant—or a houseplant bouquet that never needs water!

50th Birthday Gift Ideas 

Go for the gold when celebrating five perfect 10s for your loved one this year.

  • Custom birthday book. A thoughtful keepsake to enjoy flipping through is an entire coffee table book filled with all the headlines from The New York Times since they’ve been alive. 

  • Gardening goodies. If the garden is their favorite space, they'll love a garden seat/tool bench, new perennials to enjoy for many years, herb shears, or raised bed kits. 

  • A special experience. Is there somewhere the b-day honoree has always wanted to go but has yet to? There's no time like the present for this present. So book the hotel or flight & surprise them with an absolute dream come true. 

  • Their favorite wine. We found the perfect pairing: their favorite bottle with a wine pop-up card reminding them they can't drink cake!

60th Birthday Gift Ideas 

What gifts or experiences are suitable for sixty? Here are several of our favorite ideas—fanciest first. 

  • Diamond anything. Diamonds are traditional for the 60th birthday, so go for the bling if they're within your budget! 

  • Fresh flowers. A bouquet of sixty flowers—they don't all have to be roses—will express your love in the most fragrant way! A sweet birthday card with a mini bouquet is a perfect addition to any other gift! 

  • Birthday shirt. Etsy sellers design the most adorable birthyear shirts that make turning 60 feel cooler than ever—because it is!

70th Birthday Gift Ideas

Seventy is a BIG one. From traditional to creative, we're full of milestone birthday gift ideas for this one!

  • A framed family photo. Take & frame a new family portrait for Grandma or Grandpa to enjoy—or many in a digital photo frame. Then, help them find a place to display it where they'll see it daily!

  • Luxurious lotion. Treat their skin to a super luxurious lotion or body cream for aging skin.

  • House cleaning. Make sure they won't find it offensive first, but a nice house cleaning will help them start a new decade feeling like everything is fresh & in its place. 

  • A flower basket. Whether real flowers or a long-lasting pop-up flower basket, they'll appreciate something pretty to enjoy!

80th (And Beyond) Birthday Gift Ideas

The 80th birthday and any subsequent milestone years (like the 90th or 100th) should be celebrated big. There's so much life to celebrate! So give one of these fantastic gifts to make your loved one feel extra special.

  • Birth month flower scarf. This floral scarf will give her a beautiful, cozy reminder of your love. 

  • Favorite flowers. A birthday bouquet is always a special gift, but a pop-up birthday floral arrangement lasts way longer than the real thing. 

  • Classic car gift. At 80 (and beyond), some may need reminders that they aren't old, just classic. A book, model, or classic car pop-up birthday card is ideal for sharing this message.

We applaud you for celebrating someone special's milestone birthday this year and hope these milestone birthday celebration ideas help with the planning process! 

Whether you plan to throw an epic milestone birthday party or give the best milestone birthday gift, we know you'll do it with all the love in your heart, and that's what matters most.

There are endless ways to spread the love with Lovepop—starting with these unique birthday cards for recipients of all ages. Happy celebrating!

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