If you’re looking for 90th birthday ideas, I’ve got tons of great party tips and themes for you below!
As children or grandchildren celebrating the birthday of a senior citizen in the family, things can be so exciting!
The look on their face when they realize you’ve gone the extra mile just for them is priceless!
This guide is packed with ideas for planning a landmark 90th birthday party for a loved one.
Top 10 90th Birthday Ideas You Will Like the Most
Let’s start with my absolute favorites! If you don’t find the perfect idea here, don’t worry, I have even more ideas below.
#1. Host a Brunch/Lunch/Dinner
The best way to make a 90-year old feel special is by hosting a party or a brunch/dinner in their honor. You can decide how big or intimate the celebration is.
Remember that for many elderly people “less is more.” So, you need not have an elaborate celebration.
Simply inviting all their loved ones is all that is needed to bring a big smile to their faces and make them feel special.
Unless you plan to go the surprise-party route, consult them and ask them what they would like and who they would want to invite. This way, they will look forward to the celebration as well.
It is important to keep in mind that a ‘surprise’ can end up being stressful for an elderly person with a weak heart. So, it may be better to let them know about the party in advance.
The party need not be too long but neither should it be too short. The birthday boy/girl would love to spend quality time with friends and family – so make sure they get adequate time for it.
Tip: Pay attention to the ages, dietary needs, and physical abilities of the guests included on the guest list.
#2. Create a Photo Wall
Forget traditional photo albums and scrapbooks – a photo wall is the latest trend! And it is a beautiful way of taking your loved one down memory lane.
Collect some of the most memorable photographs from major milestones/fond memories in their lives and create a photo wall in their room. They would love waking up to this perfect gift.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) literally cover their wall, a digital photo frame is another amazing idea.
They will love the dynamically changing slideshow of photos. They can relive beautiful moments with soothing music in the background.
Tip: You can create a colorful mosaic or go black and white. You can also use these photos to tell a story by arranging them in a timeline.
Check: Fun and Easy Senior Crafts to Make
#3. Use the Gift of Technology
Sometimes, age and distance may not allow elderly people too much mobility. If your 90-year old wants to meet someone special on their birthday but one of them isn’t mobile, then use Skype/Zoom/WhatsApp calls or FaceTime to help them meet virtually.
You can help them video chat, share photographs, and even play some games online with friends.
Tip: Arrange to have a surprise group call with all the birthday boy/girl’s friends and loved ones for a wonderful time.
#4. Get Their Friends/Family to Write Them Letters/Special Memories
If distance prevents people from coming to the party, have people send in their greetings and messages of love written down on cards or special notes.
You can even have all the relatives and friends share special memories or ‘5 things they like about the individual’.
Read these to the senior citizen and see them beaming all day!
Tip: Paste these letters on their room’s wall where they can read/see them every day. This will help them start their day positively.
#5. Take Them Out for a Short Getaway
One of the best 90th birthday gift ideas for grandma or grandpa is to take them out.
It could be a short trip to a memorable place or a restaurant they love eating at, a theater or the opera, camping in the woods nearby, or any special place they used to visit in their youth. Museums, art galleries, etc. are good choices too.
If their health is up to it, rent an RV or a camper and invite family and friends. This will be a great way to spend a birthday for most senior citizens.
Tip: Don’t make the outing too long and always take into account their naptime and meal times.
#6. Take Them on a Spiritual Retreat
Many elderly people tend to get spiritual as they age and most of them enjoy spiritual activities like meditation or religious sermons.
If their health is up to it, you can consider taking them to a meditation retreat for a day or two. It is a wonderful way to rejuvenate, relax, and recharge.
Tip: Make sure the venue is wheelchair accessible and caters to the elderly. Confirm beforehand if the activities that are held are okay for seniors.
#7. Take Into Account Their Hobbies and Interests
Do they like gardening? Perhaps you can fill up their home/room with flowers. If they like music from older times, play it.
You can also give them a voucher to a club (if their health is up to it). This is a great way for them to connect to people and also reap many other benefits.
Note that some club activities are weekly, so it may be your responsibility to drive them to and from or set up online sessions for them.
Tip: Sure you like fireworks but it may be better to take into account whether your elderly parent likes them too. Always keep things simple when it comes to celebrating an elderly person’s party.
#8. Organize Senior-Friendly Activities
How about organizing some fun game nights like Bingo, quiz, Trivia, etc.? Other senior-friendly activities and themes are:
- Casino night
- Murder mystery night
- Masquerade ball
- Hawaiian luau
Tip: Add some prizes for an extra fun element!
Check: Ideas and Games for 75th Birthday Party
#9. Cook Them Their Favorite Meal
In case you decide to have a quiet celebration, simply cook them their favorite meal. If they prefer a BBQ or grilling out (if the weather permits), do that.
Alternatively, take them to their favorite restaurant. Have the waiter/s sing the birthday song and don’t forget to order a cake with candles.
Tip: Remember, elderly people only want the gift of time from us – nothing fancy.
#10. Contribute to Their Favorite Charity
In many cultures, birthdays are celebrated by donating to charities and nonprofit organizations.
You can ask your birthday star about their wish and donate to their favorite charity.
Together you can also visit an orphanage or a school for differently-abled people and sponsor a meal.
Tip: Why not plant some trees together as a special memory? In-room gardening is also possible and easy to manage.
20 More Amazing 90th Birthday Ideas to Try
If you still need more ideas, either for the main event or perhaps just to take this milestone celebration even farther, check these out!
#1. List Amazing Things That Happened in Their Birth Year
Find out all the things that happened in 1930-31. It can be something like:
- The Great Depression
- Discovery of Pluto
- First ever FIFA world cup…and so on
Make memory boards of these things.
You can also make boards of what different things cost in the year 1930. For example:
- Car- $700
- Gasoline 19 cents a gallon
- Bread – 8 cents
- House – $6500 etc.
#2. Gift Them a T-shirt With Their Birth Year
The T-shirt can be hand-painted with their photo and ‘made in 1931’ print. Party decoration can also reflect the birth year of the guest of honor.
#3. List Their Major Accomplishments/Favorite Memories
On a board, write the following about the guest of honor:
- Born in 1931
- 32850 days
- 788400 hours
- 3 beautiful children
- 6 amazing grandchildren
- 5 great grand kids
- One life fully lived!
- My cup runneth over!
This is a beautiful reminder for them to count their blessings every day.
#4. Get a Special 90th Birthday Cake
A 90th birthday cake is special – you can either place 90 candles on it or bake two cakes in the shape of 9 and 0. Seek help from professional bakers – they have many great ideas.
Add personal touches like the frosting of their favorite color or flowers etc. These days cakes also come with special edible prints.
Check these awesome 90 year old birthday cake ideas!
#5. Gift Them eBooks or e-readers
If your loved one likes reading then eBooks and readers can provide them with an endless library. Keep adding books in the genre they like so they can enjoy their favorite authors.
The advantage of readers is that you can adjust the font size. This is beneficial for people with limited eyesight.
#6. Knit Them a Sweater or a Shawl
Personal gifts made by you or your grandkids can be one of the best 90th birthday gifts for grandpa or grandma. Use your crocheting and knitting skills to good use.
#7. Tick Items Off Their Bucket List
Ask them what they have always wanted to do but never got a chance to. It could be skydiving or bungee jumping as well. Just make sure their health is up to it.
#8. Gift Them a Wii Sport Console
A Wii sport console can help improve balance, muscle strength, and hand-eye coordination. Get their friends involved so your loved one spends some quality time socializing too.
#9. Paint or Draw Them a Picture – Get Grandkids Involved
Just like crocheted and knitted gifts, a hand-drawn or painted sketch, birthday cards, or picture is one of the best 90th birthday gift ideas. Your loved one will cherish it for sure.
#10. Make a Necklace/Jewelry for Them
Forget expensive necklaces and jewelry – a 90-year-old will certainly appreciate a hand-made bracelet more especially if it is coming from a grandkid.
#11. Give Them a Spa Day
If their physician approves, a massage or spa treatment is just what they need. Human physical touch is very important in this age and most senior citizens miss it.
#12. Pet Therapy
Do they love dogs or cats? While gifting them one isn’t recommended, you could have a specially trained therapy dog come over for a visit.
Most pet-loving seniors would love spending time with a well-behaved ball or fur. Many animal shelters arrange for pets to visit senior citizens.
#13. Arrange for a Karaoke Session
Dance and music are the best 90th birthday party ideas. Arrange to have senior or all-age karaoke for your loved one.
#14. Arrange for a Card Game Night
Do they love playing cards? Arrange for friends to play Solitaire, rummy, Uno, Monopoly, or some other games that help them connect with their neighbors and friends.
#15. Boat Ride
How about a boat ride at a lake nearby? You can also take them on a day picnic or for bird-watching. This will help them spend quality time with you.
#16. Arrange for an Excursion to a Theme Park
If your guest of honor is fairly active, how about an excursion to a theme park or a carnival? County fairs, wineries, art shows, comedy clubs are some other great outings too.
#17. Take Them Bowling
Indoor and garden bowling is fun. If your senior isn’t too active then consider indoor golf or mini-golf.
#18. Word Lover Fun
Arrange for crosswords or a game of Scrabble with the guest of honor. No word-lover can resist that.
#19. Bar/pub Outings
For adults-only, arrange a bar or a pub outing for your loved one and his/her friends. Arrange for some themed party decoration.
#20. Tea Room
Have a tea party at a tea room nearby. This is great for the ladies. Arrange for 90th birthday decorations if possible.
There are many party ideas for a 90th birthday. The choice of the venue and size of the celebration will depend on many factors like the health of your birthday celebrant, your budget, etc.
What are your favorite 90th birthday ideas? Please share with us below!