Are you looking for memorable ways to celebrate a 100th birthday? Then you’ll want to check out these great ideas! Find loads of fun ways to make this big day extra-special.
Be sure to download our free 100th birthday party planning checklist!
The 3 Super-Easy Hacks for an Unforgettable 100th Birthday Party
If you’re stressed about planning a memorable party, just pay attention to these 3 tricks that will make your party extra-special.
1. Use the Number 100
Remind everyone that this is to celebrate a century of life! Choose decorations and party supplies that feature the number 100. Start by choosing invitations that highlight the number 100.
Colorful decorations such as the ones pictured above are an easy and affordable (under $50) way to remind everyone of how special this occasion is.
2. Show How Much Life Has Changed Over the Last Century
It’s hard to believe how much life has changed during the course of a lifetime! Look for posters, banners or signs that show what life was like when the honoree was born.
The banner pictured above would look marvelous over the cake table – and it also makes a wonderful backdrop for photos. An affordable (under $15) decoration that is sure to impress.
3. Display Photos of the Birthday Celebrant from All Stages of Life
You’ll want to make sure to display plenty of pictures at the party! Consider showing off old photographs in picture frames or in posters around the room.
The adorable photo banner pictured above is an easy way to display 14 of your favorite pictures. It would look great displayed in front of the cake table, or makes a wonderful photo opportunity if you hang it on the wall.
You can also make an impressive photo collage by hanging photos in the shape of the number 100. Read this post for unique ways to display photos at a milestone birthday party.
Read Related Post: 22 Perfect 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
100th Birthday Party Decorations
One hundred years is a long time! To make their big day extra special, put some thought into the decorations. Check out these awesome party decorating ideas that will add flair and fun to their celebration!
Get ready to party like a centenarian with these festive backdrops! Backdrops look best behind the cake/dessert table.
Just move the table out of the way if you want to use the backdrop as a photo booth prop.
100th Birthday Banner
A banner is a fantastic way to welcome guests to your party. You can hang banners on the fence or garage if you’re having an at-home party.
You can also find festive banners that are designed specifically to hang on or around the front door. This is especially great decoration for a party held at a nursing home or assisted living center.
What’s a birthday without balloons? Balloons make any special day more festive. Check out these ideas for a little inspiration.
The decorating kit pictured above includes just about everything you need for a colorful party – even a cake topper!
Centerpieces & Table Decorations
Centerpieces are an easy way to add a touch of elegance to your celebration. If you have photos available, add those to the centerpieces.
Cakes and Cupcake Toppers
The easiest way to add flair to cakes or cupcakes is to simply add a topper, such as the double sided one pictured above! It’s the perfect addition to either homemade or purchased desserts.
You can also add cupcake toppers to small finger foods, such as sandwiches, fruit or small baked goods for extra sparkle.
While optional, party favors are a fun way to show appreciation to your guests for coming. They also serve as a reminder of this important occasion.
Don’t worry about spending too much; party favors are just designed to be little trinkets – not an actual gift.
Party Supplies (Plates, Napkins, Cups, Cutlery)
If you’re looking for personalized plates, napkins, cups and other supplies, your best bet is Zazzle. Each of their designs is easily transferred to any party supplies that you like.
The elegant design pictured above is also available on everything from invitations to decorations to party favors, which makes it easy to put together a well-coordinated party.
You can choose party supplies that feature the number 100, but my favorite way to decorate is to choose elegant unbranded party supplies. Then if you have extras, you can use them for other occasion.
Read Related Post: 36 Clever 100th Birthday Cards – with Free Print at Home Cards!
7 Fun 100th Birthday Party Games and Activities
1. Photo Booth with Fun Props
One of the best ways to get everyone talking and laughing is with a photo booth. It only takes a few minutes to set up and you’ll have everyone smiling in no time!
Basic photo booth tips:
Use a themed backdrop, such as the one pictured above.
Have fun 100th birthday props such as these inexpensive ones on Amazon for guests to hold or wear.
Use your smartphone or iPad to take pictures of the guests. You can either print the pictures at the party or send digital copies to the guests.
If you don’t mind spending a bit extra, order one of the fun mini instant cameras that will print Polaroid-style pictures immediately.
2. 100th Birthday Games
Who doesn’t love a good game? For this special occasion, offer trivia games such as the ones pictured above. Guests will have a ball figuring out the correct answers!
You might also offer games from the guest of honor’s childhood, such as checkers, dominoes, and marbles.
3. Make a Slide Show
Create a slide show of pictures from throughout the birthday man or woman’s life. Set up a projector or laptop (or use a digital photo frame which can double as a wonderful gift) to showcase favorite memories.
You could also incorporate videos of family members and other loved ones who weren’t able to come to the party.
Use free photo editing software and templates such as these on Canva to quickly create an impressive slide show.
4. Play Music from the 1920’s
Music is a festive way to set the tone for your party. Make your guests feel like they’ve traveled back in time by playing tunes from different eras.
Think about all the early years of the guest of honor’s life and create a playlist that includes songs from those decades. Playback.fm has lists of all the top songs from each year.
5. Serve Nostalgic Food and Drinks
Most elderly people enjoy reminiscing about days long ago. Why not serve food and drinks that remind them of their younger days?
Ask the guest of honor what were some of their favorites when they were young. Do they remember tomato soup cake, or layered gelatin? This article features 20 desserts that were popular back in the 1920s.
As far as beverages, soda shops were very popular in the 20s and 30s (remember, Prohibition was in effect until 1933). This post tells you how to make 11 classic soda shop drinks that the honoree probably enjoyed as a child.
6. Include Loved Ones Who Live Far Away
You can have your guest of honor’s loved ones join the party via video chat, but be sure to choose an area with great wifi or cell reception.
You could also ask them if they would send you a recording about their favorite memory of the guest of honor so that person will still feel included in everything even though they may not physically attend!
7. Use a Creative Guest Book
Look for a guest book that allows guests to write a favorite memory or loving message to the birthday man or woman. He or she will love reviewing the guest book after the party is over.
An impressive – and super-fun – guest book idea is this hand-made photo guest book. Just use an Instax camera to take photos of your guests. Each guest can then write a message to the honoree and add their picture to the book.
Read Related Post: Brilliant 100th Birthday Wishes and Quotes
How to Plan an Amazing 100th Birthday Party
Download our free 3-page 100th birthday party planning guide! Just click on the image above and the party planner will open in a new window.
There are a few things you might want to keep in mind when planning a party for someone turning 100. Here are my top tips:
1. Set a Budget
It’s so easy to get carried away with costs when planning a special party – you’re bound to find more ideas than you can actually use. So one of the first things you should think about is how much you’re willing to spend.
If you’re hosting the party with other people, it’s important that you all agree on an overall budget. That way no one will get upset at having to spend more money than they want.
When setting a budget, be sure to include the cost of:
- The venue
- Party invitations
- Party Supplies (plates, napkins, utensils)
- Party Favors (if using)
- Salary or tips if you’re hiring servers
2. Choose a Theme or Party Colors
You don’t have to choose a theme – the fact that it’s a 100th birthday is enough! However, you might want to use a theme and add in balloons or other party supplies that highlight the number 100.
Some of the more popular themes include:
- Cheers to 100 Years
- 100 Years Loved
- Champagne Toast
- Tea Party
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
Another option is to choose 2-3 primary colors to use for the party, which makes it easier to coordinate decorations and paper goods.
There isn’t an official color for the 100th birthday (official colors are for anniversaries, not birthdays). So feel free to use whatever color you prefer!
You may want to consider using colors that go well with black and gold, or with rose gold, as it’s easy to find party decorations that incorporate those colors.
3. Decide on the Guest list
Is this a huge bash for all ages? Is this for close friends and family only? Are children invited? Are you inviting out-of-town guests?
Talk to the guest of honor to see if they would like to invite people from their past – they may enjoy getting together with childhood friends or former co-workers.
Also check with close family members to see if they have any additions for the guest list.
4. Pick the Date and Time
Ideally, the party will be held on the actual birthday. For a larger bash, or for one that includes out-of-town guests, you should consider holding it on a weekend near the birthday so that more people can attend.
You might want to keep a couple of different dates in mind until you pick the venue.
You should be careful to consider the guest of honor’s health when considering the time. Many elderly people are at their best early in the day. You may want to consider an early afternoon/evening party.
5. Pick The Venue
You’ll want to decide on the venue as soon as possible. Popular options include someone’s house, a bar or restaurant, or renting a hotel event room.
If the guest of honor lives in an assisted living apartment or nursing home, they probably have an area that would work well.
If you think the weather is good, you could have the party in the backyard, a park, or by a lake. Be sure to have a backup in case of bad weather!
Call early to try to reserve any venue that you’re interested in.
Now that you’re got the date, time, place and guest list, get started with the invitations. Even if the party is several weeks away, you can save on shipping fees by ordering invitations early.
Party invitations should usually be mailed about 4 weeks before the event. If you’ve invited guests from out of town, mail the invites 8-12 weeks prior so that they have time to make their travel plans.
7. Choose Party Decorations
Choose 2-3 primary colors for your party decorations for a more cohesive look. You’ll find great recommendations at the beginning of this post.
Consider whether you’ll want to decorate the outside of the venue as well. You can add yard decorations or hang a banner at the door as a fun way to greet your guests.
When planning decorations, don’t forget the little items such as tablecloths and party supplies!
8. Food and Drink
If you’re having the party catered or you’re hosting it at a bar or restaurant, you’ll work with professionals there on the menu.
If you’re making the food yourself, look for party food that can be made in advance. That way you won’t be rushing around too much at the last minute.
Remember to check Sam’s Club or Costco for party platters – they usually have fabulous (and affordable) appetizers that everyone enjoy.s
Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help! Many people would be delighted to make a dish or two.
Are you hiring entertainment? You may want to consider hiring a band or DJ for a larger party. Be sure to schedule them well in advance!
You’ll want to take loads of pictures to remember this occasion, so you might want to consider hiring a professional photographer. Or ask one of the guests who loves taking pictures to serve as the photographer for the party.
Be sure to take pictures of each attendee with the guest of honor, as well as family groups.
11. Party Favors
Although optional, I feel that party favors are a fun way to say thank-you to your guests. They can also be a nice reminder of the occasion for the attendees.
Try to choose party favors that go well with your theme or color scheme. Personalized favors make an especially elegant touch – I love the creative party favors at Beau-Coup!