Birthday Party Planning Guide

Find the Resources You Need to Plan the Perfect Birthday Celebration

A birthday is always a time for celebration and, unlike other celebrations during the year, a birthday focuses on one special person. If there's a special person in your life, whether it's a parent, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse or a best friend, show them just how much they mean to you by hosting a party for their next birthday.

  • 01 of 12

    Plan a Milestone Birthday Party

    Chocolate birthday cake with yellow sprinkles
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    All birthdays are special, but some are more special than others. Think back to those birthdays when you were teased, congratulated, or celebrated in an extra special way. It was probably a milestone birthday which can happen when you reach legal age, a new decade, or one of the quarters of a century. So, basically, there's a milestone opportunity every few years. Which means another chance to become creative if you're planning someone's milestone birthday party. There are several things to consider when you plan one of these special parties. This article will take you through those planning steps.

  • 02 of 12

    50th Birthday Party Ideas

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    There are milestone birthdays, and then there are even more special milestone birthdays. Such as 50 years old. That milestone usually catches the attention of friends and they'll let you know it in either a very gentle, considerate way, or by telling you just how old you really are! If you're planning a 50th birthday party for someone, here are ideas for making the day special in a more gentle way that will still be lots of fun.

  • 03 of 12

    Celebrate a 100th Birthday with a Special Party

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    A 100th birthday may just be the granddaddy of them all. So few of us actually reach that number that we're thrilled to know someone who does. They've lived so many years and have so many memories and accomplishments to share that it shouldn't be difficult to plan a celebration befitting the occasion. But if you're stumped for a few creative ways to dramatize this milestone, look no further than this article for help.

  • 04 of 12

    This Takes the Birthday Cake

    Celebration Birthday Cake. Donna Pilato

    Everyone knows that this is my favorite thing about birthday parties —- the cake! When else can you eat a yummy, scrumptious treat and not have any calories? No? Well, in my universe that's how it works. So the only other decision to make is what kind of cake will make the birthday boy or girl happiest? Not sure? Oh well, you may need to buy a backup cake just in case. Just kidding, but could it hurt?

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  • 05 of 12

    Host a Refreshing Summertime Birthday Party

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    I'm a summer baby. It is always hot and sweaty out on my mid-July birthday. All I want is cool and refreshing food and drinks on my day to take my mind off the heat. So, if you're hosting a party for me, this menu will help you put me in a refreshing frame of mind so that I'm ready to enjoy my cake.

  • 06 of 12

    50 Birthday Gift Ideas for Grownups

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    It's so easy to choose gifts for kids. They're always telling you about their latest interests and showing you their latest collection or creation. And you know those toy manufacturers are more than happy to comply with the hot fads by making add-on products. Adults, on the other hand, do nothing but work, right? Don't be fooled. There are many fun things you can get for a grownup birthday gift too. You just have to take a few extra minutes to think about it. This list will give you a good place to begin.

  • 07 of 12

    A Nifty Fifties Soda Fountain Theme Party

    Soda Fountain
    Fifties Soda Fountain. Stone/Getty Images

    Kiddie birthday parties are often designed around a theme. Are they at the pink princess stage? The pirate or race car driver phase? Monkeys? Dinosaurs? Or if there's a television or music celebrity they love, bam! you have a theme for a party. Well, I'm here to tell you that grownups like themes too, especially if it's an all ages birthday party. If you're planning one of those cross-generational events, a Nifty Fifties Soda Fountain Theme will be appropriate for all guests at your party.

  • 08 of 12

    How to Throw a Surprise Party

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    While we're on the subject of theme parties, a surprise party is in itself a theme. But it isn't for the faint of heart. You really need to know your guest of honor to be sure they won't pass out from the shock or be very upset with you that they showed up in dirty clothes from doing chores all day, only to be seen by a room full of well-dressed and well-coiffed guests. Not a good idea. If you do decide to proceed with this plan anyway, here are the steps you should take to make sure it really is a surprise.

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  • 09 of 12

    An Elegant Birthday Celebration

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    There are some people, and from what I've been reading more than you would imagine, who are a bit introverted and enjoy smaller get togethers over big bashes. They like the intimacy and conversation that comes with a small, close group of friends or family. And since your guest list won't be that large, you can afford to splurge a bit on your menu and party supplies and make it an elegant birthday celebration.

  • 10 of 12

    Party Checklist

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    Hosting a get together isn't difficult once you have organized the details. It's getting to that point and making sure you know what needs to be done when that can be overwhelming and discouraging. But, take heart, this handy checklist will take you through all of the details you need to remember so that you can focus on the fun and not stress over your to-dos.

  • 11 of 12

    Estimating How Many Drinks to Buy for Your Party

    Cocktail Party
    Cocktail Party. Photodisc/Getty Images

    It runs in my family, I suppose, but I never want to run short on drinks when I entertain. On the other hand, I don't have a large enough refrigerator to hold all of the drinks that it would take to make me feel confident I have enough. And, more importantly, my budget can't afford all of the extra expense to buy double the amount of drinks I worry I'd need. That's why I follow a slightly more scientific approach when I prepare my beverage shopping list and do just a teeny bit of rounding up because old habits die hard.

  • 12 of 12

    Estimating Food Amounts for Your Party

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    If you think I worry too much about the amount of drinks I need for a party, then you have no idea how much I'd be embarrassed if I ran out of food. I believe I'd be kicked out of my extended family if I ever ran short. I've been to parties where there hasn't been enough food, let's say there were about three potato chips per guest for the entire evening (perhaps that's a little exaggerated), but the fact that my husband and I had to stop for a bite on the way home is no exaggeration. And I would never want my guests to do that after leaving one of my events.