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15 Fun 85th Birthday Party Ideas (That Celebrate Life)

Cherish every moment with unique 85th birthday party ideas for a memorable day.

It’s tricky to find fresh 85th birthday party ideas whether you’re the special someone or are the one planning. How do you honor this milestone without falling victim to the same old party plans?

We’ve got what you need for a day of enjoyment with 85th birthday ideas you won’t want to miss. You’ll find the best birthday themes and games to fit an older crowd and the right decoration inspiration. You’ll also be set from start to finish with memorable invitation ideas.

15 Special 85th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Enjoy an “over the hill” party theme to keep everyone laughing.
  • Throw a tea party with delicate decorations made for afternoon tea.
  • Jeopardy.
  • Royal Theme.
  • Cheers To 85.
  • Decade Flashback.
  • Bingo.

15 Unique 85th Birthday Party Ideas

Wow everyone with entertaining 85th birthday party ideas for a stand-out good time.

85th Birthday Themes and Games

The fun will find you with the help of 85th birthday themes and accompanying party games.

1. Jeopardy

Get old friends together to play a game of Jeopardy for Grandma or anyone turning 85. Making a DIY board is easier than you think and you can include questions about the birthday guy or gal. Other categories on family history or other decades will entice guests to play too.

2. Over The Hill

It’s no secret that when you turn 85, you’ve been “over the hill” for quite some time. Celebrate this funny fact with a series of party games for those as “old as dirt.” Guests can “ pin the glasses on Sophia” or play with a birthday cake equipped with a game spinner.

3. 85 and Fabulous

The best 85th birthday party ideas honor the great achievement of turning 85. “Eight-five and fabulous” is one of those themes that is a lot of fun to plan. Deck out any party space, and be sure to offer something special for the guest of honor to wear. You might think about a full-on photoshoot, so this party goes down in history.

4. Bingo

No 85th birthday celebration would be complete without a game of bingo. Play a few rounds between guests or arrange a bingo caller to impress the celebrant. It’s a fun-loving idea for dad or anyone turning 85. A bingo birthday cake keeps the game going strong through dessert.

5. Decade Flashback

Party like it’s the 1950s with a flashback to your favorite decade party. Mention the theme in the invitations so guests know what to expect (and may dress to reflect the decade). If sticking with the 1950s, play jukebox tunes and recreate a hamburger joint or soda shop for the ultimate nostalgia.

85th Birthday Decorations

Any party is ready to go once you put the coolest 85th birthday decorations in place.

6. Fun Facts

It’s important to keep the facts straight by the time you hit 85. When arranging a birthday party, share some cool things about the birth year. There are loads of party banners that have all the fun facts about the celebrant’s year of birth. Everyone learns something while getting teary-eyed about a year worth remembering.

7. Royal Party

It’s time to use 85th birthday parties as a reason for a woman to feel like a queen. Party supplies that honor someone like royalty are everywhere. Decorations come in gold and silver or alternatives like purple or red. Make sure to put a crown on top of his or her head for the most royal party ever.

8. Golden Years

No other color belongs as much to 85th birthday decorations as gold. Celebrate the golden years literally with an array of gold party favors and decorations. You can find everything from a glittery backdrop and gold balloons to gold plates and napkins for dinner. Perhaps the guests can arrive in gold so they fit right in.

9. Personalized Photos

Get personal with the birthday guy or gal by adding custom photos to your 85th birthday decorations. A birthday guest book made up of treasured photos becomes the ideal gift for the guests of honor. Blow up your favorite photos into all decorations and use photos in table centerpieces for a meaningful touch.

10. Tea Party

When you need a quick, but sophisticated entry into 85th birthday ideas for her, a tea party always wins. Transform your party space into an afternoon of high tea whether indoors or in the garden. Elegant trays holding tea cakes and finger sandwiches are both functional and decorative. Some beautiful teapots can help put this party over the top.

85th Birthday Invitations

Get the party started right with ideas for 85th birthday invitations guests won’t be able to resist.

11. Man or Woman of the Hour

Treat the guy or gal turning 85 as the man or woman of the hour, starting with great invitations. Keep things elegant with good-quality invites, which feature something about the celebrant. It might allude to a comedic roast, a special guest of honor, or an all-out family reunion.

12. Black Tie

Get formal with the help of a black-tie 85th birthday party. It all starts with the right invitations, which provide all the details about what guests should wear. Hopefully, you’ve got the perfect space for a big gathering of appreciative folks. If this black tie party is outdoors, plan for rain with any tarpaulins needed if inclement weather arises.

13. Photo Card

Many birthday party invitations can be customized with personal photos of the celebrant. The photo might feature them from a former birthday party or posing with any symbols that represent turning 85. Keeping the invite personal is more likely to excite guests about attending this birthday bash.

14. Cheers to 85

It’s never too late to say “Cheers to 85” years where a relative or friend is concerned. When looking for 85th birthday party ideas, let your invitations entice prospective guests. The promise of clinking champagne glasses will make for a birthday party full of happy people.

15. 85 Among Friends

One of the simplest 85th birthday ideas has to include 85 years among friends. These invitations don’t require a lot of those in attendance. The birthday guy or gal may hand-write the invitation’s message so those invited know how important they are. The get-together itself can be as every day as a BBQ for him, picnic, or potluck dinner.

What is an 85th Birthday Called?

White there is no official name for an 85th birthday, it falls under the category of octogenarian birthdays. This refers to any age over 80, but an 85th birthday feels like a milestone in and of itself. Since there are (very rarely) 85th anniversaries, an 85th birthday truly stands on its own in importance and meaning.

How to Throw a Fun 85th Birthday Party

By the time you plan an 85th birthday party, the guest of honor has lived a long life. Their birthday party should be filled with many memories they’ve amassed in their lifetimes. This may mean decorating the party space with photos or projecting a family video. You can also create a flashback to their favorite era and turn the soiree into a costume party.

85th Birthday Party Ideas FAQs

Is 85 a Special Birthday?

Turning 85 is truly something special for a senior birthday guy or girl. Not only are they midway into their octogenarian years, but they’ve arrived with many accomplishments. Whatever family members, children, colleagues, or friends they’ve grown with in life will be ready to celebrate.

Take the time to mark the occasion, whether having a party, small gathering, or activity the celebrant wants to do.

What is the Best Color for an 85th Birthday?

Because someone turning 85 can do whatever they want, the color of the party is up to them. The most popular color for an 85th birthday party is gold or anything in the gold family. It’s a visual representation of the golden years, which should be celebrated with those you love.

How Can I Make My Mom’s Birthday Special At Home?

Just because an 85-year-old mom prefers to have their birthday at home, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Go DIY by pampering her with various spa treatments you perform yourself. Cook her a wonderful dinner, which is easily enjoyed as lunch or brunch too. Help her with a personal project, treat her to a bunch of groceries, or bake her a very special birthday cake.

What Do You Serve At an 85th Birthday Party?

There are plenty of delicious options for food to be served at an 85th birthday party. Stay away from particularly spicy or offbeat foods, unless you know the celebrant loves them. Dietary restrictions of those in their mid-80s come into play, so keep the menu full with something for everyone.

How Do You Wish Someone a Happy 85th Birthday?

Some great ways to wish someone you care about a Happy 85th Birthday include considering their example in life. Something like, “I hope to be just like you at 85!” will make them smile. Cherish every moment of their amazing life by recalling their biggest accomplishments or ways they’ve touched you.

Headshot of Maryana Vestic

About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.