50th birthday party ideas that involve the whole family  holiday cottages

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50th birthday party ideas that involve the whole family

Kate W & Kate A 22 July 2020

Elegance, indulgence and simplicity – these are the words we’d use to describe our perfect 50th birthday party. As celebrations and parties are at the heart of what we do, we decided it was time we put together some useful advice for those of you planning a big event - and we all know that 50 is the best age, so you need an unforgettable party to mark this milestone.

We’ve collected together a few of our favourite 50th birthday celebration ideas, such as thoughts on a theme, the décor, the party games, and a selection of the top party venues around the UK, to provide you with some 50th birthday party inspiration.

The seasoned traveller will already know where they wish to be for their birthday, but if you need a little extra help, our collection of large luxury escapes and venues throughout the UK provide you with an inexhaustible choice.

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Perhaps your party theme is simply ‘luxury holiday’ with the emphasis on sunnies, sarongs and suntans, or maybe you’re making the most of this opportunity of dressing to impress with fabulous party outfits in the style of heroes and villains, or your favourite celebs. Either way, it’s a great way to tie a party together. Read on to discover a few of our favourite 50th birthday party theme ideas.

Elegant in gold party at Rock-Rose House | County Durham

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This significant milestone is traditionally celebrated with the wealthiest colour theme of them all: gold. Pick this long-time classic to build your theme around and attend the party dressed head-to-toe in shimmering gold. It’s also a colour associated with the wealth and glamour of the roaring 20s, so pin the party theme down with a Gatsby-style soiree.

An elegant stately home, Rock-Rose House offers the perfect backdrop for an elegant gold party, residing in an elevated position with views across the Durham Dales and the River Tees. Dating back to the 16th century this Georgian country house oozes elegance and grandeur complete with a billiard room with games and an outdoor tennis court. The grand drawing room offers a fabulous space to kick off the 50th birthday celebrations with cocktails and canapes.

Top party tip no. 1: pick a stylish venue

No matter what you do to decorate a venue, the atmosphere of the place will always shine through, so ensure you pick out a property to match your own personal style – whether it’s country chic, city glamour or coastal elegance. Let the intricate architecture, sleek and stylish furnishings or rustic vibe of your chosen party house influence the style and feel of your party.

By the beach party at Windmill Cottage | Sussex

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Golden sand, mojitos and days spent lounging by the pool: either plan a holiday paradise party or head to the beautiful shores of the British coastline for a true getaway in the sunshine for you and your guests. Lie on the beach during the heat of the day and party down by the waves during those balmy summer nights.

Windmill Cottage is just a short stroll from the beach at Selsey, set on a popular holiday park with an abundance of attractions such as a swimming pool, amusement arcades, play areas and restaurants. The property itself offers plenty of space for a big group celebration with a bubbling hot tub and a games room. Dine alfresco, get the tropical tunes playing and mix up some fruity cocktails for the perfect summer soiree. Within walking distance to the beach means that guests can spend the day enjoying the sea and surf, and the evenings relaxing together at this fabulous 50th birthday venue in the UK.

Top party tip no.2: pick a party game 

Some believe it’s the vibe, while others think it’s the decoration that draws a party together, but we reckon it’s the party games! If it’s after dinner and the party is beginning to quieten down, a party game livens everyone up. It’s a chance to laugh, shout and let that competitive streak out; people won’t be able to help themselves and will soon get drawn into enjoying a group party game.

Silver fox themed party at The Stables At Fasque Castle | Aberdeenshire

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The Stables at Fasque Castle

A twist on the golden 50s theme, go silver instead with shining décor, outfits and cake. Silver is always in style and offers complete flexibility to include whatever cuisine, games and extras you like - provided you can give a nod to the silver theme. Silver Fox Gin anyone? You could even combine gold and silver for the ultimate 50th birthday party for a man.

Celebrate in style at The Stables At Fasque Castle, an exquisitely converted stable on the 400-acre Fasque Castle Estate near the Cairngorms National Park. This five-star Scottish retreat is simply bursting with luxurious touches and best of all, the décor complements the silver theme perfectly. Light the wood burner and dine beneath a glittering chandelier inside before taking the party into the beautiful courtyard and dancing the night away under the stars.

Top party tip no.3: lighting is everything

It truly is. Whether for the photography or while dining, it can create or ruin a party mood. During the day, ensure you have large windows that will flood the venue with natural light and at night, use subtle lighting to add a tranquil ambience, making the scene especially beautiful when the stars are out.

Rock in the eighties party at Eliot Manor | Cornwall

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Eliot Manor

Hire a Def Leppard cover band, kit out the venue in décor from the decade and get the wigs out for that gravity-defying 80s hair for a true throwback party. If the 80s aren’t for you, then head back in time to the punk of the 70s, the swinging 60s or the fabulous 50s – it may be the perfect choice for this half-century birthday.

Brimming with character and charm, Eliot Manor is one of the most stunning venues for a 50th birthday in Cornwall. This Grade I-listed 16th century farmhouse forms part of the Port Eliot Estate and is surrounded by verdant countryside. Enjoy an aperitif by the fire in the cosy lounge while someone tinkers about on the piano, then mark the occasion with a feast in the grand hall. A hot tub, cinema room, and optional concierge service add extra indulgence to make your celebration go with a bang.

Top party tip no.4: choose the venue decoration

Flowers and fairy lights are still the top choice when it comes to simple and chic party decorations but there are plenty of ways to create an exciting party atmosphere for your event. Trips away are a great way to begin planning party decorations as you can take inspiration from your venue or the surrounding location and run with a theme to match.

The legend party at The Temple | Peak District

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The Temple

Man or woman, you’re a true legend in your family’s eyes. If you are party planning for the special guest of honour, then what better theme to run with than a pure celebration of the birthday boy or girl? Celebrate the person by creating a theme centred around them, their likes and dislikes, and their milestones, from getting married to having their first child to that unexpected move to France. Add an extra element of fun by getting everyone to dress up as the guest of honour: high praise indeed!

Tucked away in the enchanting wooded gorge of the River Derwent in the Peak District, The Temple is a former Georgian Grade ll-listed hotel offering the wow factor in every nook and cranny. As well as boasting breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside, this glamorous party house has not one, but two hot tubs, a games room, an enormous dining room, a sleek lounge bar, and a traditional private pub with piano and karaoke machine. The birthday honouree is sure to be blown away!

Top party tip no.5: a party panel show

Get everyone to download one of the many great games apps before they arrive and you can get everyone involved in a family Q&A like Family Feud, where players answer questions on anything and everything. Split into teams to compete and see who can answer the most questions. Online games are great if you’re travelling as it means zero packing, but if you’d rather stick to boardgames then Trivial Pursuit always goes down well.

An Italian themed party at Ropsley Lodge | Lincolnshire

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Ropsley Lodge

Or French. Or Grecian. Indeed, whichever European country you decide to imaginatively whisk your party guests away to, take inspiration from the local culture and let it influence every aspect of your party planning, from the décor to the cuisine (fine wines and tapas are both a must). You could even stay in a British country castle, hire a butler and enjoy fine dining out on the grounds.

On first impressions, you might be fooled into believing Ropsley Lodge is a sun-soaked Tuscan farmhouse enveloped in rolling vineyards. Look a little closer and you’ll soon realise this incredible birthday venue is actually situated in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside! This delightful country home easily rivals any Italian villa, with its open fires, stone-flagged floors, high vaulted ceilings, and large sociable spaces. Spread your platters of antipasti and carafes of wine on the long wooden table of the impressive dining room or take advantage of a warm summer’s day and celebrate in the Mediterranean-style courtyard.

Top party tip no.6: fabulous party food

Make your table the main feature so that when people step into the room, their eyes are drawn to a sumptuous array of candles, floral decoration and beautifully presented treats. Add glitter to the table and even stand sculptures or signage among the food that could draw on your party theme. Dessert and drinks stands make attractive foodie additions to a party.

Forever young party at The Hay House Retreat | Brecon Beacons

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The Hay House Retreat

Bring out the childish side in all your guests with a few throwback ideas – after all, you are only as old as you feel! Fun party games like pinata and pin the tail on the donkey offer a fun twist; you could even add bowls of tasty jelly sweets. If the teenage years theme appeals to you, then hire a DJ for a relaxed night of drinking and dancing.

The Hay House Retreat in the Brecon Beacons is sure to bring out your fun side, with its colourful décor, games room, children’s play area, outdoor fire pit and wood-fired hot tub. Enjoying 5 acres of landscaped grounds, this 17th-century wisteria-clad farmhouse boasts mesmerising views across the Wye Valley and its red brick barn offers a brilliant spot to celebrate a special birthday with its hay bale seating and foldable table tennis table.

Top party tip no.7: holiday sticker stalker

Ready to spread a little paranoia in the group? Provide every guest with a sheet of stickers – they must then sneakily stick them to other partygoers without them noticing. The first to empty their sheet wins and the one with the most stickers on them loses and receives a forfeit. Discover the full instructions and more great games ideas on this post.

All about family party at Pantile Barn | Norfolk

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Pantile Barn

An excellent way to celebrate not only the guest of honour, but everyone else who has been there every step of the way, be it friends, relatives, or those wonderful extended family members. If it’s your birthday and you are in charge of planning, then this is a lovely way to surprise and show appreciation to your guests.

Escape to Pantile Barn, a rural retreat for a relaxed get-together with your closest friends and family. Contrasting the luxury of a private characterful retreat with the splendour of a large property, this holiday home for 10 allows for intimate gatherings in the peaceful Norfolk countryside. With a soothing hot tub for the adults and a games room for the kids, the facilities on hand provide plenty of entertainment and allow for families or adult groups to separate during the day and get together for big group BBQ’s on the patio or family feasts in the stylish dining area at night.

Top party tip no.8: your own favourite things

There’s no limit to what makes a good party theme and the best way to ensure the guest of honour has a wonderful time is to pick up on their hobby. You could design a casino, gardening, golf or racing themed event – let them inspire you!


It’s time to begin your 50th birthday party planning! What ideas have you got so far and which of those on our list inspired you? 

A luxurious venue should be your priority when 50th birthday party planning, and we have a whole host of perfect party houses to suit. Be sure to pick an entertainment venue that suits you to ensure an amazing 50th birthday party, whether you’d prefer a beachside get-together, a stylish soiree on the banks of a river, or a celebration in an elegant castle. Continue seeking out beautiful 50th birthday party venues by perusing our full collection of large houses in the UK. Wherever you go, whatever you do, have an amazing 50th birthday party!

For even more top birthday party ideas, see our ultimate guide to milestone birthdays.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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