The ultimate guide to milestone birthdays holiday cottages

Party Ideas

The ultimate guide to milestone birthdays

Clare 22 July 2020

Milestone birthdays are those special landmark ages which are deserving of a little more attention than a simple card and cake. They’re a time to celebrate your life so far and look ahead to the future; they're a time to reflect on what you’ve achieved, overcome and enjoyed since the last milestone, and certainly not a time to lament growing older.

So how will you make the approaching milestone birthday one to remember? Keep scrolling to find the best party ideas for every big birthday, from where to go to themes, decoration, activities and food! 

Jump ahead to our favourite party ideas for:

Look at a big birthday celebration like a cake. The design and flavour depend on individual taste, but the recipe for a successful milestone birthday should always include two vital ingredients: friends and family. Bind these together with a generous splash of time and love in equal measure and the taste of the memories will last a lifetime.

1st birthday

first birthday ideas

“Let them eat cake!” Marie Antoinette

The time when all parents reflect on how quickly the year has gone, a child’s first birthday is one of the most special anniversaries in life. Having already achieved so much in their first short year, they’ve developed their own little personality and will love the thrill of a party just for them. Friends, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins will all be excited to help you celebrate your little one and it's a great way to bring everyone together too. So now to start planning!

Our 1st birthday party ideas cover everything you need including party themes, entertainment and where to stay for an unforgettable short break in the UK. With everyone under one roof, when the children’s activities have wound down for the evening and the little ones are tucked up in bed, the adults can continue to enjoy each other’s company and a well-earned rest!

16th birthday

“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” Fred Astaire

Still a bit young to go on holiday alone, 16 is the age when you need to make the most of what may be the last holiday you have as a family. The teenager in question is likely to want to spend time with friends on their big day, so booking a large house is the ideal solution. Their friends’ parents could contribute a little to the cost, in exchange for a peaceful week at home and you can relax in the knowledge that everyone will have a good time. Whether you're thinking of a small sophisticated soiree or a grand showstopper event, our 16th birthday party ideas will certainly please the guest of the honour. We're thinking along the lines of pool parties, spa day and perhaps even a glamourous ball in a huge country estate! 

18th birthday

18th birthday ideas

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” Plautus

Your 18th birthday is the gateway to adulthood, and it’s only right it should be celebrated in style, preferably surrounded by all your friends and a plentiful supply of food and drink. If several of you are turning 18 in the same year, a group getaway is an ultimate way to mark your transformation into responsible adults. How does a large house with a private beach, a venue with its own cinema or games room or a place near a top surfing spot sound? We've handpicked some of the very best party houses for an 18th birthday party, that are so much more than a holiday let. Think access to the beach, popular surfing destinations, an adventure in the Brecon Beacons, or the ultimate chill weekend filled with films and gaming.

21st birthday

"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred." Woody Allen 

At 21, the world is your oyster, and you’ll be wanting to spread your wings and explore. You're likely to be starting to discover the things you enjoy most in life and with youth on your side, you can afford to be adventurous and challenge yourself to new and exhilarating activities, surrounded by friends. Whether you’re looking for a respite from studying during university holidays or taking a break from work, a short getaway or week-long holiday full of fun, games and luxury in one of our five-star big party houses across the UK seems like the perfect idea for your big 21st birthday bash.

30th birthday

“Everything I know I learned after I was 30.” Georges Clemenceau

Bidding goodbye to your twenties can be difficult for some, but there’s nothing like a big 30th birthday getaway to take the edge off entering your fourth decade. You’re independent, young, and there’s still a world out there to explore. Life is settling down into a comfortable rhythm, weddings pepper your social calendar and families start to grow, so this time is all about inclusive holidays and widening your circles to include partners and children too! 

That doesn't mean to say you can't have a little fun with the 30th birthday party ideas though  - that's the beauty of your thirties. We've pulled together some fantastic party ideas to add something extra to a special birthday, from low-key film and wine nights to fun fancy dress and incredible cakes! 

40th birthday

“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” Larry Lorenzoni

By the age of 40, you’re likely to have a family or be surrounded by people who do. You have rich life experience and have seen a bit of the world. You know what you enjoy and who you like to spend time with, so your 40th birthday is the ideal time to embrace everyone and everything you love in your life and celebrate what you’ve achieved, and what you’ve yet to experience.

For some, 40 may seem like the brink of middle age, but instead of seeing it as a downhill slope, consider it the start of a new chapter, with new challenges and intentional forays outside of your comfort zone. You may be wanting to try a new activity or explore somewhere you’ve never been before: now is the ideal time! We've come up with some fantastic venues to host a special 40th birthday party, from cheese and wine on South Coast to golf holidays in the Scottish Highlands. 

 40th birthday party ideas 

50th birthday

“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” Walt Disney

You’ve made it! Half a century on the planet and so much still to look forward to! Your social circles are flourishing, with friends, colleagues and family, some of whom have flown the proverbial nest, leaving you with a rich network of friendly faces across the country and maybe even the world.

It’s time to do something for you, take a break from work, stop the years speeding past in a blur and make this one memorable. Bring everyone back together for a few days or a week away and relish the warmth of a reunion with your loved ones. Why not theme your celebrations and throw it back to another era or embrace a different culture? Our 50th birthday party ideas feature plenty of fun but classy themes as well as some fantastic venues for bringing everyone together - from the littlest to the oldest. Here’s to the next 50 years!


60th, 70th and 80th birthdays

milestone birthday ideas

“You don’t get older, you get better.” Shirley Bassey

At 60 and beyond your life is full, a rich tapestry of love, experiences and memories. Your children, if you have them, are independent and have their own families and your time is your own. You have so much to celebrate and so many people to celebrate with.

With each decade that passes comes even more reason to gather those close to you and cherish valuable time together. A holiday to mark a landmark 60th, 70th or 80th birthday will be full of smiles and laughter; old friends mingling with tiny new members of the family; cousins playing together; brothers and sisters sharing stories of their childhood which seems like only yesterday. An exceptional place is needed to set the scene for such a special event, and Big Domain’s collection of large houses won’t fail to disappoint.


90th birthday

90th birthday ideas

“With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

90 is a real milestone. 90 whole years of living. In 90 years, you’ve witnessed so much change; technology and science have made huge leaps, the world has become smaller, our ambitions bigger. Families have spread further afield, yet we’re more connected than ever. A 90th birthday is an opportunity for those intangible online connections to become real, heart-warming hugs, face-to-face smiles and belly laughs which can only come from person-to-person interaction.

Friends and family will jump at the chance to celebrate such a major milestone, at the same time catching up with people from whom life has distanced them or even meeting new family members for the first time. Enjoy a short break or holiday and celebrate the person who has brought you all together.


100th birthday

100th birthday ideas

“Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again.” Eleanor Roosevelt

A whole century of life. A letter from Her Majesty the Queen. An elite group in which only 0.02% of the population find themselves (ONS 2016). A reason to celebrate.

100th birthdays don’t happen too often, so when a member of your family hits three figures and heads into their second century on earth, that’s something to write home about. Or maybe get away from home for! After 100 birthdays, there’s not much value in a material gift, but the gift of time and love from family and friends is worth a thousand presents.

Throw a party like your family have never experienced before and invite everyone from far and wide. Get together to share stories and memories and celebrate the impact that your loved one has had on you all over their 100 years of life.


We hope that’s given you lots of birthday celebration ideas for adults and inspiration for ways to mark those special milestone birthdays. To find the perfect location for your celebration, browse our collection of party houses across the UK.

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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