An 80th birthday is a significant achievement worth celebrating with friends and family. While your guest of honor might not be interested in the usual games associated with birthday parties, you can still liven up the event with some well-chosen, guided games that will entertain guests of every generation. Because your guest of honor is elderly, it's important to take his needs into account when choosing and playing the games.
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To distinguish an 80th birthday from other birthday celebrations, let nostalgia set the tone. Ask your guests to come dressed in a theme related to the guest of honor’s original birthday. For example, if the birthday celebrant was born in the 1930s, encourage your party guests to dress in clothes from this era. Set up tables to play board games such as Monopoly and Scrabble, which debuted during this time. You can also host a trivia contest based on the time period; include questions from both world history and the birthday celebrant's personal history.
Use a timeline as the theme for an birthday party. Have a slideshow presentation showing pictures of the guest of honor over the years, starting with baby pictures and moving to the present. Alternatively, frame some of the pictures and arrange them around the party space. Yet another idea is to create an actual timeline feature as a wall decoration. Cut a large sheet of butcher paper, attach it to a central wall and draw a straight horizontal line across the paper. Start with the day the celebrant was born and move down the line to the current day. On the top half of the line, highlight dates that are significant to the guest of honor. On the bottom side of the line, note important dates in world history. To turn this into an interactive party activity, encourage your guests to make their own relevant additions to the timeline.
Before the big day, print questions onto individual cards. These can be outlandish, thought-provoking, related to the guest or simply amusing. Such as, “If you had a million dollars and could only spend it in one place, where would it be?” or “If you could be the guest of honor for an hour today, what would you do first?” Place these cards into a bin and have guests take turns pulling one out; they can answer the questions themselves or pick others to answer them. Either way, the conversation will pick up and most likely get very interesting.