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Planning Tips for An Over the Hill Birthday Party

Updated on March 9, 2014

So You Think You Can Plan

Anyone who is turning 30, 40, or 50 is fair game for an Over the Hill party. If you’re thinking of planning one of these light-hearted parties that pokes fun at the age of the birthday boy or girl, you’ll want to do it in good taste.

Here are some ideas that can get you started.

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The Invitations

If you’re going with Over the Hill gag gifts, you’ll want invitations that immediately set the tone. You could go with a tombstone-shaped invite, suggesting how close to death the guest of honor is. Be sure there have been no recent deaths in the family or friends of the birthday boy or girl so that the party remains in good taste.

If you’re opting for a more classy invite, you could just go with black paper and a solemn looking print suggesting “Bert’s Over the Hill.” Coffin-shaped invites and other morbid choices can often be found in Halloween supply stores, so think ahead to catch Halloween merchandise.


The Theme

Of course, in going for the Over the Hill feel, you’ll want to make everything look morbid. Choose black crepe paper, black balloons, black tablecloths and tables ware. You don’t want to go too far with the black though, so accent it with something more cheerful, such as silver or gold. Look for over the hill gift baskets to present on the tables. Enlist friends and family members to gather props from their attics or in their travels. You’ll want a coffin (cardboard or otherwise), tombstones or other objects that could be made into headstones, black or dead flowers, etc.

You can always spray paint silk flowers black or ask a florist for blooms past their prime that they’re throwing out. Or, go in another direction and decorate the room as an old folks home. You can do this by setting up card tables with cards and bingo, Jello for snacks, call bells and other such props. Remember, the object is to intersperse some sarcastic jabs at being old, not to bring the mood of the party down. So use your best judgment.


Favors and Props

You can really have fun with the theme of aging if you ask everyone to bring presents that have to do with old age. Some ideas include a walker, cane, potty chair, old lady shoes, a girdle, dentures, denture cream, eyeglasses, hair growth serum, support stockings, a rocking chair, adult diapers or arthritis cream.

For over-the-hill gifts, you can give out candy versions of false teeth, wacky eyeglasses, little dollhouse-sized rocking chairs, magnifying glasses, or mints disguised as memory pills. You’ll of course want to have your table set with Over the Hill paper plates and banners reading Over the Hill to carry out the theme.

Decorate Their Yard


Go in Another Direction

If you don’t think the death or elderly themes are going to sit well with the guest of honor, take a stroll down memory lane. Have a kind of “This is your Life” party. Reminisce with the birthday boy or girl about how old they are by sharing memories.

Have each guest bring a picture or object that reminds them of a time they spent with the guest of honor. Turn it into a sort of a game show where guests are hidden behind a curtain and tell their memory through a microphone while the guest of honor guesses who it is.

Reveal the guests and their photos or objects and place everything on display for the other guests to look at. Hire a Frank Sinatra impersonator to sing oldies throughout the night.

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The Cake

These days you can get a cake made in just about any shape you like. Think about creating a fake obituary with photo and having it printed on edible printing paper (most bakeries can do this now for you).

Alternately, you could have an actual hill created out of cake with the guest of honor’s likeness rolling over it in a wheelchair. For a classier approach, have an entirely black cake.


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    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 7 years ago

      Love the yard decorations :) You have lots of useful tips here!

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 7 years ago from Guildford

      Wow this is really useful, great hub, thanks.