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How to Celebrate a 70th Birthday in Style

Updated on July 30, 2012

70th Birthday Party Ideas: Perspectives and Perceptions

When you are thinking about unique or meaningful celebrations, the years ending in 0 always seem to get extra attention. This has always been true in my parents' lives, and they are pretty good at coming up with fun ideas for celebrating each other as well. With my Dad being a year older than my Mom, it usually becomes a case of Mom pulling off a great birthday surprise for such years and my Dad trying to get even the following year. Such was the case for the 70th birthday of my Mom, celebrated this weekend.

The image here is a representation of the fun. Of course, there are a lot of perspective issues when you are dealing with multiple siblings and living locations. There are a lot of perspective issues when grandkids get involved. Preparing for a 70th birthday is challenging in terms of selecting a venue, a menu and even a cake. The most important thing is creating a fun time for the birthday girl or boy, no matter what the age. At 70, Mom has had plenty of birthday cakes and even a few surprise parties. I've never seen her laugh as much as she did with this cake!

Live each day

as if your life had just begun.


70 Candles? Really? Yes, Really!

70 Candles? Really? Yes, Really!
70 Candles? Really? Yes, Really!

To Melt or Not to Melt...That is the question!

The debate over candles on Grandma's cake took place in the grocery store aisle. My eldest daughter didn't think we should stick to just a couple of numeral candles. After much debate and insistence, she had her reluctant mother, me, buying three packages of birthday candles. It would be fun!

Would you make your 70 year old mom blow out 70 candles?

Bonfire Birthday Cakes for a 70th Birthday Party

Yes, it seemed like a bonfire. Plus, we did 2 renditions of Happy Birthday. Hence, the ensuing puddle of wax. Didn't phase my Mom. I've never seen her laugh quite so heartily at a birthday surprise! I couldn't believe we did it. She couldn't, either. She had an absolute blast!

A few tips for your Bonfire birthday cake with 70 candles...

Use sturdy candles. You won't have time to light them all, otherwise. The first candles nearly melted all the way down before the last were lit.Shut off the swamp cooler for a few as extra breeze creates a challenge.Move paper products farther away. I would have done so, in retrospect.Chill the cake after the candles are out. Let the wax harden a tinge before you try to remove it from the cake. Yes, there will be wax.

70th birthday party
70th birthday party

My oldest daughter made this easy Peach Upside Down Cake for Grandma's birthday party, and it was a hit with the family.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 10-15, depending on slice sizes.


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cans sliced peaches (drained)
  • 1 yellow cake mix prepared according to directions


  1. Preheat oven to 350. In cast iron skillet, melt butter with brown sugar in the oven. This should take just a couple of minutes. Remove from oven, combine sugar and butter well, and arrange peach slices in the pan. Pour cake batter over the peaches.
  2. Return the skillet to the oven, bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and turn out onto a cake plate or stand.
  3. **For some extra peach flavor, use the drained peach liquid in place of the liquid called for in the cake recipe.
Cast your vote for Peach Upside Down Cake

Fancy or Down Home...What kind of cake would you want for your 70th?

I love iced cakes that are pretty, but there were a couple of birthday events, and I knew one would include a fancy cake. Mom got the best of both worlds in that sense, a beautiful decorated cake done in pink fondant by a grandson's wife, an award winning cake decorator. Then there was our homey fruit cake madness. If you could only have one, which would it be?

What's your personal fave for a birthday cake?

Final Notes on Planning for a 70th Party...

I find that my parents' birthdays and occasions are most meaningful to them when as many family members as possible are able to come together. Your theme may be clever or simple, but with more candles comes a greater appreciation of how precious time is. Place your emphasis on time, not theme.

Have You Ever Had a Huge Bonfire on a Birthday Cake?

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    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 5 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      They gave Betty White (animal lover extraordinaire) a birthday cake on TV this morning for her 90th and announced they had to get approval from the fire marshal, BOL!!!

    • profile image

      Zeraton 5 years ago

      uh... no and I hope I never do

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      @LisaDH: It's especially challenging to blow them out when you are laughing about the bonfire!

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      @tamstone: Hmmm. My Dad's unwritten but often spoken rule is that at whatever age he chooses, he's going backward in years.

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      @Ruthi: Thank you, Ruthi! Time is always the best theme!

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      @purpleslug: I'm dreading the 50th...have a couple of years to go, but now that they pulled off the 70 candle caper, I'm fair game.

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 5 years ago

      Not yet, though I'm hoping!

    • profile image

      purpleslug 5 years ago

      The kids put 50+ on my last birthday cake! We had great fun with me trying to blow out all the candles and almost made it.

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Tipi! You are very was such a fun day for my Mom!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sure have and would do it again, now that's a great idea to chill the cake to help with removing the wax. I love your heart in this and time is so much more precious than a theme for sure. Congratulations on a heart felt home page honor!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I have not, but on my 70th I would love a bonfire birthday cake! I love that you emphasize time rather than theme... it is of utmost importance, indeed.

    • profile image

      tamstone 5 years ago

      Haha nope, once you hit a certain number it's an unwritten rule to use only 15% of the necessary candles.

    • daniela12 profile image

      daniela12 5 years ago

      No I haven't. It looks cool if it were 40 candles or less. :D Someone should do this next year for my 20th birthday! :-)

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      Not yet, but it looks like a lot of fun for everyone!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Very nice lens. I might just do this for my mom on her birthday. She's nowhere near 70 yet but more than 50 candles is a good amount for a bonfire on a cake. I think she'll get a kick out of it.

      Thanks for sharing this

    • profile image

      watchlivestreamingorg 5 years ago

      Now a days average age is just 60..its God gift that you enjoy 70 birthday..if i was alive i will make it soo different ...But i wish to have 70 BD


    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I think I'd love to blow out 70 candles for my 70th birthday. It looks like quite a challenge to blow out a bonfire!

    • profile image

      aphrahman 5 years ago

      No, not yet. Please give me one :)

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      Nor yet, but hoping I will someday.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      No. I wish I had.