Retirement Party

"No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks!" I forget who said it first, but I still hear kids saying it to this day as the final school bell rings, signaling the first moment of the freedom of summer! I think this is how a retiree must feel on that last day of work. This kind of feeling deserves a great retirement party! We have some fun ideas for a retirement party. These retirement party ideas will help you plan the perfect theme party for the occasion


Retirement Party Invitations
An occasion this important demands a great retirement party invitation!  A fun and really great way to roast/toast the retiree is to use a caricature as the invitation. Have a caricature custom made by and show a picture of the guest of honor in all his/her glory! Make sure to include some possible future hobbies for the guest of honor as well as a great background in which to practice the new hobbies (I hear Hawaii is nice this time of year). We have some semi custom caricature invitations already designed. Just drop a picture of the person of honor and you're ready to go! Also available are some personalized retirement invitations.

If you would rather skip the extravagance, go to your local travel agent and get some brochures for someplace fun and sunny. Copy the pictures on the front of the invitation with a phrase like… "If you're looking for Bob, he's out to lunch (in the Bahamas)" or "If you can't find Lois, check the casinos in Vegas."

Retirement Party Decorations



Make sure the celebrant feels special by decorating for their big day. Here are a few easy retirement party decorations that will make a big impact in your party space:


  • Custom Retirement Banner - personalized so that the guest of honor feels like a star
  • Retirement Party Paper Goods - paper places are useful and add to the party atmosphere
  • Balloon Bouquets - balloons are always a great choice (odd number groupings look best)
  • Star Confetti - sprinkle this on the tables for extra oomph

Or dress up the party place to look like a vacation in paradise. Decorate the entrance to the party with a colorful balloon arch, throw wild print tablecloths over the tables, hang grass skirts on the walls, pass out drinks (alcoholic or not) with coconut cup & straws in them, and string party lights in the shapes of palm trees or flamingos around the room. Have a big basket of multi-color leis inside the door where people can help themselves to a few. Or tie off some luau balloons to complete the effect.

For more great Luau ideas see our Luau Party Planning.

Of course not everyone is going to Hawaii. Other great themes include:

Maybe your guest of honor likes to play a favorite sport, paint, or just spend time with family. If the retiree has a favorite hobby, decorate the venue to look like that hobby. No matter what the theme of the party is, make sure that you hang a fabulous "Happy Retirement" banner that the guest of honor will see as soon as he or she walks into the room.

Tables and menu
For a Luau Theme Retirement Party. No matter what the main centerpiece is, balloons are always a necessity!

If the room is supposed to resemble the retiree's favorite vacation spot, create different landmarks or general items that are reminiscent of that place to use as centerpieces. For example, if the retiree plans to vacation in Hawaii, make each centerpiece look tropical. Place fun and colorful things like pineapples, parrots, and hula girls in the middle of the tables with bright and beautiful balloons attached. For all the luau decorations you will need to create your perfect tropical Paradise.

Another fun and functional centerpiece idea is to use beachcomber hats (multi-color or plain) upside down to hold different snacks and munchies. Throw a mixture of fabulous plastic fish and seashells across your tables.

Use different colored leis to tie the cutlery and napkins together at each seat.

For other Retirement Theme Parties. I really like using personalized water bottle labels (or beer bottle labels) for the table. It really is a different kind of party favor.

Another creative idea that utilizes the guest of honor's favorites is to make each table represent one of the retiree's favorite hobbies. One table could be golf (golf tees as table confetti), the next could be art (mini paintbrushes as table confetti), another table could be travel (mini airplanes as table confetti), etc. If this is the case then one centerpiece should look like a giant golf ball, the next would be a mini easel with a picture attached to it, and the next table could be a mini airplane (to represent travel).

For a really creative way to seat your guests, give your guests at the "golf table" golf balls with their names and table numbers on the balls. Give the guests at the "art table" miniature cards with famous works of art on one side and their names and table numbers on the other side. Continue to follow this pattern for each table.

This menu is SO easy! Plan your menu around the theme. For a party in Paradise, serve Hawaiian chicken, sesame noodles with teriyaki sauce, fresh greens, and pineapple smoothies to drink. Make sure to provide your guests cups with little drink umbrellas as well as metallic palm tree straws to give them an authentic look. A selection of funky fresh fruit (star fruit, ugli fruit, mangoes, and papaya welcome), luscious lemon bars, crazy coconut bars, and other finger desserts is a great finish to this fun fresh meal.

Retirement Games and Activities
What will (name of retirees) do now that they are retired? - Have everyone write down what they think the newly retired people will be doing now that they are no longer working. Read everyone's answer to the question out loud, and award a prize for the most creative and outlandishly funny answer. If there are kids at the party, they will probably have the best answers!

Name the New Hobby - Divide the guests into a few groups. Give each group a piece of paper with the letters of the entire alphabet down the side of the paper. Next to each letter, they need to write an activity that the retirees can do that begins with each letter. (Example: Ape watching, Bingo, Car washing, etc.) (Give everyone about 10-15 minutes). When the time is up, call out one group's answers. If another group has the same answer then it gets crossed out. The most unique answers for each letter (that no one else has) get a point. The team with the most points wins! (If no one finishes the entire alphabet, that is OK).

Limbo - Play some fun music while everyone stands in line waiting to bend backwards low enough to fit under the limbo stick (broom handle, yardstick, etc.). In order to win, the limbo master must not touch the stick or fall on the floor while limbo-ing under the stick, which is usually held by two people.

Ring Toss Golf - Toss plastic skimmer rings into buckets that hang from the trees (or buckets in the sand along the beach). Move from bucket to bucket trying to sink the skimmer rings just as golfers move from hole to hole. Print the name and date of your party on each ring and let your guests keep them as a memento of your party.

Retirement Party Favors/Prizes
The absolute best ever party favor is a personalized candy bar wrapper. You’ve built your whole party around the retiree’s hobbies so why not give everyone a delicious candy bar as a favor that captures the theme perfectly.

Send your guests away with picture frames. This way they can keep the guest of honor with them at all times.

So that everyone can keep in touch with the retiree, hand out mini address books to the guests with the retiree's address already in enclosed.