How To Celebrate Your Father’s Retirement: 16 Ideas


Your father is retiring, and you would like to celebrate this major milestone in his life. Well, you’ve come to the right place because I’m here to help you out. 

You can celebrate your father’s retirement by:

  • organize a retirement party
  • give a thoughtful gift
  • give a speech
  • plan a roast
  • create a video
  • create a (photo) scrapbook
  • hold a quiz
  • plan a trip together
  • invite him to a new hobby
  • help plan his retirement days
  • fulfill one of his bucket list dreams
  • start a charity in his honor
  • give a pet
  • hand out an award
  • bake a cake
  • plan a prank

To help you celebrate your father’s retirement, I’ve listed 16 ideas with more detailed and helpful information below, so keep reading.

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#1 Organize a retirement party

Organizing a retirement party is probably one of the most popular ways to celebrate someone’s retirement. If your father hasn’t planned a party yet, you can step in and do all the organizing for him. Or surprise him with a surprise party at home, your home, or a different venue.  

There isn’t a typical retirement party protocol to follow. You can organize a small family gathering or plan a full-on dinner and dance party for co-workers, family, and friends. That’s is entirely up to you and your budget.  

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Read more: How To Host A Retirement Party: Step-by-Step Guide

#2 Give a thoughtful gift

You can give a thoughtful gift to make your father’s retirement more memorable. And the best retirement gifts are personalized gifts or gifts that match his plans for retirement. For example, if he plans on traveling, you can give travel gear as a retirement gift.

An awesome retirement gift for your father is The BroBasket. You can create an amazing (custom) gift basket with his favorite alcohol and snacks. From Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila, Scotch, Gin, Rum to (craft) Beer, and engraved gifts. Check out all the BroBaskets and boozeless Gift Baskets

Get men a gift they really want - Their Favorite Booze!

One of the coolest retirement gifts out there is  the gift of Masterclass. Give your father something fun and interesting to do in retirement. Help him make the most out of his retirement.

MasterClass is an online education platform with the world’s most successful and famous teachers: Gordon Ramsey, Christina Aguilera, Usher, Hans Zimmer, Stephen Curry, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Chin, Serena Williams, Dan Brown, etc. 

Masterclass offers classes (for any skill level) taught by the best in the world: from cooking, acting, writing, poker, music, sports to science, and so much more.

You can gift one single Masterclass or an All-Access Pass to all the classes on the platform. Check out all the masterclasses available here

#3 Give a speech

You can give a speech at an already planned retirement party or social gathering to show your father how proud you are of him and how much you appreciate him.

You can mention highlights of his career or keep it more informal with jokes, stories, or loving words on a personal level. It’s best to know beforehand where you’re going to be speeching and who your audience is. So, you make no mistakes with the content and tone of your speech. You want to celebrate your father and not unintentionally embarrass him. 

Are you interested in crafting the perfect speech for your father? Read my article with 13 tips for the best retirement speech here.

#4 Plan a roast

Planning a good roast is always a lot of fun. Definitely, if your father is the type of person who appreciates a good roast and is a fan of dark comedy. 

Try to ask a couple of more people, preferably from different areas in his life (co-worker, friend, family member), to accompany you in the roast of your father. This way, your father and the audience will get to watch a full-on roast from every aspect of his life. Everyone will be more engaged, and that will only add to the experience and quality of the roast.  

Tips for a good roast:

  • Invite a maximum of 4-5 people who roast your father
  • Create decor, so your father is the center of attention
  • Plan the order of speakers from funny to the funniest
  • Give each person a maximum of 5 minutes speaking time to keep things interesting for the audience
  • Discuss the no go areas beforehand. If that’s necessary
  • Schedule time in so your father can have the last word
  • Do a soundcheck beforehand and make sure everyone in the rooms can hear the roasters.

The best of roast of James Franco (Comedy Central)

#5 Create a video

What better way to celebrate your father’s retirement than with a heartfelt or funny video. Which you can show him in private or at his retirement celebration. 

You can create a video alone by yourself or have other people join in: co-workers, family, and friends. It’s up to you how big of a production you want to make it. It doesn’t have to be complicated: you send out a request, people record a video with their phone and send it to you so you can edit it into one video. 

Retirement video ideas:

  • music video of his favorite song
  • a flashmob
  • compilation of messages & well wishes
  • his career highlights
  • compilation of photos with music
  • “movie” trailer
  • compilation of people’s answers to 3-5 questions relating to your father

#6 Create a (photo) scrapbook

Life is all about making memories, and a great retirement gift is a collection of all these memories in one place: a scrapbook your father can look into every now and then in retirement. 

You can create a book with messages, pictures, and other things about memorable moments in his life. And ask co-workers, family, and friends to send in content and photos about their best memories, funny anecdotes, and great stories of your father.  

Some of the best retirement gifts are not the most expensive gifts but the most thoughtful ones. And because life is not about having great things, but about collecting memories with great people in life. And if you can produce a retirement gift down memory lane for your father, you will definitely make his day, month or year.

#7 Hold a quiz

Celebrating a father’s retirement is celebrating his life. And you can put him in the spotlight by holding a quiz about his life. You can create a quiz where your father has to answer the questions under the pressure of an audience watching. Or the audience has to answer questions about your father, while your father is sitting in the same room. 

This can lead to funny and sometimes surprising situations. And people knowing only one side of your father will know him even better after finishing the quiz. To make your audience more engaged you can hand out a piece of prop where they can answer the questions with. 

#8 Plan a trip together

You can plan a trip together with your father to celebrate his retirement. Now that he’s retired you probably can spend more time together so why not grab this opportunity to travel somewhere great together. 

Ideas for a trip with your father:

  • Plan a road trip
  • Plan an RV trip
  • Visit family together
  • Plan a trip down memory lane (previous holiday destinations, birthplace, former places of residence
  • Go on a cruise
  • Go on a safari in Kenia
  • Book a city trip to Europe (for example Italy)
  • Visit his favorite destination
  • Go on a hiking trip in a nearby national park
  • Try your luck in Las Vegas

Read more: 20 Best Retirement Trips In The USA

#9 Invite him to a new hobby

A lot of retirees struggle with spending their time in retirement. They feel the loss of fulfillment in their lives after they stopped working. And they don’t know how to find fulfillment again and where to look for new and exciting activities. 

Sometimes a bit of extra help from a family member can push them in the right direction towards a hobby or activity that gives them a worthy and fulfilling feeling. 

So a great way to celebrate your father’s retirement is helping him to find a hobby or activity that gets him excited. You can accompany your father in his search for cool activities in retirement or educate him on all the possibilities that are out there and show him how to find them. 

Read more: The 30 Best Hobbies In Retirement

#10 Help plan his retirement days

The amount of freedom you get once you retire is an exciting feeling. But for some, it can be scary and overwhelming too. They miss structure, routine and purpose in their lives and don’t know how to transform their retired lives into a life that is more purposeful and enjoyable. 

You can help your father out by creating healthy daily routines and how to structure his life in retirement. This can be sharing exercising routines, healthy meal recipes or other physical, mental and social routines that benefit his health and happiness. 

Read more: How To Spend A Day In Retirement: Step-by-Step Guide

#11 Fulfill one of his bucket list dreams

Fulfill one of your father’s dreams by checking off one of his bucket list items together. Or give him a bucket list retirement gift. Perhaps, he has an existing bucket list on his computer which you can (secretly) download. Or he has mentioned a couple of things about his dreams or ultimate kick-the-bucket items over the course of his life.

You can surprise him with a trip or bucket list experience or plan it together. The planning and looking forward to something is half the fun. And it doesn’t have to be an over-the-top expensive experience. If you don’t have the budget for it, you can get creative. Often the thought counts more than the gift itself. 

If your father doesn’t have a bucket list you can create one for him as a gift for his retirement. Check out: 101+ Ideas For Retirement Bucket List.

#12 Start a charity in his honor

A very thoughtful way of celebrating your father is starting a charity in his honor. Perhaps he has offered his services to so many people in need he has built up a reputation that can be honored by starting a charity to a cause close to his heart. 

Keep in mind that starting and maintaining a charity is a lot of work. You need a good plan, register as a 501(c)(3) and establish an advisory board. And plan to do fundraising events yearround or annually. You need to have multiple people involved that are motivated to keep things going. So, make sure you have a long-term plan ready with committed people before you announce anything to your father. 

#13 Give a pet

If your father is an animal lover then you can give him a pet for his retirement. Perhaps, he is alone and you worry that he will become lonely. Then a pet is a great retirement gift. But make sure you ask if he wants to have a responsibility like that before you hand him a furry little puppy. 

If owning a pet is too much responsibility. Or if your father doesn’t want to be tied up too much in retirement, you can apply him as a pet babysitter via Pet it USA or Petsitter

#14 Hand out an award

Retirement is a major milestone in life. So because we hand out awards on so many occasions in life. Why not with retirement? It’s often done by the company to give an award to a retiree, but you can hand out an award to your father as well.

This can be anything from a medal with the text “Best Dad in the World” engraved to a piece of customized art he can put in his house. You can give it on a more serious note or give an award as a joke. That’s up to you.  

Read more: Top 15 Personalized Retirement Gifts

#15 Bake a cake

If you know your way around in the kitchen and if your fathers love your bakeries and cooking. Then you probably cannot pass this opportunity in his life to not bake a cake.

You can surprise him with a cake (for his co-workers) on the last day of his work. Or bake a beautiful cake for his retirement party. 

Read more: 90+ Retirement Cake Saying Ideas

#16 Plan a prank

In my family, we like to prank. That’s our way to show our appreciation and love. And maybe that’s a great way for you as well to celebrate your father’s retirement. It can be a little tricky and can get out of hand if you don’t do it right or to the wrong person. So before you pull any great pranks, think first. 

But if you know your father and your family will have a big laugh about it, pull a major prank and make sure this is one to remember. And involve multiple people to make the prank bigger and better.

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Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my boyfriend Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. With my articles, I want to help people enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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