When you’re planning a retirement party, you want to make it as fun and memorable as it can be, and that is why you might wonder, what makes a retirement party fun?
Well, as a retirement party expert, I’m here to help you out. And listed 40 ideas that make a retirement party fun in this article. Because the difference between an ordinary party and a fun party is that it’s all in the details! So continue reading.
1) Pick A Fun Theme
The first thing that people think about when it comes to parties has a theme. This can be as simple as black and gold or go all out with a theme like The Great Gatsby. And when you have a fun theme selected, planning a retirement party becomes easier because you incorporate the theme into everything, such as invites, decorations, dress code, food, drinks, props, centerpieces, etc.
2) Play Fun Games
After years of organizing many retirement parties, researching, and writing articles about (celebrating) retirement, I discovered the secret to a retirement party success: and that is… FUN PARTY GAMES!
It is not about how big or extravagant a party is. It is about the experience that produces a positive feeling.
What party do you remember most?
Probably the one that made you feel emotional (in a good way), and you had a lot of fun and laughed out loud.
The trick for a fun retirement celebration is to create memorable moments and fun experiences everyone enjoys.
And a fun game is a great icebreaker, and that will make guests happier and more entertained. And it creates funny moments, which will be the reason why guests won’t forget this retirement party soon.
But you don’t have to go on the hunt for fun party games.
I have created a printable Retirement Party Game Bundle with 10 amazing party games that will make any retirement party a lot more fun! And the best part is: you don’t have to do anything!
Well, almost… You only have to click download, press print, and you’re ready to play (within minutes from now)!
3) Show A Fun Group Tribute Video
One of the most special ways to honor a retirement is to create a retirement tribute video and show it during the retirement party to enjoy with all guests.
Seeing each other on a big screen produces a moment of good vibes and many laughs, depending on how funny the video is 😉
Now, before your think. Making a retirement tribute video is a lot of work.
It’s NOT! Because I found an easy-to-use online video maker that does all the work for you: VidDay
You just have to send out a link to all guests; everyone uploads their videos, and Vidday creates a beautiful tribute video for you. No skills are needed. And if you’re looking for fun ideas, read my article 13 Best Retirement Video Ideas To Honor The Retiree.
4) Distribute Single-Use Cameras Among Guests
I love this idea. You often see it at weddings, but why not at retirement parties? Distribute single-use cameras among guests by placing them on different tables with a note: Please Use Me or Let’s Make Fun Memories Together. And you’ll even have fun days after the party when you pick up the developed photographs. Perhaps create a fun picture book for the retiree as a nice retirement party wrap gift.
5) Use Fun Party Decorations
As I expressed earlier, it is all in the details when organizing a fun party that people will talk about forever. And decorations are the trick to transform any normal room into a festive party venue. So when you’re looking for fun retirement decoration ideas, make sure to check out my article 30 Amazing Retirement Party Decoration Ideas, including fun retirement balloons, garlands, banners, yard signs, cake toppers, flags, etc.
6) Hang Up Funny Pictures Of The Retiree
Collect funny pictures from the retiree and hang them up around the venue or on a wall (e.g., at the entrance), so everyone can laugh or go down memory lane. This idea is great for making fun of the retiree in a respectful way, but it also creates amazing opportunities for fun conversations among guests that you normally would never see. Retirement is a life celebration, so try to include pictures from work and personal life. Guests will get to know different sides of the retiree when looking at the pictures.
7) Add Glitter
When in doubt, just add glitter.
And then everything is a lot more fun!
For example, get confetti poppers and use them when the guest of honor walks in the door or at any other moment during the party that sounds appropriate to you.
8) Hand Out A Funny Award
You can make a bit of fun of the retiree by handing out a funny award. For example, The Empty Desk Award, Five More Minutes, The Dish Destroyer, Office Clown Award, Best Gourmet Lunch Award, Pop Culture Expert Award, Most Likely to Have Thought of That Award, etc. You get the idea.
9) Host Party At A Fun Venue
A fun venue can add that extra touch to a retirement party. It can make it stand out from all the other retirement parties. And being in another environment can give that extra celebration energy it needs to make it fun and unique.
Read more: 40 Great Venue Ideas For A Retirement Party
10) Host A Fun Speech
A retirement party and a speech go hand in hand. I haven’t experienced a retirement party without a speech. And to make a speech fun, you can start with the retiree’s most famous quote, favorite word, or prop that everyone recognizes and share funny anecdotes and stories. You can even lead the speech towards handing out a funny award, as mentioned earlier, or your retirement gift.
- 20 Expert Tips To Give The Best Retirement Speech
- Farewell Speech For Retiring Boss (Examples & Tips!)
- Who Gives A Speech At A Retirement Party? (Complete Guide)
11) Organize A Funny Roast
A retirement party is all about honoring the retiree, and that can be done in many different ways.
And if the retiree has a great sense of humor and can take a joke, then organizing a roast can be a fun idea.
12) Silent Disco
Want to have a dance party but in a unique or quiet way? Hire silent disco headphones and have the time of your life.
13) Photobooth With Fun Props
A photo booth is always a great idea. It is not only fun during the party, but you can also do a lot of fun things with the photo after the party, such as:
- Hand out or email photos to guests as a nice party favor
- Collect all photos and put them in a photo book to give to the retiree later.
- Create an after-movie montage with all photobooth photos
14) Give A Fun Retirement Gift
Give the retiree a retirement that will help him or her to have fun in retirement, or give the retiree a funny retirement gift. Or do both.
15) Serve A Cake With Funny Text
A retirement party cannot go without a retirement cake. No matter if the party is at 10 o’clock in the morning or at night. A retirement cake is always a good idea. That makes it a real party. And you can add some fun captions on the cake to have a laugh. Need some inspiration?
Read more: 100 Retirement Cake Saying Ideas
16) Set Up A Drink Station
Most retirement parties have a bar or a place to get drinks. Maybe you’ve hired a caterer that waiters everyone with drinks. It can be a fun idea to create a drinks station that fits your retirement party’s theme.
Fun Drink Station Ideas
- Coffeebar with a barista
- Margaritha Bar
- Beer Bar
- DIY Cocktail Bar
- Champagne Bar
17) Funny Signature Welcome Cocktail
As guests enter the party, you can hand out a welcome drink to start the party immediately. You can name this drink after the retiree or one of his/ her favorite moments or personality.
18) Hire A Foodtruck
Another idea to make the retirement party fun is hiring a delicious food truck. This is especially perfect for retirement parties that are taken place outside, where there is enough room to park a truck.
19) Do A Fun Activity
A great icebreaker or give a different vibe to a party is to do an activity together. An activity such as wine tasting at a vineyard can be the party, but you can also invite someone to the office who can give a workshop or something else to get more action into the party. For example, a sports tournament, a race, a music workshop, dessert making, an arts & crafts workshop, etc.
20) Smash A Pinata
You can hang up an alarm clock piñata and call it to smash the alarm clock! Since the retiree doesn’t need an alarm clock anymore. Or officially start the party with the retiree smashing a champagne pinata or a pinata with the number of working years.
Another fun idea is to fill the piñata with all the retirement wishes you collected instead of candy. Or fill it with fortune cookies with a goodbye message to all the invitees.
21) Sing Karaoke
Some people love karaoke, while others don’t. If you and the retiree are in the first category, doing karaoke can be fun.
22) Pop Champagne
A celebration without champagne is just a meeting. As an official start to the celebration, you can pop a bottle of champagne and raise a glass to the retiree. This often creates a nice moment to make a toast.
23) Retirement Bucket List Bucket With Ideas
At the entrance, you can set up a Bucket-List-Bucket with fill-in cards so guests can give fun ideas for the retiree’s bucket list. And give it as a gift later during the party so that whenever the retiree feels bored in retirement, he/ she can go through this bucket with fun ideas and lots of inspiration. You can get a Bucket List Bucket with Index cards on Amazon>>.
And to make it more interactive and fun, you can make it into a contest where the retiree chooses the most creative or funniest bucket list idea.
24) Fun Snack Station
No matter the size and budget of the party, it is always a fun idea to create a snack station. For example,
- Avocado Bar
- Popcorn station
- Mashed potato food bar
- Build your own nacho bar
- French fries bar
- New York Style pizza station
25) Give A Fun Scrapbook
In the invite, you can ask guests to send photos and a story to an email address where you collect all input and create a scrapbook. This can be a fun gift to give the retiree at the party. You can easily make scrapbooks online and print out the book.
26) Do A Flashmob
Another fun idea is to surprise the retiree with a flash mob. Here is an example of a flashmob:
28) Fun Playlist
Another thing that makes a retirement party fun is a fun playlist. And there are a lot of fun songs that link to retirement.
- It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – Jimmy Buffett
- Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
- Another one bites the Dust – Queen
- Working Nine to Five – Dolly Parton
- Hit The Road Jack – Ray Charles
- Stayin’ Alive – The Beegees
- Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys
- I’ve Had The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes
- We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals
29) Fun Retirement Slideshow Presentation
One of the most classic ways to do honor a retiree is with a slideshow presentation. And if this sounds fun to you, then I highly recommend reading my article: 50 Ideas For An Amazing Retirement Slideshow (& Examples).
30) Hand Out Fun Party Favors
Another way to make a retirement party more fun and tangible is to give out fun party favors to all guests. This small detail can be a great reminder for guests to remember this party for a longer time. And can make it stand out from other parties, because who doesn’t like gifts?
31) Invite A Magician Or Fun Speaker
If you have some wiggle room in the party budget, then it can be a fun idea to invite a professional magician or a fun speaker, such as a comedian, to take the party to the next level. Other live entertainment ideas are singing waiters, dancers, circus acts, etc.
32) Perform A Funny Sketch
You can perform a funny sketch with coworkers, friends, or family members as a fun tribute. You can reenact a memorable or awkward moment you share with the retiree, which is a perfect material for a fun sketch. Or you can act out a normal day in the office or a normal day in the retiree’s life and exaggerate certain characters or situations to make it fun and hilarious.
Make sure to use as many props and costumes as possible and go all out. To more you exaggerate, to funnier it is. If you need inspiration and ideas, you can watch a couple of sketches of SNL.
33) Tell Funny Anecdotes
Create a moment during the party where guests can tell funny anecdotes to pay tribute to the retiree while sharing a couple of laughs together. It can be like an open mic or just right after the raise-your-glass moment. As a host, you can make a toast and tell a funny anecdote, and after that, you can ask the room if someone else knows a funny story that he would like to share. Most of the time, you need one story that creates room for other people to build on.
34) Write Wishes On Retiree’s Toilet Door
A unique and fun idea that happens at a lot of weddings in the Netherlands is that people steal the toilet door of the newlyweds so guests can write well wishes and advice on the inside during their party. Every time one of them goes to the toilet, they read all the messages people left on their wedding day. This can also be a fun idea to do at a retirement party. Make sure that the retiree’s spouse agrees before you do anything.
You can also consider doing it on a big banner at the party’s entrance, in a guestbook, or recording messages with a video booth if you know the toilet door is not the retiree’s cup of tea.
35) Hire A Live Band
Another thing that makes a retirement party fun is hiring a live band. For example, a cover band that plays songs everyone knows and can sing along to is an awesome idea. But perhaps you have a band within the family, a special office band, or you can invite the retiree’s band.
36) Set Up Musical Instruments For Live Jam Sessions
Another fun idea is to set up musical instruments on stage and invite guests to just start jamming whenever they feel like it. You’ll create spontaneous, beautiful musical moments that are unique and can’t be planned beforehand.
37) Create Personalized Napkins, Cups, and Supplies
Check out foryourparty.com for customized and personalized invitations and party supplies.
38) Have A Dance-Off
During the party, you can have a dance-off. You do it by decade, for example, the twist in the ’60s, etc. and play songs from each decade, and let the crowd decide who’s the winner.
39) Create A Backyard Carnival
Display a couple of empty cans and a ball, and you have yourself a carnival. Or you can hire a couple of real carnival games, such as ring toss, to make it look more festive. No matter the budget of the party, a carnival is always possible. It is an original idea that makes any party fun and less boring.
40) Have A Surprise Element
One of the things guests will speak about for a long, long time after the party is the surprise element because this is what makes a party fun. Therefore get creative to come up with a fun surprise element for all guests! This can be a singer performing nobody knows about, a video that you show and secretly produced for months, or delicious food you serve from the region’s best and most famous restaurant.