How to celebrate a milestone birthday in style

If you need a reason to celebrate, being on this planet for yet another decade is a good place to start! While all the in-between birthdays can pass by with understated celebrations, the big birthdays have to be celebrated in style. Whether you’re planning an 18th, 21st, 30th birthday or any of the decades beyond, Party Pieces has all the party decorations, number balloons and personalised cakes and surprises you’ll need to make that person feel special. Start browsing now or read on for our top tips and ideas for celebrating a milestone birthday.

Birthday breakfast in bed

Sometimes the loveliest birthday memories are created before you even leave the house. We’re big fans of breakfast in bed, when the birthday boy or girl can prop themselves up on cushions and be lavished with cards, little presents, croissants and coffee. It helps to have a tidy-up the night before to clear bedside tables of any junk and to make the scene a little more photogenic. 

One of our customers woke up to a ceiling of bonny blue helium balloons on strings, which his partner had inflated elsewhere then arranged nicely just before he woke up.

Other preparation you can do the night before is to chop and plate-up berries before covering and keeping in the fridge, organise a couple of fragrant stems in a vase (a spring bulb in a tea cup is a sweet alternative), line your tray with a pretty napkin, and fill the cafetiere with coffee and the kettle with water to save you some precious seconds on the big day. 

Birthday breakfast

Birthday breakfast

As an alternative to breakfast in bed, a proper birthday breakfast at the table is a great way to gather everyone together. To save time, lay and decorate the table the night before, with presents piled up at one end, cards stacked in a toast rack, bunting hanging as a backdrop, and perhaps a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner placed somewhere prominent. Our ready-inflated milestone balloon bundles always go down well and look spectacular. You can also personalise our banners to include your loved one’s name and photo – a fantastic surprise to start the day. On the morning itself, add finishing touches such as a few helium balloons tied to the backs of chairs and fresh flowers in glass jars. You can shop tableware such as cups, plates, confetti and table decorations by age here. Croissants and pastries can be shop-bought and warmed in the oven and served with jam and marmalade decanted into glass dishes. Make a stack of pancakes and serve with lemon and honey, or a pot of steaming pinwheel porridge with nut butter and raspberries. Serve with freshly squeezed orange juice or a nutritious green smoothie, and plenty of piping hot tea. Delicious.

Personalised birthday presents

If you’re looking for something creative to do to surprise your loved one on their birthday, why not organise a personalised cake to make them smile? We sell delicious Fiona Cairns cakes in either vanilla or chocolate, which can be printed with an edible collage of photos of your favourite person. Don’t forget the candles! Tall candles add elegance, while floral ‘number’ candles look so pretty and are perfect for a milestone birthday. If you’re celebrating away from friends and family, why not organise a birthday video to play on the day? It can be something fun like a song or dance, or a compilation of heartfelt messages from their favourite people. Read our guide to birthday videos here.

Milestone birthday activities

What does the birthday boy or girl really love to do? Whether they’re 18 or 80, you need to put their wishes first on their special day, and then ramp it up to make it extra special. If they love nothing more than sitting back and watching the cricket, why not organise a trip to your local club and take a picnic packed with their favourite snacks? If they love to be beside the seaside, can you hire a beach hut for the day and let them sit in a deck chair and watch the world go by? It could be a doubles tennis match with old friends followed by strawberries and cream and a glass of Pimm’s, a day of shopping and afternoon tea, or a long ramble through the forest with binoculars and a Thermos. Think big!

21st birthday party

Milestone birthday parties

You could have a household gathering of four or a huge ball in a hall and the principles of making it a success are the same: get the atmosphere right with decorations, music and games, and then the party will look after itself. When it’s a milestone birthday party, you have the directive to decorate, so go wild: think balloon arches or balloon clouds, beautiful backdrops, bunting, LED lights and garlands on the table. You won’t regret going to town: guests will love it and the photos will look amazing! Choose a colour scheme according to the birthday person’s favourite colours and pick different shades of the same colour for a beautiful tonal effect, or go for contrasting colours to make a real splash. Similarly, what music do they love? Create a playlist of their favourite tunes to get them dancing, or, if budget allows, hire a DJ or band to take centre stage. As well as decorations and dancing, a spot of organised fun can break the ice and turn a normal night into a memorable moment. Set up a photobooth to get people in silly props and poses, lay out giant Noughts and Crosses, or set up a sports day-style tournament for instant fun for all ages.



Are you organising a children's birthday party and need some inspo? Here are our guides to magic, mermaid and fairy parties


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