One hundred years. A century of life. It’s difficult to grasp both how long a period of time that is. Regardless, if you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who’s celebrating a birthday — you’re correct if you want to go all out and research the best 100th birthday party cake and theme ideas. However, if your loved one is on the shyer side, and you feel they would appreciate a more simple gesture or intimate gathering, these can be special, too.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 100th Birthday Theme Ideas
- 100th Birthday Party Cake Ideas
- 100th Birthday Game or Activity Ideas
- 100th Birthday Invitation Ideas
Regardless if you foresee planning a large or small gesture or event, you may feel as though you need some guidance. If you’re totally at a loss for how to celebrate such a momentous occasion, don’t worry.
We’re here to help. We’ll walk you through a variety of party theme ideas, cake ideas, games and activities, and more.
100th Birthday Theme Ideas
Themes are a great way to streamline your decision-making as well as tie an event together in general. You can touch on these themes below (and tweak as necessary) as subtly or as elaborately as you’d like.
Talk shows and entertainment
You may see 100th birthday announcements across different media, such as on jumbotrons at sporting events or on popular programs such as the TODAY Show.
You may even wish to nominate your loved one to appear on this program in particular. If not, you may wish to recreate the “hype” of these shows with your loved one as the star and have a mock interview, posters, and other memorabilia.
Specific films or movies
Picking a particular favorite film or movie and expanding it into a theme would be fairly easy with some creativity.
You may even choose to base the theme after a genre or even a particular director, such as Alfred Hitchcock, for more variety.
Many people love game shows, not just older populations. However, since game shows have been around for so long, it’s expected that their popularity is notable among older groups. This theme is also easy in terms of coming up with group activities, discussed in greater detail later on.
By all means, you can organize a group trip to hit a real casino near you or even make the trip to Sin City.
However, you can likely create a lot of the intrigue, ambiance, and personality of Vegas right from your own home. It’s not likely that you have access to real slot machines, but you can incorporate other elements of Vegas —feathers, lights, cards, or poker— relatively affordably.
An exotic destination
Whether your loved one is a world traveler or has lived in the same home his or her entire life, creating a party based on a dream destination can be easy to create with décor, cuisine, and more.
Of course, you could go the extra mile (or several thousand) and take them on a trip, too. Maybe this is on your loved one’s retirement bucket list, for example.
It’s likely your loved one deserves to be treated like a king or a queen. Go ahead and give them the royal treatment — including a crown, jewels, a feast, and perhaps a chariot ride.
You can also base this theme on British royalty and have a more demure event, such as a high tea.
Sports or a favorite team
Sports-related parties make sense for people of all ages—because they’re fun! You don’t necessarily have to go to a professional sporting event for this party to be authentic, either.
You may even consider renting out a room in a sports bar or restaurant or hosting the party at one at an off time to keep it a little less rowdy.
Luau or island barbeque
Luaus and barbeques are known for good vibes and good food. Even if your loved one’s birthday falls in the dead of winter, you can likely recreate a tropical or summery environment with decor, lighting, live plants, and an exotic menu.
100th Birthday Party Cake Ideas
In the following section, you’ll see some fairly common ideas. But, don’t let the concept of “cake” limit your imagination. If your loved one has another favorite treat—sweet or not—run with it for something truly personal and memorable.
100 Grand (or another favorite candy)
100 Grand is a suitable candy to base the flavor of your cake off of simply because of the name. However, you can incorporate just about any type of candy into (or on top of) a cake.
An unconventional fruitcake
It may be part of a stereotype that older generations love a traditional fruitcake. While this may or may not be true, a lot of people love fresh fruit, particularly when it’s covered in chocolate. For example, you can create a bouquet or a display of 100 chocolate-covered strawberries or other assorted fruits.
This option can also be pretty affordable (and delicious) if you’re able to purchase fruit fresh from a farmer’s market or local farm and dip the fruit on your own.
A classic flavor
There’s nothing wrong with the classics. From yellow to chocolate or red velvet and carrot cake, these cakes have been around forever for good reason. This makes them the perfect way to celebrate someone who’s seemingly been around forever, too.
Cheesecake or pie
These aren’t a far cry from cake, but there’s plenty of room for creating (or ordering, no shame) a dessert that your guest of honor will really love.
Some people aren’t fans of tons of frosting or cakes in general, and prefer either the creamy, indulgent aspect of cheesecake, or the fruity or hearty aspects of pies.
100 cupcakes (or mini ones)
Incorporating 100 cupcakes or 100 mini cupcakes into the festivities can allow guests to create things together.
Not to mention, people will likely enjoy decorating their own cupcakes, and it’ll also save you a significant amount of work (and money).
100 donuts or donut holes
Donuts are another low-maintenance, crowd-pleaser. Creating a donut tower will likely be a lot of fun to assemble. You can also opt for all one flavor and customize with themed decorations if you so choose.
100 hot wings
See, we told you some of these ideas were out there. However, some people’s love of chicken wings — particularly hot wings — can get pretty steep.
You can even order a variety of flavors as well as bone-in and boneless to please the crowd. However, be sure that your order doesn’t offend the guest of honor. Some people hold a lot of hatred toward boneless wings or certain flavors.
100 deviled eggs
Again, another unconventional “cake” idea. But, again, some people really love deviled eggs. You can get creative with the flavor combinations as well or provide the opportunity for guests to customize their toppings. A few variations include buffalo, chive and onion, or lox bagel.
100th Birthday Game or Activity Ideas
The games and activities you plan for a 100th birthday party will likely depend on your chosen theme. However, you’re don’t need to stick to a certain theme—pick what works best for you.
Traditional card or board games
Card and board games, with a big group, can either be extremely fun or rather long and competitive. You’ll likely be a good judge of who’s going to be in attendance, but the guest of honor might appreciate a variety of opponents.
A scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts, puzzles, and the like are fun for people of all ages. You can have the “prizes” or things to be found as part of your gift to your older loved one.
Food prep (but fun)
Food prep doesn’t sound super fun, but if you do a bit of it beforehand and display ingredients in a pleasant way, it certainly can be. You can allow guests to customize appetizers, their main course, or dessert. Making personal pizzas is a fun option, that is, if you have the oven or grill space.
Arts or crafts
Creating a commemorative piece of art as a group is a great way to get guests of all ages participating. Plus, you’ll have a tangible way to remember such a momentous occasion.
Mini golf or bowling
DIY mini-golf and bowling aren’t as difficult as they may sound to recreate. You can easily use household items you already have and dress them up with stickers, paper, and other materials, for example.
A group walk or nature hike
If the guest of honor loves the outdoors or staying active, you all can go on a nature walk around their neighborhood or one of their favorite spots. Ensure that you pick a day with good weather and pack adequate drinks, food, and snacks. Or, have a picnic or cookout at a park.
A cocktail tutorial
Coming together to create a signature cocktail not only serves as a learning experience for guests, but they can also customize drinks to their liking. This also allows younger guests to participate in some recipes, as well as those who prefer mocktails in general.
Personalized trivia is a great way to get nostalgic and incorporate old photos or fun facts and anecdotes from your loved one’s life. This is also a fun way to involve a big group of family members as well as long-time friends.
A theme park or zoo trip
Often, the activities we loved the most as kids still incite most happiness. Taking your loved one to a theme park or zoo will likely have them feeling like a kid again — and everybody needs a little bit of that.
A beach day or day on the water
Again, if your loved one’s health permits, perhaps bringing him or her on a beach day or out on the water would be the perfect way to celebrate. It may be wise to bring extra hats, umbrellas, sunscreen, and other means of sun protection.
A movie marathon
You can either plan a movie marathon at a local theater or just have it from the comfort of your own home. Many theaters offer group specials and party packages.
100th Birthday Invitation Ideas
When it comes to getting guests together for a 100th birthday party, it may require you to use a few different means of communication. We provide several ideas, but know that not every type may make sense for your whole guest list. However, if you’re having a relatively small event, you likely have nothing to fret about.
Keep it simple with social
Many people are on Facebook or some sort of social media platform. Throwing together a quick design, or even just drafting a message or creating an event page can likely be all you need.
Or, keep it traditional with handwritten invitations
Traditional, handwritten invitations open the door up for creativity as well as furthering your party’s theme. There are plenty of online vendors who can create custom invitations, or printers that offer unique designs that you can customize with ease and order in bulk.
Phone or text
Again, as we said, sometimes the easiest way to plan a party and rally a group is the “old-fashioned way” via calling or texting. You can get creative with emojis, gifs, and stickers.
A photo collage or homemade invite
There are plenty of free apps available to create professional-grade photo collages and stories right from home. Resources like Canva and even Instagram allow you to add effects, stickers, and more. You may choose to print and distribute your creations or email, text, or IM them.
An edible invite
You’ll likely have to include further directions in a follow-up text or on an additional paper invite if you opt for edible invites. Otherwise, you’d have to make pretty big cookies to get all the pertinent details across. Big cookies aren’t a bad idea, either, though, if you’re just sending a few invites.
An invite printed on a T-shirt
A custom T-shirt is a fun, albeit potentially cheesy way to commemorate an important event. Be advised that you’ll have to account for manufacturing and shipping times. Of course, you can avoid this by making them at home with craft supplies.
Record a custom song
If your loved one is a fan of music, or your chosen theme incorporates music in some way, you may wish to rap or sing an invite and send it to guests. You may even wish to include a clip of your loved one playing an instrument or singing with you.
A video invite
If you’re planning to send your invites via email, social media, or text, a video is a fun, interactive way to relay information. Video editing apps are often free and incredibly user-friendly, but you can probably create something simple that will work well, too.
They Only Turn 100 Once
It’s true, you only have the chance to turn 100 once (or any age for that matter). Making it count with little details personal to your loved one will make all the difference.
However, it’s likely all he or she wants is your company and the company of their other friends and loved ones. For more advice and tips on life’s milestones like birthday resolutions or end-of-life planning, check out the rest of Cake.