Retirement Party Themes

Retirement party themes can turn a boring party into a fun-filled, memorable party.

A theme helps to give an overall meaning to a party.

After you choose a theme for your retirement party, coordinate the invitations, food, decorations, and favors to go along with the theme.


Below are some theme ideas to help get you started in planning your party.


If you know that the retiree is planning on doing a lot of traveling, then use a theme centered around traveling.

Some ideas are:

“Bon Voyage”  Theme

Picture of a cruise ship.

This is a theme that you can go all out with.

Some suggestions are:

  1. Make boarding pass invitations.
  2.  Have a sign-in board for the guests to write their best wishes on as they enter the party.
  3. Use red, white, and blue balloons for decorations.
  4. To stay with the formal atmosphere, use white linens, white plates, and crystal glasses.
  5. Serve a buffet meal with the retirees favorite foods.
  6. Have martinis, fancy cocktails, and champagne to drink.

Be sure there is plenty of room for the guests to dance later in the evening.

Tropical or Luau Theme

Picture of funny old retiree dressed in Hawaiian clothes.

If the retiree is planning a trip to Hawaii, get him started with a Luau retirement party theme.

Some suggestions for your theme are:

  1. Decorate your backyard with tiki torches, paper lanterns, tropical plants, and pink flamingos.
  2. Wrap grass skirts around the buffet table.
  3. Place sea shells and citronella candles on the tabletops.
  4. Set out a basket full of colorful leis for the guests to take and wear during the party.
  5. Serve roast pork or Hawaiian chicken skewers, a fresh green salad, baked yams, and fresh tropical fruit to eat.
  6. Have a pineapple cake for dessert.

Around the World

Picture of world globe with airline tickets and luggage.

For the retiree that is planning on traveling the world, have a “Globe Trotting” or "Around The World" retirement party.

Decorate with travel brochures, maps, globes, and decorations from around the world.

Serve different and unique foods from around the world.

Mexican Fiesta

Picture of black sombrero with chips and drinks.

If the retiree is planning a trip south of the border, throw a “Fiesta” retirement party.

This is a simple and easy party to plan.

  1. Make your own invitations to look like a cactus.
  2. Use red and green as your color scheme.
  3. String up chili lights.
  4.  Use sombreros, maracas, and small pinatas to help set the south of the border theme.
  5. Serve a buffet with chicken fajitas, flour tortillas, Mexican rice, and plenty of chips and salsa.

Be sure there is plenty of room for your guests to dance the Salsa or Tango. You could even have a limbo contest!



For the retiree who loves golf, have a golf tournament or a “Teeing Up for an Amazing Retirement!” party.

  1. Use golf scorecards for your invitations. Print the invitation wording on the back of the cards.
  2. Decorate with green and white.
  3. Use golf themed tableware – plates, napkins, cups...etc.
  4. Place golf equipment around the room for decoration.
  5. Serve hamburgers or hot dogs as your meal. Or you can have a sandwich bar and let the guests make their own sandwiches.
  6. For beverages, serve beer, ice tea, lemonade, and sodas.
  7. For retirement party favors, give golf balls or tees.


Picture of hotdogs and fries for baseball retirement party theme.

Consider having a picnic and attending a baseball game. Or have a “Home Run of a Career!” party.

  1. Make invitations that look like a baseball and open up with the party information. Or make a baseball ticket and print the party information on the front.
  2. Make a “Happy Retirement Scoreboard” and have a sign-in board for all the guests to sign with their best wishes as they arrive.
  3. Decorate with the retirees favorite baseball team's colors.
  4. Set out bags of peanuts, boxes of cracker jacks, and bowls of popcorn.
  5. Set out baseballs, mitts, and bats for decoration.
  6. For the meal, serve hot dogs, nachos, beer, and sodas.


Picture of football, beer and chips for a retirement party.

For a football themed retirement party, make it a tailgating party.

  1. Send out football ticket invitations.
  2. Decorate with the retirees favorite football team's colors.
  3. Use a large inflatable football as the centerpiece.
  4. Set pom poms around the room and string football lights around to give it that big-lights feeling.
  5. Set out a cooler filled with beer and sodas.
  6. Serve chili, hot wings or sub-sandwiches with plenty of chips and dips.
  7. For favors, give the guests small inflatable footballs to toss around.


Casino Night

Picture of dice and cards for a casino night retirement party theme.

A "Casino Night" retirement party is a fun theme and everyone always has a great time.

Some ideas you might want to use are:

  1. Send out playing card invitations.
  2. Decorate with black and red – linens, tableware...etc. You can even use black and red balloons to help set a casino atmosphere.
  3. Use dice and playing cards as decoration on the tables.
  4. Serve finger foods for your meal.

If you are planning on playing games, hand out packets of fake money to your guests to use to "gamble" with.

Set up tables for the guest to play poker, blackjack, and roulette.

Have small prizes for the winners.

Things That Don't Work Anymore

This theme is great for a laugh and a good time for all. Use your imagination for this theme and you can throw one memorable party that your guests and the retiree will be talking about for a long time..

Some ideas are:

  1. Have all the guests bring items that no longer work to give to the retiree.
  2. Decorate with broken clocks. However, have one alarm clock that is still ticking away and let the retiree smash it during the party.

Nostalgia Night

Plan a "Sock Hop" or "Rock n' Roll" retirement party.

  • 50's Sock Hop
  1. For a 50's sock hop, make invitations that look like a mini 45 record.
  2. Use red and white gingham table cloths. Hang 45 records from the ceiling. Set hula hoops and yo-yos out for the guests to "play" with.
  3. Have the guests dress in 50's attire. Rolled up blue jeans and button shirts for the guys. For the women, rolled up blue jeans and button shirts with a chiffon scarf or poodle skirts, with sweaters and knee high socks.
  4. Serve cheeseburgers, fries, and milk shakes for the meal.
  5. Don't forget the favors! Hand out fuzzy dice or black plastic sunglasses for your guests to remember this fun retirement party.

Retro Retirement Party Theme

If the 60's or 70's were a favorite time of the retiree, have a "Rock n' Rol" or a "Disco" party to help celebrate the retirement.

  1. Have the guests dress in appropriate clothes of the time period – tie dyed t-shirts, bell bottom pants...etc.
  2. Decorate with peace signs, black lights, lava lamps, and disco balls.
  3. Serve finger foods and fondue.
  4. For favors, hand out mood rings or anything with a yellow smiley face on it.

Hopefully, some of these retirement party theme ideas will help you plan a fun and memorable party.

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