retirement party ideas

20 Retirement Party Ideas To Honor Someone Special

Retirements are milestones that mark the end of a person’s work life. And throwing them a big celebration is a great way to make them feel appreciated and valued for all their hard work as well as to celebrate a new chapter that they will soon be embarking upon.

Retirement parties can often be bittersweet, but there are ways to truly make this celebration special with these 20 amazing retirement party ideas!

Essential Checklist Items For Planning A Retirement Party


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You will need to plan ahead to make this retirement party a success. But before you start sending out the invites, make sure the retiree is on board!

As much as you’d want to throw someone a surprise retirement party, you have to consider that not all retirees would want this kind of surprise. Some would want to slip quietly into their new life, having said goodbyes to everyone on their last day of work. So, make sure the retiree is okay with a big celebration.

Once you have secured the retiree’s approval, you can create your party checklist:

#1. Date and Time
#2. Venue
#3. Invites and RSVPs
#4. Food and drinks
#5. Activities and Games
#6. A Special Gift
#7. Message/s of Gratitude

20 Retirement Party Ideas To Honor Someone Special

There are several retirement party ideas that you can take inspiration from. Here are the top 20 retirement ideas to help you throw an unforgettable party.

#1. Set A Signature Theme


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Having a signature theme will make all the decorations, games, and overall planning much easier. And remember, the theme should celebrate the retiree.

You can choose a specific dress code or have the theme revolve around the year when the retiree first joined the company. Who were the top music artists, Hollywood celebrities, or movies that were a hit back then?

Other ideas you can work on include the retiree’s favorite sports, leisure activities, or anything that reflects the person being celebrated.

#2. Look Back On The Good Times

Speeches are a traditional part of any retirement party. So, it’s a good idea to have people who have worked directly with the retiree say a few words or share their experiences that highlight the retiree’s career.

Encourage people to share a few funny or memorable anecdotes and how they made a difference in the workplace.

#3. Make It All About The Retiree

Start the celebrations by going for the last outing with them. It can be a brunch, a weekend camping trip, a baseball game, or even a scavenger hunt! End the celebration with the actual retirement party.

Make sure it’s an activity that the retiree enjoys or has been a part of their routine whilst still working.

#4. “What’s In The Box?” Retirement Edition

This game helps highlight that not all goodbyes are meant to be sad, and while someone may be leaving your company, they can also look forward to an exciting future.

In this fun game, everyone fills up a box with sentimental mementos or gifts. The retired employee is blindfolded and required to put their hands inside the box full of gifts. They will then guess the gifts by touching them.

Of course, in the actual game, the person only gets to keep the items they’ve guessed correctly. But since this is a retirement edition, all the trinkets and rewards are for keeps by the retired employee.

#5. Create A Video


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This video can include snippets of their last day of work, like clocking in, attending a meeting, or showing a presentation. You can also have a compilation of video messages from work colleagues. Thankfully, you can use plenty of free apps to make a special video, even with zero video editing skills.

It’s a great way for the retiree to go back and spare a thought for some of the best times in their career.

#6. Let The Cake Do The Talking

A party without a cake isn’t a party at all! So, why not make your sweet treats another highlight of the event?

You can have a cake designed like an alarm clock that the retiree needs to smash or a cake that says something funny like Bye Tension, Hello Pension.

#7. Sing It!

Rent a karaoke machine and belt out some tunes! Have everybody take turns singing a song.

This is a fun and best way to cap the entire work week. You can also get some rounds of shots going and host this retirement party on a Friday evening to make it a night to remember.

#8. Photo Booth Fun

Capture the memories of your last day together as colleagues in the most fun way possible. Have everyone pop into the booth, try some fun accessories, and put on their goofiest smiles for the camera!

#9. Post-It Wall

Set up a wall with several post-its and encourage all guests to write a message to the retiree. They can write their well-wishes and thank-you notes. And at the end of the get-together, you can gather all the post-its and place all the messages in a box for the retiree to take home.

#10. Host A Trivia Night


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You can create a quiz about the retiree, so everyone can get to know them more, even if they have logged out and ended their shift. You can include questions, like their first role in the company and their favorite tie. You may even consider adding personal trivia like their accomplishments in sports or other personal achievements.

#11. Organize A Charity Event

Make the retirement celebration more memorable by planning an activity with a cause. You can have a fun run or a charity golf tournament, depending on the passion of the retiree. Or just have a special brunch at your local orphanage.

#12. BBQ Celebration

If you want a less formal event and just want a get-together with a chill vibe, just bring out the grill and host a BBQ in a colleague’s backyard. Or if your workplace has a garden, then you can hold the event there!

#13. Give Them A Special Gift

A thoughtful gift is an excellent time to show the retiree some gratitude and appreciation for all their hard work. It can be a Rolex, a couple’s weekend getaway, or even a paid membership to the gym. You can also tie the company gift to something the retiree loves doing, like fishing or hiking.

#14. Create A Bucket List

With more time on their hands, you can keep the retiree from getting bored by creating a list of things and experiences they have shared they want to experience. This initial list can even serve as an inspiration for the retiree to curate their own bucket list down the line.

#15. After-Work Drinks


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Every workplace develops a routine, and one of the most common ones is going out for drinks at the closest pub every Friday to wind down at the end of the week. So, you can reserve a couple of tables at the office’s unofficial hangout place and simply some drinks to celebrate their retirement.

#16. Smash the Clock Or Cut the Tie

The alarm clock and a tie are typically significant parts of any employee’s life. Why not celebrate the end of these daily must-haves as a thing of the past by either smashing an alarm clock or cutting a tie?

It can be a significant representation that you’re done with waking up to go to work and attending meetings!

#17. Create A Retirement Playlist

Music has a way of saying things we can’t articulate. Play age-appropriate retirement songs like “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys or “When I am 64” by The Beatles. Other suggestions include “Blue Skies” by Willie Nelson and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals. Jam out, dance the evening away, and have fun!

#18. Update Everyone’s Contacts

Saying goodbye to people you’ve spent countless days with is one of the saddest moments of retirement. So, give the retiree an updated address book with everyone’s contact number, email address, and social media.

#19. Roast The Retiree

A roast is when selected friends, colleagues, and even family members poke fun at the retiree while still celebrating their hard work, dedication, and just them as a person. This is a funny, exciting activity, but just be careful not to cross any lines.

#20. Get The Retiree’s Family Involved


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If the family is agreeable to giving a speech or two, include them in the celebration. Having their loved ones share their thoughts and feelings can be a beautiful way to make this celebration special.

Ways To Organize Retirement Parties

Organizing a retirement party needs to be a group effort. Thankfully, you can easily create a group chat to delegate tasks and share updates. This will ensure everyone is informed of any changes or help needed.

To make it more convenient, you can also ask some members of the retiree’s family to be your “inside man” so you’d know what their preferences, likes, and dislikes are.

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