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Retirement Party Ideas and Supplies!

 

Retirement Party Themes

Retirement Party Invitations

Retirement Party Decorations

Retirement Party Games and Activities

Retirement Party Food Ideas

 

 


Planning a Retirement Party

 

Whether retiring from the Military, a teaching position or from many years in the corporate world- the tips and ideas below are sure to make your Retirement Party Planning much easier!

Where to have your Retirement Party: If you are planning the Retirement Party for outdoors, and the weather turns bad, will you have adequate room for everyone to move indoors? Do you have the bathrooms to handle such a large crowd? Do you have enough parking spots? If you are planning it for outdoors, it may not be a bad idea to check with a local company about renting a tent. If nothing else, call them ahead of time to work out a backup rain plan, just in case!  

For a large crowd, you may opt for an Open House. Your guests come and go throughout the day/evening and you do not have the entire crowd at your house/party room at one time. This type of arrangement works well for those who cannot stay long, but wish to stop in and congratulate the Guest of Honor! This also works well with a buffet-type meal. You don't have to try to feed everyone at one time, they mingle and eat during the event as they are hungry.

 

Read on for How to Plan a Retirement Party!




Retirement Party Themes

 

Party Planning should begin with selecting a theme. You could center your theme around the retiree's interests, hobbies, passions, or hopes and dreams for the future. Or how about a fantasy location theme?

 

If the Guest of Honor has a favorite vacation spot, or a fantasy location they wish to escape to…grant his/her wish for the day!

 

TROPICAL PARADISE – Hawaiian Luau
SANDY BEACH – Beach Bash, Surfside Adventure

LAS VEGAS/MONACO – Casino Night
THE AMAZON – It's a Jungle out there!
GLOBE TROTTING – A World of Wonder Awaits!
YACHTING AROUND THE GLOBE - Anchors Away, Nautical or Bon Voyage
A DUDE RANCH – Wild Wild West!
SULTRY SOUTH AMERICA – Mexican Fiesta!, Carnival Night in Rio!
NEW ORLEANS – Mardi Gras!
HOLLYWOOD – Glitz, Glamour, and A Golden Graduate!

 

Retirement Party Invitations:



Decide upon what type of invitation you are going to send (personally created, themed, formal, etc). 

For a unique alternative, send out a themed party item (such as a lei for a luau theme or sunglasses for a Sock Hop)  and attach a tag with all the party details to it. Send the invites out at least 3 weeks prior to the party. 

 

Pick up some brochures from a local travel agency, retirement community, and fill in your party details on each one. Or create your own humorous, personalized brochure, and write the party information inside. 

 

Design Your own Newspaper with a headline declaring the retirement date a national holiday.

 

Make newspaper columns that outline the place, time, and date of the party. For laughs, include a photo of your guest of honor's head, and place it on a body (from a magazine or retirement brochure) wearing a goofy tourist getup or leisure outfit. Or include a before and after ad for stress management or cosmetic surgery from a magazine, with a caption like, working vs. retired. If the Retiree will be moving to another city or traveling, print invitations on baggage tags.

 

If you are expecting out of town guests, call a few local hotels to gather room rates, and don't hesitate to ask if they offer a group discount rate. Many will allow you to reserve a block of rooms for the weekend, and then guests can call in and pay for their own room. On a separate insert in your invitation, include hotel names, rates, and a code for your block rate, along with a small map of where the hotels are located in relation to where the party will be held.

 

Retirement Party Decorations:

 

You can go with the Retiree's favorite colors if not using a particular theme, or use Gold and White which is always classy, or even go with Military Khaki!

 

Tie up a small hammock made from fishing net or other netting to hold the guest of honor's gifts.

 

Or set up a retirement scene with a real hammock, hat, radio, tropical drink, newspaper, and pillow.

 

You might even want to stuff some clothes to create a retiree in effigy. Display pictures of the guest of honor as he or she appeared at work over the years. Or set out memorabilia from significant accomplishments on the job, such as locations he/she has lived in, items from each tour of duty, port of call, etc.. In the entryway place an enlarged picture of the Retiree on an easel and hang a set up a guest Sign in Table with a guest book. 

 

Hang Banners that match your theme.

 

A nice touch for the evening would be to set up a photo backdrop area - either a balloon arch, or a metallic curtain - so that the retiree can have his/her picture taken with either individuals or groupings of his choice. You will want to take plenty of photographs to document this important once-in-a-lifetime event!

 





Retirement Party Games & Activities:

 


Obviously too many to do all of these, but any of these would make wonderful memories and entertain the guests and the Guest of Honor!

 

Hold a roast, giving all the guests a chance to poke fun at the retiree. Everyone will enjoy hearing funny stories about the special guest (as long as they aren't mean-spirited).

 

Ask each guest to write down a suggestion for a leisure-time activity. Most of your guests will probably write something funny or silly, like Finally learn to program your VCR or Write that sexy romance novel you've been wanting to write.

 

If cooking is a hobby, create a cookbook that friends/family contribute a recipe to. Have them send them to you ahead of time, or include a blank recipe card with the invitaiton and have them bring to the event with them.

 

Setup a video camera in a corner of the house somewhere and have each guest take turns saying something about the Retireee... what they remember about working with them, their favorite funny story, etc. 

 

Encourage guests to offer toasts, tributes or reminiscences. In your invitation, ask each guest to come to the party with his or her own toast, tribute or remembrance, in lieu of a store bought gift. This can take many different forms: A personal note, a doodle, a tape recorded message, a video segment, a message in song form, a poem, a skit, a photo collage, slide presentation, or a homemade music video. There is nothing quite like personalized gifts, perfect for anyone, any occasion!

 

Ask each guest to write down a suggestion for a leisure-time activity. Most of your guests will probably write something funny or silly. (Watch more talk shows, Write a novel, Sleep Late, etc)

Make a book of old photos of the retiree from both work and family pictures. Write cute, appropriate captions that celebrate the person's working life. Have everybody write a personal note in the back or on a page that's most appropriate. Digital copiers or scanners can handle photos and you can reduce or enlarge them to fit their place on a page.

 

Cut funny photos out of magazines and make them into slides. Write a script that uses the slides to tell a silly story or tongue-in-cheek commentary on the retiree. Use music if you're able to. The Story of ---- read by a family or friend with a great sense of humor!

 

Cover a wall with seamless paper and allow guests to leave messages, clever doodles, or creative outlines of themselves for the guest of honor. A really fun keepsake! Start by creating a message of welcome or a greeting to the guest of honor on the sign prior to the party. You can clip the doodles and messages after the party and preserve them in a scrapbook for the retiree!

 

Use a good video recorder with a sensitive mike or even a tape recorder to do imaginary man in the street interviews with coworkers, family and friends. Blend them together to make an imaginary documentary or news program. The same ham can play Connie Chung or Dan Rather.

 

Use the retiree's hometown newspaper to make a masthead that you can then attach imaginary stories to to make a cute front page entirely devoted to the retiree. 

 

You can make a lifesize blowup of a silly photo of the retiree and tell him or her that his or her replacement has been hired, then unveil the photo. 

 

Go to the drugstore and buy the sample size of old people products such as dentucreme and Preparation H. Borrow a wheelchair, walker, cane and etc. or rent from a medical supply. Have the retiree sit in a rocker or wheelchair for presentations and put a shawl around his/her shoulders. Take lots of photos.

 

Surprise the Guest of Honor with a special This is Your Life Party 




Retirement Party Food Ideas

 

While it may seem like a thrifty and personal touch to plan on cooking or preparing food for the party, you may find that it is generally best to do as little cooking as possible on the day of the party. Whenever possible choose food that can be prepared a few days prior to the party, or hire caterers, and purchase prepared food from restaurants, delicatessens, and food service markets. There is no need to create extra stress when the party is upon you, and you will have more time to mingle and enjoy the festivities. 

If you will be hosting a Open-House a buffet set-up would be easiest. It is also perfectly acceptable to serve only cake and punch, or a small dessert buffet at a open house. If you are using a specific theme, serve a menu to match your theme or just serve traditional favorites such as:


Built-your-own Tacos or Nachos
Mini pizzas
Burgers and hot dogs
Giant deli sandwiches (Subway? has a great 6' sandwich)
Great staples for a buffet style finger food meal include:
Chicken wings
Chicken strips (offer 3 or 4 interesting dipping sauces)
Meatballs (Swedish or BBQ)
Mini eggrolls
Whole water chestnuts wrapped in bacon
Veggies and dip
Assortment of sandwiches made on mini buns (about 3-4 bite size). 
 

Make everything ahead of time, and store hot items in a warming tray, or in an oven set at 200 degrees until the feeding frenzy begins! Scatter several bowls of munchies around the areas where your guests will be mingling. Add a few easy dips that can be made ahead of time.  

And don't forget about your Retirement Party Favors! This is an occasion you will want your friends, family and guests to remember for years to come.. so purchase Retirement Party Favors that are as unique as the Guest of Honor: they can be of their favorite hobby, personalized with their name, or to fit the theme of the Retirement Party.


 

 

 

 

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