How to celebrate a milestone birthday

A group of people dancing at a milestone birthday party

A milestone birthday is always an important occasion, whether it's a 16th or 60th!

Turning from 39 to 40 or 49 to 50 is a big deal. It's a new decade in your lifetime and should be marked and celebrated.

If you have someone special in your life celebrating a milestone birthday soon, read on for some top tips on milestone birthdays and how to celebrate them in style.

Looking for the perfect hamper for a milestone birthday, explore here:


Shop birthday hampers




What is a ‘milestone’ birthday?

A milestone birthday means two things - a significant birthday where you can now do certain things (usually by law!) and also a turning of the decade.

In our younger years, a milestone birthday is often related to a birthday where there is a certain legal or social significance, such as turning 16 when you can apply for a passport, 17 when you can learn to drive and 18 when you are legally an 'adult', can drink alcohol, etc. 

After 21, milestone birthdays relate more to the turning of the decades. Reaching a new ‘era’ in your life – the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

Legally, it may not make much difference, but for you, as well as special friends and families, it is an occasion for an extra special celebration.

And we all enjoy spoiling loved ones when they reach a milestone age...whether they wish to acknowledge it or not!!!


Love Cocoa Happy Birthday bar, with cake, candle and decorations flatlay



Which birthdays are considered milestones?

As mentioned above 16,17, 18 and 21 are often considered milestone birthdays. After that, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th birthdays are significant.

Some people may celebrate 65th 66th or 67th birthdays as milestone birthdays, due to this being associated with ‘official’ retirement ages.

Any birthday beyond 70 is extra special, and should one reach 100, then obviously this is a very significant milestone birthday with the prospect of a telegram from the new King.

For more inspiration on gifts for a milestone birthday and the significance of each milestone, take a look here:


 Milestone birthdays



Should milestone birthdays be celebrated differently from other birthdays?

At, we believe that milestone birthdays should be celebrated differently...and more extravagantly!

We are all about bringing joy and delight to a birthday and when it's a milestone or turn-of-the-decade event then bigger is most certainly better.

For friends and family, it’s a wonderful opportunity to show that person just how much they mean to you.

If you are throwing someone a party, gathering or birthday celebration, there are loads of great age-related decorations you can get too - from balloons to banners, to confetti.

If your mum or dad is celebrating a milestone birthday, then it’s a great chance to pick a really special, memorable or keepsake gift to mark their 50th or 60th birthday, for example.

You’ll want to choose something that stands out from other birthdays.


For more inspiration, take a read of our posts with lots of recommendations for Birthday Gifts for Mum and Birthday Gifts for Dad.



How should you celebrate a milestone birthday?

There are lots of ways to celebrate a milestone birthday.

If you are organising a surprise, our top tip is always to put the birthday girl or boy in the front of your mind when coming up with ideas:

– What would they love to do?

–  What would they want?

– Who would they want to see?

– How would they prefer to celebrate?

Remember everyone is different.

From big birthday parties in great locations to surprise trips to exotic places to significant gifts they would never expect, think carefully about the person whose milestone birthday it is. What will delight and shock? What they have enjoyed in the past or hinted they would love to do? Is there anything on their bucket list?!

For example:

- Have they mentioned a band they’d love to see?

- Is there someone or somewhere they would love to see?

- Do they have a list of dream locations to visit?

- Do they enthuse about a certain food or drink they just can’t get enough of?

Use all of this information...ask other friends and family...make the time to plan a thoughtful and magnificent celebration they will never forget.

What makes a good gift for a milestone birthday?

A milestone birthday can be a time for reflection – so keepsake items, like jewellery, paintings, personalised items and photos can be lovely ideas if you know the person well. Give them something to preserve special memories and achievements.

Top of our list is always a special birthday hamper - chosen specifically to contain food, drinks and treats the birthday gift recipient will adore.

Also, if you are invited to a big milestone party, a small hamper is always a great gift - you'll be one of the favourite party guests!

Here are some milestone birthday hamper ideas to inspire you...

For a 40th birthday, it may be that the birthday girl or boy is incredibly busy working, raising a family or even travelling lots – indulge them with something that means they will stop and relax for a while…from an afternoon tea style hamper to red wine and cheese after dinner. Explore our:

40th birthday hampers


For a 50th birthday, what will appeal to their maturing tastes? From luxury gin to the tastiest beer, you can find something that they will truly savour in our selection of:

50th birthday hampers


For a 60th birthday, we know you’ll want something truly sophisticated. There are plenty of birthday hampers featuring the finest Champagne, as well as those that offer something a little different, like gourmet popcorn and the most exquisite chocolates. Discover our carefully selected range of: 

60th birthday hampers


The Birthday Celebration Hamper with contents on display

What should you write in the card for a milestone birthday?

When it comes to a birthday card for a milestone birthday, it’s nice to make the effort to find a special card to mark the occasion, rather than a standard birthday card.

You can find cards specifically for ‘husband on your 40th birthday’; ‘mum on your 50th birthday’ or ‘nan on your 60th birthday’, for example, too.

In terms of what to write, of course, this depends very much on your relationship with the person whose milestone birthday you are celebrating. Would they expect something humorous and cheeky or something sentimental and special? Write what feels natural to you.

What you write in a milestone birthday card may also depend on whether you are seeing them in person to deliver the card at a party, meal, gathering or other celebration. Or, whether you will be posting the card, and hence the contents is your chance to convey special birthday wishes.

The older the individual is, the more a milestone birthday may feel a significant marker of ‘getting older’. If you know they are feeling a little down about their age, ensure that what you write puts a positive spin on breaking into a new decade…for example ‘Fun/Feisty/Fantastic at 40’ or ‘Fabulous/Fearless/Fighting fit at 50’ or ‘Savvy/Stunning/Sensational at 60’

Don’t forget that all of our hampers include a personalised gift card, upon which you can write a specially crafted message of your choosing. 


Milestone birthday gift ideas

If you are looking for more milestone birthday gift inspiration, don’t forget to check out not only our dedicated 40th, 50th and 60th birthday hamper ranges but also our dedicated selections of:


Birthday hampers for her       Birthday hampers for him


Whatever the special milestone birthday, we hope you can find a hamper that brings joy and adds to some very special memories on a momentous occasion.

This blog was posted 2024-01-19 10:02:00