Questions?  (920) 431-0938
Eng Spa

Back to Blog

June 22, 2022Now Trending

ideas for retirement party

It’s the time of life that most of us spend years dreaming of retirement! After decades of hard work, new retirees deserve a celebration worthy of their contributions. That means you’ll have to start thinking of ideas for a retirement party. The first consideration for the party will be hosting. You’ll need to determine whether the employer will be throwing the party or the family. Of course, even if the employer is planning a party, that doesn’t mean family and friends can’t plan an additional retirement bash! Organizing a retirement party can be a daunting task, but with proper planning, the event will be a huge success. If you’re concerned about how to plan a retirement party, American Tent is here to help you explore retirement celebration ideas and find the perfect tent for your next retirement party.

#1. Choose the Right Venue for Event

When planning a retirement party and choosing a venue, think about your guests first. You’ll have to determine how many guests will be attending and make sure you choose a location that will comfortably accommodate everyone. You’ll also have to decide if your party will be indoors or outdoors. If it’s outdoors, you’ll need to start looking for party frame tents to ensure your guests’ comfort. You’ll also have to think about retirement party activities, seating requirements for the event and whether or not you’ll need tables for dining, and what the seating arrangement may be. If you have the space, it’s often easiest to host the event right in your backyard.

#2. Pick a Theme

Next, think about the guest of honor and what theme would be most appropriate. Fun retirement party ideas include a theme based on their professions, such as a law enforcement theme for a retiring police officer or a classroom theme for a retiring teacher. You could also choose a theme based on the retiree’s hobbies. If he or she is looking forward to playing plenty of golf in retirement, you could have a golf theme complete with an outdoor putting green. For travel enthusiasts, a travel theme complete with destination decor would be suitable. Whatever theme you choose, make sure that it is meaningful and will bring joy to the new retiree.

#3. Consider Making It an Outside Picnic

retirement celebration ideas

As we mentioned, if you have room in your backyard, that’s a convenient and cost-effective option for a retirement party. Otherwise, you may be able to reserve a space at a local for little to no cost. Either way, an outside picnic with a pop-up tent will simplify party planning, especially if you ask guests to bring a dish to pass.

#4. Take Care of the Photography for the Party

Retirement is an important milestone in every worker’s life. Be sure to document the big day with plenty of photographs. You can either choose to hire a professional or designate an attendee to be a photographer for the day. Even if you don’t have a professional or amateur photographer in attendance, today’s cell phone technology delivers near-professional quality photos. You also may choose to include existing photography as part of the party decor. A memory board collage with photographs of the retiree hard at work over the years makes a heartfelt tribute and keepsake that the guest of honor will surely cherish well after the party ends.

#5. Prepare Speeches

When you send out invitations, be sure to ask your guests to prepare short speeches or toasts that include memories of the retiree. Speeches should include either humorous memories or heartfelt tributes of how the retiree helped mentor them. Let your guests know to keep their scripts short so that everyone has an opportunity to speak. If you are the guest of honor, be sure to make some notes in advance of the party so that when it’s your turn to speak, you aren’t caught off guard and forget to mention anyone special. Younger guests will appreciate words of wisdom from the retiree on topics ranging from teamwork, the value of hard work, and how to set and achieve big goals.

#6. Choose the Right Gifts 

fun retirement party ideas

After all of that hard work, your guest of honor deserves some gifts! Consider the retiree’s plans for retirement when choosing a gift. For some retirees, that may mean travel. For others, the plan may be to spend countless quiet hours at home. If you’re unsure what to give, ask the host for suggestions. In fact, if you are planning the party, you can help guests out by making suggestions, or choosing one large gift and asking guests to chip in on the cost. Other suggestions for the best retirement party gifts include:

  • A journal to document their new phase in life.
  • A camera to encourage a new hobby.
  • Subscription to a book club or magazines to fill all of that extra spare time.
  • Passes to a local state park.
  • A classic watch. 
  • Gift certificates to local coffee shops.
  • A suitcase for those who plan to travel.
  • Golf gift certificate for avid golfers.
  • Health club membership for active retirees.

#7. Get Creative with the Planning

Make the party extra memorable by involving your guests in planning things to do at a retirement party. Ask guests to write down their favorite memories of working with the guest of honor and put them together into a binder as a keepsake. Better yet, ask guests to send photos or videos from their phones that you can incorporate into the party.

#8. Make a “Celebrity Roast” 

The guest of honor at your retirement is a celebrity for working all of those years, so why not bestow upon them a celebrity roast? Ask guests to write up jokes poking fun at the new retiree. Make sure the jokes are good-natured and won’t be construed as hurtful or too embarrassing.


Throwing a retirement party doesn’t have to be a stressful event. You can always enlist the help of guests for planning, setting up, and cleaning up. If you want to keep the party stress-free, consider hiring a party planner who specializes in these kinds of events. The fun thing is that you can customize your party to the guest of honor to keep it authentic. For example, a buttoned-down attorney may feel more comfortable at a classy retirement party. Whereas, someone who has been working the third shift at a factory for 30 years might prefer a less formal - and more fun - ‘take this job and shove it’ party theme. Whatever kind of retirement party you throw, we can help you choose the perfect tent from our extensive tent catalog. Contact us today to get started!

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

Order Your Event Tent Today!

If you enjoyed today’s entry, be sure to bookmark our blog page and check back frequently for the latest updates.

We regularly post helpful resources that can help you plan great events and learn more about our event tents.

Our friendly customer service team is always happy to answer any questions you have about pole tents, frame tents, and sidewalls, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need more information!

Find out how much better it is to have Shelter. Simplified.

Give us a call today at (920) 431-0938!

Contact Us
Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart.

Continue Shopping