Birthday parties can be fun, and over the hill party games can make older birthdays a hilarious rite of passage.
Defining Over the Hill
The traditional over the hill age is 40, but depending on an individual's lifestyle, celebrating the over the hill milestone may be more appropriate for his 50th or 60th birthday. The basic idea is that once someone is "over the hill," she has been the best she'll ever be - in the best shape, the sharpest mind, the most successful - and it's all downhill from here. While this may seem like a cruel and degrading party, it is merely meant to poke fun at one's age, because no matter what birthday you reach, you're never too old to have fun.
Ideas for Over the Hill Party Games
Party games get all guests involved in the festivities, and over the hill games and activities exaggerate the guest of honor's age in fun and festive ways, letting everyone rediscover their youth while simultaneously realizing they're not quite so young anymore. Popular game ideas include:
- Older Than: In this game, participants take turns coming up with creative things that the guest of honor is older than. Movies that are celebrating 20 years of classic entertainment, for example, are younger than over the hill honorees, and individuals who are over the hill are older than cell phones, personal computers, music videos, microwave ovens, and other things that seem to have been around for ages.
- Walker Races: A crazy party game to give guests a taste of being old is using canes or walkers for a race. Tying the aids to participants' legs will ensure that they don't use their relative youth to cheat, and races can be arranged in relays or other contests to create team events.
- Eye Test: Use an eye test chart for this fun game, but instead of random letters, spell out fun birthday or over the hill messages. To add another element of aging, borrow bifocal prescription eyeglasses for contestants to wear while they decipher the chart.
- You're Not Young Anymore: This game emphasizes that youth is fleeting by pitting older adults against the same games they played decades ago. Twister takes on a whole new meaning when you're no longer as limber as a teenager, and board games like Operation or Perfection that require manual dexterity may be more challenging to older adults, letting them laugh at how once simple games have become more difficult with age.
- Taste Test: This game has two main variations. Guests could try to identify the tastes of different types of alcohol and mixed drinks to relive their hard-partying college years (be sure to have designated drivers available), or they could decipher pureed foods and other fare that may await in the approaching golden years.
- Birth Year Trivia: This trivia game can cover important news stories, popular culture, celebrities, sporting events, and other facts from the year the guest of honor was born or another significant year, such as the year of their 16th, 18th, or 21st birthday.
- Hobby Games: More low-key over the hill party games can revolve around traditionally "elderly" hobbies. Shuffleboard, bingo, and golf are usually associated with older individuals and can be fun options for a party celebrating aging.
More Over the Hill Party Ideas
Even the best games aren't as much fun if the party isn't coordinated. Choosing over the hill themes and decorations can make the event much more memorable - even if the memory is the first thing to go.
Popular themes for over the hill parties include:
- Rest In Peace: Passing the over the hill milestone means letting go of one's youth, and "burying" it symbolically can be a fun party option.
- Dinosaur: Exaggerating the guest of honor's age by comparing him or her to a dinosaur can be a lighthearted way to celebrate this milestone.
- Retro Themes: Enjoy one last fling into youth by recreating the popular culture of 20 years ago with appropriate music, clothing, and favorite foods.
Decorations for over the hill parties often include:
- Black balloons, streamers, and other items to symbolize mourning for lost youth
- Tombstones and other novelty burial items
- Party favors in prescription medication bottles
- Using medical aid items such as novelty canes or hearing aids as decorative accents
- Opting for a retro look by reviving the decorations of youth, such as out-of-style clothes, posters of hit movies and musicians who have been long forgotten, or using old pictures and yearbooks to create a life story collage
While an over the hill party may be fun to plan, it is important to be cautious. Some individuals are more sensitive about their age than others, and planning this type of whimsical, tongue-in-cheek event could be considered offensive or critical rather than celebratory. This is particularly true if the guest of honor is the first in his circle of friends to reach this milestone - if other friends are already over their own hills, they can welcome him into the club with friendship and support instead of sarcasm and dry wit. Party planners should always be sensitive to the personality of the guest of honor so the event can be enjoyable for everyone.
Over the hill party games are a critical part of this milestone birthday celebration, and whether the games relive the passing years of youth or poke fun at the aging that lies ahead, they will be enjoyable activities all party guests can share.