31 Thoughtful 50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Family & Friends

31 Thoughtful 50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Family & Friends


Someone you love is turning 50, and you're wondering what gifts you could give to make their day extra special.

Some people have everything already. Some don't want gifts. No matter who you're celebrating, you want to find something that'll delight them (and won't end up in the recycling bin!).

That's why we've gathered 31 thoughtful 50th birthday gift ideas that check all the boxes. They're unique, thoughtful, and personalized, the perfect way to ring in 5-0. 

1. Good Whiskey & Personalized Decanter

Pair a bottle of good whiskey with a personalized whiskey decanter and matching glasses made just for them. They can display the decanter and glasses in a home bar or office and enjoy them year after year.

2. Things From the Year They Were Born

Celebrate the milestone with a collection of books, movies, and memorabilia from the year or day the birthday celebrant was born. Tuck them into a personalized memory box to create a keepsake they'll cherish.

3. Tickets to a Special Event or Exhibit

Sometimes the best gifts are experiences that turn into lasting memories. Think concert tickets to the person's favorite artist, tickets to a taping of a favorite show, or entry into an art exhibit they've always wanted to see.

4. Engraved Cutting Board

Choose an engraved cutting board for the man or woman who loves to cook. Not only will it become a favorite new tool in the kitchen, but it also doubles as a beautiful serving tray for parties and a beautiful display item. Consider a classic wooden cutting board or a sophisticated resin-filled cutting board.

5. A Day to Relax

Is the person you're celebrating always busy and on the go, or do they spend lots of time taking care of family? Consider gifting them a day all to themselves. Pair this with bubble bath, books, or other items they can use to kick back and relax.

6. Personalized BBQ Set

A personalized BBQ set is a thoughtful gift for someone who loves to grill. This one comes in a well-made maple wood box and contains a spatula, tongs, brush, fork, knife, steel skewers and a heat glove, each with a loop for easy hanging.

7. Box of Birthday Letters and Cards

With 5 decades of life under their belt, chances are a lot of people love and cherish the person you're celebrating. Collect birthday wishes, letters, and cards from family, colleagues, and friends and tuck them into a personalized gift box for a heartwarming gift they'll never forget.

8. Homemade Gifts from Grandkids

If the person turning 50 has grandchildren already, they might enjoy receiving handcrafted gifts or cards from each one. If the kids are small, you could make keepsakes with their handprints or footprints or create an album of photos with the grandparent and the child.

9. Engraved Knife

A well-made personalized knife is a great gift for someone who loves the outdoors. This one has a serrated blade, seat cutter, can opener, and belt clip. It'll be a reliable companion on all your birthday celebrant's adventures.

10. Printed Recipe Book

If you've grown up enjoying the birthday boy or girl's recipes, a thoughtful way to celebrate their legacy is by printing and binding or collecting a book of their most beloved recipes. They can enjoy it now and someday gift it to the next generation to use and re-use for years to come.

11. Personalized Cigar Box

For the person who loves a good cigar, consider gifting them a personalized engraved cigar box packed with a very good cigar brand. This pairs nicely with a bottle of whiskey from idea #1.

12. Gag Gifts About Turning 50

This gift idea is only for those who have a good sense of humor! Buying gag gifts, like "Over the Hill" signs and old people "pills" (made of candy) can give the right person a good laugh.

13. Personalized Tools

Does the birthday celebrant love DIY projects or fixing things around the house? Consider gifting them personalized tools to add to their collection, like this engraved hammer. Every time they open up their tools, they'll be reminded of their special day.

14. A Nice Dinner Together

Make reservations to a nice restaurant so they can enjoy an evening of good food, wine, and conversation. Consider who they might want to spend dinner with, whether it's a romantic getaway for a couple, a whole-family event, or a night out with a long-time friend.

15. Take Them on a City Tour

If the birthday person is of the traveling type, you could plan a tour of an interesting city they'd like to visit, from faraway destinations like Paris or Tokyo to local cities and towns that sit just a few hours away.

16. Hobby Kit to Support a Favorite Hobby

Does your special someone enjoy cultivating a vegetable garden, cooking Italian food, playing fantasy football, or doing woodwork? Consider gifting them a hobby kit packed with goodies to support their favorite hobby. Gift subscriptions to subscription boxes also work well for this.

17. A Day of Their Favorite Activities

You don't need to tour a faraway city or buy expensive tickets to a show to have fun together. Instead, you could plan a simple birthday itinerary filled with the birthday boy or girl's favorite activities, whatever that looks like for them.

18. Poker Night

Throwing a fun poker night for the birthday celebrant and their buddies would make for a memorable birthday bash. Prepare plenty of food, some cocktails, and even some cigars if you wish.

19. BBQ Birthday Party

Make their birthday a big celebration by holding a big barbecue for family and friends in their honor. Feed the crowd with plenty of steaks, burgers, or brats, keep the cooler filled with drinks, and set out games and sports equipment so guests can play and have fun.

20. Finish a Project Around the House

Some people have big projects around their house they've been meaning to do for years, but haven't been able to find the time. If it's your parents turning the big 5-0, consider stepping in to finish one of those big projects around the house as a thoughtful birthday gift.

21. Family Birthday Party

By the time your parents turn 50, they've got plenty of extended family members, in-laws, and grandchildren, and it's sometimes hard to get together. Make their 50th an opportunity to bring the whole family together for a party they'll never forget. You can even make matching tumblers for each family member to mark the occasion.

22. Hiking Trip to See the Sunrise

Turning 50 can be a new start for many. For an inspiring start to a new season of life, consider planning a hiking trip or mountain climbing excursion where you can watch the sunrise from high above the city. As they accomplish the feat of climbing to the summit and look out over the world as the sun rises, they’ll be inspired to think of new possibilities.

23. Surprise Party

If you're planning to throw a party for the birthday boy or girl, turning it into a surprise party can add an extra layer to the fun. Instead of pretending like you won't celebrate (which can feel hurtful) tell them you're planning a small gathering or outing, then secretly invite more family, friends, and colleagues to surprise them. It's also fun to invite a surprise guest from far away to an already-planned party.

24. Fishing Trip

For many men (and women), fishing is a love language. And what better way to celebrate them than by planning and executing a relaxing fishing trip in one of their favorite fishing spots?

25. Personalized Charcuterie Board

A personalized charcuterie board is an excellent gift choice for the person who loves entertaining. Not only can you fill it with delectable goodies for the 50th birthday party itself, but the birthday celebrant can keep it, display it, and enjoy using it year after year.

26. Antique Decorations

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Skip heading to stores stocking dozens of the same product based on the same trends, and head to an antique shop, where you can find something truly unique that fits the personality and style of the person you're celebrating.

27. 50 Notes of What You Love About Them

This is especially good for the person who says, "No gifts, please!" In honor of their big milestone, you can write 50 personal notes of what you love about the person, favorite memories you have together, and your wishes for their next year of life.

28. Bouquet of 50 Roses

Make the birthday girl feel extra special with a huge, over-the-top bouquet of 50 roses. While it makes a huge splash and brightens up her day, it won't last for too long, making it a great clutter-free gift.

29. Nice Sheets or Towels

Upgrading the birthday celebrant's home decor with nice sheets or towels is a practical gift they can enjoy for many years. High thread-count sheets and fluffy towels make every day feel more luxurious.

30. Wine Tasting Experience

A wine-tasting tour is a treat for the eyes and palate. If the person turning 50 enjoys good wine, this is a fun way to celebrate, make memories, and enjoy good drinks all at the same time!

31. The Gift of Time

We wrap up this list with the best gift of all—the gift of time. Whether you set aside quality time just to talk and listen, spend time doing a favorite activity together, or free up their time by clearing chores or tasks from their to-do list, they will appreciate the thoughtful gesture.

What to Consider When Choosing a 50th Birthday Gift

When choosing a gift for someone turning 50, here are some things to consider:

  • Personality. Some people love gathering with friends and having birthday parties, while others enjoy spending time alone or with a few close friends. Our list of 50th birthday ideas above has plenty of gift ideas for both types.
  • Dreams & Desires. It's easy to get caught up in the rhythms of life and suddenly, you're turning 50, and you haven't completed some of your biggest dreams yet. Making one of those dreams come true (or helping them take one step closer) is an excellent way to celebrate the milestone.
  • Interests. What does the person love to do? Consider gifting them something that aligns with their hobbies, favorite pastimes, and ways to relax.

Find the Perfect Gift at Engrave My Memories

Looking for something that's truly one-of-a-kind? We offer high-quality and durable personalized gifts that we engrave by hand in our workshop. 

Visit our shop to discover more gifts like these that can be personalized for an unforgettable birthday gift.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the traditional gift for the 50th birthday?

Gold is the traditional gift for a 50th anniversary, and that could be extended to the 50th birthday.

What color symbolizes the 50th birthday?

Since gold is the material given for a 50th anniversary or birthday, consider gold-colored or golden-yellow items to celebrate.

What flower represents the 50th birthday?

While there isn't a traditional flower for the 50th birthday, you could send golden-yellow roses or other flowers to fit with the traditional gold theme for 50th birthdays and anniversaries.