Experience-Based GiftsThere are plenty of experience-themed gifts to lift the spirits. Some examples include:
Wine TastingIf you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere sunny enough for grapes to thrive, how about buying your loved one a vineyard tour followed by a wine tasting and lunch? If you’re based in the States, check the American Winery Guide to find a vineyard near you. You and your loved one can spend the entire day or afternoon, sampling delicious wines…just be sure to book a taxi beforehand to take you home!
Tickets to a Sports EventIf your loved one is a die-hard sports fan and usually relies on the TV to catch up with the latest football, soccer, or baseball game, how about researching when the next game is and buying tickets to go an see it? If that’s a bit out of your budget, try the Ticketmaster site and book a tour of their favorite team’s stadium instead.
A Picnic BasketThis may seem like an odd choice for an experience-based gift, but how about buying your loved one a picnic basket, complete with all the crockery and wine glasses you need to have a romantic picnic at their favorite spot? It’s an experience you and they can recreate any time you want… making it perfect for reminiscing how special their 55th birthday really was. We like this heart-shaped picnic basket that we found on Picnic Time; it’s lined with an antique white interior that houses everything you need for an outdoor meal for two.
A Hot Air Balloon RideIf your beloved has an adventurous spirit, take them on a hot air balloon ride across a beautiful nature spot. To make this experience extra-special, contact the company in advance to see whether you can take a couple of champagne glasses and some bubbly too!
An Airbnb ExperienceThe Airbnb experience site is a great place to find an adventurous experience. Although Airbnb’s physical experiences came to a halt during COVID-19, you can still buy online experiences.
A Scavenger HuntIf your loved one is up for a challenge on their 55th birthday, what about a Scavenger Hunt? ‘Let’s Roam’s’ team of intrepid explorers have designed experiences in 400+ cities around the world. Just choose which city you want to complete your Scavenger hunt in, and you’re good to go! Once you’re in the city of your choice, you’re given a series of riddles to solve, challenges to complete, and photos to take via the Let’s Roam app. We loved the look of this hunt in San Francisco, it takes just over two hours and looks like a lot of fun!
Gifts That Say 55As the title suggests, here are a couple of gifts that really hone in on this very special birthday:
A NecklaceHow about a personalized necklace? You could have their year of birth attached to it. We like this one on Etsy, available in rose gold, gold plate, and silver plate, and comes in a variety of chain lengths.
T-ShirtWhether your loved one is male or female, a novelty printed t-shirt that says “55 and still fabulous” or something like that, is a fun and affordable 55th birthday gift. Alternatively, if you share an in-joke, or if you’re creative, there are plenty of online brands that enable you to customize your own shirts. How cool is that? We zoned in on Spreadshirt. This company has excellent reviews and has lots of colors and designs for you to choose from. So, if this is a gift you’re considering, be sure to check them out!
Unique GiftsLooking for something a bit out-of-the-box? If so, maybe one of the gift ideas below will be more the ticket:
A NASA giftIf your loved one is a space nut, check out the NASA gift store. Here you’ll find a genuinely star-studded choice of products. We like their selection of drinkware, including Moon Landing, shot glasses, a phase changing moon mug, and a NASA H2GO Force water bottle.
Stay ConnectedKeeping your phone charged when you’re out and about can be tough. If your loved one enjoys nothing more than traveling around or long days out, but wants to stay connected, then you can’t go wrong with a good-quality power bank. One of our favorites is this waterproof power bank with two USB outputs and a flashlight. It’s perfect for those who love the great outdoors!
Owl Eyeglasses HolderThe cry of, “Has anyone seen my glasses?” is a daily occurrence in many households. If you can relate, you might have purchased your loved one a chain so that they can wear their glasses around their neck. However, for the stylish 55-year-old in your life, this might be declared too granny-ish. This is where a cute wooden glasses holder like this one, comes into its own. We’re particularly fond of the owl because they’ve been symbols of wisdom since ancient times, and this one looks even more erudite in the pair of black-framed spectacles it’s modeling. Whatever the size or shape of your loved one’s eyewear, a small hook on the back of the owl’s head will keep them in place until they need them again. Providing they keep it in the same spot, their glasses will never go missing again! Our verdict: Quirky but practical, the perfect present for any scatter-brain!
A Meditation BoxGive the gift of relaxation with this gorgeously finished meditation box from uncommongoods.com. Compact and portable, they can carry it with them wherever life takes them. When responsibilities and worries start to pile up (work deadlines loom, children or grandchildren need ferrying here there and everywhere, the house could do with a spring clean, the list goes on…), this gift encourages them to take a moment to breathe and relax. Some people journal as a way of emptying their minds at the end of a busy day. Others find the blank pages, and the thought of filling an entire book, too intimidating. Plus, the worries haven’t really gone away; they’re written there in black and white, day after day, week after week until you’ve got a year’s worth of responsibility back on your shoulders. But the sand in the meditation box is always shifting, encouraging your loved one to write down what they’re feeling and then blow it away to re-center themselves.
A Grown-Up Coloring SetIf you’re after something to help relieve some of the stress that modern life (not to mention celebrating a fairly big birthday!) can cause, and you’re not sure the meditation box will quite hit the mark, why not choose a gift that’s going to put them in touch with their inner child as well as the wider universe? This Grown Up Coloring Starter Pack contains 36 crayons, a sharpener, and 24 mandala designs. It’s ideal for any grandparent who wants to join in when the kids are feeling “artistic.” It’s also the perfect present for those with anxious or overactive brains who have trouble sleeping. The bright colors and symmetric structures help soothe even the most turbulent of souls, and the shapes of the mandalas help to remind them that when their to-do list gets out of hand, that this too shall pass.
A Hollywood Make-Up Vanity MirrorIf you know a lady who’s 55 and fabulous, this vanity mirror (surrounded by bare, LED bulbs) might just be the perfect present. Doing her hair and make-up in the glow from these 12 dimmable lights, she’ll feel like a real Hollywood prima donna. But, retailing at $159.99, we understand this probably goes beyond a lot of people’s budgets. Not to worry! Etsy has a fantastic range of personalized compacts that do just the trick. She can ensure she goes out looking just as glam, and for only a fraction of the cost too. We love glitter—it doesn’t matter what the question is, glitter and sparkles are always the answer—so we’re recommending these handmade, customizable compacts that come in a variety of different colors. Still, it’s definitely worth hunting around to see what else is out there before you commit to a final purchase.
A Wall Mounted Jewelry DisplayYou can amass a lot of jewelry in 55 years. So, instead of the birthday girl forgetting the pieces she loves, leaving them to tarnish in too many boxes. Why not get her a wall-mounted jewelry display? Here she can see at a glance every beautiful ring, bracelet, and pendant they own. We’ve all been there; there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find that one necklace that would go perfectly with our outfit. Again, a wall-mounted jewelry display is a perfect solution! Check out this magnificent, wall-mounted jewelry rack. It’s easy to hang, has a section for everything, and blends in beautifully in any bedroom. Side note: It’s especially apt for the free-spirited women born in the 60s because of its rustic, unfinished look of the wood. It gives the whole piece a decidedly bohemian feel.
Bucket List BooksA little bit of inspiration can sometimes go a long way. After all, that’s why you’re here right now, and why we set this site up in the first place…to help lost and last-minute buyers find the perfect presents for their loved ones. And now, we want to encourage you to pay that service forwards. Whether they’re a hiker, a foodie, a bibliophile, there’s a guide out there for everyone – for example:
- 100 Hikes of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Scenic Trails, from National Geographic
- Lonely Planet’s Ultimate East List
- The Big Bucket List Book: 133 Experiences of a Lifetime, by Gin Sander
FAQs About 55th Birthday Gifts
Um, in style! 55 is the new 35; anything goes at this age: yummy mummy, glam granny, hip, and happening Grandad. Instead of making them feel like they should reach for their cardigans and slippers, treat them to a fabulous night out. Perhaps not dancing until dawn in towering platforms, but maybe dinner and dessert at their favorite restaurant? You can’t go wrong with a fun-filled evening of eating, drinking, and celebrating your loved one! Or, if you wanted, you could cook up a storm in your own kitchen, invite the family over. Parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, friends – the more, the merrier! That way, you can all collaborate to spoil the lucky lady or gent absolutely rotten.
Swingin’ Sixties. Don your Windsor glasses, as popularized by John Lennon, dust off your waistcoats, brush down your miniskirts, and get out your go-go boots…it’s time to groove! Why not decorate the place with peace signs and newspaper clippings? Create a dramatic, black and white backdrop where you can hang photographs of the birthday boy or girl, and remind your guests to, “make love, not war” as you “twist and shout” through the night. By the way, Spotify has some great 60s-themed playlists, featuring artists like The Rolling Stones, Petula Clark, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and (of course!) The Beatles. Casino Night. 1965 also saw the release of the fourth James Bond film, Thunderball. In proper 007 spirit (martini, shaken not stirred), you could all dress up to the nines and go to a decent casino. Or, even better, host the party at home. There are tons of poker and roulette sets you can buy online. Then mix your own cocktails, and relax because the stakes are what you say they are. NB. Tuxes and ballgowns are non-negotiable, though! Cheese and Wine. Serve a selection of cheeses on artisan wooden boards (or paper plates, to be honest; we’re not fussy!) with crackers, pickles, fruit, and salad, and have an array of different wines ready in the rack to accompany them. It’s simple but oh-so-elegant, a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Quiz Night. Download questions from the internet or write your own. You could even format it like a classic TV quiz or a game show like Jeopardy, or intersperse rounds on general knowledge with trivia about the birthday boy or girl, the year they were born, celebrities born in 1965, etc. The possibilities with this really are endless, whether you’re having a big party or a small one; putting people in teams is a great way to get them to socialize while playing, and it’ll give the golden