50th Birthday Party Ideas at a Dude Ranch in New York State

by C.K. Adams

As a family or individual vacation, dude ranches in New York offer plenty of sightseeing and sporty activities. With horses, ponies and natural trails, you can spend every day of your trip doing a different activity, particularly if celebrating a recent 50th birthday. For a Western-themed party, dude ranches in New York provide pastoral locations with outdoor spaces, lakes and horseback adventures.

Bonfire and Barbecue

For a dusk-to-night party with plenty of room for guests, a bonfire on a lake's beach sets a fun mood for a 50th birthday party. Several dude ranches in New York have sandy beaches, such as Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, New York (rockinghorseranch.com). With two large posts, hang a banner for the birthday boy or girl. Set up the bonfire at the center with a grill and long bench tables off to the side. Set up speakers and a disc jockey area on a table nearby for music or hire a band to play. Some dude ranches also have their own bands, such as Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort in Kerhonkson, New York (pinegroveranch.com). Ridin' Hy dude ranch in Adirondack's State Park near Lake George also has nightly beach parties (ridinhy.com).

Camp Out

For an adventurous crowd, take a horseback ride into the wilderness and camp out for a night under the stars. Hire an overnight tour guide to lead your party on the trail and point out historic and natural points of interest. Set up a camp in an area with space for tents and a few trees to tie up horses. Start up a fire and cook sausages and hot dogs while swapping stories about the birthday honoree. Bring along a guitar to sing funny songs together, especially after a few glasses of wine to celebrate.

Hoedown

Dude ranches celebrate the Western side of life, and a hoedown with music and dancing creates a lively atmosphere for a fun 50th birthday party. Set up the hoedown outdoors under a pavilion. Hoedowns exhibit a barn atmosphere with hay on the floors and bails set up along the sides. With a stage to one side, a band plays all the country hits to get a line dance or conga line going around the room. Guests wear Western regalia, like cowboy boots, fringed shirts, denim, leather chaps and cowboy hats.

Lunch on the Green

For a more peaceful event, set up a pavilion in the center of a field or open outdoor area. With an open-air dance floor, tables and chairs, catering and stage, bring your family and guests together to celebrate your 50th birthday party with a bit of music and dinner. Hire the dude ranch's kitchen staff to cater your event and set up a buffet table with food, drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Ranches like 1000 Acres have plenty of open space for events and a large pavilion area (1000acres.com).

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