President Obama: How He Celebrates His Birthday

President Obama isn't pulling out all the stops for his 54th birthday.

August 4, 2015, 1:20 PM
PHOTO: President Barack Obama boards Marine One at Joint Base Andrews, Aug. 1, 2015 in Maryland.
President Barack Obama boards Marine One at Joint Base Andrews, Aug. 1, 2015 in Maryland.
Pool/Sipa USA

— -- As President Barack Obama quietly celebrates his 54th birthday at the White House today, he may have already had a low-key gathering with family and friends at Camp David last weekend.

The Presidential retreat in Maryland seems to be a favorite place for him to ruminate about getting older. He marked his 48th birthday there, playing basketball and bowling with friends.

He skipped Camp David the next year, spending his birthday in Chicago, surrounded by friends without his wife and daughters.

As any summer baby knows, coordinating a birthday bash in August is hard between vacations and camps.

Obama blew out his birthday candles while Michelle and Sasha traveled in Spain, and older daughter Malia was at sleep-away summer camp. But Obama did notice a lot more gray hairs that year.

"I will be 49 this week," Obama said in 2010. "I have a lot more gray hair than I did last year."

With an August birthday, the president has spent many of them campaigning.

In 2012, during his quest for re-election, Obama joked that he wanted Florida for his birthday. He got his wish.

The next year, back comfortably in the White House, his favorite destination Camp David popped up again. That 2013 weekend included golf with friends at the weekend retreat.Even though the President seems to prefer quiet birthdays for himself, he knows how to throw an amazing party. Back in June, the president managed to host a secret celebration to usher in the First Lady’s 50th. In the days following the First House party, reporters drilled White House press secretary Josh Earnest for any leaks about the celebrity-attended event.

“The president and the first lady did hold a private party,” Earnest acknowledged, but then he became tight-lipped. Thank goodness for social media as pictures of the “secret” event circulated on the internet.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson posted a picture to Instagram with his girlfriend Ciara.

“Dancing at The @WhiteHouse to Prince and Stevie Wonder with my lady Ciara. Thanks Mr. President and First Lady!” 500 guests attended the performances of Prince and Stevie Wonder, and once the football star tackled the confidentiality clause, other loose-lipped partygoers followed suit.

The guest list leaked out and the star-studded group included Paul McCartney, Gladys Knight, James Taylor, and Herbie Hancock. Smokey Robinson even let it slip that Beyonce sang to the birthday girl. The First Daughters got in on the act. Many of the dancing guests were their friends.

Sasha and Malia have had some practice with parties.

In 2009, one of their sleepovers included a scavenger hunt that ended with opening a door, and the Jonas Brothers waiting for them on the other side.

ABC's Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.