Growing up, birthday parties are a major social event for kids. There are some great themes of the best cartoons of the time or trips to a local amusement park. There are party games, a giant cake with candles, and a group of people singing Happy Birthday. However, as we become adults, there isn’t really a standard for birthdays.
If you’ve been wanting to put together a grown-up birthday celebration, but you aren’t sure where to start, we have you covered. We’ve compiled a list of adult birthday party ideas that range from a simple, short event to a multi-day celebration. It’s fun to get together and celebrate, so what are you waiting for? Get planning!
Send Her Off with a Scavenger Hunt
Planning birthday party activities can be difficult, especially when it comes to entertaining adults, but don’t worry. Let us handle the details! ScavengerHunt.com knows how to have fun and host parties, and we love organizing custom hunts for special events. Search our list of available city scavenger hunts and pub crawls, or let us plan something just for you and your crew.
Get Creative With Birthday Party Themes
Put together your invite list and decide on a theme for a good old-fashioned birthday party that will be a throwback to your childhood parties. Let your guests know how to participate and have some fun with it. Here are a few popular ideas to help inspire your party.
Tacos and margaritas are a great pairing and it’s popular with many groups. Throw a fiesta-themed party and serve up food from your favorite Mexican restaurant. Hand out party favors of little tequila bottles and limes or something else on theme. The party supplies can be simple for a theme and it will still be a fun party.
Decorate your party with tropical flowers and beach decor and serve up some great frozen cocktails like Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiris. Transport your guests to the Hawaiian Islands for the evening. A great playlist with some tropical vibes can help set the scene.
Halloween or Costume Party
People buy up Halloween costumes for one night a year, so why not invite them to pull them out of the closet and have a costume party. You can pick a more specific theme like superheroes or famous people costumes or just keep it general. Have a costume contest with some prizes if you want people to go all out.
Celebrate the decade you were born or maybe just your favorite decade. You can make a playlist of hit songs from that period and serve snacks and foods that were popular at the time. Invite guests to come dressed with the trends of the era and you might be surprised at the items your friends still have in their closets.
Your Favorite Movie or Genre
Movie-themed parties are fun and popular. The Great Gatsby inspired lots of parties when the most recent movie came out. You can also throw back to childhood favorites like Star Wars or Harry Potter. You can find all kinds of fun decorations at places like Party City and have a great cake made that fits the theme as well.
Create a Coachella-like vibe at your party for a fun theme idea. Make flower crowns, put on a great playlist, serve funky ice cream flavors and invite people to dance and let loose. There’s an entire aesthetic around music festivals that can be fun to match and it’s an easy theme to pull off.
Other Creative Adult Birthday Party Ideas
Compete in a Scavenger Hunt or Escape Room
One fun activity to do with a small group of friends is a city scavenger hunt. It allows you to work together and compete against other teams. Score points by answering trivia questions, taking pics, and completing challenges. If you would like a customized event to suit the birthday guy or gal, contact us!
Additionally, you can check out a local Escape Room and work together to get yourselves out of a room by searching for clues and solving riddles. It’s fun to either celebrate as a group or fail altogether and figure out where you went wrong.
Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie Theater
Projectors are pretty affordable these days and can transform any outdoor space into a movie theater. Invite your friends, family, or neighbors over for a movie night in your backyard. Serve up popcorn, candy, and other refreshments. Throw some blankets and camping chairs out there and string up some twinkling lights if you have them. It’s a perfect way to host an outdoor party.
Put Together a Spa Party
Gather your friends and get pampered with a spa day. You can either book appointments at a local spa for facials, massages, or mani/pedis or you can set up an at-home spa. Order some face masks from Amazon and pull out all the different nail polish and skincare products you have. Invite your friends to bring their favorites and you can just relax and treat yourselves. There are even some professionals that will do at-home appointments so you can have them come to you.
Host a Fancy Dinner Party
Dust off your cocktail attire and give your friends an excuse to dress up and come over for a fancy dinner party. Prep a meal with multiple courses and bring out your good dishes. Bonus points if you create a beautiful table setting. Do as much of the prep work as you can before the night so you can enjoy the full event. If you are not a cook, but still want to enjoy an evening like this – order the food from a restaurant and just plate it yourself.
Go to Afternoon Tea
Maybe you were a big fan of tea parties when you were a kid, but they definitely get better when you get older. Afternoon tea is more than just a teapot and some glasses. It comes with sandwiches, cakes, cookies, and fun cocktails. If you have a place locally that offers it, you can make a reservation. Otherwise, you can pick up everything you’ll need and host at your home or another fun venue.
Embrace Your Inner Rockstar at Karaoke
Karaoke is always a crowd favorite. Plan a night out with your friends at a karaoke bar. You can either perform in front of an entire crowd at a local bar during their karaoke night or you can locate a karaoke spot that has smaller private rooms and just belt your heart out with your nearest and dearest.
Have a Classic Backyard BBQ
A backyard BBQ or grilling at your local park is a great, classic option for a low-key soiree Take out the beanbags, ladder ball, and any other outdoor games and fire up the grill. You can enjoy all the classics – hot dogs, burgers, grilled veggie kabobs. Get festive by ordering some custom koozies or inviting everyone to bring something to tie-dye. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon outside in the beautiful weather.
Get Competitive in a Game Night
Board games are a fun group event. There are so many classics that can be played with larger groups like Pictionary, Clue, and even silly options like Twister and Operation. Invite a group of friends over and ask them to bring any of their favorite board games as well. You can put together small prizes for the winners of the evening. This is one of the easiest birthday party ideas and game nights are always a hit.
Sip Mimosas at a Brunch Event
Late nights become less and less appealing as we get older. Consider a brunch event instead of a late dinner party, especially if some of your guests have little kids with early wake-up times. Brunch can be a blast with mimosas and incredible food choices. Choose a good spot in your area and make a reservation or host at your home. There are so many easy brunch recipes you can put together and serve. Instead of cake, you could have donuts as your birthday dessert.
Become Characters at a Murder Mystery Event
Murder mystery evenings are making a big comeback in popularity. Some cities have locations that host these events and you just have to show up. There are also plenty of online options that provide a host and everyone joins from different locations and is guided through a series of conversations to determine who is guilty. The last option is to purchase a box set and host your own event. Many of them come with themes and all the instructions, printables, and invitations to put it all together.
Plan Out a Bar Crawl or Progressive Dinner
Invite your friends for a night out. You can put together a bar crawl with multiple locations use a ready-made bar hunt, or contact us to have a custom event designed just for you. With challenges at each stop, you can get competitive and have some laughs!
Another option if you want to move around throughout the evening is to plan a progressive dinner where you visit a few different restaurants and share dishes at each one. The first stop can be an appetizer, then stop for drinks, then eat entrees somewhere and finish up with a stop for dessert. It’s a fun way to try food from multiple places and do something a little different.
Rent Out a Roller Rink or Ice Rink
Throw a retro birthday party by inviting all your friends to a roller skating rink. Most offer rentals, so people don’t have to own skates. There is great music and usually some decent food and snack options. If ice skating is more your style, check with the local hockey rinks and see if they allow rentals for parties. It’s a good way to see which of your friends and family can move on skates. If you want a throwback, add in some limbo and a conga line.
Blow Up Floaties for a Pool Party
If you have a summer birthday or live somewhere warm, gather your friends together for a pool day. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pool, Swimply is an app that allows you to search for private pools that you can rent by the hour. Bring all the floaties you have and spend the day splashing in the water with your friends. You can bring a cooler of cold drinks and enjoy some simple snacks.
Set Up a Shopping Event at a Boutique
Many local boutiques will allow you to schedule a time to rent out their store. Sometimes it’s after hours and sometimes they will close during normal business hours to accommodate a group. Crack some champagne and try on anything you want with your best friends to help you make some decisions. If shopping is something you love to do, this is a fun way to spoil yourself and have a unique experience with your friends.
Host a Dessert Potluck or Cookie Swap
For anyone with a sweet tooth, a birthday dessert is the best part of the celebration. Consider hosting a cookie swap. Everyone makes a certain number of a certain kind of cookie and then comes to the party and swaps with the other attendees so everyone goes home with a huge variety of different sweets. This is a popular event during the holiday season, but you can host an event like this any time of year. If you don’t want to ask your friends to bake up a storm, consider doing a dessert potluck instead so everyone can sample different desserts and creations at your party without all the take-home treats.
Volunteer as a Group for a Local Nonprofit
Use your birthday celebration as an opportunity for your group of friends to give back. There are always volunteer opportunities available within your community so plan a day for a group to get together and give back a little bit. Plan in advance to make sure whichever organization you want to work with has the space and can prepare for your group. For something more fluid, you can always do a park or beach clean-up.
Do Some DIY Crafting
Crafting can be a fun group activity. You can sign up for an art class or specific class together or look up some projects on Pinterest and gather up the supplies for your guests. Some fun ideas include home decor items, jewelry, painting, or pottery. Many craft stores have kits that make it easy to gather what you need, so check out the shelves there if you need some inspiration.
Sip Wines at a Winery or an At-Home Tasting
Host a wine tasting for your birthday party at a vineyard in your area and learn more about different flavors and varietals. If you don’t live near a winery, have no fear, you can set up a wine tasting yourself with a quick trip to the wine store where you can have them suggest a lineup of flavors for your group to try.
Celebrate Bigger for Milestone Birthdays
Some birthdays may deserve a bigger celebration than others. If it’s your 30th birthday, you might want to do something more fabulous than 27 or 28. Make sure you give people plenty of time to plan and know that not everyone can leave town or commit to overnight, but lots of people love to spend a night or a few somewhere else for a celebration. Sometimes just a group of your closest friends celebrate your special day somewhere new at the best party you could ask for.
Host a Slumber Party
Gather your friends together for an old-school sleepover. Pull out your best pajamas, loads of snacks, and candy, and stay up late playing truth or dare and watching movies with your favorite people. If you want to take it to the next level, rent a suite at a nice hotel in town to have a little staycation where you can order room service and maybe even have access to a pool or spa.
Plan a Camping or HIking Weekend Adventure
If you love the outdoors, consider planning a camping weekend with a group of people. It’s fun sitting around the campfire, eating s’mores, and telling stories while enjoying the great outdoors. You can plan hikes or just hang around the campground and cook on the fire and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Bonus points if you pick a place without any phone signal to unplug and unwind.
Vacation with Your Best Friends
Everyone loves a vacation. If you have a big milestone birthday coming up, see if your friends want to escape to somewhere fun to celebrate. You can combine birthday celebrations if you want with other friends to make it more of a group celebration. Check off a bucket list spot like Napa Valley, New York City, or Las Vegas. There are incredible options all over the world that make for fun friend trips. Brainstorm with your BFFs and decide on all the details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Adult birthday party ideas and themes can be anything from a favorite movie to a decade to a color or a seasonal element. Popular choices include Hawaiian luaus, the 1980s, and Coachella.