Creative 21st Birthday Ideas
Turning 21 is a big deal. It’s not just about being able to drink (legally). It’s about being at the start of adulthood with your whole life ahead of you. Most 21st birthday ideas revolve around drinking, but you can still celebrate this big day sober and with close friends. Here are 31 ideas for an unforgettable and fun 21st birthday.
31 Unforgettable 21st Birthday Ideas
1. Throw a Themed Party
Throw an unforgettable 21st birthday-themed party. Charge an “entry fee” of one shot to get in. Choose a theme that’s all about you and your personality.
Here are some ideas:
- Roaring 20s
2. Book a Trip
What better way to celebrate your 21st than with a trip? This is one of the best 21st birthday ideas if you love traveling. Grab a friend (or all your friends) and get away for a weekend or a week. Here are some great places to celebrate your 21st:
- Las Vegas, NV
- Charleston, SC
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New York City, NY
- Cozumel, Mexico
- Dublin, Ireland
- Paris, France
- Tromsø, Norway (to see the Northern Lights)
3. Host a Paint and Sip Party
For a more laid-back celebration, host a wine and paint night. You can book your party at a studio, like Painting With a Twist, or host it at your house. You can find supplies and kits online if you’re going to the DIY route.
4. Have a Champagne Brunch
Have a champagne brunch party to kick off the celebrations early. Serve mimosas and champagne with some delicious brunch dishes, like fresh fruit, quiche, pastries or whatever else you fancy.
5. Go Out to a Brewery
Forget planning a party. Grab your friends and head out to a brewery. Breweries are great for a fun but laid-back celebration. Most have food, fire pits, games and other things to do. You can even spend the night at a few to keep the party going.
6. Play Beer Pong
If you’re having a party for your 21st, play beer pong. Split up into teams or play one-on-one. The first person to eliminate all of the other team’s cups wins.
7. Hop on a Pedal Pub Tour
Austin Party Bike Pub Crawl – Downtown
Take your party to the streets and hop on a pedal pub tour. Sip your favorite drink while you pedal and tour the city with friends. Head to a city you’ve never explored for an unforgettable day trip celebration.
8. Set Up a Photo Booth
Your 21st birthday is a huge milestone. Set up a photo booth and take plenty of pictures with friends to remember this big day. Get as crazy or silly as you want. Get a backdrop, balloons, props and anything else that matches the theme of the day.
9. Make Jello Shots
Pool Party Jello Shots
Make Jello shots that match the theme of your party. There are so many recipes for Jello shots out there, including ones that glow in the dark, so don’t be afraid to mix it up and make different kinds.
11. Take a Booze Cruise
Celebrate in style by booking a booze cruise. Enjoy the sunset while sipping your favorite drink and partying with friends. Most beach towns have party boats. If yours doesn’t, your 21st birthday is the perfect excuse for a getaway to one that does.
12. Hit the Casino
Hit a local casino or travel to one. Make a weekend of it. Can’t travel or don’t have access to a casino? Throw a themed party. Play poker. Share some drinks and laughs, and eat plenty of food.
13. Bar Crawling
A Bar Crawl Through San Francisco
If breweries are too laid back for you, grab your friends and go bar crawling (or bar hopping). Hit a few bars in town. Take an Uber or cab from one to the next. Some cities have bar crawl tours, so check those out for a bigger group experience.
14. Make Birthday Cake Shots
Birthday Cake Shots
Your 21st is the best time to make birthday cake shots. Share with friends, or make them the star drink at your party.
15. Knock Something Off Your Bucket List
How to Actually Compile Your Bucket List
Want to celebrate your 21st without alcohol? Knock something off your bucket list. At 21, you’re at the start of life. Plan an adventure. If you’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon or Machu Picchu, book your flight and get out there.
16. Get a Makeover
GLOW UP TRANSFORMATION FOR MY 21ST BIRTHDAY!✨ + birthday party vlog
Turning 21 is a time of transformation, so why not transform your appearance, too? Get your hair done. Go shopping. Get your makeup done. Go all out to look your best on this big day.
17. Host a Dinner Party
Who says 21st birthday parties have to be wild and crazy? If you want to tone things down but still celebrate with your closest friends, have a dinner party. Make it fancy. Serve champagne and wine. Eat delicious food and enjoy some laughs.
18. Do Karaoke Night
Break out of your shell and do karaoke night with your friends. Local bars usually have karaoke nights, but you can have one at your house, too.
19. Have a Picnic
Southern Charm Picnic Co
If the weather is right, plan a birthday picnic. Pick a park or beach and invite friends to bring something to eat or drink. Play games, share stories, listen to music and have a good time.
20. Plan A Hike
42 Beautiful Places to Hike Around the World (All Fitness Levels)
If you love the outdoors, plan a hike for your 21st birthday. Fly solo, or bring some friends with you. Spending time in nature and enjoying the view is the perfect cure for stress and a chance for some reflection on this big day.
21. Go to a Concert
If your favorite band is in town, buy tickets to the show. Splurge on better seats. It is your birthday. If you can’t find a show that you like, check local events. There may be live music at a bar or another venue.
22. Have a Polaroid Guest Book
York Maze Wedding Indie Rustic DIY Fun Party
If you’re throwing a party, set up a Polaroid guest book stand. Have everyone snap a Polaroid and sign their pic. Save your pics for a reminder of your party.
23. Get “21” Number Balloons
On Turning “Twenty Fun”
Make sure that everyone on the block knows it’s your 21st birthday. Also, number balloons are great for pictures and photobooths.
24. Make a Giant Charcuterie Board
Cheese And Charcuterie Boards That Your Guests Will Love
Celebrate your 21st with a feast. Make a giant charcuterie board with meats, cheese, nuts, fruit and whatever else you love.
25. Have a BBQ
20 Fun Build Your Own Food Bar Ideas
Have a BBQ birthday party. Grill some burgers and dogs. Have a few drinks. Play some yard games like cornhole or bocce.
26. Go White Water Rafting
What to Wear White Water Rafting
Looking for 21st birthday ideas that don’t involve drinking? Plan a solo adventure or grab a friend and go white water rafting. You’ll get an adrenaline rush and enjoy some time out in nature.
27. Go Skydiving
7 Celeb-Approved Skydiving Destinations You HAVE To See
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, go skydiving to celebrate your 21st. The world is yours, so why not see it from up in the sky? Bring friends – if they’re brave enough.
28. Go Camping
Plan a weekend camping trip with your best friends, family or significant other. Hike, go kayaking, make s’mores and share a few laughs or drinks. Camping is a great way to celebrate the freedom of being 21.
29. Have a Donut Bar
Donut walls are officially a thing
Anytime is a good time for donuts. If you’re throwing a party, add a donut bar to the mix. You’re going to need all of those extra carbs if you plan on drinking.
30. Throw a Slumber Party
Happy 21st birthday- Luxor hotel Las Vegas
Have an adult slumber party. Invite your closest friends and have fun. Eat, drink and play games. Don’t forget brunch in the morning! Or, if you’re fancy, book a room at a hotel room for your slumber party. Just remember to be respectful of the hotel’s rules.
31. Make a Drink Cake
23 Best 21st Birthday Ideas For A Memorable Day
Celebrate turning 21 with a cake made of booze. Stack it with your favorite drinks, and share with your friends.
Celebrate Your Way
Use these 31 ideas to plan an unforgettable 21st birthday. Remember to celebrate your way and do things that you love. If you want a night of wild barhopping, go for it (just be responsible). But if you prefer a more relaxed vibe and drinking isn’t your thing, that’s okay, too.