30th Birthday Gift Ideas
Great 30th Birthday Gift Ideas
This page was started several years ago around the time I was turning 30, but I'm a bit further into my thirties now. I can say from experience that turning 30 can be a little traumatic because somehow you aren't quite as young and hip as you were the day before when you were still 29.
Anyway, I've shopped for 30th birthday gifts for friends and family and have refined the gift ideas on this page over several years. Hopefully you'll find an idea that works for you. If all else fails, you can get them a $30 gift certificate to a store or restaurant or get them a nice wallet with 30 $1 bills in it. I think that's thoughtful since it's $1 per year of their life.
Cartoons from the Decade They were Born In
This is a DVD with some Saturday morning / weekday afternoon cartoons that they might remember from the 80s. Have you seen any good Saturday Morning Cartoons these days? I haven't and I feel sorry for kids who grow up today to not have as many great cartoons.
The DVD pictured here has a few different 80s cartoons on it as you can see from the pictures. To go along with this gift, you could also get them their favorite cartoon from when they were growing up if it's on DVD or Blu-ray.
What popular thing from the 90s would make a good gift now?
When you're older, like me, you might look back fondly about things from your childhood such as fads that were popular then as well as movies and books and toys, etc. I remember in the 80s when Rubik's cubes were popular, Cabbage Patch dolls were insanely popular, and there were actually good cartoons on Saturday mornings. In the 90s, perhaps those born in the 80s got into grunge music as a teenager and maybe they got into pogs, Pokemon, or beanie babies as well? I still have a big box full of beanie babies.
I think the 80s and 90s had better movies than today's movies, but maybe that's because I'm nostalgic about them. Those were the good ol' days and I think people might like a gift that reminds them of when they were growing up.
If you don't know what else to get someone on their 30th birthday, they would probably look good in a t-shirt that says 30 years old!
In addition to this shirt, you could get them other t-shirts to go along with it related to things they like. Maybe you could find some retro shirts regarding things they liked when growing up. For instance, if they were a big Nintendo fan maybe they would like a Mario t-shirt or something along those lines.
Candy they remember from their childhood
Candy is a good gift when you don't know what else to get someone as there is no medical reason for them not to eat it!
Did the birthday person perhaps have some favorite candy when they were growing up that they would enjoy getting as a 30th birthday gift? I bet they probably remember Gummi Bears which are one of my favorites!
They might also remember candy like Nerds, Now & Laters, Jolly Ranchers, and of course Pop Rocks (these were controversial and I wasn't allowed to eat them!)
You could also get them whatever their favorite candy bar was growing up which is probably still available now. If you wanted to go with the 30th birthday theme you could get them 30 candy bars, but perhaps that's a bit too much candy?
Coins From the Year They Were Born
Coins from the year you are born make a cool thirtieth birthday gift.
The coins pictured here are United States coins and would be for those who were born in 1985 and are turning thirty in 2015!
You get a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar in Original US government packaging.
Dr Seuss Book
Dr. Seuss books aren't just for kids.
There's a Dr Seuss Book for old people called You're Only Old Once!: A Book For Obsolete Children.
That book will give 30 year olds a taste of what's in store when they get older.
Books Make Great Gifts!
What kind of book would you get someone for their 30th birthday? You could get them a book by one of their favorite authors or a book you love and think they'd enjoy. To go along with that, you might want to get them a book that focuses on turning 30 or being old. Also there's a book you can customize mentioned below with reprinted pages from the NY Times newspaper from the day they were born.
Some cool gifts you could get them to go along with books would be a bookmark they would find interesting or a book light. Seriously, book lights are pretty useful things to have if you enjoy reading books!
If someone has an electronic book reader and doesn't read a lot of paper books then maybe just get them a book like the ones mentioned on this page plus a gift certificate so they can buy more electronic books.
Best Book Gift for 30th Birthdays
What is the best book related gift you can get someone for their 30th birthday?
This book sounds really interesting since it features a collection of essays for those turning thirty, and you may recognize the names of some of the people who wrote them such as singer KT Tunstall (one of my favorite singers!), NBA star Chris Weber, Timothy Ferriss (the guy who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek , an interesting book that makes you think differently about work), and others.
Newspaper from the Day They were Born - Get them a newspaper from their birth date
I love the idea of getting someone a newspaper from the day they were born as a birthday gift. Though newspapers in print are becoming rarer these days, someone turning 30 should remember what one is!
New York Times Your Special Day Book is a reproduced New York Times newspaper in a hardbound book with up to 80 reprinted pages from whatever date you choose, and it will also include additional pages featuring some historic events that changed the world. What I really like is that it's hard bound with an attractive cover that you can personalize for free with the birthday person's name and date.
You probably know this but before the internet became so popular, newspapers were a big deal! Newspapers were especially a big deal in my family as my dad and grandpa were in the newspaper business. I even did a brief stint as a newspaper carrier. Anyway, my parents were always reading the newspaper in the morning, and I liked the comics and reading about entertainment. Now I read news online (like everyone else), but that does not stop me from feeling nostalgic about newspapers.
Logan's Run Movie!
Logan's Run is a fun gift to get people for 30th birthdays, if they don't mind a cheesy 70s scifi movie.
In this movie, the status quo is that you don't get to live past 30, so it's possible the movie could be a little too scary for a 30 year old.
Really, it's just a funny gift you could get to go with something else, like a movie from their birth year or a movie they liked from their childhood!
Movie Gift Ideas
Movies make a good gift idea and you might want to get them more than one movie, such as a movie from the year they were born and a movie they enjoyed when they were growing up.
For people born in 1985 and turning 30 in 2015, some popular movies that came out that year were Back to the Future, which would be my pick as you'll see below, as well as some other movies you might like better: The Goonies, The Breakfast Club, Rambo First Blood: Part II, Rocky IV . Seems like a big year in movies to me!
A movie they might remember from when they were growing up is Titanic which I mention below. I also like the thought of getting someone a Disney movie they remember from when they were growing up like Lion King, Little Mermaid (my favorite) or Beauty and the Beast.
Back to the Future, a 1985 Movie
Back to the Future is my pick for a movie that came out in 1985. It was the highest grossing movie of 1985 and for good reason! It was some light scifi that everyone could get into.
You can get the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray which includes all 3 movies, but only the first one came out in '85.
Best movie gift poll
What is the best movie gift for a 30 year old?
Nostalgic Movie: Titanic
Someone born in '85 would have been turning 12 the year Titanic came out, and it's rated PG-13 so they might not have been too young for it if they saw it with parents.
Some people went to see this movie multiple times and it is one of the highest grossing movies ever. I saw it for the first time in the theater with my parents and it was so packed the only place we could find seats was in the front row causing my neck to be really sore afterward. It was a really great movie though!
Music Gift for those born in '85
Music Gift Ideas
I like the idea of getting someone some music from the year they were born as a gift, then also getting them some albums with music they remember from when they were growing up to go along with it.
A CD with 90s music could also be good for someone born in the mid '80s.
Since they likely won't know all the songs from the year they were born, they could learn of some good new music and be proud that it's from the year they were born. There's usually a song or two from each year that EVERYONE knows about because the song is just that famous.