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Fun Ideas for Adult Birthday Parties

Updated on July 11, 2010

As we get older, milestone birthdays stretch farther and farther apart and many people cease to recognize the fun that can be had in celebrating these events. Turning 30, 40, or 50 doesn't always have to be a hokey climb "over the hill." These milestone birthdays can be celebrated in fun and creative ways, too!

Here are some ideas for making an adult birthday party fun for all involved!

Pick a theme and run with it!

Friends of mine have begun turning 30 this year and I've heard of some clever ways of celebrating. They might not be for everyone, but they sounded like cute ideas!

Made in the 80s - People in their 30s now were kids in the 80s and so much fun can be had when incorporating Pac Man, Pop Rocks, neon colors, and mall hair into the theme of this party. Request that your guests come in their favorite 80's outfit. Have a costume contest. Have a "tallest bangs" contest. Give the birthday person throwback gag gifts from when they were a kid. Make an 80's music playlist. Get a karaoke machine and sing along to the one-hit wonders from the 80's!

Dirty 30 - This wouldn't really be a child-appropriate, but if the party is adults-only, consider a "Dirty 30" theme. Perhaps everybody can dress in scanty nightclothes. Provide lots of "adult" snacks and beverages. Give the birthday boy or girl "naughty" presents. Play some naughty games.

My friends & I at a PJ party - for a friend's 50th birthday!
My friends & I at a PJ party - for a friend's 50th birthday!

The way I see it, you're only young once, and you're only as old as you feel. If you're going to celebrate your birthday, don't do the same thing every year. Come up with something new and memorable. Here are some other themes and ideas that would be applicable for all milestone birthdays.

PJ Party - Seriously? Why do we have to stop having PJ parties just because we've grown up? Tell your guests to come in their comfiest PJs and slippers. Have a pajama/costume contest. Play silly slumber party games. If it's all ladies, do all the girly stuff you did as teenagers - give each other manicures and facials, watch girly movies, eat junk food, stay up late talking. Have the girls spend the night!

Welcome to the Jungle - If you hit any party store, you're sure to find all kinds of jungle decorations. Request that your guests come in their best jungle attire - leopard or zebra print, safari gear, whatever. It's just fun to see what people will come up with!

Ice Cream Sundae - You don't just have to have cake. Supply the ice cream and ask each guest to bring some kind of a topping. You'll end up with a whole ice cream buffet bar. Everyone can fix their sundae or dessert the way they like. A few years ago, for a friend's birthday, we arranged for the Mr. Softee Ice Cream truck to make a special stop at her house!

Tarts & Vicars -
Tarts & Vicars -

Pimps & Hoes/Vicars and Tarts - I think everyone's clear on pimps & hoes, but vicars and tarts costume parties are a British fad where men dress as “Tarts” and women dress as “Vicars." (Although I suppose the women can dress as tarts, too!) It would be interesting to see who shows up as whom!

Fiesta - Think Mexico. Fajitas, quesadillas, margaritas! Tequila! Pinatas! Sombreros! Your birthday fiesta could be a classy affair, or it can be as simple as opening up some chips and salsa and a case of Coronas!

Favorite color - Sometimes when I'm not sure what to get someone for their birthday, I get them a whole bunch of little things in their favorite color. It's easy to come up with a basketful of different items - make up, nail polish, bath salts, candy, chocolate, chewing gum, etc. Why not have a party where everyone shows up in the birthday person's favorite color? Or where the gifts are all that color?

Get out of the house!

There's nothing that says your party has to stay at home. Get out and try something new. Visit a new restaurant or club. Find a place that has live music or dancing. Visit a comedy club or go somewhere that you wouldn't normally go. It's your day.

My girlfriends and I keep saying that we need to have a karaoke night.  There are places opening up all over now that have private karaoke rooms.  You and your friends can close yourselves in your room, sing your hearts out, and not have to be embarrassed about singing in front of strangers.  Some of these places serve food and drinks, too! 

Or, don't have a party at all...  There's nothing that says you have to have cake and ice cream to celebrate your birthday.  Go on a vacation or do something that you really want to do.  My friend turns 40 this year and I turn, well, ten years younger than that!  To celebrate, a bunch of us girls are going to see U2 in Tampa, because the date of the concert is close enough to our birthdays - and because it's something WE really want to do!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great ideas thank-you

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I vote this hub as awesome! I linked to it in my most recent hub about birthdays. Thanks and take care.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for some good ideas - fiesta party sounds fun but will need the weather to improve first! Thought this article had a good perspective on planning for birthdays - but your ideas are better!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      80's theme parties are so fun! Check out my party here:

    • profile image

      Mystery Party Fan 

      8 years ago

      PJ party - great idea!

    • Cagsil profile image


      8 years ago from USA or America

      That's a pretty cool hub. And, you would be right, as we get older, we do not need to lose the kid inside us all. We only need to access kid stuff when suitable situations arise. Birthday parties are when the kid fun stuff should be done, because it makes for fun. Thank you for very much for sharing. :)

    • profile image

      Party Games for Adults 

      9 years ago

      Some nice ideas, thanks!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      thanks for great tips. I want tell m uncle to practice your hub. great hub. I like it

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 

      9 years ago

      Oooo, I wanna come too, already in costume and feel to be only 30. I can loads of fun, but I ain't coming as no tart or vicar, or hoe or pimp, maybe drag haha


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