Last Updated on December 10, 2021
Turning 21 is a milestone in any young person’s life. Celebrating this momentous day with friends and family is something that everyone looks forward to. Whether you are planning your son or daughter’s 21st or you are looking for ideas for your own bash, we have all the best tips right here!
1. A Photo Booth
You need fantastic memories of your 21st! For this reason, a photo booth lined with balloons and decorations (add some friends too!) can definitely produce the glamor shots that will make your party a hit.
2. Get Creative with Jello Shots
These wiggly wonders are always popular. You can get amazing jello shot recipes and treat your guests to a visually beautiful arrangement and try different alcoholic beverages to buzz everyone’s tastebuds.
3. Wear a Birthday Sash
You’re the royalty of the evening, that’s for sure! Wearing a sash that proclaims you as the birthday girl or guy is a great way to feel even more special.
4. Give Your Wall a Sash!
Okay, there might not be such a thing as a wall sash but there are banners. For your 21st birthday, you can hang amazing banners against walls, in doorways and also outside between trees and posts. To make it more festive, go for banners that glitter!
5. Sparkly Alcohol Bottles
Speaking of glitter, another popular trend is to wrap your favorite wine, liquor, and even beer bottles in glitter paper. These wraps are available at novelty and party stores or you can even make your own. Either way, the effect is stunning and festive.
6. Have a Themed Party
A party with a theme is super fun for everyone. If this tickles your fancy then draw up a list of all the things that you like. For example; anime, 101 Dalmatians, cats, Halloween, the French city of Paris, whatever. Get your guests to dress up and have their turn inside the photo booth!
7. Donation Party
Uhm, no. These donations are unfortunately not for you. But if you have a cause that is close to your heart, why not incorporate it into your 21st? For instance, ask on the invitations that each guest bring along a can or bag of dog food and you can then donate the food to a local animal shelter.
8. Hire a Party Bus
This way nobody has to be the designated driver! But seriously, a party bus offers an amazing experience on the go. Many of the companies will even offer a party planner to take your bash to an epic next level.
9. Splash Around in the Pool
A pool party is another fun and sexy way to celebrate your 21st. You can hire a stunning pool venue if you don’t have your own and if your birthday occurs in a frosty month, there are indoor facilities that can host your pool party as well.
10. Polaroid Picture Wall
Go old school and take polaroid pictures to capture the spontaneous party moments that make these celebrations so special. Tack the images to a wall where everyone can see them!
11. Consider Other Fun Venues
Book your 21st at exciting places like a disco venue, a theme park, wine country B&Bs, a picnic area, a booze cruise, or a seriously fancy hotel for the best tea party ever.
12. Go Camping
Do you love smores more than shots? Do you love hiking more than high fives over a drinking game? Then going camping with your favorite people could just be the best way to celebrate your 21st.
13. Go on an Adventure
Adventure parties are on the rise. Two of the most sought after events are escape room parties and scavenger hunts. While escape rooms are organized by party companies, you can plan your own treasure hunt with clues that lead teams all over town to the big prize.
14. Spa Day
This idea is perfect if your life is busy and you need a break more than you need a hectic bash. Spoil yourself and your crew with the royal treatment at your favorite spa.
15. Drinking Games
When played responsibly, drinking games do add laughter and good feelings to a party. However, make sure that you or one of your friends do not overdo it and get sick on your 21st.
16. A Fancy Dinner
This is one of the top choices for new adults who are more laid back and want their event to be classy, include all their family members, and they also want to try a spectacular venue. You can perhaps start with other birthday activities during the morning and then end your day this way.
17. A Chocolate Fondue
Indulge in your sweet tooth and add a bowl of delicious, dripping chocolate and dip snacks like strawberries, marshmallows, and more.
18. Light a Bonfire
A bonfire adds a special atmosphere to any evening. If you can safely and legally do so, light a big blaze and toast some smores, tell scary stories or dance until you drop.
19. Invite a Psychic
Group activities are fun but offering your guests something that they can do on their own is also a great way to make your 21’st unforgettable. One of the top suggestions is to hire a psychic to do readings. You can even decorate a special room to up the mysterious ambience!
20. Party Favors
These days, party companies offer mind-blowing party favors. These small gifts let your guests know that you appreciate their presence and that they shared your special day with you. Hand them out in decorative bags when your friends and family are ready to go home.
21. Go on a Road Trip
Another non-traditional way to celebrate your 21st is a road trip. This can give you that travelling experience that you’ve been craving since you were a kid. Go see the sights, travel to national parks or choose a scenic route along the coast with plenty of cozy B&Bs.
22. Non-Alcoholic Games
The sky is the limit. You can add pinatas to your party and let your guests have a whack. You can hold karaoke competitions, a dress-up show or other fun activities. Always have a few prizes ready to hand out!
23. Decorate Yourself with Paint
You can hire a professional body painter to give you and your guests fun makeup. Other body decoration ideas include false tattoos, henna drawings, and glow-in-the-dark paint. The latter is a great touch for neon/dark light parties.
24. Hold a Spitroast
A spitroast or even a barbeque is a perfect way to celebrate your birthday if you like more private, low-key events. Invite your closest friends and family members and gather around a cozy roast while it’s being prepared.
25. Throw a Birthday Eve
You can also celebrate the last day of being 20! Invite your besties and hold a mini party the day before your 21st to say goodbye to your old life and to celebrate the upcoming milestone of becoming a legal adult.
26. Disposable Cameras
When your guests arrive, hand them disposable cameras so that they can capture their own memories of your special day!
27. Have a Killer Playlist
You can certainly choose all your favorite songs or the lyrics that mean something to you. But don’t forget to include all the current hits to rock your guests and get them dancing. The playlist can wind down to slower songs as the evening progress and everybody chills. Or heat up, for that matter, if you’re throwing a total all-night bash!
28. A Message Book
One day you want to look back and remember everyone who shared your 21st. What better way than to collect their personalized messages in a single book? Place a message book somewhere and ask guests to leave a short note.
29. Outdoor Movie Night
You can set up a projector, chairs, hand out snacks and blankets and make this your main theme or an activity that your guests do if they don’t feel like jumping into the pool or participating in a game.
30. A Drive-By Parade
If you are planning a 21st for someone else but social distancing prevents a gathering, you can ask friends and family to stand outside their homes with banners, balloons, and smiles. This will surprise and deeply touch the birthday kid!