Are you looking for some adult birthday party ideas? Follow along as we talk about themes, invitations, food, drinks, music, and more!
Whether you’re turning 30, 50, or 70, an adult birthday party is a great way to celebrate. But if you’re going to throw a party, you don’t want one where people sit around and make small talk.
No, if you’re going to throw a birthday party, you should pull out all the stops and make it one that you (and your guests) will remember for a long time.
How do you pull this off?
What you need are some adult birthday party ideas.
After all, why should the kids have all the fun?
When looking for adult birthday party ideas, you’ll need to look at each piece of the puzzle and then put them all together to form a great party.
Let’s take a look at the process step-by-step.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Do You Want an Indoor or Outdoor Party?
The first thing you need to do is decide whether to have your party indoors or outdoors.
Both types of locations offer exciting adult birthday party ideas, but unfortunately, you’ll have to choose just one.
Here are some pros and cons of each.
If you’re thinking about holding your party inside, here are the pros and cons you’ll have to consider.
Here are the great things about having an indoor birthday party.
LET IT RAIN
If you hold your party inside, you won’t have to worry about the weather messing up your plans. It can rain, and if you have implemented some great adult birthday party ideas, it won’t matter.
Heck, your guests may not even realize that it’s raining cats and dogs outside.
If you decide to rent your indoor party space, you’ll have tons of options to choose from.
You can rent a hall, your apartment or neighborhood center, a community center, or the local bar or gathering place.
Here are the not-so-great things about indoor parties.
If you live in a home where there are a lot of breakables, holding a party inside could result in damage.
To avoid this, be sure to put away any valuables or breakables before the party starts.
Depending on the size of your space, your guests may not have room to spread out.
For example, if you have your party at a small apartment, guests may bump into each other when trying to get to the bar or have to wait in line for the bathroom.
If you’re leaning toward an outdoor party, here are some things to consider.
There are some pros to outdoor parties.
Outdoor spaces are larger than most indoor spaces, and your guests will have plenty of room to run around.
You’ll also have room to use outdoor furniture such as tables and chairs to create quiet zones for those guests who want to talk privately.
And if you rent an outdoor space with a pool, the party’s on!
Did we mention that you can rent a space with a swimming pool? We did?
Okay, let’s move on.
Here are a couple of reasons you may think twice about an outdoor party.
COME ON SUN!
When you plan an outdoor party, the weather doesn’t always cooperate.
It could rain, snow, hail, or the wind could make it impossible to arrange a buffet table.
If you decide on an outdoor party, be sure to have a backup indoor space where you can move.
DON’T BUG ME!
Depending on where you are, you and your guests may have to deal with bugs. Mosquitos can quickly drain the blood from a party (get it?)
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Keep Those Bugs Away the Right Way!
Guests won’t have fun if they’re slapping away at mosquitos all night. To keep them at bay do these two things:
Bonus hint: Place a soft blowing fan on the food table to ensure bugs don’t fight your guests for the goodies. After all, they weren’t invited!
Adult Birthday Party Ideas Checklist
Before you begin planning your party, you should do a few pre-party things to ensure the rest of the party goes well.
If you can answer these five questions, you’ll be well on your way to planning the party of the year.
Have a look:
And the invitation goes to…
A lot of planning goes into a party, and to get it right, you need to know how many people will come. Now is the time to sit down and write out a list of everyone you will invite to your party.
Start by writing a big list of everyone you think you want to invite, and then narrow it down.
Your final list will help you plan a party just the right size.
Make a date
Your next pre-party decision is to decide when you will have the party.
Since you’re looking for adult birthday party ideas, you may want to choose a weekend date. After all, most of the people you invite probably have jobs and will be up early the next morning.
What’s this thing going to cost me?
Party planning can quickly get out of hand, and before you know it, you could spend your rent money on it.
Stop this from happening by determining your budget early on in the process.
Calculate exactly how much you can spend on the party and then stick with it. That way, you’ll have as much fun as your guests.
You want me to go where?
We’ve already talked about whether your party will be indoors or outdoors, but now it’s time to decide where you’ll have it.
Will you use your house as the venue, or choose to rent a venue?
Your options are almost unlimited, and the venue you choose can add ambiance to your party.
Did You Know?
You can find a state-by-state list of fun party venues for adults by going to punchbowl.com.
Finally, you need to decide up front how much time you will put into planning the birthday party.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in planning and decorating the party that you create stress for yourself because nothing else is getting done.
Instead, allow yourself a set number of hours, and then work to stick with it.
Now that you’ve done your preplanning let’s talk about the specifics of an adult birthday party ideas plan.
Are you ready to start planning?
ADult Birthday Party Ideas That Make Them Say YES!
Your birthday invitations are the first impression for your party.
And you know what they say: first impressions are hard to forget.
That’s why your invitations should set the vibe for your party. You can accomplish this by including a few facts on the invitation:
You have lots of choices when it comes to adult birthday party ideas for cool invitations.
Here are a few:
Imagine getting an invitation with a balloon attached to it. The card simply says, “Inflate and save the date.”
You have to blow up the balloon to read the invitation.
Is there anything that would keep you from going to that party?
Anaglyph 3D invitations
If you want to go old-school on your invitations, why not send an anaglyph 3D invitation that requires cardboard 3D glasses to read it?
By the time your guests figure out what you’ve done with the invitation, there’s no way they’ll miss your party.
If you want to get personal, use a scannable sticker invitation. You record a message telling guests about the party and then link it to a QR code sticker.
Then, when your guests receive the invitation with the sticker, they scan it with their phone and hear your invitation.
Again, who wouldn’t go to a party with an invitation like that?
Don’t Throw the Same Old Party: Adult Birthday Party Ideas to Make Yours Special
Are you thinking about hosting an over-the-top birthday party where you’ll hire a caterer to prepare an expensive meal that your guests have to pay for?
One word of advice:
Today’s adult birthday party ideas have come a long way, and your guests will expect an experience that they’ll talk about for days.
And they won’t get that with another pretentious sit-down dinner party.
Here are a few adult birthday party ideas that will make your party special (and memorable):
An overnight adult birthday bash
Instead of hosting a party for a few hours, invite your closest friends for an overnight bash. These fun parties can take on almost any theme and be fun.
You can watch everyone’s favorite movie and set up a popcorn bar (more about how to do this later).
You can arrange a cake bake exchange, and ask everyone to bring a cake so you can all try each other’s baked goodies.
Or you can host a DIY pampering party where you all do facials, manis, pedis, and beard trims.
A dress up party
If you want an energetic party, one of the best adult birthday party ideas is a dress up party. Your imagination can go wild here, but we’ve included a few ideas to get you started.
For example, you can dress for high tea time — hats, gloves, and all — and then, as a group, drive to a high-end tea room.
Or if you want a more relaxed party, dress in 70s disco roller skating gear and head to the nearest rink.
You can also host DIY jewelry making party by buying wire and beads and asking everyone to make a piece of jewelry.
Or, if you want to go tech, ask everyone to bring their tablet or phone and go to Kendra Scott’s Color Bar, where they can design jewelry online.
Create a themed party
If you want to go all out, create a theme and ask your guests to participate. Again, you’re only limited by your imagination, but here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Pick a letter, and ask everyone to dress up with something that starts with it. For example, if you pick “B,” some guests may dress up as a Bee, a bride, or a member of the Beetles.
You can also create a theme from a decade — sixties parties are always groovy
You can also organize a murder mystery party. Night of Mystery offers downloadable murder mystery parties that include everything you need to host a party that will keep your guests guessing.
Can you guess what’s next?
Did we mention that we like pool parties?
But if you’re going to throw one, don’t just expect everyone to sit around.
Instead, use one of these adult birthday party ideas for pools:
Throw a pool party and bar-b-que so people can relax and smell the aroma of great food.
In addition to hamburgers and hot dogs, don’t forget your vegetarian and vegan friends! Throw some vegetables on the grill to ensure everyone has a great time and gets enough to eat.
You can also liven things up a bit by having a swan race party. Buy some large swan floats and organize races across the pool. The winners get to take home their swans.
In addition to all the adult birthday party ideas listed above, you also can throw a more casual party.
For instance, you can throw a picnic party by spreading blankets all over the ground and asking everyone to bring a picnic dish.
You can do the same thing at night, only call it a stargazing party. And if you want to give a special party favor, take a picture of a star and name it after your guests.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Decorations
The decorations you use for your party will depend on what type of party you have.
For instance, if you have a sixties theme party, be sure to add some peace signs, peacock feathers, and shag rugs around the house.
Or if you choose to do a murder mystery party, dim the lights, and spread black tablecloths over each seating area.
But you can use some decoration ideas for just about any type of party.
Here are a few we love:
Make your own photo booth
DIY sequin photo booth anyone?
With a few materials and work, you can create a sequin photo booth and take a picture of your guests.
Better yet, fill a bowl with disposable cameras and ask them to snap away. Then develop the photos, create a file, and email it to all of your guests.
Spell it out
Want a guest book, but don’t like the idea of a traditional book? Why not ask guests to sign your wall instead?
Use a large sheet of thick paper to cover one wall. Attach it with tacks or other materials that won’t mess up your sheetrock.
Then, set a bowl of markers next to it and ask your guests to sign it. To make it even more fun, shine a black light on it and use special glow-in-the-dark markers.
Does it get any cooler than that?
Hang it up
To set the mood of your party, create a sign that instructs your guests to have fun.
You can make the sign from painted wood, chalkboard, pegboard, or anything else.
Just make sure that when guests look at it, they know you want them to have a good time.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Drinks
If you’re like most people drinks will make up a large part of your party.
After all, we’re talking about an adult birthday party, right?
But the kind of drinks you serve should go with the theme of your party.
For example, if you’re hosting a backyard pool and bar-b-que party, then beer and wine coolers should be on the menu.
But if you’re hosting a Great Gatsby themed party, martinis would be a better choice.
To get your imagination running, we’ve included a few special drink recipes below that will have your guests talking (and sipping and sipping)
Let’s start with a cocktail recipe that is perfect for a summery outdoor or poolside party.
Pomegranate Mimosas (AKA Giggle Juice)
- 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
- 6 to 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Pomegranate juice
- 1 bottle of champagne
- Put 1/2 teaspoon and a sprig of rosemary in a glass.
- Then add 1.5 ounces of pomegranate juice and fill the remainder of the glass with champagne.
If you want to serve up your alcohol in a punch bowl, you can’t go wrong with this red sangria recipe.
Red Sangria in a Punch Bowl or Pitcher
Ingredients for the grenadine:
- 1 cup of pomegranate juice
- 1 cup of Sugar in the Raw or other turbinado sugar
- 1/2 orange
- Remove the zest in strips from the orange with a vegetable peeler. Then, combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and orange peel and bring to a boil.
- Cook it until the sugar dissolves, and the syrup reduces. Stir the mixture constantly while cooking.
- Then, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool until it reaches room temperature. Throw away the orange peels and pour the grenadine into an airtight container.
Ingredients for the cocktail:
- 12 ounces of light-bodied red wine
- 8 ounces of Lillet Rouge
- 2 ounces of Grand Marnier liqueur
- 2 ounces of Lustau brandy
- 1 ounce of the grenadine
- 2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 1/2 cups of seltzer water
- 3 1/2 cups of seltzer water
- 1/2 orange, cut into thin half-rounds
- 1 lemon, cut the same way
- In a bowl or pitcher, mix the red wine, Lillet Rouge, Grand Marnier, orange juice, brandy, and grenadine.
- Top the mixture with seltzer and stir in the fruit.
- Fill the container with ice and stir, allowing the ice to chill it. Now it’s ready to serve.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Snacks
You can’t put adults and cocktails in a room without snacks.
We’ve got a few snack recipes that will have your guests eating out of the palm of your hand.
This first recipe is great for summer or winter, casual or formal parties.
Brie and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
- 24 portabella mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1 medium-sized package of brie
- 1 jar of sundried tomatoes
- Thyme as a garnish
- Remove stems from mushrooms and then saute the caps in melted butter for one minute on each side.
- Then transfer the mushrooms to a glass pie dish.
- Add a spoonful of brie to each one.
- Bake the mushrooms for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the brie begins to bubble.
- Take the pan out of the oven and top the mushrooms with the sun-dried tomato and thyme. Serve these warm.
If your party is super casual, you can’t go wrong with a popcorn bar.
Here’s how to set one up so your guests will get the most enjoyment.
Self-Serve Popcorn Bar
- Set up a table and decorate it according to your party’s theme.
- Determine how you will serve the popcorn. Will you use a popcorn machine or fill a large bucket with it? If you’re not using a popper, put the container on the table.
- Add the guest’s containers. Will they use bags for the popcorn or bowls?
- Fill jars with toppers. You can use seasonings like dill pickle, white cheddar, oregano, caramel corn, sour cream, and onion, or anything else. Also, you might want to include a crockpot with melted butter in it. And don’t forget the salt!
- Add signs that instruct your guests on how to use the popcorn bar. Then sit back and watch them have fun!
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: The Cake
No birthday party is complete without a cake — not even an adult party.
You can have a cake made with the theme for your party, or if you’re ambitious, you can bake it yourself.
In case you fall into that category, we’ve included a to-die-for birthday cake recipe below. It’s Martha Stewart’s famous microwave cloud cake.
Ingredients for the meringue:
- Unsalted butter for pans
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
- 6 large eggs
- 1 pinch of cream of tartar
Ingredients for the crème:
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of flour
- A pinch of coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean, cut and seeds scraped
Ingredients for the caramel
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of corn syrup
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Whipped cream for the topping
- To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- Then butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper. Then butter that.
- Put the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor and pulse until it’s ground finely.
- Next, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer until soft peaks form. Then, one teaspoon at a time, mix in the sugar. Continue mixing until glossy peaks form.
- Divide it up between the three cake pans and bake them for one hour.
- Turn the oven off, but leave the door open and let them cool for one hour. Then transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to completely cool
- For the cream, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Then, combine the buttermilk, yolks, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the sugar gradually and cook, until just boiling, for nine minutes. Then strain it. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top of mixture and put in the fridge for at an hour.
- To make the caramel, spray a baking sheet with the cooking spray. Then stir the sugar and corn syrup in a bowl and microwave on high for three minutes. Stir the mixture every minute.
- Then microwave again for about 15 seconds until it’s golden brown and caramelized. Pour it into the baking sheet and let it cool until it’s firm. When it is, remove it and chop it finely.
- Lift the meringue cakes from the pans and thrown away the parchment paper. Place one of the cakes on a cake stand or platter and spread half of the cream on it and three tablespoons of the caramel.
- Then place the second layer and spread the rest of the cream with three tablespoons of the caramel. Top the cake with whipped cream and the remaining caramel. Serve it immediately.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Music
The music you play at your party will set the theme, so you need to be thoughtful when selecting your playlist.
Here are some general guidelines that will help you choose the right music.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Games
To keep the party going, have some games planned for when things begin to slow down.
Here are a few party game ideas you can use:
Doo it like this
To play this game, you should write the names of songs that everyone knows on slips of paper and put them in a bowl.
The first “singer” draws a name and then has to sing it by only using the word “Doo.” They aren’t allowed to gesture or use other words.
The first person that guesses sit gets a point and is the next singer.
The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Charades — with a twist
Have you heard of reverse charades? It makes a great adult party game.
Before the guests arrive, to go to the charades word generator and create a list of words.
At the party, divide the guests up into teams of four.
Three members of the first team pull a word from the bowl and begin acting it out.
The team members aren’t allowed to speak, not even to each other. They try to make their fourth team member guess the word.
This continues, and as each person guesses a word, the team picks up another card and keeps doing so until their guesser can’t figure out their clues. Then the next team starts the process.
The team with the most guesses wins the game.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas: Favors
Finally, if you’re going to throw a memorable birthday party, you need to leave your guests something to remember it.
That’s where party favors come in.
Here are a couple to consider:
Give them just enough candy to satisfy that sweet tooth once they’ve left the party.
Fill three vials with three different types of candy and then tie them together with a pretty ribbon or string.
Simple but packs a sweet punch!
WRAP IT UP
If you’re looking for an impactful party favor that won’t break the bank, consider cutting fresh flowers from your garden and wrapping up a couple of stems for each guest in colorful wrapping paper.
Tie the paper into a cone with a ribbon, and you have a beautiful gift to give your guests as they leave.
Just think, their car will smell like fresh flowers in bloom the entire ride home.
Adult Birthday Party Ideas Aplenty!
Throwing an adult birthday party doesn’t have to be boring or cliché. Use some of our ideas to spark your vision for the perfect birthday party.
Do you have any adult birthday party ideas you would like to share?
Please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Featured Image via Pixabay