Are you having trouble finding exciting things to do on your birthday? Yeah, it is hard to find new ideas. The older we get, the more pressure there is in making this day special.
Birthdays come with so many expectations after all, plus there’s the stress of organising them and thinking about what to do. How can you still feel like the birthday star and have a different experience to last year?
That’s why we prefer to think of birthdays as experiences. We look beyond thinking of things to do on your birthday as just parties at home or in a bar.
Here’s our list of creative ideas to get you inspired.
Got several friends with birthdays within a few months of each other (or even a few weeks)? Then why not celebrate together and take a joint trip somewhere. Try and plan a trip that takes place over a few days so guests can come and go if they can’t stay for the whole time. You don’t have to go far for a trip – a weekend getaway or everyone booking a night in a nice hotel can be enough.
Don’t want to sit around at home with friends? Then a scavenger hunt is for you. You will need it in advance of your party, i.e. where to play, the location of your meeting point, what items to hunt for. Divide everyone into 2 teams and give them 1-2 hours to find everything on your list.
The best lists should contain something weird, so your guests can use their imagination. A yellow item, for example, also a vintage car, a hot drink, a piggyback, and interesting hand luggage. The teams need to photograph what they find for sharing later. The team with the most items found wins.
If you’ve got access to a large backyard or live close to some camping grounds, then why not host a glamping birthday party? Glamping is a combination of luxury and camping, where you can have all the comfort and mod cons while still enjoying the outdoors. Learn more about this in our post on glamping party ideas.
Do The Unexpected
If you’re seeking unusual things to do on your birthday, this is your chance. Birthday parties can start to feel the same after a while, so why not spend this year doing something completely different to your normal life?
The unexpected might be: going to the opera; go karting; booking a paintballing session: joining a naked drawing class; going to a lindyhop dance class; climbing a rock wall; taking a hula hoop class; seeing a jazz performance; going on a cocktail bar crawl. Just make up a list, close your eyes and jab your finger.
Pizza is great and convenience. And while you could easily order something in, you can also centre your party around making a homemade pizza together. Everyone gets their own dough and sauce with a buffet of toppings they can choose from as well as bring to the party. Give everyone the chance to make the pizza of their dreams! Pizza parties are great with wine and there are different pizza party ideas to try.
Talking of food, another fun idea for a birthday is a potluck. Potlucks saves you time having to cook, you can just ask your friends to bring one dish to the dinner.
And since it’s a birthday dinner, you can riff off of this as your theme, e.g. favourite childhood dish, favourite birthday dish. You can also challenge your guests to include an ingredient in their dish, such as pepperoni, so it makes an appearance in all the dishes.
Outdoor Movie Party
A movie party is great if you’ve got access to a large backyard. You can combine a grill buffet with an area for cake and dessert.
For the movie screen itself, you can use a large white cloth strung up between two trees and a small projector for your laptop. Make sure you weigh your cloth down so it doesn’t blow about. You also need speakers for good sound projection.
Birthday Day Tour
Birthdays are a fun excuse for friends to get to know us better, and one way is to join a tour you know you will all enjoy. Perhaps you’re into movies in which case going on a tour of movie sets will go down a treat.
There are many types of tour you can look into including city tours, local walking tours of your local hood, history tours, night tours, and tour by bus.
The Prime Dinner
This idea requires all your friends to band together and work out a budget they’re willing to spend for the night. We’re talking expensive foods here such as steak, sushi or seafood. Make this a night on the town for all of you, with everyone dressed up in their finest clothes.
Get Lazy Outdoors
If there’s a lake nearby or forest you can get to by car, let your friends know you’d like to spend your day there. What you decide to do outdoors is you. If you’re the sporty type, for example you enjoy fishing, frisbee, playing soccer, you can plan your day around these activities.
If you just prefer to laze around in the sun with a book and a cocktail, bring some deckchairs, plus a radio and a few snacks. If you enjoy sightseeing, then look for outdoor spaces that coincide with an observatory, botanical gardens or a museum you can visit together.
If you’re looking for relaxing things to do on your birthday, then try out a tea party. Tea parties don’t take more effort to organise and can also be easily themed. The British like to take their tea at 4pm and eat biscuits at the same time. There’s also the Victorian tea party. Victorians used to centre most of their social events around tea, which makes it a perfect party theme.
Partying On A Boat
Depending on the size of your group, you could hire a private boat and have the birthday on the river. Alternatively, have everyone join a sightseeing tour and make a day of it, including dinner, drinks, music and night rides around the city. A 3rd idea is hiring a canal boat. You can learn about moors and locks while travelling quietly through canals around the city.
Why not use your birthday as a well-earned day off from your life? Set aside time to visit a spa and get yourself a massage and facial; enjoy the pool while you’re at it. Book into a luxury hotel with an in-house restaurant and let someone else wait on you for a change. Invite your friends along for lunch or dinner if they’re not able to join you in your pampering.
Picnics are the easiest way to celebrate with friends. You can just buy what you need from the nearest store or invite your friends in advance to bring precooked food with them. Friends can come and go when they please and are easier to organise than a party at home. To liven things up, check this list of fantastic picnic games.
If you want more things to do on your birthday with friends, then consider a weekend away together. To keep things affordable, you can travel close to home or just visit the neighbouring town. Make sure you plan an itinerary for your getaway so you all have activities to do together during the day. Be sure you’re near to restaurants if none of you plan to cook.
An Unusual Concert
If you there’s a concert coming to town, look into getting tickets and getting your friends to come along. When I say “concert”, it doesn’t have to a band you all like; going to see something as random as a tribute band or a gig of unsigned bands can be fun, gives everyone an equal, memorable time. It can be difficult to get people to see a concert if they don’t like the same music as you, so something broader can be a lot easier.
Throw A Seasonal Party
Birthdays can be difficult to theme so theming your party by the season it falls into is a way to get around this problem. If you were born in the Summer, have a beach-themed party or a Mardi Gras. If you were born in the Spring, you can combine it with themes from Earth Day, Easter and other Spring party ideas.
This idea highlights your taste in fashion. If you like jewellery, consider visiting a flea market or vintage store. Pick at least 3 different stores you know you will all get a kick out of visit and go browse the racks together. You don’t have to buy anything, browsing is just as fun as buying.
Browsing all day can be a bit tiring, so combine it with lunch and invite other friends to come along and join you.
Book A Class Together
If you enjoy classes, then why not rope your friends into doing something together, just for fun? For example, if you enjoy indoor gardening, treat them to a pottery class, where they can make something to take home. If you love cake, then book everyone on a cake decorating class. If you love outdoor sports, then get everyone onto an archery class. Your friends will need to discuss costs with you, and of course you go free.
A Wine Party
For those of you who love a glass of wine, consider throwing a wine birthday party. There are many different ways of experiencing wine, from regional wines to celebrity wine. Wine can be expensive so your wine party ideas suit your budget.
There’s nothing wrong with spending your birthday over a burger and beer instead of cake and wine. If this is your idea of fun, consider hosting your birthday dinner at a more upmarket burger restaurant. There’s always a great atmosphere at these places especially if there are a variety of different beers on tap.
Paint parties give your friends the chance to be silly and creative. Although you can book a paint party night at a professional studio, you can also host one at home, by providing the equipment (canvas paper, brushes) and snacks and asking people to bring their own point. Check out our post on paint party ideas.
If you prefer to curl up in front of the TV with popcorn, beer and throw a movie night on your birthday, you can make it memorable with a themed marathon. Perhaps you’re a sucker for book adaptations, for French cinema or everything starring Minnie Driver, in which case this night is perfect. While your friends might not understand your movie obsessions, this party gives the chance to join in.
Finding memorable things to do on your birthday gets a lot harder the older we get. The pressure to do something different each year can be stressful, but I hope this list inspires you, and helps break any idea deadlock you may have. Happy planning!