21 Ways to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday (2024)

Turning 21 is one of the most exciting birthdays in your life. It is a milestone birthday, so it’s important to celebrate and make this a memorable day because, for real, childhood is over, and adulthood has begun. You don’t have to have a huge party to have fun. Here are some of our best 21st birthday party ideas; some are low-key and some not, but they all are fun ways to celebrate your special day.

21 Ways to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday (1)

For those who want an adventure

1. Go on a weekend road trip with 21 planned stops

There is nothing better than blasting your favorite songs and feeling the wind on your face with all the car windows down! Choose a destination a few hours’ driving distance away, and you and your friends could rent an Airbnb for the weekend. Look for fun or unique places to stop on the drive and at the destination.

Some ideas are a fantastic coffee shop, a scenic view, street art, a beautiful park, a rustic beach, a quaint small town, a waterfall, a museum, or a short hike. And make sure to pack lots of snacks for the car ride!

If your dream destination is NYC, here is the PERFECT way to celebrate: We love Foray, a new way to throw a party or share an experience with friends. It’s a great app for planning your next event, restaurants, bars, experiences are all here.

21 Ways to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday (2)

2. Have a bonfire

Host a bonfire and enjoy your friends’ company under the stars. You can play music and make s’mores or even hot dogs. Times like these are best for deep conversations and getting to know each other by the fire.

3.Go to a sporting event

If you are a sports fan, this is a great way to celebrate. Head to the professional sporting event of your choice and cheer on your favorite team. Wear a birthday sash or something similar, and you might make it on the big screen.

4. Go camping or glamping

Picture feeling the warmth of the sunshine on your skin as you lay down relaxing on the sand by a giant lake. Or, you feel the crisp air and wind pass by you as you hike while being surrounded by redwoods. Enjoy the beautiful outdoors by going camping or glamping to celebrate turning 21!

5. Go to a theme park

Amusem*nt parks are always fun, no matter how old you are. Head to the nearest theme park for a day filled with roller coasters, cotton candy, and good vibes. Can you do 21 rides?

6. Try everyone’s favorite Escape Room

Escape rooms are such a great way to spend time with family and friends, doing something collaborative and fun.

7. Bike 21 miles

If you are athletic and want to challenge yourself to something, try cycling 21 miles! This is a fun way to get outdoors and exercise while trying something new. Plan your ride before setting out and try to find a bike trail or, if on busy roads, routes with good bike lanes.

For those who want a party

8.Enjoy a cool pool party

Gather all your closest friends for a pool party! Have floaties and sunscreen, and enjoy laying in the sun or splashing in the pool. Have an ice cream bar to cool off and have 21 different toppings.

9. Have a themed/costume party

Have everyone dress up for a themed party. These parties are always fun, and costumes are ideal conversation starters. Get a birthday cake that matches your theme. Ask your guests to embrace the theme and pick an outfit that fits the theme. Serve 21 of your all-time favorite snacks or other foods to eat. Here are some theme ideas:

  • White lie (everyone wears a white shirt with a lie about themselves on it)
  • Dress like the birthday person’s favorite things (sports team, food, color, etc.)
  • Disney (who doesn’t love dressing up as their favorite characters?)
  • Neon
  • Rave
  • Ocean/beach
  • Pajamas
  • Decades (70s or 80s)
  • Scavenger hunt with lots of fun clues
  • Casino night

10. Go to a concert

Going to a concert for your 21st birthday and screaming your favorite songs from your favorite artist is a guaranteed good time! Check what artists are coming to your city and buy tickets in advance. Or, if you love to be an active participant in the singing, rent a private Karaoke room for your friends.

For those who want to relax

11. Go wine tasting or have a co*cktail party

Head to the nearest wine country and check out the wineries. Enjoy trying some local wines at a peaceful and relaxing vineyard. Make sure to bring a hat and sunglasses and drink plenty of water. Or have a co*cktail party with a handful of friends of age. Since alcohol is now permitted, maybe some celebratory shots are in order, or forget the vineyard and find a booze cruise.

12. Celebrate with brunch

Get some friends together and eat brunch. There are tons of places that offer bottomless brunch, which is always fun. You all can also make a champagne toast at the restaurant to celebrate your day.

13. Do a spa day

There’s nothing more relaxing than being pampered. Head to the spa for facials, massages, manicures/pedicures, or time to hang out together in a sauna or steam room. Or, for a more cost-friendly option, grab some sheet masks, candles, and nail polish and do a DIY spa day with friends at home.

14. Enjoy a fancy dinner

Treat yourself to a fancy dinner. Choose your favorite restaurant or try out a new place you’ve wanted to check out. Enjoy the delicious food and have everyone sing “Happy Birthday” to you after dinner.

15. Have a picnic

Have everyone dress up and put together a charcuterie board with 21 different foods (meats, cheeses, fruits, etc.). Then, head to a park or scenic viewpoint and enjoy some delicious food while conversing. This can also be an opportunity to get cute photos with friends.

16. Host a game night

This is an excellent option for those who like a more mellow activity. Gather all yourfavorite games(Cards Against Humanity,For the Girls,What Do You Meme,Uno, etc.) and have your friends over for a game night. Or play the21-card game, also known as Blackjack.

17. Paint wine glasses or coffee mugs

If you’re looking for a more chill birthday, you and your friends can paint wine glasses or coffee mugs. This is great for creative or artsy people who want a craft to do with friends.

18. Host a sleepover

A night in with your closest friends is always a fun time! Grab all your favorite snacks (candy, chips, etc.) and enjoy a movie night or a night doing face masks and nail polish. You can also play music, and make sure to have thealbum 21 by Adeleon your playlist!

19. Try a riverboat lunch or dinner cruise

Enjoy the scenic water view while relaxing on a riverboat lunch or dinner cruise. There is often music and delicious food, and it will be a memorable time!

20. Do an outdoor movie night

Get a projector and sleeping bags and host a movie night. Find a popular movie 21 years ago, the year that you were born. Make sure you have popcorn as well!

For those who want to do good

21. Donate 21 boxes or cans of food to a local food pantry or 21 items to the thrift store

Maybe your friends will donate to help you get to 21 items! Or, donate $21 to your favorite charity and ask your friends to do the same.

Finally, give yourself the best 21st birthday gift by doing even more for others. Perform 21 acts of kindness that you can be spread out over your birth month

Here are some ideas:

  • A volunteer activity
  • Helping an elderly neighbor
  • Walking a friend’s dog
  • Sending a note to someone who has made a positive impact in your life
  • Handing out 21 flowers to strangers and wishing them well

Turning 21 is a special time in your life and should be filled with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Good luck with your plans, and celebrate by doing something that makes you happy.

More Great Reading:

Golden Birthday: What is it and How to Celebrate 2022

21 Ways to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday (2024)


How can I make my 21st birthday special at home? ›

21st Birthday Party Ideas at Home
  1. Try an Online Cooking Class. Celebrating a milestone can be challenging with friends and family unable to gather together in person. ...
  2. Have a Virtual Wine Tasting. ...
  3. Try an Online Mixology Class. ...
  4. Try an Online Coffee Class. ...
  5. Throw a House Party. ...
  6. Throw a Themed Party.
Jan 10, 2024

What makes a 21st birthday special? ›

The 21st birthday is a remarkable milestone that signifies the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This pivotal occasion is marked by legal rights and newfound responsibilities, as young individuals step into a new chapter of life.

How can I make my daughter's 21st special? ›

  1. Driving Experience Days. Supercar Driving.
  2. Adventure Days Out. Ziplining & Zipwire.
  3. Animal Experiences. Zoo & Safari Experiences.
  4. Arts & Craft Experiences. New Skills.
  5. Flying Experiences. Flying Lessons.
  6. Food & Drink Experiences. Dining Experiences.
  7. Theatre, Music & Events. Theatre Tickets.
  8. Afternoon Tea.

Why is 21st birthday special for girls? ›

The 21st birthday is a milestone, a moment to be remembered and celebrated. It's a time to honor your daughter's journey into adulthood and all the wonderful things she's yet to experience. And it's surely the perfect moment for a party!

Is 21st birthday a big deal? ›

Traditionally, as young people are growing from birth to adulthood, milestone birthdays include your first birthday, 16th birthday, 18th birthday, and 21st birthday. These are all big days! After that, milestone birthdays are every decade.

What is the best message for 21st birthday girl? ›

21st Birthday Message Ideas: What to Write in a Card or Text
  • 21st Birthday Message Inspiration. ...
  • Congratulations on Reaching this Milestone! ...
  • Embrace the Adventure Ahead! ...
  • Always Believe in Yourself! ...
  • Thank You for Being You! ...
  • Welcome to Adulthood! ...
  • Celebrating Your Achievements. ...
  • The Best is Yet to Come.

How can I celebrate my 21st birthday at home with family? ›

Game Night Gala

Turn your birthday into a game night extravaganza with board games, card games, and video games. It's a great way to enjoy friendly competition. This is one of those 21st birthday party ideas at home that can be used for any age.

How can I make my birthday special for myself? ›

Let's go!
  1. #1 Bake a cake (or order one) What's a birthday without a cake? ...
  2. #2 Write your future self a letter. ...
  3. #3 Go on a solo date. ...
  4. #4 Treat yourself to a fancy spa. ...
  5. #5 Or have a self-pampering session. ...
  6. #6 Help someone in need. ...
  7. #7 Buy something you've been eyeing for a while. ...
  8. #8 Plan a virtual party.
Sep 23, 2023

What color represents 21st birthday? ›

For traditional and symbolic 21st birthday floral arrangements, Deep Red Roses are perfect. A specific colour dominates every birthday, and the colour to characterise this occasion is marked by tints of dark red. The colour symbolises solid emotions and feelings. It also implies romance, courage, and ambition.

What symbolic gift do you give for 21st birthday? ›

21st birthday gift jewellery symbolism

The key” is a well-known jewellery design for a 21st birthday gift – it represents the key to the door into adulthood. The key is popular for a good reason, not only does it feel special and traditional, there's something that's both classic and up-to-date about the design.

Is there a color for 21st birthday? ›

Burgundy is one of the most popular colors for 21st/12th birthday decorations/fall birthday parties decor. Perfect for the 21st birthday party decorations/birthday special day. Variations in color and shape are expected as part of the lovely nature of handcrafted items.

What words does a mother say to her daughter on her 21st birthday? ›

Happy Birthday and Some Motherly Advice
  • You are LOVED! The people who matter are those who love you for exactly who you are.
  • Love yourself. You are unique and there's nobody just like you. ...
  • Be your own friend. ...
  • Be grateful. ...
  • Don't compare yourself to others. ...
  • Be okay with imperfection. ...
  • Don't knock others down. ...
  • Apologize.

What is the traditional 21st birthday key? ›

Why Celebrate a 21st Birthday With a Key? Celebrating a 21st birthday with the traditional key honors the birthday person's arrival at adulthood and independence. Reaching twenty one is an occasion to be celebrated. And the key symbolizes their maturity and the joy of arriving at the next stage of life.

What is an inspirational quote for my 21 year old daughter? ›

On your 21st birthday, you deserve all of the happiness and joy that life can bring.” “Every parent wishes for a daughter like you, may you continue being yourself and never change. Happy 21st birthday!” “A daughter is someone you can laugh with, dream with, and love with all your heart—Happy 21st Birthday, my girl.”

What to do when you first turn 21? ›

21 Ways to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday
  1. House Party. Gather up a bunch of your friends, and throw a (responsible) house party to celebrate your big day! ...
  2. Hotel Party. This should be for your close friends only. ...
  3. Casino. ...
  4. Clubbing. ...
  5. Bar Hopping. ...
  6. Paint Wine Glasses. ...
  7. Trip with Friends. ...
  8. 21 Selfie Challenge.

What is the 21st birthday called? ›

The Jewel in The Crown

Here, the 21st birthday is typically known as the 'crown year,' because supposedly this is the year in which young adults start being treated like kings and queens.

Why is 21st birthday called key birthday? ›

The concept of giving the (21st) “Key to the door” - the freedom to come and go without parental supervision - started taking the shape from 1930. Decorated keys were given as presents, and were featured on cards and the birthday cake.

Is 21 a golden birthday? ›

What is a Golden Birthday? Your golden birthday is when the date of your birth coincides with your age. For example, if you were born on October 8, your golden birthday took place when you turned 8. If you were born on December 21, your golden birthday took place when you turned 21.

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