Party Ideas

Skip the Bar with These 21st Birthday Party Ideas

By Sonia Guzman

We know, we know – it’s so exciting to finally be able to go to the bar and order a drink, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up! If you’re looking for a unique and exciting celebration away from the typical bar scene, we have the perfect 21st birthday ideas for you.

21st Birthday Party Themes

We love a good themed party! From funny to fabulous there are so many 21st birthday themes you can choose. Here are some of our favorites:

🀠 Cowboy Couture: Party it up country and western style, but add some sparkle. Blare 90’s country music and dance until your cowboy boots come off with this honkytonk-themed birthday celebration!

🌴 Jungle Jubilee: Animal print and palm tree decor will make this party stand out from the crowd. Have guests wear their best jungle-themed fits and get wild!

πŸ’ƒ Disco Dream: Disco balls, bell bottoms, and lava lamps will turn your 70’s daydream into a reality. Have your favorite disco tunes on shuffle and wear your highest platforms to create the perfect vibe.

πŸ’— Barbie Bash: Pink everything is the name of the game for a Barbie theme party! Make your 12-year-old self’s Barbie dreams come true for a 21st birthday bash you’ll never forget.

🍷 Wino Weekend: Keep it classy and visit a vineyard for the big celebration! Keep your pinkies up while wine-tasting and munching on a charcuterie board.

πŸ’Ž Sparkling Soiree: Elevate your party with everything elegant. Tiffany blue and decor that’s dripping in diamonds will make this sparkly shindig shine!

21st Birthday Party Decor

Of course, the majority of the decorations will depend on which theme you choose, but there are some staples that will work for any 21st birthday party!

Bougie Balloons

There are all sorts of ways to incorporate balloons into your party decorations. Whether it’s a stunning archway, an amazing photo backdrop, or sending a message. Balloons are a fun and bold decor option that works with any theme!

Fun Florals

You can’t go wrong when including flowers in your decorations. Whether it’s large signage, stunning centerpieces, or delicate birthday wishes, floral decor will add an elegant touch to any celebration!

Funky Favors

Provide fun favors for your guests to add a spark to your night and make sure they remember your party for years to come! Custom koozies, temporary tattoos, and hangover kits are perfect for whatever celebrations you have planned.

πŸ’« You might also like: Birthday Party Ideas Based on Your Zodiac Sign

21st Birthday Party Menu

Whether you want to keep it light with just some apps and zerts or serve everyone a hardy dinner before drinks, we have the perfect menu ideas! And of course, you can’t forget the cocktails and the cake. πŸ˜‰

Small Bites

Keep things simple and sweet by providing yummy finger food for your guests. You can’t go wrong with anything that has bacon, ranch, or cheese in the name. Make some scrumptious cheese balls with a pretzel handle for no mess and no waste!

Stay on the no-mess train with wonton cup snacks. Fill them with spinach and artichoke dip or in this case buffalo chicken! And don’t forget to load up on carbs before the drinks start flowing.

Entire Entrees

If you want a full meal at your shindig, then our advice is to keep it simple with a self-serve buffet. You can serve anything from tacos to BBQ to hotdogs and hamburgers to satiate your guests.

Custom Cakes

It’s not a birthday party without cake! And this one needs to be perfect. After all, you only turn 21 once. Whether you’re going for silly or sophisticated, we have the perfect cake inspiration for you!

Cute Cocktails

Of course, you’ll want to serve some sweet signature cocktails at your big bash. A birthday cake shot is a must, and consider fixing a drink that you can make a fun pun with, like Megan’s martini or Heather’s highball.

🍸 You might also like: Creative Cocktail Party Ideas That Will Make Everyone Cheers

21st Birthday Party Activities

Before you ask, no, drinking doesn’t count as an activity! There are plenty of other fun and memorable ways to ensure everyone has a blast at your birthday bash.

Fun and Games

Everyone loves healthy competition, so these 21st birthday party ideas will add some guaranteed excitement and unforgettable moments.

πŸ” Scavenger Hunt: Go on an adventure with your pals by planning a scavenger hunt! Create one yourself or save some time and hire a professional scavenger hunt company.

🎱 Game Night: Let your competitive side out with a friendly game night. Up the ante and hire a game show host for some live trivia!

πŸ” Escape Room: Test your wits and see if you and your friends have what it takes to crack some codes and beat an escape room!

🎲 Casino Night: Play your cards right with an epic casino night! Hire a casino party to bring the excitement of Vegas to you!

Low-Key Festivities

If you’re looking for some 21st birthday ideas that are more laid back, choose activities that focus on relaxation and quality time with friends.

🌼 Spa Day: Relax your day away at the spa with your best babes or stay in and bring the spa to you by hiring a mobile spa!

🍝 Cooking Class: You may be a legal adult at 18, but turning 21 is when the realities of adulthood really set in. Get one step ahead and learn some kitchen skills in a cooking class with a professional chef!

πŸš™ Road Trip: Pack your bags and go on an adventure to celebrate your big milestone. Check out some National Parks or hightail it to Vegas. There’s no wrong way to road trip!

🌊 Pool Party: Have fun in the sun and splash around with your pals at a lavish pool party! If you don’t have access to a pool, everyone can bring their own kiddy pool or build an adult-sized slip-and-slide.

πŸ₯‚ Booze Cruise: Lean into the 21st birthday theme and go on a booze cruise! Hanging out on the water with a personal bartender is a guaranteed good time!

21st Birthday Party Entertainment

Celebrate your 21st birthday in style with the best birthday party entertainment! Whether you’re wanting to dance the night away or chill with your pals, we have the perfect inspiration for an epic celebration.

Dance All Night

No matter what type of music you’re into there’s a band that will keep you on the dance floor. If you want to hear a mix of all your favorite songs, hire a cover band to get your guests on their feet. If you want to stick within one genre, consider a country band or rock group for an awesome concert.

Hire a rock band on GigSalad
Hire a rock band like Patrick & The LVB on GigSalad!

Chill Vibes Only

Keep things mellow with some soft jams for a more easygoing experience. You can hire a singing guitarist to play an acoustic show, get folksy with a folk band, or have a keyboard player provide some instrumental tunes as you mingle with your guests.

Hire a singing guitarist on GigSalad
Hire a singing guitarist like Johnny Walylko on GigSalad!

Put on a Show

Hire a professional performer to wow your guests and make it a 21st birthday party everyone will actually remember. Unique entertainers like a magician or tarot card reader can add a mystical element to the big day. Or go even better with an aerialist or fire dancer!

Hire a fire dancer on GigSalad
Hire a fire dancer like Venus de Hooplah on GigSalad!

A 21st birthday is a huge milestone, so no matter how you decide to celebrate it’s sure to be special! We hope these ideas give you the inspiration to throw the party of your dreams and a have night to remember. πŸ’™

Ready to book something awesome for your 21st birthday party? Find musicians, bartenders, and more on GigSalad.

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