Most people tend to dread growing older. Your focus as an adult is paying bills, staying healthy, raising a family, and possibly creating a legacy; however, some of the aches and pains of being an adult mean realizing that time is getting away from you, and a birthday can be a reminder of the time that is ticking. We disagree with this notion! 

Turning a year older, as an adult, should be a fun time spent with friends and family, making lifelong memories, and the options on celebrating with a band are limitless. Here are a few party ideas you can steal and use for your next adult birthday party. 

Host a Fancy Dinner Party

Some people live luxurious lives, but many people get excited about the opportunity to experience life’s pleasures. There may not be many opportunities to dress up and step outside of the norm, so what better way to make your birthday memorable than hosting a fancy dinner party? You and your friends can dress up in your Sunday’s Best and spend a few hours being served food and drinks while being entertained. 

Create the Scenery

If you decide to throw a classy soirée, “fancy ambiance” immediately comes to mind when you are planning to set the scene. It is not likely that the average person has elegant chairs, several dozen flowers, and unique place settings on hand, so using a rental company makes sense for your planning and your pockets. 

Food is also an important aspect — after all, it is a dinner party. After checking with your guests on their allergies and dietary restrictions, start with Google and Pinterest to garner ideas for your spread. If you know your way around the kitchen and your guest list is small, you may be tempted to do all of the work, but that may cost you more in the long run. It also doesn’t scream “fancy” if you are dressed in your best attire and serving guests simultaneously. It would be best to hire a catering company, order food from a local restaurant or hire a private chef to prepare and serve your guests. A professional party rental company can help bring your vision to life and suggest items and decorations that will make your dinner party stand out.

Give Your Guests a Heads Up

When you send the party invitations, make sure your guests know and understand your desire for them to show up in black-tie attire. This is a great excuse to dress up or go shopping, so most of your guests will appreciate receiving this news as far in advance as possible so they can plan well. If you hire a photographer, guests will enjoy knowing how you expect them to look a certain way so that they do not stand out like a sore thumb when everyone posts photos online. 

Provide Entertainment for Guests 

Music is a must for a fancy dinner party. Music is such an essential part of entertaining guests, keeping them energized and setting the overall mood. You can create a nice iTunes playlist to provide background music, but we recommend hiring a string ensemble if you want to step it up. 

Wine Pairing Party

The best part about being an adult is that you can get a little spirited during your celebrations by including a few cocktails. Wine pairing parties are great for bringing in a birthday by trying and learning new things. Guests receive a list of foods and taste wines that pair well with those foods. The idea is to bring out the best flavors of the foods and wines. Guests can also learn about the history and ingredients of the foods and wines and why they pair so well together. 

Hire a company that has experience in wine pairing parties and let them do the hard work. You can decorate your home to fit the mood of an upscale party and facilitate your guests going on a wine culture journey, thanks to you. As an added detail, you can invite guests to bring their favorite wines and have the wine connoisseur assist them with pairing the wines with food. What’s better than enjoying wine, learning something new, and eating good food? 

Offer Bourbon Tasting as an Alternative

If wine tasting is a little too sophisticated for your liking, you can try a Bourbon Tasting party. gives an overview of what to expect from a bourbon tasting:

“Did you know there is a difference between tasting your bourbon and drinking it? The correct way to drink bourbon is however you like to drink it; mixed or on the rocks on a hot summer day, straight up next to the fire in the dead of the winter, or with a twist of lemon with dinner. It’s all good. But that’s very different from tasting bourbon. Tasting bourbon is a careful examination of the bourbon’s nuances and aromas without the hindrance of a mixer, or an abundance of ice or water that will ultimately dull the flavors.” 

Bourbon tasting is a wonderful way to celebrate, and you can buy DIY Bourbon Tasting Kits or hire a professional to conduct an interactive tasting. To add a more personal touch to the party, you can order personalized cups for your guests to taste their bourbon and take home as a party favor.  

Host an Afternoon Tea Party 

A fancy event doesn’t only have to take place at night. You can host an afternoon tea party as a way to add a touch of elegance to your birthday festivities. Most children love playing make-believe and having tea parties with their dolls, friends, and even parents, but adults love to dress up and play make-believe as well. Events like Dinner en Blanc and the Kentucky Derby were once considered traditional and “high society,” have become more mainstream and popular for people between the ages of 30-55. 

You can host the party in your backyard or a local park. Ask guests to wear traditional tea party hats and gloves, and you can stand out by wearing a hat for yourself. Do your research to find the perfect tea and finger food pairings to ensure your party aligns with the tea culture. 

Retro Movie Night

Nothing compares to experiencing that nostalgic feeling of childhood memories. A throwback song or movie can be the spark that gets you and your guests comfortable with sharing funny or interesting stories from your earlier years. Hosting a retro movie night for an adult birthday celebration is a great way to relive all those great memories. 

Wear Retro Costumes and Indulge in Throwback Treats

You can go the traditional route and invite a group of friends over, pop some popcorn, order food, watch all of your favorite old movies, laugh, and have a good time. If you want to take it up a notch, you can ask guests to dress up as characters from their favorite retro movies. The night will be full of laughs and conversations around character choices and the different levels of creativity of the costumes. 

You can also offer snack options and serve specialty drinks that go along with your favorite retro movies theme. Depending on how many people you invite, you can also have your guests make a signature cocktail based on their favorite retro movie and have everyone taste and vote on the drink they like the best. Adding retroelements to your retro movie night will always be an easy way to get everyone talking, laughing, and enjoying themselves through sharing old memories and making new ones. 

Backyard BBQ Party

You can go for a less formal approach and host a backyard BBQ party. You can jump on the grill or grab catered barbecue from the best restaurant in your town and invite everyone to play backyard games like cornhole, volleyball, or giant Connect 4. 

A backyard party is an ideal atmosphere for a DJ, so work with a booking agent to find one who can bring the right energy for your guests. You can provide beer and wine, but whiskey and boron are great additions to your alcohol menu. 

Host a Cultural Themed Party 

Revisit your roots and host a cultural-themed party. Your family and close friends will appreciate the opportunity to celebrate and learn more about your culture by dressing in cultural attire, eating authentic foods, and singing traditional songs. If you decide to host a party that celebrates another culture, talk to a friend or associate who understands that culture and ask them for advice on everything, including avoiding being offensive to another culture. 

You can host a Mexican-themed party and serve authentic Mexican food, along with margaritas and entertainment. The opportunities are endless. 

Brunch is Best! 

Brunch has become a trendy outing choice over the past few years and can be a fun birthday option. People love that brunch allows them to dress nice, eat good food, have a fun time, drink a little, and make it home before the evening news comes on. Bottomless mimosas have also become a part of the brunch lifestyle, and who doesn’t love a good mimosa? Invite your friends to your city’s hottest brunch spot or hire a chef and host brunch at your home. Remember to make provisions for guests who will be drinking onsite. Sundays tend to be the best days for brunch if you need a recommendation on a choice of date!

Poolside Party

Nothing screams “Happy Birthday” like a pool party. Pool parties are great for summer birthdays and kids and adults time by the poolside. If you don’t own a pool, ask your friends if they know of anyone who owns a home with a pool. You can also take advantage of the uptick in Airbnb home or mansion rentals and find a local home that hosts pool parties. Other location options are local country clubs, community centers, and local municipal pools. You may be limited in your ability to have an endless guest list, and some venues do not allow alcohol on the premises. Plan and book the venue early as most people book public and private pools since summer availability is limited. 

Don’t forget about renters, special events, or homeowners insurance! The combination of water, people, running around a pool, and alcohol is the setting for a good time, but you want to be more safe than sorry. Obtaining insurance will help you protect yourself if someone is injured or if items are damaged, lost, or stolen. Many homeowners insurance policies cover these types of issues, but if you rent a house or use a friend’s home, double-check the policy parameters ahead of time. 

As with any party, music is essential to keeping the energy going throughout the timeframe of your party, so hire a good DJ and make sure they are far enough away from the water to protect their equipment. 

Game Night 

Last but not least, we recommend an oldie but goodie – game night! The older we get, the more of the kid in us that comes out. Break out the classic games like Uno, Twister, and Monopoly or introduce new games like #CultureTags and Cards Against Humanity. You can also get a little naughty and play a throwback game of Spin the Bottle or Truth or Dare! Adding drinks to the mix will surely spice things up and make for an eventful and hilarious party. 



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