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20th Birthday Party Ideas

Posted By Kate Degen


Even though it’s not legal, 20 can still be a blast! Celebrate in style with one of our awesome 20th birthday party ideas!

Binge Watching Party
Is binge watching your favorite shows a guilty pleasure? Make it a party! Invite everyone over on a Saturday night for an all day TV fest. Create a cozy space by putting couch cushions, pillows, or even air mattresses all over the floor so everyone has a cozy spot to sit. Have everyone wear comfy clothes and fuzzy slippers. Choose a series to watch for the night— House of Cards? Modern Family? Orange is the New Black? Buy a DVD of the season or see if it’s available to stream on Netflix or Hulu. Create a simple treat table with a white tablecloth and decorate it with cutouts of characters from the show you’ll be binging on. Serve TV snacks like popcorn, candy, and pretzels, along with remote control sugar cookies. Get a tiered cake decorated with themes from the show of the night. After you finish your TV binge, play a game of trivia with questions about the season you watched! For favors, send everyone home with a Netflix gift card so they can keep the binging going.

Roaring 20s Party
Kick off your 20s with a roaring 20s celebration! Have everyone dress in their favorites 20s attire— think flapper dresses, feathers, vests, and hats. Hang gold garland from the front door that everyone has to walk through to enter. On the bathroom door, hang a sign that says “Dollfaces and Old Sports”. For the table use a gold tablecloth and silver serving platters and pedestals. Put tall white feathers in vases to sit on the ends of the table and hang more gold garland behind it. Serve shrimp cocktail in plastic champagne glasses, a veggie plate, and meat and cheese platters. Get white chocolate-covered Oreos and decorate them with edible gold glitter. Have a cake with ruffled gold frosting and a feather on top. Get a grand glass punch bowl and serve pink lemonade with seltzer for a bubbly treat. Create a 20s photo booth with props like boas, feathers, and hand-held masks. Create a 20s music playlist and have everyone hit the dance floor! It’s only fitting to celebrate your last year of prohibition with a prohibition era-fete!

Fitness Party
Birthdays aren’t just about cake. Well, maybe they are, but they can be about staying in shape, too! Take your group to a fitness studio of the birthday boy or girl’s choosing. Spinning, Barre, or Cross Fit? Anything goes! Instead of bringing gifts, have everyone who attends pay their own admission to the fitness class. Or if you have the space, bring the workout to you! Set up a spot in your house or your backyard and hire a trainer to come give everyone a kick-butt workout. Give everyone a tank top to wear with fun sayings like “Get swole” or “Watch me lift, watch me whey whey.” After the class, bring the party home to re-energize. Set up a simple table with a veggie platter, hummus, caprese skewers, and veggie sushi rolls. Bake an angel food cake and decorate it with whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries. Set up a drink station with dispensers filled with fruit-infused waters and Gatorade.

Mexican Fiesta Party
Ole! Celebrate 20 with some Mexican flare. Give everyone a sombrero as they arrive. Decorate with bright streamers and use an aztec print tablecloth. Get green balloons and use green markers to draw on spikes to look like cacti. Set up a tasty taco bar with soft and hard shells and tons of toppings— don’t forget the guac! Make individual seven layer dip cups and serve with tortilla chips. Refresh with green tea or green Kool-Aid aka, “cactus juice”. Instead of a traditional birthday cake, get a tres leches sheet cake. Accompany it with churros and Mexican hot chocolate cookies. Play a classic but festive party game— pin the tail on the donkey! Hire a mariachi band and have everyone hit the dance floor. End with a piñata shaped like a donkey or taco! Send everyone home with a jar of gourmet salsa. Taco bout a party!

Art Party
Feeling artsy? Bring the birthday celebration to a paint night! Between local art studios and restaurants that host, you’re sure to find a local paint night! Your guests that are over 21 can bring their own wine to enjoy as they paint! Pass favors out at the beginning so everyone can use them during the party— custom paint aprons with the birthday boy or girl’s name on them! Keep the group small enough so that you can sit together and talk while you create your masterpiece! See if the location has a small area that you can use after you’re done painting— ask ahead of time if you can rent it out or borrow the space. Bring a colorful fruit and veggie platter along with Rice Krispy paint brushes— put a rectangle Rice Krispy treat on a popsicle stick, and dip the tip in different colored icings to look like paint! Since cupcakes are easier to transport, bake vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and frost them with 5 or 6 different colors from the color wheel for an artsy treat.

Pirates and Mermaids Party
Ahoy mateys! This party is a real treasure. Have everyone dress up as either a pirate or a mermaid. Decorate your space with anchors, ships, and treasure chests. Behind the treat table, set up sheets in the shape of ship sails. Don’t forget the skull and crossbones flag at the top! Set up a chest full of chocolate coins and have each guest guess how many are inside— the closest guess wins all the booty! Serve fish tacos, fried clam po’boys, and Swedish meatball cannonballs. Cut a watermelon in half and fill it with fruit salad. Use skewers and pieces from the other half of the watermelon to create sails and make it looks like a ship! Serve sea water punch by mixing blue Kool-Aid with lemon lime soda. Get a ship-shaped cake or pirate cake pops. Use a treasure chest and have everyone vote on their favorite costume. Whoever wins gets a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean!

Camping Party
Is the birthday boy or girl a natural outdoorsman? Take the celebration outside with a camping party! Keep the group small and invite everyone for a sleepover under the stars. Set up tents in the backyard around a campfire (but not too close)! Make sure everyone brings a sleeping bag and a pillow. Roast hot dogs for dinner and set up a trail mix station for a crunchy treat. Mix up green Kool-Aid in a punch bowl with plastic bugs for some refreshing “bug juice”. Before the sun goes down, do a nature scavenger hunt. Pick 20 items that the group has to find outside. And no campout is complete without s’mores! After the scavenger hunt is done, toast marshmallows over the fire while everyone tells their favorite ghost story. In the morning, send everyone off with their own s’mores kit for s’more fun at home!

Game Night Party
Feeling like some friendly competition? Throw this fantastic game night bash! Keep the group small so everyone can get in on the fun. Ask your guests to bring their favorite games along as a gift. Hang a “Game on!” sign near the front door. For a tablecloth, use a twister mat, and get red, yellow, blue, and green serving platters. Serve easy to eat snacks like pigs in a blanket, nachos, and sliders. Arrange brownie squares into dominos and use white icing to draw on their lines and dots. Bake dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and use white chocolate Scrabble pieces to spell out “YUM” on the top of each. Set up fun bean bag chairs or cushions around the game area where everyone can sit and play as many rounds as you can! For a guest book to remember the special night, have everyone write their name and a happy birthday message on Jenga pieces. Instead of favors, have everyone swap the game they brought with someone else so they can take home a new favorite.

Spa Party
Maybe the birthday girl just wants to relax. So throw her an ahhhh-some spa party! Set up a spa at home with nail polish, face mask, and hair styling stations. Let everyone pick their favorite colors and styles. Set up a photo booth at the end for a photo op with their new look! Or, let the pros handle it and book a group appointment at a spa for manicures and massages. Need some goodies in-spa-ration? Create a dessert table with calm-colored treats like a pastel birthday cake and pink smoothies! Sip on cucumber water and let the day melt away. Send your perfectly pampered guests off with a bottle of nail polish, a sleep mask, or some body lotion.

Harry Potter Party
Wizarding isn’t just for kids! Everyone will say “holy Hogwarts!” for this Harry Potter party. Decorate your front door with paper bricks and a platform 9 ¾ sign. As each wizard arrives, give them a wood wand (a favor they can take home later) and have them pull a piece of paper out of the Sorting Hat to find out which house they belong to! Set up a dessert table with a banner made of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin symbols. Have a cake made with the birthday boy or girl’s favorite house colors, with an owl on top! Serve butter beer (cream soda) or birthday potion made from green Kool-Aid. Make gold cake pops with wings as Golden Snitches you can eat! Play a game of Quidditch outside with the guests split up into their chosen houses. Attach hula hoops to sticks and plant three in the ground on each side of the court. Use a deflated soccer ball as the Quaffle, dodgeballs as the Bludgers, and paint a golf ball gold for the Golden Snitch. Look online or at your party store for costume brooms for everyone to ride around on!

Kate wants her work to impact the little but important moments in people’s lives—like birthdays, anniversaries, and family celebrations. She loves coming up with witty copy that might inspire someone to create an awesome t-shirt!

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