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Birthday Party Ideas for Adults

Posted By Laurie Grant


Adults just want to have fun, too! Whether you want to throw a huge blow-out or assemble a small intimate gathering, the perfect adult birthday party is just a little creative planning away. Get inspired with some of these birthday party ideas that are perfectly suited for grown-ups.

Red Solo Cup Party

Everyone loves a red solo cup- fill it up with your favorite beverage! Make the birthday cake in the shape of a solo cup or hire a baker to make one for you. Play up of the red cup theme and design wine wraps, water bottle wraps, party logos, party flags and red solo cup silhouettes for the main table. Create a solo cup hanging decoration by punching holes in the cups and tying together with twine. Use 4 cups in total and stick party logos on each end and add poms/tissue strands for extra color. (Hot glue doesn’t work well when making solo cup decorations– try staples, duct tape or punch holes and connect with twine or sturdy string.) Have a solo cup birthday hat-making contest to get everyone involved in the fun. Gift bottles of liquor to the top 3 winners of the red solo cup birthday hat contest!

Air Guitar Concert

Transform into one of your favorite guitar heroes with a little bit of imagination and a lot of passion! Even if you’ve never had a single music lesson, you and your birthday party guests can rock out to classic tunes by artists such as Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Carlos Santana, or Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name a few. Use your imagination when it comes to costumes and props— get creative by turning a tennis racket or hockey stick into your very own axe! Play the part and dress like a rock star as you strut across an imaginary stage. Invite your guests to arrive dressed as rock stars or as dedicated groupies. Have an air guitar contest and award the winner his/her very own inflatable guitar. Your fans will be screaming for an encore after this rocking birthday party!

Black and White Party

There’s no “in-between” or shades of gray here! Everything from the color of your clothing to the food and decorations must be black or white. Go elegant and have guests arrive in black tie and white gowns or keep it casual with black or white jeans and t-shirts. Create a balloon entry archway with black an white balloons. For table centerpieces, place white roses in clear vases with black stones in the bottom. Or, place white chocolate candy on flat mirrors and sprinkle them with black and white confetti. Black bean dip and white tortilla chips will make a great black and white appetizer. For the main dish, serve pasta alfredo topped with blackened chicken. Make a half-chocolate and half-vanilla birthday cake or a black forest cake for the birthday honoree. For another tasty twist, serve chocolate and vanilla milkshakes— garnish each with a bite-sized Oreo cookie! Make your playlist ahead of time and include songs such as “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, “Men in Black” by Will Smith, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall, “Fade to Black” by Metallica, “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert and “White Wedding” by Billy Idol. As a party favor, give each of your guests a goodie bag filled with customized black and white M&Ms.

Amazing Race

If you’re ready and willing to go all out to capture the exhilarating and competitive nature of the Amazing Race, then this party’s for you! When you send out the invitations, include instructions to wear comfortable clothing and shoes and ask your guests to RSVP with their team roster of at least two people but no more than five on their team. Have guests reply ASAP if they’d prefer to be placed on a team. Create a series of riddles and clues that will lead guests to a series of destinations around your city, include a mix of player’s homes and public locations. Decorate each location with photographs, souvenirs, and the appropriate flag from different international locations. Select countries that pair well with the specific tasks set at each location, such as Ethiopia for a water-carrying task and Transylvania for a task set in a graveyard. Station a checkpoint volunteer at each location to ensure the supplies are ready, the tasks are completed correctly, and to pass out the next sealed clue envelopes to the teams. Make sure that all team members have arrived at the starting location by checking the team roster. Hand out the first clue containing their first destination to each of the teams. Set up the birthday party buffet with your birthday honoree’s favorite foods and beverages at the final, finish line destination. Make note of which team arrives at the final destination first. Award the grand prize to the winning team once all the teams have crossed the finish line.

Who am I?

Here’s a fun idea that is sure to get everyone interacting with each other. Write the names of famous people (or infamous — the funnier the better!) on note cards. Choose well-known people who are relevant to your guest of honor’s era. When each guest arrives, pin a note card to the back of their clothing. Have them circulate the room while asking everyone questions about who they “are”. Only YES or NO answers should be allowed. Provide some accessories that are relevant to your famous people so that when the identities are discovered, they can dress like them and take photos. Make a Hollywood style backdrop on a large wall for photo ops. Print the photos so that each guest can take home a memento of the best birthday party ever!

Disco Party

Bring back the music and the fashion of the 1970s. The gals wore low-cut pants and high-cut boots while the guys wore bell bottoms and platform shoes. Invite your guests to dress in their favorite 70s attire and spend the evening doing the Hustle to disco music under a spinning disco ball. Welcome each guest with a set of beads, a peace sign necklace, or a head band. Everyone is sure to boogie all night long!

Over the Hill

Over the Hill

First, make sure that your guest of honor has a good sense of humor and will enjoy an “Over the Hill” party. Decorations for this type of party are readily available at party supply stores, and most people have black clothing they can wear for the “somber” event. Ask guests to bring “Over the Hill” gag gifts such as laxatives, a cane, reading glasses, or adult diapers. Party supply stores also carry an assortment of these gag gifts. Continue the theme by making an “Old as Dirt” cake. Dirt cake recipes are easy to find on the internet. Your birthday honoree will coast into another happy year now that he/she is officially over the hill!

50s Party

Relive the happy days with a 1950s theme birthday party. From juke boxes to drive-ins you can set the scene for good old-fashioned fun. Have your guests wear bobby socks, poodle skirts, rolled-up jeans, and leather jackets. Play 50s music and have a sock hop. Serve ice cream in parfait glasses, but don’t forget the whipped cream with a cherry on top! For your tables, layer a checkered and clear table cover. In between the two, put a bunch of back to the fifties cutouts that you can find at your local party store. Guests will love the themed diner-style tables, and you’ll love the clear tablecloth that keeps everything clean! Jukebox pinatas make great centerpieces at a 50s theme party! Add metallic music note balloons to each one for added fun. This rock-and-roll party is sure to get a big thumbs up!

Wine and Cheese Please!

If you’re on a budget, assign a particular region to each guest and ask them to bring a bottle of wine from that region and a suitable type of cheese that pairs well with it. You supply the venue, wine glasses, breads, and fruit. You can also serve crackers that go well with the cheese and wine you’re having. Choose either a casual buffet or a more formal table setting by placing the cheese and wine on separate tables that are dressed in elegant linen. Give each guest a unique wine glass charm when they arrive to keep glasses from mixing. Don’t forget to give your guests an elegant “thank you” gift as a token that will remind them of this special birthday- some options are a cheese spreader, personalized wine glass, wine charm, mini cheese grater, or wine stopper. Remind your birthday king or queen that they only get better with age — just like a fine wine!

Hawaiian Luau

Create your own tropical paradise right in your own backyard. Bring your Hawaiian luau to life by making a tiki hut or dressing up your existing outdoor area with grass skirt material, lanterns, fishing net, and other tropical trinkets. Ask your guests to arrive wearing colorful Hawaiian shirts and dresses, and welcome each of them with a customary lei, of course! You can either buy your leis from a party supply store or have everyone make their own lei with fresh flowers as a fun party activity. Set the island atmosphere with the sound of ukuleles, marimbas, and some of Elvis Presley’s classic soundtracks from Blue Hawaii and Paradise Hawaiian Style, or singer Israel Kamakawiw’ole’s famous ukulele-kissed version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Feast on tropical delights such as ham and pineapple kabobs, crab rangoons, and ahi tuna. Everyone loves tropical drinks garnished with fruit and mini umbrellas.  And for the kids there are tons of non-alcoholic recipes for everything from Mai Tais to Blue Hawaiians! Sing “Hau`oli Lā Hānau” to your birthday honoree and remind him/her, “Ke ‘oi loa a koe, na’e hana hele mai”, meaning “the best is yet to come”.

Around the World Potluck

Celebrate and enjoy the best cuisine from different countries around the world. Assign a country or region to each guest as part of their invitation. You can ask them to bring a main dish while you provide the venue, side dishes, and drinks. Turn it up a notch by asking each guest to wear clothing related to their specific country. Make a display with interesting facts about all of the countries featured. Play some worldly trivia games or have a geography “bee” for a fun way to learn something new about international cultures. Play a variety of music from around the world and do a little research to learn a few native dances to have fun learning with your party guests. Print and bind the recipes featured and give everyone a copy to take home. This birthday party is sure to be a global success!

Cooking with Class

If you’ve got access to a large enough kitchen and cooking space, plan a night to prepare and enjoy a gourmet meal together. Consider attending a local cooking school as another fun option. Choose one cooking style to focus on- there are many options, ranging from “how to grill” to “mastering French sauces”.  Or you can simply have a pizza party where everyone brings their favorite toppings, and you provide the sauce and the dough. Creating a meal together is a great way to engage everyone, have fun, and enjoy yummy your yummy creations together. This party is perfect for the “foodie” in your life!

Southern Picnic

Turn up the Southern charm and hospitality by throwing a good old-fashioned Southern picnic birthday party. Decorate the tables with checked gingham and mason jars filled with fresh hydrangeas. Cast a warm cozy glow by hanging strings of lights from the trees. Serve everyone’s favorite Southern dishes such as fried chicken, baked beans, mac-n-cheese, watermelon slices, and Arnold Palmers- a mixture of iced tea and lemonade. For a Southern twist, serve birthday pie instead of birthday cake. There are lots of options ranging from good ol’ apple pie to warm cherry pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Spray paint different colored circles in the grass for an instant game of Twister and don’t forget to bring the cornhole- an outdoor game suited for all ages!

Laurie is a busy mother of four who loves travelling and spending time anywhere outdoors from the Blue Ridge mountains to the sandy white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

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