21 fun birthday party ideas for every age

It’s party time! Whether you’re turning 21 or 60, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of birthday party ideas to celebrate every milestone age.

Updated on 19 March 2024 • Written By Ellie Donnell

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21 fun birthday party ideas for every age

Here it is: SquareMeal’s ultimate list of birthday party ideas for every age. Never will you be stuck for inspiration again! If you’re planning a special surprise for someone, or are turning a special age yourself this year, we’ve put together a comprehensive round-up of memorable birthday party ideas – no matter how old you are. Whether you fancy celebrating with an action-packed day out, an engaging masterclass or simply toasting the occasion with a bottomless brunch, there’s an option for you down below.


When it comes to planning a birthday party, there are a few things you need to think about. How big is your budget? Where do you want to host it? Is there a theme? How many people are you inviting? It might sound like a lot of hassle, but a birthday party can be as elaborate or low-key as you choose to make it. That’s why we’ve included everything from small-scale gatherings, such as an intimate dinner party, through to all singing, all dancing affairs, like a weekend trip or a cruise!

While we’ve included suggestions for each milestone age down below, that’s not to say they can’t be swapped and borrowed to suit the party you're planning. Really, most of these activities can be enjoyed by all ages, so feel free to book a laser tag experience or a mixology class, whether you’re turning 21 or 60. There are no rules here!

Finally, we promise that every single idea in this list is guaranteed to be memorable. Birthdays are a wonderful chance to celebrate the birth of YOU, and milestone ages don’t come around every year. It’s important you make the most of your years around the sun with a brilliant bash. So. put your party planning cap on and have a little scroll – it's time to make some memories.


18th birthday party ideas

Congratulations, you’re officially an adult! While you can now vote in an election and legally buy alcohol, we recommend getting down to the important stuff first – planning yourself a mega birthday party! Here are some ideas to celebrate your entry into adulthood.

Throw a fancy dress party

A fancy dress party is a great way to make your 18th extra special and is sure to give guests something to talk about – both before and after the event. We recommend picking a theme to make it easier for people to decide what to wear, and you could always add a healthy dose of competition to the mix and award a prize to the best dressed.

Put on a picnic in the park

Picnic table in park

If you’re lucky enough to have a birthday in the summer, a picnic is a really special way to make the most of the good weather while celebrating with friends and family. Pimp your picnic with pretty napkins, plates and fairy lights to give it that party feel, while for extra comfort, things like chairs, a fold-up table, cushions and throws are also a good shout. You can curate the menu however you like too, with tasty gourmet treats like quiches, cheeses, charcuterie and fruit. Don’t forget the birthday cake!

Wiggle your way out of an escape room

Got any friends who thrive under pressure? Test your problem-solving skills, and your friendships, with an escape room experience. There are so many great ones now all over the UK, and groups of anywhere between 2 and 10+ people can take part. Check out the escape experiences at Sherlock: The Live Game to see what we mean, followed by drinks in its themed The Mind Palace bar.

Hire a private cinema

Host the ultimate movie night! Sure, you could host your friends at home, but if you really want to make it a night to remember, then hire out a screen at a cinema for the best possible movie experience. Big-name brands like Cineworld and Everyman are available to hire for private events, and both have branches across the UK.

21st birthday party ideas

Turning 21 is a pretty big deal, which is why you’re going to want to host a party that ensures everyone remembers it for years to come. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Book a bottomless brunch

Cocktails and brunch plates

Up to two straight hours of brunch plates and free-flowing booze... You can’t go wrong with a bottomless birthday brunch. There are loads to pick from across the UK, although we’ve done a chunk of the legwork for you with our ultimate guides.

Discover the best bottomless brunches in London if you’re planning a party in the capital, or check out the best bottomless brunches in Liverpool, the best bottomless brunches in Newcastle and the best bottomless brunches in Manchester for more inspiration across the country.

Play a game of crazy golf

Swingers crazy golf
You can have hours of fun at premium crazy golf venue Swingers West End

Crazy golf is a fun activity that everyone will enjoy! Plus, many venues offer more than just a round of golf, with tasty food, fun cocktails and, often, other activities all under one roof. Swingers, for example, brings a wealth of exciting street food stalls to the West End and City of London, while Birdies combines kookie crazy golf courses with cocktails and burgers.

Go, go, go karting!

For an action-packed birthday that gets your heart racing, pit your mates against each other with an adults-only go karting experience. This is one for the thrill-seekers out there. 

Head to a rooftop bar

For 21-year-olds looking to bring a little sophistication to celebrations, cocktails at a rooftop bar are always a good bet. Enjoy fantastic views of the city below while you sip on some expertly crafted drinks. Of course, those sky-high views provide excellent photo opportunities too, so make sure to snap a few pics for the ‘gram while you're there. 

Need a top-notch recommendation? We've rounded up the best rooftop bars in London that are sure to blow you away. 

30th birthday party ideas

Whatever sort of 30th you have in your mind, be it suave and sophisticated, or loud and raucous, you can find it here.

Get lost in an immersive experience

Immersive experiences are all the rage right now, offering groups an extraordinary day out away from reality for a few hours. They come in all shapes and sizes too, from dining in the dark at Dans Le Noir to a futurstic VR experience at Sandbox VR. Find one that's right for you with our guide to the best immersive experiences in London.

Book a Paint & Sip class

Two women painting on a canvas

Paint & Sip has grown in popularity over the last year or so, offering a fun, sociable and rewarding way to spend an afternoon or evening with friends. What is it? Paint & Sip events are essentially painting glasses with a BYOB element thrown in for good measure. So, you can flex your creative skills while enjoying a glass or two of your favourite tipple. Find out more about where to Paint and Sip in London.

Head to a wine tasting

Pouring a glass of wine

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or just really enjoy a glass of vino, a wine tasting party brings an element of sophistication to an otherwise boozy affair. If you’re doing it at home, then make sure you have enough glasses for everyone to sample a few wines each, and add a ‘pairing’ element with a selection of cheeses and nibbles for guests to enjoy alongside.

Equally, to makes things easy, you could just book a wine tasting class at a vineyard or restaurant. The whole day is taken care of and you'll get to learn from a pro!

Book a karaoke room

Lucky voice bar, and people singing
Book a karaoke room for you and your mates at Lucky Voice Islington

There’s nothing like gathering your mates for a sing-along and a laugh, and there are some awesome karaoke clubs out there which are sure to make it a night to remember. Sing your heart out to your favourite bangers, preferably with table service or your own private room, for the ultimate birthday bash.

To name a few, Lucky Voice has sites in London and Brighton, and boasts a catalogue of over 11,000 songs! While the basement karaoke room at BAO Borough is one of London's worst kept secrets, and can be hired for two hours for up to 14 people. For more inspiration, check out our guide to the best karaoke bars in London.

40th birthday party ideas

Everyone knows that 40 is the new 30, and these fun activities are the perfect way to mark the occasion. From a vineyard trip to cocktail making classes...

Visit a vineyard

Looking over a vineyard

While the UK’s best vineyards certainly produce some excellent English wines, many have now diversified their offerings to include a whole range of activities, from tours and tastings to restaurants and accommodation. Book a daytrip (or weekend) to a vineyard and enjoy a wine and food-filled few hours with loved ones.

Go glamping

Gone are the days of freezing nights spent in a soggy tent! Book a glamping holiday with a group of friends to enjoy mother nature from the comfort of luxury accommodation. No one’s judging you. From huts and cabins to tipis and wigwams, camping has never looked so, well, glam.

Try a mixology class

The Blue Room bar at Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Book a cocktail making masterclass in The Blue Room at Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Partial to a Margarita? Love an Espresso Martini? Learn how to whip up your favourite cocktails at a mixology class. Some of our favourites include The Anthologist in the City, Mason's in Liverpool and Banyan in Manchester. There are plenty of UK chains that offers cocktail masterclasses too, including The Cocktail Club, Dirty Martini and The Alchemist, making it even easier to try your hand at the art of mixology.

50th birthday party ideas

There are milestone birthdays, and then there are milestone birthdays – and the big 5-0 is the latter! Toast to half a century on this earth with one of these fun 50th birthday party ideas.

Book an afternoon tea

Afternoon tea spread at the beaumont
Afternoon tea in the Gatsby Room at The Beaumont is a magical affair

Pinkies at the ready! Gather your most sophisticated friends and book an elegant afternoon tea. What could be better than getting all dressed up, then going to enjoy dainty finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and gorgeous patisserie cakes? Washed down with a pot of tea – or fizz if you want to make it extra special – and you have a truly joyous afternoon in our eyes.

Check out our afternoon tea guides to major cities across the UK:

Best afternoon tea in London
Best afternoon tea in Bath
Best afternoon tea in Newcastle
Best afternoon tea in Liverpool
Best afternoon tea in Cardiff

Book a cooking class

Collection of cooking class images

What better way to mark half a century than with a day of cooking, eating and learning? Book yourself and a few friends into one of the best cooking class in the UK to learn how to cook like a pro, whether you’ve always wanted to get to grips with bread-making, or are keen to improve your knife skills.

Enjoy a spa weekend

If a wild weekend away isn’t the sort of party you had in mind for your 50th, then how does a spa break sound instead? Unwind with some of your closest pals at one of the UK’s best and most relaxing spas, with everything from secluded country houses to state-of-the-art hotels offering some seriously luxurious pampering facilities.

60th birthday party ideas

Can’t decide on how to spend your 60th? From a 60s themed party to dinner with loved ones, it’s sure to be a day filled with friends, family and fun.

Throw a 60s themed party

Celebrate turning 60 with a 60s themed birthday bash, featuring retro food, colourful attire and a groovy playlist. Nothing says party like the swinging sixties, so put on your dancing shoes and have a little boogie. You're 60 - it's time to celebrate!

Host a dinner party

It might seem like an underwhelming choice, but an intimate dinner party with your nearest and dearest is the perfect celebration in our eyes. What could be better than a home-cooked meal enjoyed with excellent company? Sometimes, low-key get-togethers are the best kind. 

Throw a drinks reception on a boat

Boat interiors and deck
The Windsor Maidenhead Boat Company is available for private functions

Gather everyone on deck for the party of the year. If you live near water and are looking for a venue with a difference, then consider hiring a boat for your 60th celebrations. Just imagine it: you and your friends enjoying drinks on deck while you watch the sun go down. Unbeatable, surely?

The fun doesn't stop there. If you're looking for more birthday party inspiration, you can browse our full directory of event and party venues for hire to find a killer backdrop for your next event. Need a quirky venue that's a bit different from the rest? Or want to book the coolest venue in town? We've got 'em all. 

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