21st Birthday Ideas

Fun And Fabulous 21st Birthday Ideas
To Help You Make This Milestone Birthday A Day To Remember

A 21st birthday party is certainly considered the coming of age party. Although a person is now technically thought to be an adult, there is still a lot of youth left in them thar' bones and coming up with an appropriate 21st birthday party might seem like a daunting task.

There are many factors to consider when trying to come up with 21st birthday party ideas. The first one that comes to mind is the ability to make an adult decision NOT to get drunk. Instead, why not opt to create a memorable milestone event that you can remember, enjoy and be proud of for years to come.


party room image
The size of your party will certainly help to dictate the venue in which it will be held. In addition, weather will play a role when determining if it should be held inside or out. Here are some options to consider:

HOME SWEET HOME - If you are having a small gathering, you might consider hosting it on the ole home-front. Whether you opt for an inside party, which could span through several rooms in the house or a garden party, which could certainly be lovely and appropriate, a 21st birthday party could be a blast in either location.

RESTAURANT - Another option to consider if no one wants to cook, is to host the party at the birthday person's favorite restaurant. Depending upon the number of guests you are planning on having, you might be able to reserve a section of the restaurant or a separate room for all of your 21st birthday frivolity.

HOTELS - For a larger gathering and perhaps a more formal affair, you might consider springing for a hotel's banquet room.

COMMUNITY CENTERS - Another option to check out for larger gatherings are community halls. For example, your local Vet's Hall, Senior Center, Elk's Lodge, your city's Community Center, etc. can be adorned with your theme's decorations, which will instantly transform it into a great 21st birthday party locale.


pedicure image
If you have decided a 21st birthday party is not the way that you want to go, yet you want to celebrate this milestone birthday in a special way, here are a few alternate options to consider:

SPA WEEKEND - Grab your closest friends and/or family and head to your favorite spa. Spend a weekend being pampered from head to toe as you usher in adulthood.

DANCE LESSONS - Dance lessons can be an add-on to a party or an in-lieu of event. For example, take a series of ballroom, salsa, or line-dancing lessons prior to party time. Then plan a party in which you will be able to exercise your newly found dance abilities.

CONCERT & DINNER - Spring for some tickets to that oh, so expensive concert that you would not otherwise attend. Add a nice dinner to the birthday person's favorite restaurant and you've got a wonderful and memorable 21st.

HOBBY DAY - Whatever the birthday person enjoys, accentuate and go all out. For example, what golfer wouldn't enjoy a day at a high-end golf course.

THEME PARK - Take your fun-loving friends to a theme park and opt for a day of adventure on the high-flying rides.

THRILL SEEKING EVENT - If you're a bit of an adrenaline junkie, then a plan a bungee jump or parachute your way to fun. My sister-in-law opted for a jump from a parachute for her 50th birthday and thought it was great and would do it again. Craaaazy in my book. I like concrete under my feet.


21st birthday image
Have you decided to use a theme for your 21st birthday party? If so, you may need a few great 21st birthday ideas to help you out. The following are some excellent themes that you can consider when planning your big birthday bash. Simply click the links and find out more for each theme, including decoration ideas, suggestions for party food, fun favors, invitation ideas, cakes and so much more.

BEACH PARTY IDEAS - For the young at heart and for an easy 21st birthday, check out these fun Beach Party Ideas to help you create a perfect beach party bash.

BLACK AND WHITE PARTY - This Black And White Party is patterned after the famous Truman Capote black and white ball, in which everything is black and white. It is a perfect choice if you are looking for an evening of fun and formality.

FIESTA PARTY IDEAS - Take turning 21 south of the border with these fun Fiesta Party Ideas. Grab your maracas, toss down your sombrero, and kick up your heels for a hot, hot, hot 21st birthday.

LUAU PARTY IDEAS - If the tropics are your cup of tea, then you'll want to check out these Luau Party Ideas to help you transform your backyard into a colorful and exotic tropical paradise.

MARDI GRAS THEME PARTY - If you're thinking of hosting a large get together in celebration of that 21st birthday party, Mardi Gras Theme Party would be a great option to consider.

MASQUERADE PARTY IDEAS - Intrigue, disguise, and an air of mystery come to mind when considering Masquerade Party Ideas. This would be a great choice for a 21st birthday.

MURDER MYSTERY PARTY - – Does the guest of honor really love mysteries? If they love some mayhem and lots of drama, then definitely look at our Murder Mystery Party page to get some exciting tips. OSCAR PARTY IDEAS - For those who enjoy the Oscars, Hollywood, or the Academy Awards, these Oscar Party Ideas might be just the ticket to a good time.

TEA PARTY IDEAS - Whether you decide to host the party inside or out, here are some great Tea Party Ideas that could help you create a prim and proper and fun 21st tea party birthday.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE PARTY - A This Is Your Life Party is a great milestone birthday choice. You have the opportunity to celebrate the life of the birthday person, along with remembering special events that occurred and reuniting people in the honoree's life.


Maybe you have decided not to use a theme for the 21st birthday party. Instead, perhaps you want to actually focus on the number, 21. To help you out, these fun game, food, invitation, favor and decoration ideas just might be helpful.


PHOTO CARD INVITES – Design invitations that highlight the past 21 years of the guest of honor’s life. Use some fun pictures of the honored guest to design a collage, then place all the party info on the back.

21 INVITES - Make a large number 21 out of colorful card stock. Decorate the front using glitter or stick on jewels and write your party details on the back of the numbers.

HANDCRAFTED INVITES - Use a piece of white card stock or a colored piece of card stock to coordinate with party colors. Start early so you have time to handcraft your invites with some cute little rubber stamp designs. Then use some craft brush pens to color in your invites. Put all your party details on the back.

balloons image
If you have decided to opt for a fun colorful look, then you might want to consider incorporating some of the following ideas:
  • Tie a bouquet of balloons to your mailbox, car or tree to alert every one of the party location.

  • Add some fun 21 yard signs.

  • For large corners you could make 21 balloon bouquets.

  • Decorate the ceiling with streamers. You can alternate your party colors across the entire ceiling to create extra party wow factor!

  • Hang colorful birthday dangles from fishing line or colored ribbon at various heights from the ceiling.

  • Make large 21's out of colored card stock or poster board and hang on walls.

  • Be sure to hang a colorful Happy 21st Birthday (Name) banner on the main wall.

  • Sprinkle colorful confetti on the tabletops or you could go wild and sprinkle it all over the floor for added fun.

  • Have a huge 21 made out of balloons and attach to the main party room wall as a focal point.

If you have decided to go for a little more formal 21st birthday, then you might want to consider some of the following ideas:

  • Forgo the paper party ware and bring out the china, silverware and linen tablecloths.

  • Select balloons that are keeping with refinement, such as ones that are silver, gray, black, or gold. Forego the colorful balloons and the Mylars that have 21 plastered all over them.

  • Create a tasteful centerpiece using 21 flowers.

  • Use candles for some of your lighting. Float tea candles in decorative glass bowls.

  • Dress up the backs of the chairs with large tulle bows or wide decorative wire ribbon bows.

  • Cover the ceiling with helium balloons.

  • Create a decorative helium balloon archway for guests to enter through.

  • Mini white Christmas lights are a great way to set a lovely mood. Wrap them around doorframes, window frames, ceiling, bannisters, table tops, etc.

karaoke image

Here are a few games and activities that you might want to consider incorporating into your 21st birthday party to keep the troops busy so to speak:
  • Hula Hoop contest
  • Video Games
  • Karaoke
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Volleyball, ping pong, basketball, football, etc.
  • Dance contest
  • Twister
  • Charades
  • Board games


party food image
For this milestone birthday, you'll want to be sure to serve up plenty of yummy food for your guests to enjoy. Since 21 isn't that far from age 18, you'll want to factor in your crowd's food mentality. In other words, are their taste buds still longing for teen favorites or are they willing to try something new. To help get you started, here are a few party food ideas that are sure to satisfy everyone:
  • BBQ tri-tip, chicken, or steaks
  • Salad bar
  • Taco bar
  • Baked potato bar
  • Sushi bar
  • Fondue
  • Hamburgers and hotdogs
  • Pizza
  • Sandwich platter of deli meats and cheese
  • Deviled eggs
  • Chips and dips
  • Sandwich platter with cheeses and meats
  • Fresh veggies with dip


21st birthday cake image

21-SHAPED CAKE - Use a two cake pans. One is a number 2 and the other is a number 1. Cover the cakes with frosting for a more casual cake and fondant for a more formal one.

TRADITIONAL BIRTHDAY CAKE - Make or buy a sheet cake and top it off with 21 sparklers for added fun, rather than 21 candles.

PHOTO CAKE - Have a bakery put a photo of the birthday person's baby picture on it or opt for 9 smaller pictures of various ages.


Be sure to send your guests home with a nice party favor to help remind them of the fun time they had celebrating your 21st birthday. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about party favors:
  • Dice-shaped keychain
  • T-shirt commemorating the party
  • Personalized candy bars
  • Personalized tins with mints
  • Chocolate dipped fortune cookies, personalized
  • Organza bag with mixed nuts
  • Organza bag of Hershey Kisses, Skittles, etc.
  • Personalized wine glass filled with Jelly Belly's, mints, etc.
  • Personalized mini box of truffles
  • Chocolate numbers 2 and 1 wrapped in plastic wrap

Got Any 21st Birthday Party Ideas?

Time to share your creativity with the world. I'd love to hear about your fun ideas for celebrating a 21st birthday--just make them G-rated please.

Return To Top Of 21st Birthday Ideas
Return To Milestone Birthday Ideas For More Milestone Party Ideas
Return To Home Page - Birthday Party Ideas

New! Comments

Join in with your party ideas and questions! Leave your comments in the box below.
party blog

New Birthday Party Ideas