Do you want to organize an adult birthday party for your friends, but aren’t sure where to start? In this article, we will discuss how to plan a birthday party from start to finish! We will also provide a list of activities and games that are perfect for grownup parties.

Birthday party themes

Adult birthday party ideas
Photo by NIPYATA! on Unsplash

Spend time choosing a theme that reflects the guest of honor. What does he or she like? Movies? Another era? Egyptology? 🙂 Choose something that reflects them.

Then look to pull your theme and the colours you choose through everything you do, from the email/mailed invitations right to the food and room decorations.


Any party starts with an invitation. Intrigue and excite your guests about your event. Make your invitations show the theme of your adult birthday party.

Design invitations
Make invitations that reflect your theme and that also show the guest of honor’s personality. Be sure to include all the information your guests will need:

  • Date and time of the party,
  • Address where they should meet for drinks before the party,
  • Address of your event space or venue address if you are having it at a restaurant, park, etc.
  • RSVP deadline,
  • How they should get in touch with you if they need to change the time or date of their RSVP,
  • Additional information about the dress code or other details you want your guests to know.

Send invitations
Decide how you will send out invitations. Is it going to be a good old snail mail, email, e-invite, or a simple chat message? e-invites is a good way to both send your birthday invitations, track the RSVPs and handle questions or comments.

Once the invitations are sent out, enjoy receiving RSVPs from all of your excited friends.

The room setup

Look at your event space strategically to ensure it is convenient and safe.

Appropriately placed stations
Stations in general work well for parties of all kinds. Consider them for food, activities and all types of games, whether or adult or kid-friendly (craft area, bouncy castle area, petting zoo, carnival games, sports, etc.).

Tasteful decorations
Don’t feel you need to go all out on decorations. Minimal decorations strategically placed set the tone and are less of a tripping hazard for older and younger guests.

Think about kids

Make arrangements for guests with kids.

If you have a family-friendly party, consider booking a babysitter or asking friends who can help to keep an eye on the younger guests.

If your event is for adults only, make arrangements so that no one feels obligated to bring their kids because they don’t know what else will be going on at your event when it comes time for the kids to go home.

Find and group-buy a babysitter. Instead of each guest with kids getting their own babysitter, collaborate and get a sitter for a few kids at a time. Keep in mind that not all babysitters will be up for it. So, make sure you ask.

Child care
See if you have child care available near you. Some of the child care services these days can offer late-night stays for your children.

If there are relatives that can’t attend or are just not invited, consider asking them to babysit.

Activities and games

Choosing an adult birthday party theme is rarely enough. Plan activities and games that follow your theme. Here are a few examples to get you started.

Host a Game Night
There are plenty of games you can play with your friends and family. For example, you could play Sorry! or Scrabble. If you don’t want to put too much effort into your adult birthday party ideas and games, you can always print out the rules to your favorite games and let everyone know upfront that they will be playing them tonight

Do a Spa Day
Adult birthday party ideas include giving your adult friends a great adult spa treatment, complete with massages and other treatments that adults love.

Have a Cake Swap
Everyone loves cake. Why not have your adult birthday party ideas include a cake swap? You could have two cakes, one adult-friendly, and the other kids-appropriate, so everyone is happy when they get their slice to take home.

Go Karaoke-ing
Go out to your favourite karaoke bar or rent a karaoke unit and stay home with your friends. Some of your friends may already have a karaoke machine. Ask your guests and save on party rentals.

Cook the Night Away
You can cook an adult-themed meal at home and invite your adult friends over for a great time. Try making something simple like an adult version of macaroni and cheese.

Go Bowling
Even if you’re not very good at bowling, there are plenty of adult birthday party ideas that don’t require you to be the best bowler on the planet. This is just one example of birthday party ideas that even beginners can enjoy!

Host a trivia night
Trivia nights are common adult birthday party ideas. Trivia is also a great idea for adults to gather together and socialize; asking questions to each other helps people get to know one another better, while still keeping them entertained. Trivia can be themed like any other birthday party idea, too! Themes that may work especially well include things like:

  • 60’s, 70’s and 80’s
  • TV Favorites
  • Music Around the World
  • Books to Movies

Wine Tasting
Serve different wines in small bowls with samples of food that is complementary to the wine. Guests may not know a lot about wine, but they can relate their experience to food and learn something new. Do a blind tasting of different wines with the labels hidden so that guests have no idea what kind of wine they’re drinking until after. At this point, you can reveal it to them as well as educate those who are interested in how to distinguish and taste wine.

Hand-rolled Cigars
If your birthday celebrant enjoys cigars, this is a great adult birthday party idea. Purchase paper cigar wraps and give each person at the party two or three wraps along with a bottle of champagne or sparkling juice or a birthday cake or birthday dessert of their choice. Have them hand roll the cigars and enjoy.

Host a Film Screening
Whether it is a movie from their birth year or a birthday-themed film, invite guests over for a showing of the selected film(s). Make some popcorn and serve birthday cake at your adult birthday party.

Host an Afternoon Tea Party
Afternoon tea is a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday and enjoy some time with friends. Invite guests over for tea, sandwiches, scones (with jam and clotted cream), and other tea-time treats.

Have a Wine and Cheese Night
Invite your guests to bring a bottle of wine and a small gift, such as cheese or chocolate. Have your birthday party in the evening so that people can drink the wine they brought.

Have an Adult Scavenger Hunt
Ask each guest to find something at home that reflects their age group, for example, children’s toys for someone.

Create Your Bar Crawl
Have your adult birthday party in a pub crawl. Challenge each guest to move around and down as many pubs as possible, with a time limit of two hours. Give the guests name tags and put them into pairs. Give each pair a birthday cake to share between them and let those who brought it light it for them.

Have a Jewelry Making Party
Give each guest a bag of beads, gems, buttons, and other small items. Make it into a game to see who can make the best necklace or earrings.

Throw an Out-of-Town Party
Pick a nearby town and enjoy the day exploring new shops, restaurants, and local adventures.

Want to see how it looks? Here’s a great video with 100 adult party games.

Food and drinks

Food and drinks are a must for an adult birthday party. Make sure you serve food that reflects adult tastes and interests. Make sure your food matches the theme of the event.

Serve simple foods
Serve simple foods that are easy to eat, won’t stain the rugs or be a sticky mess. Don’t serve anything too messy or with a lot of liquid. Make sure food is bite-sized and easy to pick up.

Consider guests with allergies
Ask guests about allergies. Make sure that the food served is not something they are allergic to. Also, make them aware of what kind of foods will be served in case it is something they are allergic to.

Consider dietary restrictions
Consider serving foods that can be eaten by people with different dietary needs, such as vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. Be sure to make a list of your guests and their dietary restrictions. This will ensure that they are catered to during the event or you can give them a heads-up ahead of time.

Have a variety of drinks on hand
Make sure there is a good selection of different types of drinks available for guests to choose from. This means that you should have at least one type of alcoholic drink, fruit juice, or soda. Don’t forget water!

Have a cake
An adult birthday party is not complete without a piece of the birthday person’s favorite type of cake.

Hire a catering company
Not sure if you want to deal with all the food preps, serving, and cleaning? Hire a caterer. Many catering companies provide a turnkey service. This way you won’t need to worry about food and drinks past the planning phase.


Games and activities are great! But what if you could get a DJ or hire a band for your event? It works well if your group of friends loves dancing or live music.

Background music
Setting up a playlist that will support your night’s theme is the most economical way to add spark to your adult birthday party. You can just start a YouTube video like this below and sent it to a Bluetooth speaker for everyone’s enjoyment.

Get a DJ
You could start at home and then go to a club. But you can also hire a DJ and stay in all night.

Hire a band
You could go all out and hire a band to play your favorite tunes. Especially if your celebrant and guests are into live music. Or you can get your friends together and prepare a few songs for other guests.

Bring in a magician
Hire a magician who has a 20-minute stage show and will then spend the rest of his time roaming through the room and entertaining pockets of guests.

Hire a caricaturist
Hire a caricaturist to theme everyone’s pictures to match the event; book for the duration of the party as he or she will be busy ALL night!

Hire a photographer
Of course, you can use your phone camera and take selfies with friends. But what if you wanted to make super-awesome pictures that make your party memorable for years to come? Hiring a photographer or a photo booth company can make it happen.

Wrapping up the party

Plan the end-of-the-party. Too often we only think of the setup and not how the party will end. Here are a few best practices to end an adult birthday party.

End with giving thanks
When the party is over, make sure to thank all of your guests for coming. You can do this by sending a thank you note or by giving each guest a small gift.

Don’t forget to clean up
If the party was in your home, make sure to clean up before going to bed or leaving for work the next day. Clean all food and drink spills immediately, pick up glasses from the floor, and do not leave dirty dishes for your guests to clean up.

End with a round of applause
Give the birthday person a round of applause for a job well done. If they did something notable during the party, such as hosting or bringing in snacks from their favorite deli, don’t forget to mention it.

Give a speech
If you are comfortable enough, make an impromptu speech about the birthday person and their accomplishments.

End with a toast
Give the birthday person and all of your guests one last toast before calling it a night. This acts as a final goodbye. Everyone can stand up and have a glass of champagne or beer, raise their glasses and make a toast to the birthday person.

Don’t forget to thank the hosts
End by thanking your host/hostess for having you in their home or for providing the venue for your event.

An adult birthday party can be fun and exciting. However, you need to put some thought into planning the event so that it is memorable for all of the right reasons. Now you’re armed with the right tools so go ahead and plan a birthday party for an adult you love.

Frequently asked questions

How do I choose a theme for an adult birthday party?
Choosing a theme for an adult birthday party can be challenging, but it’s important to consider the guest of honor’s interests, hobbies, and favorite things. You can also consider the party’s location, season, and the overall vibe you want to create.

How can I keep the party guests entertained?
Keeping adult birthday party guests entertained can be achieved by providing interactive activities, such as games, photo booths, or DIY stations. Consider the age group and interests of your guests, and choose activities that are engaging and fun.

What kind of food should I serve at an adult birthday party?
The food served at an adult birthday party should reflect the overall theme and atmosphere of the event. Consider serving a mix of sweet and savory finger foods, and include options for guests with dietary restrictions.

How can I decorate for an adult birthday party?
When decorating for an adult birthday party, it’s important to keep the theme and guest of honor’s preferences in mind. You can use balloons, streamers, centerpieces, and lighting to create a festive atmosphere.

How do I manage the guest list for an adult birthday party?
When managing the guest list for an adult birthday party, consider the size and location of the event, as well as the guest of honor’s preferences. It’s important to be clear about the RSVP deadline and to communicate any restrictions, such as a maximum capacity or age limit.