5 Epic 21st Birthday Ideas

21st birthday ideas

You’ve been looking forward to it for 20 years and now it’s almost here — the long-awaited 21st birthday party! You’re not quite sure what you’re going to do, but you know it’s gotta be fun and it’s gotta involve alcohol. To inspire your planning, we’ve put together an excellent list of 21st birthday ideas that are great for guys and gals, some more or less boozy than others. From cheap 21st birthday invitations that will leave room in your budget to splurge on drinks to location ideas, we’ve got something for everyone!

21st birthday ideas

1.) Cupcakes and Cocktails Party

To celebrate the birthday girl in style, you can’t beat a cupcakes and cocktails party. This is a stellar party idea that can be pulled off either at an upscale cocktail bar or as a simpler affair in your own home. Order a variety of cupcakes from a local bakery or cupcake shop for your guests to enjoy. Booze flavored varieties, such as margarita cupcakes or Kalua cupcakes, are great for an evening of drinks with friends. For a night on the town, go out dressed to the nines and announce your new age with a fun 21st birthday sash (it’s a great way to score free drinks). Make sure the venue is okay with outside food if you plan on bringing in cupcakes from an outside vendor.

21st birthday ideas
via fabandluxe.tumblr.com

 If you decide to host this party at home, consider serving a signature cocktail created by yours truly. There are tons of birthday themed cocktail recipes online to inspire your drinking! For an at-home party, blended drinks like pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris are always a big hit. Whether you go out or host a party at home, let your friends know what you’re up to with pretty 21st birthday invitations that feature a fun cocktail and cupcake vibe, like the example below.

21st birthday invitations
Cupcakes and Cocktails Birthday Invitation from Invite Shop

2.) Beer and Bacon Party

If you can’t find a designated driver for a night on the town, celebrate indoors with a beer and bacon party. A beer and bacon party is a great excuse to get your friends together for a night of drinking games and salty bacon goodness. Simply provide some brews and some bacon themed snacks for your guests to enjoy. If you’re looking to save money on beer, you can go BYOB or ask if your friends are willing to go in on a keg with you. 

21st birthday ideas
via BestEvents.us

When planning your beer and bacon party, you have to be willing to get creative with beer and bacon foods. Think bacon wrapped shrimp, bacon wrapped hot dogs (or little smokies), beer cheese dips, beer bread, bacon mac n cheese, and similar items. After all that saltiness, you’ll also want to have some sweets on hand. You can whip up a batch of chocolate peanut butter bacon cookies or fudge brownies. But first, get your friends excited about celebrating with you by sending out some beer themed 21st birthday invitations like the one below.

21st birthday invitations
Brown Beers Cheers 21st Birthday Invitation from Invite Shop

3.) Birthday Brunch & Bubbly Party

Not everyone wants to get trashed on their 21st birthday. Sometimes all you want are a couple mimosas to wash down some amazing breakfast food! To pull this party off, look for an upscale brunch locale in your area that serves delicious brunch cocktails, like bloody marys, fruity sangrias, peach bellinis, and a tempting selection of spiked coffees. Oh, and don’t overlook the food! A good brunch menu will blur the line between breakfast and lunch, with brunch favorites like eggs benny, Belgian waffles, and stuffed French toast.

21st birthday ideas
via Smarty Had a Party

A more affordable alternative is to host a brunch and bubbly party in your home. The great thing about breakfast foods is that they are simple and cheap. You can make a big batch of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast, and whip up a batch of frosted cinnamon rolls for about $15. Then to celebrate your legal drinking age, pick up a few bottles of champagne to put on ice, lots of fresh fruit, and a variety of juices, like orange, peach, and kiwi-strawberry. Dress up these juices by getting them out of their original plastic containers and into clear glass juice jars that show off their pretty colors. Then you’ll have the makings for a beautiful DIY mimosa bar for you and your friends to enjoy.

21st birthday invitations
Fierce Zebra Pattern Photo Birthday Invitation from Invite Shop

4.) Comedy Club Party

If you want to guarantee a night of drinking and laughs, you can’t beat a comedy club. Even if the comedians you go to see end up tanking, at least you and your friends can laugh at how terrible they were! The comedy club can be the big event itself or simply a prelude to a night on the town. 

21st birthday ideas
UP Comedy Club in Chicago

Do a little research on comedy clubs and what comedians will be in town during your birthday month. You may wish to avoid a bad part of town or a comedy club that doesn’t allow minors, if you have friends under the age of 21 who want to join in the festivities. If you don’t want to go out for drinks after the comedy club, you can have people over for an after-party at your apartment to watch classic comedies starring Steve Martin or Chris Farley. Whatever you decide to do, let your friends know what you’re planning with some fun invitations like the one below.

21st birthday invitations
Martini With Olives 21st Birthday Invitation from Invite Shop

5.) Movie Tavern Party

Movie taverns are picking up in popularity all over the nation, and if you live near one, you can catch a movie in comfort while enjoying a long-awaited, ice cold beer. Movie taverns are a step above your typical movie theatre when it comes to your movie going experience. Not only can you sip alcoholic beverages while sitting in really nice leather recliner style chairs during the movie, but you can typically go enjoy a full bar with your friends after the movie. 

21st birthday party ideas
via MovieTavern.com

You can also take advantage of the in-theatre dining service, including burgers, pasta, stuffed mushrooms, and more. You don’t even have to leave your seat to go get food since the servers take your order and bring your food and drinks right to you. Let your friends know about your outing with fun invitations.

21st birthday invitations
21st Surprise Birthday Photo Card from Invite Shop

Party Like You’re 21!

These are just a few ways you can make your 21st birthday memorable. One last tip: don’t forget to designate a driver and be mindful of your behavior when out in public. Nothing puts a damper on 21st birthday festivities like a run-in with the law.  

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