40 Creative 21st Birthday Party Ideas For 2024

Looking to throw the best 21st birthday party ever? Here are 40 unforgettable 21st birthday ideas you’ll want to copy.

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Turning 21 is one of the biggest milestone birthdays of your life. And I’m sure you want the day to be perfect!

There are SO many fun ways to celebrate a 21st birthday, so planning it can get a little bit overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve put together the best 21st birthday party ideas from around the internet. You’ll get inspiration for what to do for a 21st birthday, how to decorate your party, and what gifts to bring if you’re an attendee!

So let’s get into it – here are the absolute best 21st birthday ideas that will make your day unforgettable!

Creative 21st Birthday Party Ideas

1. Do A 21st Birthday Scavenger Hunt

A person holds a large decorative sign embellished with photos and a list of 21 tasks to complete, such as 'scream it's my birthday' and 'take a shot with no hands,' celebrating a 21st birthday.
Image Source: Pinterest

Want to make your 21st birthday a night to remember? Do a scavenger hunt!

Make a cute sign with all of the tasks on it, and assign someone to carry it around for the night. The guest of honor has to get through all of the items on the checklist before the night is over.

If you’re not sure what to put on your 21st birthday checklist, we’ve put together this list of 21st birthday tasks for an epic night out.

2. Play Classic Party Games

Outdoor party setting with a glass table arranged for a beer pong game, using pink cups on artificial grass. In the background there are inflatable pool floats.
Source: Pinterest

Beer pong is a house party staple. Make it a little classier and more fun with colorful cups and a cute table setup.

Recreate this cute backyard beer pong setup:

16oz Party Cups, 80 Pack
$19.99 ($0.25 / Count)
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Looking for a sophisticated twist on this classic party game? You can get this set of champagne pong for your party! Perfect for a brunch party or daytime party.

3. Set Up a Photo Booth

A festive backdrop for a 21st birthday party with the words 'Ella's Twenty First' written in gold cursive on a brown paper banner, flanked by a balloon garland in shades of gold, pink, and white. The banner hangs above a metallic fringe curtain.
Image Source: Ella Klopstein

Your 21st birthday party is going to be one of the most exciting nights of your life, so make sure you document it well!

Create a DIY photo booth with a streamer backdrop, balloons, and other decor.

Then set up a table with tons of props and signs to hold up. Your guests will have so much fun posing and taking pictures during your party.

4. Have A Theme Party

Theme parties are HUGE right now, and we’re living for it! Having a party theme is a surefire way to make sure your night is unforgettable.

Some popular 21st birthday party themes right now are:

Honestly, there are SO many fun theme options out there that it can be hard to narrow it down. But we’ve listed our favorite themes for a 21st birthday party in this post.

5. Hand Out Disposable Cameras

A pile of green disposable cameras with pink sticky notes saying 'Return to Claudia' sits next to a sign with a playful request 'Help me remember tonight! Grab a camera, do whatever the f*** you want with it. Tomorrow I'm gonna develop them + throw them into a shared album."
Image Source: @claudiasulewski

Even if you have the most unforgettable party, you’ll probably forget a few parts of it ;). Keep track of all of the epic moments of the night by giving everyone a disposable camera.

I love this 21st birthday party idea because you’ll have these memories forever. Don’t forget to send out the digital files to all of your party guests.

6. Charge an “Entry Fee”

A party scene with a sign reading 'ENTRY FEE 1 SHOT' above a glass table covered with rows of small, filled shot glasses ready for guests.
Image Source: Pinterest

Get the 21st birthday party started ASAP by giving everyone a shot at the door! You can make a fun sign that says “Entry Fee One Shot” so everyone knows to take one.

Just make sure that you don’t pressure anyone to drink who doesn’t want to. Also, everyone likes different types of liquor so it’s smart to provide a few options.

7. Take A Birthday Vacation (or Staycation)

If you really want to go all out for your 21st bday, plan a fun weekend trip with your besties!

Some fun destinations for a 21st birthday in the U.S. would be Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Nashville, NYC, or Miami.

Want to feel like you’re on vacation without spending a ton of money? Take a staycation!

Head to a nearby city and split the cost of a hotel room with a few friends. Order room service, check out the hotel bar, or head out for a night on the town.

8. Do A Pedal Tavern

A group of people on a pedal tavern. They are seated on bar stools and pedaling together, with a roof overhead adorned with lights, against an urban backdrop.
Image Source: Pinterest

If you’ve never seen a pedal tavern before, it’s basically like a giant multi-person bicycle with a bar in the middle. You get a group together and pedal around your town while you drink.

Some pedal taverns will stop off at bars while others will just serve you drinks while you ride. Either way, it’s a super fun time!

9. Have A Wine And Painting Night

Looking for a low-key way to spend your 21st birthday? Host a wine and painting night!

Most cities now have studios that offer wine and painting nights, so make a reservation ahead of time.

Or you can just DIY it at home! Just make sure you have enough canvases, paint, brushes, wine, and snacks to go around.

24 Color Acrylic Paint Set With Brushes
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10. Serve Birthday Cake Shots

A white liquid being poured into a shot glass rimmed with colorful sprinkles.
Source: InspiredByCharm.com

Looking for a signature shot to hand out at your party? These birthday cake shots will be a crowd-pleaser for sure.

To recreate these, you’ll need Frangelico, whipped cream vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and cake frosting and sprinkles to garnish.

Head to Inspired By Charm to get the full recipe for these yummy birthday shots.

11. Make a Trashed Barbie Birthday Cake

A collage of four creatively decorated cakes for a 21st birthday celebration, each featuring a number '21' and miniature bottles of alcohol. The cakes are adorned with various decorations, including a Barbie doll figure.

One of the funniest ways to celebrate a 21st birthday is by making a trashed Barbie birthday cake.

Just bake a regular cake and top it with decorations like mini liquor bottles, sprinkles, candies, and a barbie doll.

12. Spend The Night At The Casino

Aside from drinking, going to the casino is the other big thing that you’re not allowed to do until you’re 21.

Celebrate your 21st birthday by hitting up the casino with your friends! Just make sure to set up a spending limit so you don’t go broke ;).

13. Be Prepared With A Hangover Kit

If you don’t need a hangover kit after your 21st birthday party, you probably didn’t do it right! Be prepared by putting these together ahead of time.

The Rally Bag Hangover Kit
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You can buy these pre-made on Amazon or Etsy, or just put them together yourself. Here are some smart items to include in your kits:

  • Electrolytes (like Liquid IV)
  • Pain killers
  • Bandaids
  • Mouthwash
  • Eye drops
  • Stain remover wipes
  • Tums

14. Take A Mixology Class

Learn how to make fancy cocktails for yourself and your friends at a mixology or bartending class.

You’ll learn tips and tricks from a professional bartender and you’ll probably get to sample some different cocktails during the class!

This would be a great 21st birthday activity to do with some friends or your significant other.

15. Wear A Birthday Sash Or Crown

It may seem cheesy to some people, but you definitely need to wear a birthday sash or crown if you go out for your 21st birthday!

Normally I don’t like drawing attention to myself, but my friends made me wear a sash and tiara for my 21st and it ended up being SO fun.

People were congratulating me and buying me drinks at every bar we went to. Plus the bartenders were extra nice and attentive to our group!

16. Have A Birthday Picnic

A 21st birthday picnic set up on a sunny day with large foil balloons shaped as the numbers '21'. The scene includes a variety of snacks on wooden boards, bottles of champagne, a white cake with colorful sprinkles, and clear glasses with sparkling beverage, all spread on a red patterned blanket on the grass.
Image Source: @doughskitchen

If you’re looking for another daytime celebration idea, why not throw a 21st birthday picnic party?

Invite a few close friends and have a cute picnic spread in a park or backyard. Such a fun idea for Spring or Summer birthdays!

17. Throw A Slumber Party

Three women enjoying a 21st birthday party sleepover, dressed in chic, color-coordinated pajamas.
Image Source: Rachel Chiodi

If you want a super memorable party without going out, throw a slumber party!

You probably haven’t had a real sleepover party since you were little, and your 21st birthday is the perfect excuse to do one!

Invite all of your besties over, dress in matching pajamas, and order takeout.

You can spend the night watching movies, having an at-home spa day, or just chatting and laughing with your favorite people. This will definitely be a night that you remember forever!

18. Do A Champagne Tower

A chic 21st birthday party setup with rose gold tones. A table is adorned with a neatly iced pink cake topped with number '21' candles, and a pyramid of champagne glasses ready for a celebratory toast.
Image Source: Pinterest

A champagne tower is the perfect way to toast to the birthday girl or guy. It also just looks cool and fancy at any event!

To make a champagne tower, you’ll just stack champagne glasses in the shape of a pyramid. Plastic coupe glasses are the best option to use for this.

Acrylic Coupe Glasses With Interlocking Grooves, 35ct
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Then someone will pour champagne into the top glass, letting it spill over into each of the lower glasses. The tower is complete once every glass is full!

19. Host A Bubbly Brunch

Image Source: @maryelizabeth.engskov

Want to start your celebrations earlier in the day? Get your friends together for brunch and mimosas.

You could get dressed up and go out, or host your friends for a brunch party at your house!

Cute 21st Birthday Party Decorations

20. Champagne Balloon Wall

A festive 21st birthday decoration with large gold foil balloons forming the number '21' next to a champagne bottle balloon on a wall. Below, a creatively arranged balloon garland with alternating white and gold balloons made to look like champagne pouring out of the bottle, accented by small pink pom-poms strung vertically on the wall
Image Source: Taylor Howard

Balloons are a super cute and affordable way to decorate for a 21st bday party.

One of the cutest ways to use balloons in your decor is to make this champagne balloon wall decoration.

Just get a balloon shaped like a champagne bottle and arrange white and gold balloons to make them look like champagne pouring out.

Add a giant foil ’21’ balloon for a picture-perfect photo backdrop for your party.

21. Funny Birthday Banners

No 21st birthday party is complete without some fun decorations.

Banners are one of the cheapest 21st birthday party decorations and they’re also super fun to take pictures in front of. Plus, you can reuse them for all of your friends’ 21st birthdays!

Here are some cute and funny banner options:

She's 21 Banner, Rose Gold
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RIP Fake ID Banner
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Older Wiser Hotter Banner
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22. Giant Number Balloons

A young woman celebrates her 21st birthday, holding a champagne glass and standing in front of a festive decor setup. The scene includes numerous pink and maroon balloons, large number '21' balloons, and a table adorned with matching party accessories.
Image Source: Pinterest

Every milestone birthday needs some giant number balloons! They’re the perfect prop or backdrop for your party photos.

Amazon has a ton of size and color options for number balloons. Just make sure you get them filled with helium if you want them to float!

23. Birthday Party Decor Kit

Want a super easy way to decorate your 21st birthday? Just get a set from Amazon that already has everything you’ll need!

This kit comes with ribbon, tassel curtains, a birthday banner, a sash, cake toppers, and tons of balloons! Everything you need to decorate for your big day.

24. Disco Balls

Retro is super in right now, which means disco themed parties are making a comeback!

Assorted Disco Balls, 8 Pack
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Disco balls would be the perfect party decoration at any retro-themed birthday party. And you can reuse them for future parties!

25. Balloon Arch

One of the best party decor ideas is to set up a balloon arch. These are perfect for every occasion because they’re cheap, easy to set up, and come in so many colors.

Amazon has a TON of different options for balloon arch kits. They include the balloons, adhesive, balloon arch strips, and sometimes little decorations.

If you’re setting it up all by yourself, you definitely should get a balloon pump to help you out. You don’t want to get lightheaded blowing up all of those balloons!

Electric Air Balloon Pump
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03/02/2024 12:12 pm GMT

26. 21st Birthday Tableware

If you’re planning on serving food at your party, you’re going to need some tableware. Keep it on-theme by getting a set that matches your other party decor.

This set from Amazon has enough plates, napkins, cups, and straws for 24 guests. And it comes with a super cute tablecloth!

27. Giant Balloons

A party background featuring a large wall covered in pink circles of varying shades, creating an ombre effect. Two oversized white balloons with tassel garlands flank the sides of the balloon wall.
Image Source: @propmepretty

Sometimes bigger really is better – especially when it comes to balloons.

36 Inch White Balloons, 4 pcs
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These giant balloons would look so gorgeous for any occasion. And you only need a few of them to make a really big statement with your decor!

28. Birthday Cat Banner

Throwing a 21st birthday party for a cat lover? They’ll absolutely love this funny birthday cat garland.

Birthday Cat Garland
Buy Now
03/02/2024 06:58 pm GMT

It’s a unique way to make your party decorations more personal to the guest of honor!

P.S. if you want to keep the cat theme going, you NEED to see these adorable cat balloons.

29. Sequin Photo Backdrop

Three young women celebrate a 21st birthday party, smiling and holding bottles of champagne. They are posing in front of a pink sequin wall with a neon sign and balloon arch.
Image Source: @sskylin

How gorgeous is this sequin wall for 21st birthday photo backdrop? It would look so gorgeous in photos, especially if you add a cute balloon arch.

Here are some good options for recreating this party idea:

Pink Sequin Backdrop, 12 Panels
Buy Now
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Pink Sequin Curtains, 4x8ft
Buy Now
03/02/2024 05:43 pm GMT

30. Funny Cake Topper

If you want a quick way to decorate the birthday cake, just add a cake topper!

Twenty One Glitter Cake Topper
Buy Now
03/02/2024 06:39 pm GMT

This one would be hilarious for a 21st birthday party, but there are so many options available on Amazon.

31. Black And Gold Party Decor Set

Here’s another really great all-in-one decor kit for a 21st bday party.

It comes with a metallic streamer backdrop, birthday banner, giant number balloons, a birthday sash, beer and whiskey balloons, and plenty of black and gold balloons.

Unique 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

32. Make a Booze Cake

A three-tiered birthday beverage stand decorated with pink ribbons and shimmering tinsel. The top tier holds a Malibu rum bottle with a large festive pink bow, surrounded by smaller bottles of assorted liquor. The middle tier features cans of White Claw Hard Seltzer, and the bottom tier has bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade.
Image Source: Pinterest

Any 21-year-old would love getting this booze cake as a birthday present.

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All you need to do is get a tiered stand and fill it with whatever drinks the birthday girl/guy likes best. Top it off with some decor like ribbons, bows, and sequins.

33. Alcohol Bouquet

21st birthday gift bucket adorned with decorations and filled with an assortment of miniature liquor bottles like Malibu, Ketel One, and Smirnoff.
Image Source: Pinterest

This is a classic 21st birthday party present that everyone would love to get on their big day.

Here are the essentials you’ll need to make this:

  • Plastic Bucket
  • Hot Glue
  • Mini Alcohol Bottles
  • Wood Craft Sticks
  • Styrofoam Ball (to poke sticks into so they stay upright)
  • Tissue Paper (to stuff around the edges)

If you really want to go all out, include some hangover essentials like painkillers and breath mints.

34. Hand Painted Wine Glass

Hand-painted Wine Glass, 15oz
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03/03/2024 04:16 am GMT

Want to give a totally unique birthday gift? Surprise them with a hand-painted wine glass!

If you’re feeling really creative, you could even paint your own glass to give as a gift!

35. Electric Wine Opener

Every wine drinker needs one of these super cool electric wine openers.

It makes it SO easy and quick to open up a bottle of wine, plus they just look super cool. Such a thoughtful 21st birthday gift.

36. Glitter Liquor Bottles

Source: Pinterest

One of the most popular 21st birthday gifts is just a bottle of some kind of alcohol.

If you want to take things up a notch, you can take some time to customize the bottle. Add fun decorations like glitter, gemstones, ribbon, etc.

Such an easy and thoughtful birthday gift idea for a 21-year-old.

37. Mini Bottle Display Shelf

Most people expect to receive some kind of alcohol-themed gift for their 21st birthday. But the hard part is finding a cute way to display it.

This mini bottle shelf is such a fun gift idea for a newly 21-year-old! It holds 21 mini liquor bottles and would look super cute displayed at the party.

38. Birthday Shot Clock

A creative 'Shot Clock' board for a 21st birthday celebration, featuring colorful glitter text and scattered confetti on a black background. Miniature bottles of various liquors are artfully arranged around a glittery martini glass and a basketball, with the number '21' prominently displayed in the center.
Image Source: Pinterest

Looking for another cute way to gift alcohol for a 21st bday? Make this cute shot clock!

Just glue 12 mini shot bottles to a poster board and add some cute decorations. Super easy and affordable!

39. Birthday Cake Candle

Of course, you don’t have to gift alcohol for a 21st birthday, especially if the recipient isn’t a big drinker.

Vanilla Birthday Candle With Sprinkles
$15.99 ($1.78 / Fl Oz)
Buy Now
03/03/2024 08:38 am GMT

This candle is a really cute gift idea for any birthday celebration. It’s filled with colorful sprinkles and smells like vanilla birthday cake.

40. Film Camera

Film cameras are so popular right now. They’re a great way to be more creative and capture memories.

KODAK Film Camera, 35mm
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KODAK GOLD 200 Film, 3 pack
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A film camera would be a super thoughtful gift for a 21st birthday. They could use it to capture memories throughout their big day.

Just make sure you add some camera film to go long with it so they can start taking pictures right away.

This post was all about the most creative 21st birthday ideas. Hopefully this gave you tons of inspiration for how to plan your own 21st birthday party!

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