Your 21st birthday is a milestone you will never forget, so you’ll want to celebrate it in a way that feels perfect for you. Unfortunately, when you’re celebrating this big occasion all your friends are usually celebrating theirs as well, which can make coming up with original 21st birthday ideas tricky. Luckily, we’ve got suggestions and tips for how to make your twenty first birthday truly special, and how to create a birthday invitation that is the perfect match for your big day.

21st birthday theme ideas and 21st party themes

21st birthday ideas: themeShare on Pinterest

Choosing an appropriate theme is the first step in planning. It influences every aspect of your event, from the invitations to the decor and the overall vibe. To inspire your celebration, here’s a selection of popular birthday themes for the 21st Birthday that are perfect for marking this milestone:

  • Casino Night: Immerse your guests in the excitement of a casino atmosphere, a thrilling option among 21st birthday party ideas.
  • Masquerade Ball: A masquerade offers an element of mystery and elegance, making it a captivating choice for 21st birthday themes.
  • Global Getaway: Celebrating with a worldwide theme provides a rich tapestry of cultural decor and cuisine, a unique idea within 21st birthday party themes.
  • Carnival Celebration: A carnival theme brings a burst of colour and fun, a lively selection from the array of 21st birthday theme ideas.
  • Costume Party: Encouraging creativity, a costume party allows guests to express themselves, a versatile option for birthday themes for a 21st birthday.
  • Arabian Nights: Transport your celebration with an Arabian Nights theme’s luxurious and exotic appeal.
  • Metallic Motif: Glamour meets sophistication in a metallic-themed celebration, a chic and modern choice for the 21st.
  • Black and White Affair: A black and white affair exudes elegance and class, a timeless selection among 21st birthday party ideas.
  • Birthday Brunch: A brunch provides a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a laid-back celebration.
  • Black Light/Neon Party: Vibrant and energetic, a neon-themed party ensures your celebration is bright and memorable.
  • Speakeasy Soiree: A nod to the past, a speakeasy theme offers a mix of mystery and historical charm.
  • Glitter and Glam: A glitter theme is glamorous and festive for a sparkle night.
  • Disco Dynamite: A disco-themed party brings the energy and nostalgia of the 70s to your celebration.
  • Hollywood Glamour: Feel like a star with a Hollywood-themed event, where glamour and red-carpet style take centre stage.
  • Decades Party (Year of Your Birth): Reflecting on the era in which you were born, this theme adds a personal touch to your party.
  • Alphabet Party (First Letter of Your Name): A creative and personalized theme where guests dress up based on the first letter of your name.
  • Pool Party Splash: A pool party offers a relaxed and fun celebration for summer birthdays.
  • 90’s Throwback Party: Dive into the nostalgia of the 90s with a theme that celebrates its iconic culture.
  • Burlesque Bash: A burlesque theme adds an element of sophisticated entertainment to your party.
  • Favourite Film/TV Show/Book: Tailoring your celebration around a beloved media theme ensures a unique and personalized experience.
  • Season-Themed Celebration: Choosing a theme based on the current season can offer your event a natural and atmospheric setting.

If none of these themes for 21st parties take your fancy, take a look at our full list of birthday party theme ideas for more 21st birthday themes. There you’ll find 21st birthday ideas for boys, 21st birthday ideas for girls, and 21st themes for everyone. Whatever theme you end up choosing – remember to hire a photographer to capture the magic, or ask a talented friend to be in charge of documenting the occasion as a birthday gift to you.


21st birthday ideas: venueShare on Pinterest

If 21st party themes aren’t your thing, you might prefer to plan your 21st party around a specific venue or activity that will set the tone for the event. Instead of a traditional cocktail party or black tie soiree, here are 21 birthday ideas to consider instead:

  • Hiring a party bus: Transform travel into the party itself with a bus decked out for festivities, allowing you to visit multiple spots or simply enjoy the ride.
  • Hiring a party boat: Set sail for adventure by celebrating on the water. It’s ideal for sunset views, swimming, and dancing under the stars.
  • Planning a weekend away with your best friends: Escape the ordinary with a weekend getaway, choosing a destination that offers a mix of relaxation and exploration.
  • Going paintballing: For the thrill-seekers, paintballing provides an exhilarating way to bond and engage in friendly competition.
  • Going go-karting: Experience the rush of racing with friends on a go-kart track, perfect for those with a need for speed.
  • Going rock climbing: Whether indoors or outdoors, rock climbing challenges you and your friends to reach new heights together.
  • Going horse riding: Enjoy the serene beauty of nature and the companionship of horses with a leisurely ride through trails or countryside.
  • Relaxing with friends at a day spa: Opt for a day of pampering and relaxation, rejuvenating your body and mind in the company of close friends.
  • Reliving your younger days with a slumber party: Bring back the nostalgia with a grown-up slumber party, complete with movies, games, and late-night talks.
  • Throwing a low-key barbecue in a park or your backyard: For a laid-back celebration, a barbecue offers great food, outdoor fun, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Having a lavish high tea: Indulge in elegance with a high tea, featuring exquisite teas and delicate pastries in a refined setting.
  • Gathering your friends for a celebratory brunch: Combine gourmet food with good company by hosting a brunch that extends well into the afternoon.
  • Doing an escape room: Test your wits and teamwork with an escape room challenge, a thrilling way to bond and solve puzzles together.
  • Taking a road trip with your bestie: Hit the open road for an adventure filled with discovery, laughter, and unforgettable memories.
  • Hitting up a winery or brewery: Explore the nuances of wine or beer with tastings and tours, perfect for those who appreciate fine beverages.
  • Taking a class with your friends: Learn something new or hone a skill together, whether it’s cooking, dancing, or painting, in a fun and informal setting.
  • Getting your friends to help with charity work for a day: Give back and share in the joy of helping others, making your celebration meaningful and impactful.
  • Going to see a show: Enjoy the magic of live entertainment, whether it’s a play, concert, comedy show, or circus performance.
  • Cheering on your team at a sporting event: Share the excitement and camaraderie of supporting your favorite team together.
  • Hosting a scavenger hunt or amazing race: Create an engaging and interactive experience that takes your guests on an adventure across town.
  • Hiring a hotel pool for a luxurious pool party: Elevate your pool party with the exclusivity and amenities of a hotel pool, ensuring a splash of luxury.


Choosing an activity or unique venue like one of these will create the central focus of your party and set you apart in a sea of cocktail parties. Perfect for people who are bored with going to a 21st every weekend. These 21st birthday celebration ideas are truly unique and can be perfectly catered to your own tastes and hobbies.


  • Krista Cioba

    Hi, Thanks for sharing such an amazing post on Birthday party masks. Above all of these, I was looking was something like this and find this very helpful. Thanks again for sharing such an amazing post! Best Regards.

  • Bec

    What an amazingly comprehensive list! Thank you so much, so many ideas. Love the invitation ideas.

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