12 Adult Birthday Party Ideas

Growing up and moving past the days of princess-themed birthday parties doesn't mean the excitement of celebrating a birthday is over. We have plenty of fun-filled adult birthday party ideas!

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Close up of happy young friends having fun and toasting and celebrating with red wine during party
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Wine Pairing Party

Dive into the world of wine and learn something new. There’s plenty of different varietals to choose from. But it’s your birthday, after all, so select your favorites to try with friends. Pair wines with delicious dishes, or work your way through a pairing dinner from appetizer to dessert. Make an evening of it as you go around the table to describe each wine or play a bit of wine trivia along the way.

Looking to do this while socially distanced? Here’s how to have a virtual wine tasting party.

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Friends making movie night at back yard
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Retro Movie Night

Take the celebration old school and relive the days of movie nights and sleepovers. Either set up in the living room with plenty of pillows and blankets or opt to host outdoors. Pick out your favorite titles as if you were going to Blockbuster on a Friday night, and pair your flicks with delicious recipes. A good snack mix is a must-have, along with a variety of popcorn options for your guests. Put together a few youthful staples such as stuffed crust pizza or cheeseburger pockets to really bring you back.

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Smiling and laughing friends sharing dinner at table in backyard
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Fancy Dinner Party

What better reason is there to get all dressed up than a birthday? Ditch the restaurant reservations and throw a fancy dinner party at home. Send out invitations like this ahead of time, and prep an impressive menu. The menu could be anything here, from a lovely chicken piccata to a beautifully glazed salmon. Be sure to pick your favorite main dish, paired with impressive sides, and end the night on a high note with a round of nightcap cocktails.

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Cape Town, South Africa, workers at whisky distillery
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Bourbon Tasting Party

Dive into just how refined your palate really is while celebrating a love for bourbon. Set up flights with three to five different bourbons for each guest to sample and describe. If you really want to make it an event to remember, pair each bourbon with a delicious dish. The notes and aromas you get from items such as bacon or pecans pair well with this smooth sipper.

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Afternoon tea in a garden
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Afternoon Tea Party

There’s just something that feels so elegant about an afternoon tea. Gather your closest friends to celebrate with an occasion that’s fit for a queen. Send lovely Etsy invitations in advance and plan a beautiful spread of tea party recipes. Little sandwiches, such as classic cucumber tea sandwiches are the perfect addition to the menu, paired with asparagus bruschetta. Round out the spread with the prettiest petits fours.

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A close up of aman cooking different foods on a barbecue.
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Backyard BBQ Party

If you have a wonderful outdoor or patio space to work with, take the party outside! Throw a backyard barbecue bash with all of your favorite foods, from piled-high burgers to classic potato salad on the side. Add in a few backyard games to the mix such as cornhole or bocce ball, and set up a s’mores station to enjoy around the campfire as the evening comes to an end.

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Over the shoulder view of latin woman making guacamole
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Festive Fiesta

Host a fiesta, complete with all of the fixings. Set up a burrito bar so guests can build their own dinner, with everything from rice and beans to shredded chicken, shredded beef or carne asada. And don’t forget the homemade guac! Pair dinner with classic margaritas, or consider serving up a unique spin on this timeless sipper with frozen cherry margaritas or refreshing margarita floats.

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Group of friends having a break in the countryside together drinking juices
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Brunch Party

Celebrate your birthday surrounded by your favorite people, and your favorite foods to boot! Brunch is the ideal answer when you want to create a menu of breakfast favorites and lunchtime staples. Pair delicious options such as chicken salad party sandwiches and beautiful breakfast parfaits with croissant French toast.

Set up a mimosa bar to make it all the more special. A classic orange juice and champagne mimosa is always delicious, but additional juice options like cranberry or pineapple juice, plus add-ins such as strawberries, raspberries or fresh herbs, will add such a lovely touch.

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Jumping In To Summer
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Pool Party

If you’re celebrating a birthday during the warmer months, there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned pool party! Bust out the pool floaties and noodles and crank up the tunes. Set up a kiddie pool as a unique beverage cooler, and pair your refreshing beverages with poolside snacks. Hot dog sliders and barbecued chicken pizzas are the perfect dishes to serve up for this soirée. Finish the party off with sweet coconut tres leches cupcakes to celebrate the guest of honor.

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asian chinese friends playing poker cards game in living room
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Game Night

There’s nothing better than a game night with great friends. Pull out classic board games you love, or add some new adult party game ideas to the lineup. A game of giant Jenga or cornhole can be such a fun addition to an outdoor party, or bring the laughs around the table with Apples to Apples.

With the competition strong, don’t skimp on the game night grub. Tortilla chips with chili queso dip will provide the perfect savory snack, paired with a cream cheese sheet cake to round out the celebration.

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Crabs, Dinner, Meal, Summertime, pleasure
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Crab Boil

Lover of all things seafood? Celebrate with a crab boil! Deck out your backyard with a red and white gingham tablecloth, and grab a lobster bib for everyone invited. Put together all the fixings for a crab boil with sausage, ears of corn and plenty of crab legs. Don’t forget to lay out newspaper on your table so you can pour out the food and let all of your guests dig in. Serve up a refreshing sweet citrus iced tea for the perfect pairing.

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Two young girlfriends making facial mask at home
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Spa Party

Is there any better day to plan a bit of rest and relaxation? Invite your closest friends over for some serious self-care on your birthday. Kick off the relaxing afternoon with cucumber face masks, or even try a version with turmeric. Plan a DIY afternoon of it by making simple sugar scrubs or other DIY bath products for your guests to take home. Pair this rejuvenating afternoon with refreshing infused spa water, along with a luscious lemon layer cake.

Molly Allen
A former bakery owner and event planner, Molly is now a freelance writer and editor specializing in food and beverage, lifestyle and party planning. She brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to Taste of Home readers, drawing on her former life at the bakery to explain the difference between cake and yeast doughnuts, how to make blue velvet cake and how to salvage burnt cookies. When Molly isn’t baking, she keeps an eye on the latest food trends and kitchen gadgets, and enjoys cooking outdoors on smokers and pizza ovens.