The 21 Best 21st Birthday Party Ideas and Themes (2024)

Twenty-one? More like twenty-fun! A 21st birthday is a milestone to remember and you’re going to want to celebrate big. Not all 21st birthday parties have to be held at a bar—at home, outdoors, or an event venue are all great spots to celebrate.

We've got lots of fun 21st birthday party ideas, themes, and games for girls, guys, or however you identify—that don’t have to include alcohol if that’s not your thing! So get ready for a 21st birthday party celebration you’ll remember forever.

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Here are some fun 21st birthday ideas and themes that’ll get the party started:

1. 2000s Throwback Party

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If you’re turning 21 anytime soon, you were born in the early 2000s! Host a throwback house party filled with crimped hair, skirts over jeans, and tons of body glitter to celebrate. Don’t forget your favorite throwback snacks. Serve childhood favorites including Gushers, Lunchables, and Kool-Aid (can also be spiked) that will give everyone a sense of nostalgia. Take a walk down memory lane andmake your own 2000s trivia quiz for the perfect 21st birthday party game to play.

Pro tip: This doesn’t have to just be the 2000s. Choose any decade for the theme— an 80s and 90s party are popular options.

2. Karaoke Party

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Who doesn’t love a good karaoke party? Get up on stage and sing your heart out to iconic songs including “Dancing Queen,” “Shallow,” or “Wannabe.” Book a talented karaoke DJ on The Bash to start planning your 21st birthday party now!

Find a Karaoke DJ

3. Movie Party

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Who can say no to a movie marathon? Choose all of their favorite movies (Rom-Coms? Horror? Disney?) for the ultimate birthday viewing party. Cozy up on the couch or project on a screen outside, set up a DIY popcorn bar, play movie trivia games, and serve some of these award-winning co*cktails.

4. Pool Party

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If you’re lucky enough to turn 21 during the summer, a pool party seems like the perfect way to celebrate the day! Host a laid-back BBQ with friends or maybe book a rooftop pool to celebrate turning 21 in style. Check out our bookable venues!

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5. Beer or Wine Tasting

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Now that you’re officially 21, it’s time for wine and beer tastings! Choose from local wineries, breweries, or pick up a few bottles to recreate your own tasting at home. Learn the differences between the regions and discuss the different tasting notes with guests.

6. Beach Party

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Take your birthday celebration to the beach! Spend the day in the sunshine with friends, family, and maybe a co*cktail or two for your 21st birthday. Set up some beach party games like spikeball, water balloon toss, or a scavenger hunt. Book a DJ to really get the party started!

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7. Casino Night

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A casino night is a must for a new 21-year-old! If going to Las Vegas isn’t an option, rent novelty casino games to bring the casino fun to you. Choose from slot machines, poker tables, and roulette to create an at-home version of gambling favorites. Not only is this the perfect option for celebrating with guests that aren't 21, but it will also save money!

Pro tip: Find more inspiration for a Las Vegas party theme.

8. Dinner Party

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Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

Keep things classy for celebrating 21 with a fun dinner party alongside friends and family. Whether you are dining at your favorite restaurant or having a small 21st birthday party at home, make it extra special with table centerpieces, a multi-course menu, and an Instagram-worthy birthday cake.

Pro tip: To take your dinner party to the next level, book one of our professional caterers to prepare food and serve guests.

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9. 1920s Gatsby Party

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It wasn’t called the roaring twenties for nothing! Now that we are officially back in the 20’s it only seems appropriate to host a 1920s birthday party that Jay Gatsby would approve of. Book live jazz music, dancers, or a DJ for an extravagant celebration you’ll remember forever.

Pro tip: This 1920s party isn’t during the prohibition! Book a bartender to mix and serve delicious drinks at the event for guests to enjoy.

Find a Bartrender

10. Costume Party

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Everyone loves an excuse to play dress up! Choose a fun theme, be creative, and get ready to celebrate. Dress like your favorite celebrity, TV show character, superheroes, and more!

Pro tip: You’re going to want to capture moments from your 21st birthday costume party. Book a professional photographer to take pictures during the celebration.

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11. Spa Day

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Relax and refresh for the big 2-1 with a spa day filled with manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials. Light some aromatherapy candles for a calming ambiance and destress with a self-care day.

12. Party Bus

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If you’ve been on a party bus for prom or a school dance before, you know how much fun it is. Get the VIP experience and ride to different bars in style with the help of booking a party bus for your big day. With 21st birthday party decorations, champagne, and fun music, this will definitely make for a memorable night.

Pro tip: Keep the party going and head on a mini road trip with friends for a little adventure!

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13. Coachella Party

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When you think of a music festival, you probably think of Coachella. Turn this star-studded event into the ultimate boho 21st birthday party theme. Book a variety of live musicians, Instagram-able food trucks, and even body paint artists to recreate a festival vibe at home.

Pro tip: Set up a DIY flower crown bar for guests to get creative and festive.

14. Escape Room

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Escape rooms are extremely popular and are a perfect way to get all your guests involved. Find an escape room near you for party-goers to use their detective skills, work together, and break out of the room together.

15. Slumber Party

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No matter how old you are, everyone loves a good slumber party! Pick movies for a chick-flick viewing marathon, stock up on your favorite candy, and celebrate your 21st with a classic pillow fight.

Pro tip: Take a glimpse into the future and book a session with a virtual fortune teller or psychic.

16. Paint and Sip

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Photo: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock.com

As you probably know, paint and sips have been becoming extremely popular recently. What’s better than sitting down with some friends, recreating a work of art, and sipping on a glass of wine?!

17. Masquerade Ball

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A 21st birthday is a big milestone, and you deserve to go all out. A masquerade ball is the perfect way to combine an upscale soiree with the fun and excitement of a costume party. Guests can dress up in their best suits and gowns complete with a mask for a little added mystery.

18. Mixology Class

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Now that you’re 21, it’s time to learn how to make some fun co*cktails! Book a professional bartender or find a mixology class to mix up fancy drinks during your next celebration with friends. Spend some time with the pros to create some signature sips and find combinations you like.

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19. Birthday Brunch

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Brunch is always a good idea, especially for a 21st birthday! Head to your favorite local spot for bottomless mimosas, or make your favorite dishes and co*cktails at home.

20. Camping or Glamping

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All the fun of camping but with no bugs or dirt! Whether you choose to camp outside or glamp inside, guests will love sleeping in a tent, sitting by a bonfire, and roasting marshmallows together.

21. Bar Crawl

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Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

An oldie but a goodie. If you don’t know how to celebrate your 21st birthday, you can never go wrong with the classic bar crawl. Find a few bars in the same area and spend a little time at each one for a memorable birthday party.

Check out our 21st birthday party ideas and themes Pinterest board for more inspiration.

Explore more birthday party themes and ideas.

The 21 Best 21st Birthday Party Ideas and Themes (2024)

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