21 Contributors Share Their Favorite Creative 21st Birthday Ideas

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pink table with an assortment of treats

A 21st birthday is a milestone occasion that many people look forward to as they grow up, so it’s always worthy of an incredible celebration. We’ve curated this collection of creative 21st birthday ideas to give you some inspiration to plan the perfect 21st birthday celebration for your friend or loved one.

What Are the Best Creative 21st Birthday Ideas?

The fun, innovative, and creative 21st birthday ideas below will help you celebrate your friend or loved one on this milestone birthday. The best creative 21st birthday ideas include:

Edible Arrangements® has everything you need to make a 21st birthday memorable, from 21st birthday gifts to birthday party packs, dessert charcuterie boards, and party platters featuring an array of delectable treats such as fresh baked cookies, cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, chocolate brownies, chocolate covered fruits, or fresh fruit favorites. Want a little bit of everything? A birthday party dessert board is the perfect choice.

Make a big statement by adding a few balloons and a gorgeous flower bouquet for the guest of honor. Short on time? Our birthday party kits, such as the Birthday Sprinkle Dessert & Party Kit, has all the essentials: confetti sprinkle cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, a bundle of Happy Birthday balloons, and birthday candles, too. Or, consider our Birthday Platter Party Pack Bundle that includes fruit dipped in cake batter-flavored white chocolate and topped with sprinkles, mini cheesecakes, cupcakes, a set of birthday candles, and a bundle of Happy Birthday balloons.

If you’re in search of the best birthday gifts, Edible Arrangements® has you covered there, too. Choose from our collection of 21st birthday gifts, such as an arrangement featuring fresh cantaloupe, honeydew, fresh strawberries and chocolate dipped strawberries. It’s topped with a few decadent cupcake-shaped pineapple slices dipped in real, gourmet semisweet chocolate and white chocolate with colorful sprinkles. And, it comes complete with festive birthday balloons. Or, celebrate their new legal drinking age status with our Birthday Wishtini, a delightful arrangement in a keepsake martini glass-shaped container.

. If you’re not sure what she’ll love most, choose a gift bundle that includes a gorgeous flower bouquet, a delightful fruit arrangement, and a balloon. Or, consider our “BDAY” Wish-Tini With Confetti Berries, a delectable assortment of fresh fruits, our signature Apple Fruit Truffles®, and strawberries dipped in cake batter-flavored white chocolate and topped with confetti sprinkles. It’s all carefully arranged in a fun martini glass-shaped container and topped with glistening pineapple letters that spell BDAY.

Favorite Creative 21st Birthday Ideas to Celebrate Your Loved One

For more creative 21st birthday ideas, we put out a call for ideas and curated responses below. (Note: Edible Arrangements® is not endorsing any of the companies or ideas discussed below, but we asked for suggestions to get some different perspectives.) Keep reading to find out what the contributors who responded to our query had to say about their favorite creative 21st birthday ideas.


Paulo AgcaoiliPaulo Agcaoili

Paulo is the Co-Founder of WONDER in EVERYDAY, a lifestyle blog that aims to inspire others to live a radical life they love, finally being healthier, sticking to their goals, creating a beautiful home, giving the most thoughtful gifts, choosing to work on their own terms, and living life their way.

“Our favorite creative 21st birthday ideas are the ones that are handmade or DIY-ed.

It can be a shot or alcohol bouquet, drunk barbie cakes, or having a big bucket list you can wear around your neck as you barhop. It adds a fun personal touch to your party. Having a hangover survival kit is also a cute and responsible way to welcome your 21st birthday.”


Deepanshu BediDeepanshu Bedi

Deepanshu Bedi is the Marketing Director at Holistapet. They sell CBD and other supplements for pets (dogs, cats & horses). He is a 28-year-old entrepreneur who used digital marketing skills he developed over the years to acquire and create brands and also has a portfolio of direct-to-consumer eCommerce brands generating over $50M in annual revenue.

“A paintball course is a fun, creative way to spend your 21st.

There are endless possibilities as to what your paintball course could be. It could be as simple as a self-directed course of beautiful scenery or as challenging as a track with many obstacles. You can create your own course or use the company’s course.

The company’s course may be more challenging which would be great for your 21st birthday. It could be an action-packed adventure with many opportunities for exploration or a relaxing day of relaxation with color and beauty.

Paintball is a fun and exciting way to spend time with friends while also getting some exercise. You get to choose what you are playing against to get a more challenging or easier game. Plus, it’s fun to get out of the house and get some fresh air.”


Jeff JohnsonJeff Johnson

@Simplebuyerhome

Jeff Johnson is a real estate agent and acquisition manager of Simple Homebuyers based in La Plata, Maryland.

“For 20 long years, you have seen James Bond classing it out in the movies with his shaken martini.

At 21, it’s your time to dish out the style and ooze class. After all, you have waited a long time to finally taste liquor. It’s only right to ensure the liquor is perfectly decanted inside the perfect glassware.

Birthday parties are not supposed to be this classy. But stand out from the rest as you pour yourself and some buddies a round of good wine. This is one of the best 21st birthday ideas since it transcends the common notions surrounding house parties. In fact, it is so good that you may even want another decanter on your 25th birthday.”


Sai BlackbyrnSai Blackbyrn

Sai is the CEO and Marketing head of CoachFoundation.com.

“Spend the whole day alone, without the aid of any other people or technology to divert your attention.

In everything essential to you and your future, ask yourself what you want to accomplish.

Find your inner core while considering both your good and bad aspects. Know your areas of weakness and try to strengthen them!

Simply put, discover who you truly are. You have a new life ahead of you; make it worthwhile with few regrets.”


Deniz EfeDeniz Efe

Deniz is the Founder of FitnessEquipped.com, former Leader of a Governmental Initiative (Cooperation with the Austrian Football Association), and a student of Molecular Biotechnology.

“When it comes to 21st birthday ideas, there are so many different options to choose from.

Some people might prefer to go out and celebrate with friends at a bar or club, while others might prefer a more low-key celebration at home. If you’re looking for something a little more creative and unique, here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Have a picnic dinner in a park or outdoor area.
  2. Go on a brewery or winery tour.
  3. Spend the day at a theme park or amusement park.
  4. Rent a cabin or cottage for the weekend and spend time outdoors hiking, fishing, or exploring nearby trails and waterways.
  5. Take a cooking class together or try a new cuisine you’ve never tried before.
  6. Have a photo booth session with friends, complete with props and costumes!
  7. Visit a nearby city or town you’ve never been to before and explore all that it has to offer.
  8. Make your own personalized scavenger hunt and send your friends on an adventure around town (or even online) to find all the items on the list.
  9. Throw a themed party — like ’80s night, a masquerade ball, or casino night — and dress the part!
  10. Take a trip down memory lane by revisiting some of your favorite places from when you were growing up (or places that hold special significance to you).

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s something that you’ll enjoy and that will create lasting memories. 21 is only the beginning — make it a birthday to remember!”


Thomas WrightThomas Wright

Thomas Wright is the CEO of The Lipo Group.

“One of my favorite 21st birthday ideas is to have a scavenger hunt.

Invite all your friends and family members to come over and help you find all the clues you need for the scavenger hunt. You could make a list of items that need to be found and put them in a box somewhere or place them around the house where everyone can find them. The fun part about this game is that it can be as easy or as difficult as you want, depending on how many people are playing.”


Nick MuellerNick Mueller

Nick Mueller is the Director of Operations at HawaiianIslands.com.

“Most young people look forward to being able to order their first (legal) drink on their 21st birthday, but that doesn’t mean you need to plan your entire birthday celebration around ordering alcohol. It’s mostly overrated anyway. There are plenty of other great activities you can plan for your 21st.

When you’re 21, you likely have more freedom to make spontaneous trips, so take advantage of that and plan a weekend road trip with your closest friends over your 21st birthday weekend.”


Apurv SibalApurv Sibal

Apurv is the Vice President of ShortHills Tech.

“There are a lot of different ways that you can celebrate your 21st birthday, and it really depends on what you want to do and what your interests are.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Have a themed party – This is a great way to add a personal touch to your birthday and make it extra special. You can theme it around your favorite movie, TV show, book, or anything else you love.
  • Go out for a night on the town – If you want to let loose and have a lot of fun on your birthday, then going out for a night on the town is the way to go. You can hit up all the hottest clubs and bars and just party the night away.
  • Do something adventurous – If you’re looking for a birthday that you’ll really remember, then doing something adventurous is the way to go. You could go skydiving, bungee jumping, or even just hiking or camping in a beautiful location.
  • Have a quiet night in – Sometimes the best way to celebrate your birthday is to just have a quiet night in with your closest friends and family. You can have a nice dinner, play some games, and just enjoy each other’s company.”

Dr. Staci HolwegerDr. Staci Holweger

Dr. Staci Holweger is the Founder and Dr. of Regenerative medicine at Lifepatches.

“My favorite creative 21st birthday idea is hosting a giant game of cards or Monopoly, where drinks have to be given if a player lands on a particular square.

It’s a fun twist on the classic 21st birthday game, and it gets everyone involved, including those that aren’t drinking. Here are a few ideas if you’re looking for a creative twist on the classic 21st birthday party:

  1. Create a card game to hand out drinks to players as they land on squares.
  2. If a player lands on a square that requires them to chug or give a drink, have a giant glass of their drink waiting for them when they arrive.
  3. For a bar theme, make drinks that incorporate the theme to give away to players.”

Shelley GrieshopShelley Grieshop

@TPromotional

Shelley Grieshop is a Writer/Public Relations at Totally Promotional.

“Introduce those new, legal drinkers to the adult beverage world with a unique shot glass!

Put a crazy, funny phrase or design on a set of custom shot glasses and hand them out to guests at the celebration. It’s a great gift for the birthday guy or gal and gives everyone a memento from the party to cherish and use again. A few great sayings to print on those shot glasses: Season 21, Episode 1, Ringing in 21 with the best crew, and Card me, I dare you.”


Patrick KucharsonPatrick Kucharson

Patrick Kucharson runs Better Gift Coach, a free newsletter that is a weekly 1-minute shortcut to always having great gift ideas well in advance. Each week, he enjoys sharing a story of the best gift someone has ever received, analyzing it, and providing guidance on how others can replicate it.

“For 21 year olds who are living away from home and won’t be with their family on their birthday, a great gift would be an advent calendar-inspired gift.

Just Google ‘best advent calendars’ and you’ll’ find 50+ options for all different interests (alcohol, chocolate, beauty products, etc.). This will give them something to open for several (30, 10, 7, 5) days before (or after) their actual birthday. The multiple moments of excitement they’ll get might help make up for the fact that they’ll be celebrating away from family.

21 year olds are often limited by space. Instead of buying them a physical gift that will take up room in their living space, just pay for one of their digital subscription services. Most streaming, audiobook, and dating services offer gift cards.

21 year olds are likely at the busiest stage of their lives so far. For their birthday, simply give them a card with an IOU for a future dinner delivery. Determine the next life event that’s going to keep them too busy to think about feeding themselves (final exams, a move, new job, vacation return, etc.) and order them dinner from one of their favorites via a food delivery service. The IOU itself is a last-minute gift that doesn’t feel last minute at all. This is also delaying the fulfillment of the gift until it’s most valuable.

As a surprise 21st birthday gift, reach out to their parents or close family members and get the recipe for their favorite childhood home-cooked meal. The attempt alone will make this gift a winner…don’t stress about the end product. If they like it, make it an annual tradition that could remove the guesswork of what you’ll do for them for future birthday gifts.”


Michael WoodsMichael Woods

Michael Woods is the Office Manager at Uniwide Formations. Their company serves as a hub for businesses that offer address services, banking solutions, and other services.

“You always wanted to try that new skill or favorite activity.

On your 21st birthday, learn a new skill, which will help you in the long run. Starting skills in the early years can make you feel disciplined and focused, and birthdays are the best days to kick-start it. Once you complete mastering your skill, you could be happy that the birth of both you and your new skill or activity is on the same day. It also keeps track of how much you have improved over the months.”


Stephen JacobsStephen Jacobs

Stephen Jacobs is the Chief Innovation Officer of Proximity Mills.

“An excellent way to spend your 21st birthday is to take a day cruise.

If you are planning to enjoy your first legal alcoholic beverage on your big day, what better place to have it than while catching some sun on the desk of a ship?”


Danny TrichterDanny Trichter

Dan is the Co-Founder of Accessibility Checker. He is a thought leader in digital accessibility and the use of technology to solve web accessibility for millions of people.

“When I celebrated my 21st birthday many years back, I had a small and intimate gathering with my family and closest friends.

Then we had a scavenger hunt which ended at a bar where we had my favorite drinks. It was all so much fun, and I have great memories of that day!”


Jon StephensJon Stephens

Jon Stephens is the Director of Operations at Snowshoe Vacation Rentals.

“It can be fun to gather some friends and spend a weekend, or even just one night, at a vacation rental or Airbnb.

Depending on what you want to do for your 21st birthday, whether that’s going bar-hopping, having a get-together with some friends, or having a relaxing weekend, a vacation rental can be the perfect home base. You can find one in or near your favorite happening city, or you can find one that’s more secluded and immersed in nature. There are so many options today that you are guaranteed to find one that appeals to you and what you’re looking for for your 21st birthday celebration.”


Kathleen FletcherKathleen Fletcher

Kathleen Fletcher is the CEO and Content Director of Kitty Baby Love, a site dedicated to providing artistic activities and crafts for people of all ages that aims to fight boredom and encourage creativity. As the driving force behind Kitty Baby Love, Kathleen curates and helps to create a wide range of freely accessible content, including how-to guides, worksheets, printables, DIY crafts, and much more.

“An idea that will give the birthday person a fun and packed day of celebrations is a scavenger hunt that contains 21 clues they have to follow around their house/town. You can mix up the themes of the clues, so some could lead them to their favorite restaurants to get some delicious food, and others could be to find and take pictures of things that bring them joy. All of these clues should be entertaining (and fairly easy to manage as you don’t want to work them too hard on their birthday)!”


Karl HollandKarl Holland

Karl Holland is the Head of Culture and Lifestyle over at Life Part 2.

“For many, turning 21 is a rite of passage.

It’s a time to celebrate coming of age and all that comes with it. For some, it’s a time to party and let loose. For others, it’s a time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. No matter what your plans are, there are a few things that all 21st birthdays have in common: they’re a time to celebrate, and they’re a time to mark a new chapter in your life.

If you’re looking for some fun 21st birthday ideas, you’re in luck. There are tons of great ways to celebrate your 21st birthday. If you’re looking to let loose, you could throw a party or go out clubbing. If you’re looking to reflect on your past, you could have a family gathering or take a trip down memory lane. And if you’re looking to mark the start of a new chapter, you could do something adventurous or something completely new. No matter
what you choose, make sure to make it your own and have a blast.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you might want to consider something a little out of the ordinary. Whether you want to go skydiving, take a cooking class or go on a wine tour, there’s a perfect 21st birthday experience out there waiting for you. So get creative and start planning your perfect 21st birthday celebration.”


Kshitij NigamKshitij Nigam

Kshitij Nigam is the Chief Marketing Officer of Cheef Botanicals, a company that produces high-quality and all-organic CBD products from naturally-sourced hemp.

“A creative birthday idea is to have a DIY spa.

This is a great way to relax and pamper yourself. You can do facials, manicures, and pedicures. This is a great way to celebrate your birthday with friends and family.”


Feross BessadegFeross Bessadeg

Feross is an avid traveler and a street photographer. He founded Travelness to provide fellow travelers with detailed, helpful, and pertinent information about the places they are visiting. Feross also has a Ph.D. in Geography. His research expertise is in the area of Computer Sciences applied to Cartography.

“A themed party – pick your favorite TV show, book, music, or movie and run with it! Decorate, dress up, and serve food that fits the theme.

A black-and-white party is a popular choice for a 21st birthday party. Decorate with balloons and streamers in black and white, and encourage your guests to wear their best black and white clothes.

You can also set up a photo booth with props like feather boas and top hats for fun photos.

Serve classic cocktails like martinis and Manhattans, and serve appetizers like smoked salmon canapés and mini quiches. For entertainment, hire a jazz band or DJ to play music throughout the night.”


Allia LuzongAllia Luzong

Allia Luzong is the Editor of A Little Bit Human.

“I always try to do something special for my birthdays.

For my 21st I went hiking for the first time and had my first authentic full-course meal at a Japanese-French fusion restaurant. It’s always about creating fresh experiences for me, so that was fun. It may be a good birthday activity for anyone like me who prefers to stay at home and in their comfort zone.”


Paul KushnerPaul Kushner

Paul Kushner is a mixologist and CEO of My Bartender.

“While a fun, raucous party is a great way to celebrate official adulthood, it is a lot of fun to have a cocktail hour party as a 21st birthday celebration.

This might be the first time a young adult can dress up in a classy outfit and mingle over wine, cheese, and craft cocktails. Recreating that experience at home is inexpensive with deli charcuterie, and the guest of honor can even have a featured cocktail of their own creation for guests to try! This is an excellent alternative for more introverted young adults who don’t want to party all night but still want to celebrate their first adult birthday milestone.”


Whether you’re planning a spectacular 21st birthday party for the history books or an intimate gathering of close friends and loved ones, these creative 21st birthday ideas will make the occasion memorable. And when you shop at Edible Arrangements for party platters, dessert charcuterie boards, and birthday party kits, your 21st birthday celebration is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.