10 Birthday Parties You’re Not Too Old For

Amy Adams as "Julie Powell" in Columbia Pictures' Julie & Julia.I shared this post on my blog a while back, but then reverted it to an unpublished draft to see if Hello Giggles was interested in using it on their site instead. I heard back from them today:

Hi Leslie!

Thank you so much for your submission! While it wasn’t the right fit for us at the moment, we’d love to hear more of your ideas. Please keep sending your stories! We love your voice and hope we can find a place for it on our site. 

HG Staff 

That’s the nicest rejection letter I’ve ever read! HG Staff, I will definitely keep sending stuff your way. Thanks for the positivity. For everyone else, here’s the post in case you missed it’s original debut in September.

My birthday is coming up in a couple of months and I already know I’m due for some special festivities. It’s my first year out of college and in the real world so to speak, which is reason enough for this grown up girl to celebrate her birthday in style. This year I won’t let office drudgery keep me working past 5 without my co-workers knowing I was turning 23! Hope you enjoy this post inspired by my birthday party planning.

Everyone deserves a little recognition on their birthday – it only comes once a year after all. While it is true that the older you get, the fewer birthday gifts you can expect, you can never be too old for a party! Who needs gifts when you can spend an evening having a blast with your favorite people? If you don’t have friends who love any excuse to celebrate, it’s time to make some.

These 10 fun grown-up birthday party ideas are all on my personal bucket list:


  1. GET CRAFTING   Attend a workshop at one of your favorite decorating or craft stores with a few close friends. Pottery Barn, Paper Source, and Hobby Lobby all host workshops, usually on Saturday mornings, where you can learn some new tricks about using their products and generally being crafty and stylish. Paper Source even gives a discount if you bring a friend! Learn how to make a paper wreath or arrange some flowers or re-style your bedroom.restaurant
  2. GET FANCY   Dress up and go out on the town for dinner at one of your favorite restaurants and invite your closest group of friends to join you. For a sit-down occasion like this, make sure the size of your group works for easy conversation at the table. If you have a group that is too large to fit at one table, make sure everyone you invite has a buddy they can sit next to, since you won’t be able to mingle with everyone during dinner. I highly recommend restaurants with outdoor seating and twinkle lights…Amy Adams as "Julie Powell" in Columbia Pictures' Julie & Julia.
  3. GET COOKING   If you want to share a meal with your friends but can’t stand the thought of not being able to chat with everyone the whole time, host a dinner party at your house and make seating as casual and fun as you wish. To make the job easier on yourself, you could even do a potluck – just don’t forget to have someone make the cheesy potato casserole! Post-feasting, you can get the party moving with some iTunes shuffle action.capitan
  4. GET OUTSIDE   Head out to the lake with friends and family for some good old fashioned outdoor fun. Go for a hike or bike ride during the day, swim or play in the water, have a picnic and then before nightfall set up some camp chairs and make a bonfire to roast marshmallows for s’mores. Stay up late and enjoy the star show. P.S. Glamping: ladies of leisure and every wannabe, this is worth checking into. Who doesn’t dream of spending a weekend being pampered in a yurt?bowling
  5. GET SPORTING   Remember when you used to go mini-golfing or cosmic bowling with your friends? What was that, back in middle school? Well grown ups are allowed to do that stuff too, so don’t miss out on the fun just because you’re too old to still go trick-or-treating or write Santa your Christmas list. It’s easy to mingle with friends in between turns at the mini-golf course or hanging around the bowling lanes. Go on a cosmic night and watch everybody wearing white glow under the black lights – oohzooey
  6. GET CREATIVE   There are so many fun creative things you can do with friends for a party. Host a painting party where everyone gets their own canvas and see what appears as inspiration hits! Or take your group to a place like Paint Yourself Silly or Ceramic Cafe where they do all the hard work for you – cleaning up spills and finishing your clay masterpieces in the kiln. Twenty-first century twist: Pinterest parties get friends together to craft basically whatever suits their fancy – friends can bring their own Pinterest-inspired project or your can provide materials for a group activity (knitting baby hats, anyone?). Don’t worry if you aren’t the world’s next Martha Stewart or Van Gogh, it’s just fun to embrace your inner artist – she’s in there somewhere!kcjazz
  7. GET LIVE   Listening to live music is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and depending on the venue can work really nicely for an event like a birthday party. Go to a jazz club or outdoor show where the music won’t be too loud and you and your guests won’t be glued to your seats for the whole show. If it’s allowed and you have adequate space for munching, why not bring along the cupcakes?
  8. GET GAMING   Embrace your inner board game geek and host a night of gaming at your place. Pro tip: have a theme. Whether it’s games from your childhood (Yahtzee, Monopoly, checkers, etc.) or something more “outside the box” (check out games like Inkognito and Lords of Vegas to inspire an awesome theme like Masquerade or Casino Night), whatever theme you pick will be sure to up the ante on the level of fun had by all. Costumes optional, not required.sleeepless
  9. GET GOOGLEY-EYED   If you’re a female, you probably grew up watching chick flicks. Maybe you even had the pleasure of having slumber parties with your besties throughout your adolescence, staying up all night eating bon bons and watching Sleepless in Seattle (does anyone actually eat bon bons?). Or maybe you’re more into Breaking Bad these days. Whatever entertainment Hollywood has to offer you and your unique cinematic taste, indulge to your heart’s delight with your gal pals for a reminiscent, laid back b-day par-tay night. Whether or not you let them crash at your place for the night is your choice, you mature grown up you!garden
  10. GET GARDENING   Green-thumbed people: you can take this one of two directions. Throw a garden party, or actually get your hands dirty and plant something in the ground! If you don’t have a garden, see if a friend will let you borrow their backyard for your party’s setting. All you really need are some green and growing plants and some pretty blooms, whether they’re in a yard or in pots on your apartment’s patio. If you and your friends don’t mind digging in the dirt, getting everyone together to pot some lovely flowers or succulents they can take home to beautify their homes is a win-win for both the birthday girl and her guests.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for parties – this list of 10 ideas has turned into a 1000-word post! I hope all my ideas will inspire you to do something fun on your own special day. You deserve to celebrate!

Excuse me while I go eat a cupcake…


3 thoughts on “10 Birthday Parties You’re Not Too Old For

  1. I love your ideas, especially #9! I received a similar email from HG a while back too. I’m a little bummed that my article didn’t get though, but I got to say that that was the sweetest rejection email I’ve ever gotten!


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