At one point in our lives we just stop caring so much about ceremonies like birthday parties, and it’s around the time we move past our late teens and move into the supposedly more serious twenties. I guess people just start thinking of birthday celebrations as childish, but there is still a need to let go, have fun and mark the day in some way. If nothing else, it is a great excuse for all of your friends to go a little wild and forget all the little problems that keep stressing them out. Everyone needs a day when they can feel a bit special, blow off some steam and relax.

Since people have wildly different definitions of fun, we will be looking at some interesting and diverse party ideas for people in their 20s, be they more of a recluse with a few close friends or a party maniac who enjoys going out and meeting new people.

1. Host a gaming tournament with a special prize for the winner

xbox controler

Almost everyone enjoys playing video games from time to time, and some people have more of that “gaming spirit” than others and gaming plays a bigger role in their lives. If you are one of these people you can have a bunch of friends over and organize a tournament where the winner gets a special prize. Even noobs find great enjoyment in a bit of competitive gaming, so if you choose the right game you can have a very diverse group of people pitted against each other in an exciting battle for eternal glory–or, you know, a DIY trophy and some free drinks, which is also fine.

2. Invite people over for an amateur wine tasting night

Wine tasting

If you and a few of your friends enjoy drinking wine, but don’t really know much about it, you can throw an amateur wine tasting party. You can pair people up and have them choose a bottle of good wine. You can get some surprisingly good wine for $20-$40 if you look around, so that it won’t cost much to throw this type of party and you will have several great bottles you can try out. Look online for some books or guides on wine tasting and try develop your pallet and learn some of the basics. Go for wines from different regions or of different varieties to pick up on the nuances, e.g. dry and sweet or Pinot Noir and Syrah. Nothing better than a good meal and some fine wine to recharge your batteries.

3. Host a fancy dress dinner party

Fancy cake

If you don’t mind spending a little extra to celebrate the occasion and want things to feel more formal–or you just need an excuse to dress up like a true gentleman or lady–then a fancy diner party is an excellent choice for you. It will require some preparation, but it can be an unforgettable experience and even turn into a cherished tradition amongst your group of friends. Send out elegant RSVPs and make sure that everyone comes in their fanciest attire.

Make some effort to prepare tasty dishes, get some top shelf booze and set up your home to resemble a salon worthy of any royal. You will have tons of fun and some very nice pictures that you can share online.

4. Hold a big party at a venue and create social media buzz with a hashtag wall

Twitter bird

For those who like the thrill of having a lot of people dancing and fooling around, throwing a mid-to-large party can be a great option. Organize a venue and start promoting your party on social media, or by handing out fliers. Get your friends to share info about the party with their circles and create a big buzz. You can add an additional level of interaction by organizing an Instagram or Twitter hashtag wall where people can post the pictures they take with their phones. This can be a great way to promote yourself–DJs and party planners can get a lot of exposure this way–and your party, so that you can expect an even bigger turnout at the next party you throw. You can also have the hashtag wall up on big-screen TVs at the party so that people can see what’s going on in different parts of the venue.

5. Organize a hike and spend the night out in the wild

Girl with balloons

If you are more of an outdoors type, an exciting and fun way to throw a birthday party is to have a nice long nature hike ending with a roaring camp fire, music, dance and drinking out in wild. It is a very private experience, and being away from the busy city and modern gadgets–well, most of them anyway–will allow you to focus on interpersonal communication. You can really strengthen bonds by spending a day or two out in the wild with the important people in your life.

6. Have your own themed party in the VIP section of a big club

People having drinks

With a few select party animals at your side you can have a crazy night at your favorite club. You don’t want this to just be like every other night out, so look into some of the biggest clubs in your area and find out where the best party will be. Make VIP reservations for the night in advance and save up some money. You can have a theme for your group, depending on the dress code (e.g. come dressed as Victorian nobles, or pirates who only drink rum). It’s very easy to get plenty of people at the club involved in your celebration. As long as you are having lots of fun and doing something exciting and different, people will want to join in on the fun.

7. Cruise the town moving from bar to party to an after-party

Bar scene

You can try a variation on the traditional booze cruise and party for a good part of the day. You can start fairly early by getting everyone to sit down for some light drinks in a coffee shop or a late lunch at a nice restaurant. Follow it up by moving the party to a bar or two, then visit some clubs, and end the night with a big after-party back at your place. The beauty of winging it and moving around is that you have a chance to meet a lot of interesting new people, make friends and hook up with someone. Who knows where you might end up eventually, but you should have your home ready for an after-party as a backup plan–if you can find a better option go for it, if not invite people back and keep the party going.

8. Throw a blackout sleepover

Candlelight party

If you are looking for a private and casual setting, and a more personal experience overall, you can have people come over to your house dressed for a sleepover. Turn off all the lights, computers and TV, and light up the house using candles. You can move the furniture out of the way and throw some blankets and pillows on the ground, so that everyone sits together in a circle. You can play some music, enjoy drinks and snacks with interesting conversations, fun games and a healthy dose of flirting. It really brings you back to a simpler time and can get you in that carefree childhood attitude which helps minimize stress and allows you to just laugh and have a great time without worrying about anything. If you throw the party on a weekend, you can allow people to sleep over and wake your guests up with a delicious breakfast, continuing the fun for a good part of the next day.

They say that you should have as much fun as you can while you are young and full of life, so even if you don’t care much for birthdays anymore don’t look at it as an obligation and a hassle–try to see it as an opportunity to let loose and relax. Using some of these ideas you can throw a great party, whether you are looking for something low key and intimate or something big and wild.

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