10 Ways To Spend A Birthday In Your 20s, Other Than Binge Drinking

Originally written for and published by an online, lifestyle publication. 

Everyday struggles of life as a twentysomething are pretty well documented online, almost excessively so. For every advice column out there about surviving college, there are at least 72 others about ~adulting~ thereafter.

This is no different, sorry not sorry.

If you’re a twentysomething who feels like you’re too old to celebrate your next birthday with a kegger (honestly, you can do this at 50 and we will not judge you!), you’re in luck. We’ve put together the ultimate list of non-Project X things to do on your birthday.

1. Plan A Weekend Getaway

Tbh, a birthday in your mid-twenties can easily go unnoticed by your semi-close friends and even by you. There’s a lot more going on in your life now than there ever has been, and the same goes for everyone else around you. Save for Facebook, you may not even get more than 12 celebratory text messages (messages from fuck boys do not count). A good way to distract yourself is by getting away. Book a weekend trip to a city you’ve never been to or one that you’ve always been in love with. While you’re there, make time to do things that you enjoy; maybe you want to see a show on Broadway or maybe you’ve always wanted to hike the Grand Canyon. There’s no worthier occasion than your own birthday!

2. Go On A Road Trip

There’s something magical about road trips that takes us back to simpler times: childhood memories of summer family vacations or late night excursions with college roommates. Done right, a road trip can leave you feeling inspired and uninhibited, ready to tackle whatever the next year of life throws at you. Have your friends help you put together the perfect road trip playlist, stock the car with junk food and paper maps (for old times’ sake) and hit the open road.

3. Spend The Day At An Amusement Park

The happiest person at the amusement park is always the ~slightly~ intoxicated, toddler-free, single twentysomething. You’ve been around the block so you know exactly which rides you want to hit long before you enter the park. And you are free to move at your own glacial pace all day long. For enhanced enjoyment (and subtle mockery), design matching themed shirts for you and all of your friends. Don’t forget that you’re a real adult now not a starving college student, so you should definitely treat yourself with an all-inclusive fast pass!

4. Host A Dinner Party

Nothing says, “Look at me doing grown-up shit,” like hosting a formal dinner party. Laugh all you want but this is a stellar idea for at least three reasons. 1. You have the perfect excuse to get all dressed up on your birthday. 2. Your friends have the perfect excuse to get all dressed up. 3. You will all feel classy AF. Feel free to have the event catered or suggest a potluck. The less actual work you have to do, the better.


5. Go Skydiving

Or any other extreme activity that’s been on your bucket list for years. There is literally no better time to check this off your list. You are young, vibrant and enthusiastic about life (or at least you should be) and your actions should reflect your well-deserved joie de vivre. The best part is that you can totally do this as a solo activity and no one will judge you. In fact, your friends will probably writhe with envy at your fabulous life.

6. Book A Private Pole Dancing Class

You know you want to. You’ve been curious about pole dancing classes ever since Ryan Gosling made that snide remark about them in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Lucky for you, pole studios often offer deluxe birthday packages—a private lesson for you and your friends, complete with champagne and strobe lights and devoid of any creeps you would have otherwise met at the club.

7. Have A Spa Day

Gift yourself the ultimate birthday spa package—facial, massage, mani-pedi—to celebrate your special day. Throw in a blowout and professional face makeup if you’re feeling especially sassy. It’s all about you!

8. Host A Casino Night

Casino night at your place is a unique way to get your friends together for game night, without the lame connotations. It’s also a heck of a lot cheaper than going to Vegas. For a more Vegas-esque feel to the night, decide on a theme, like ancient Rome, and ask your guests to dress accordingly. This will definitely be a night to remember!

9. Go To A Group Fitness Class With Your Friends

There’s no better gift than the gift of health. So, why not start your day with a dose of endorphins at a group fitness class? You’re sure to leave feeling accomplished and energized, which is not a bad way to start a day of celebration. After you’ve burned a couple hundred calories, you and your friends can all go out to brunch and catch up Sex and the City style—you are basically Carrie Bradshaw.

10. Go On A Cruise

Whether it’s for the weekend or just for the night, going on a cruise is a quick and easy way to have a mini-vacation. Your job, beyond booking the cruise, is fairly minimal since the itinerary is already planned. Also, it really doesn’t matter if you go alone or with friends because there will be tons of other people there to socialize with. Fact: people on cruises are very sociable.


As you get older, you realize quickly that your circle of friends is not as expansive as it once was. Make sure that, above all else, you are always your own best friend. Don’t wait for someone else to plan your birthday. Take matters into your own hands and do something special to celebrate your big day!


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