1. Have a Game Night
Be it with friends or family, have a game night! Board games can be great fun for quieter events, especially if everyone playing enjoys the game.
Pick up some pizza and break out Clue, Monopoly, or Cards Against Humanity.
You will have a blast laughing your way through the evening.
This is an excellent way to celebrate a birthday if you have work or other plans the next morning and want to avoid a hangover or if you plan to booze it up.
Its versatile enough to work for anyone and everyone!
2. Have Breakfast in Bed
I have never met anyone who would refuse a breakfast in bed.
Partners, take note, as this makes a perfect romantic gesture for the birthday girl or guy.
Make them their favorite breakfast menu and surprise them. It will surely make them feel extra special and spoiled, starting the day on a great note.
If you are single, make it yourself! Butter up some toast or add brown sugar to some oatmeal and hop back into bed.
It is your day, do what you want, even if it is eating marshmallow cereal in bed while binge watching the Office.
3. Take It Easy
The challenges of everyday adulthood can be exhausting.
Use your birthday as an excuse to kick back and relax!
Call into work and tap out a vacation day, you deserve it.
Spend all afternoon lazing about your house or go stroll through shops.
This is a lovely way to rejuvenate and detox yourself from the stresses of your daily life and can leave you feeling refreshed and happy.
It is good to take some time off to let your hair down and what day is better to sleep in and enjoy personal comforts than the one day a year that is dedicated only to you?
Horses are one of those animals that draw an air of sophistication and beauty. What could be better than passing the day riding about on such a powerful animal?
This option is one of the more flexible ones, as you can go alone and experience nature peacefully or in a group. Just be sure if you have a pack of friends coming that they respect the animals and do not risk injury.
This is an event best done sober to prevent accidents, so it is best to leave the bottles at home.
For a more romantic venture, plan to go out in the evening when the sun is setting. Bring along your significant other and maybe pack a picnic. It is a date that would wow them for sure and be a wonderful, sweet birthday memory that will stand the test of time.
5. Go to a Theme Park
For an epic adventure, go to a theme park!
Spend your day alone or with buddies hopping from ride to ride.
What could be more fun than a ferris wheel or roller coaster followed by deep fried fair style food?
Tons of parks even do special events and packages for people who choose to celebrate their birthdays there.
At Disney Parks, you can inform the guest help desk that it is your birthday and they will give you a collectable pin. If cast members notice it, they often act even more excited to see you and sometimes have stickers or other little goodies to hand out.
This is especially fun if you are a Disney fanatic, as the little treats are easily scrap bookable.
6. Bungee Jump
If you really want an exciting, heart pounding birthday, try bungee jumping!
Many versions of the event can be found in almost every state and are relatively cheap to try.
Despite the terrifying concept, bungee jumping is very safe and thousands of people complete jumps everyday, many of them children.
This would be super fun to do as a small group activity, as you could pump each other up before making the jump.
Tip: If you want an extra thrilling jump attempt, opt for an outdoor set up. These are typically higher and above water which makes them all the more scary and fun! Who knows, you just might become an adrenaline junkie!
7. Splurge on Yourself for Once
Your birthday is a time to feel spoiled and celebrated.
It is also the perfect time to make a splurge you have been holding out on if you are financially prepared to do so.
Pick up that expensive eyeshadow palette, DSLR camera, or gaming console you have been dying for. It is your birthday, it is okay to be a little extra nice to yourself.
Small splurges are good for those on a lower budget.
Grab a nice bath bomb or some coffee and treat yourself a bit. You are worth it, so take the plunge!
8. Try Karaoke
Karaoke is fun for literally everyone, regardless of whether they are talented vocalists or not.
Most bars and clubs do karaoke nights for little to no charge so you can almost certainly find an event happening near you. If not, there are tons of at home versions, including some that are even as simple as downloading a smartphone app.
A fun at home version is to create a playlist of throwback songs that everyone should know and have it play on shuffle. When someone goes up, have them press play and sing whatever pops up.
If you do not mind an extra step, create prompt cards with the lyrics to each song or just have them look it up on their phone if they begin to struggle.
It is a fun way to spend an entire night, alcohol included or booze free.
9. Go to a Beer or Wine Tasting
Once you are of legal age to consume alcohol in your area, beer or wine tastings can be an excellent way to spend a sophisticated evening.
Bring your partner along and find a new favorite brew or bottle.
Many breweries and vineyards serve food as well that is specifically tailored to compliment their products so paying one of these venues a visit could include a fancy meal as well.
Locally owned storefronts will often do special deals for birthdays or anniversaries so be sure to call ahead and check up on any potential extra fun!
In most areas, you must be 21 years old to purchase or drink alcohol. In all areas you may not drive if you have drank. Be safe and always plan a designated driver to any events involving drinking.
10. Throw a Party
Throwing an old fashioned birthday party can be great fun, especially if it is for a milestone birthday.
Get a cake, cheesy decorations, and grill up some burgers for an excellent evening full of good clean fun.
Find a perfect party playlist and dance with your guests or play a round of beer pong or a favorite board game.
The options are endless and sites like Pinterest can help you custom create the party of your dreams.
11. Go Camping
Camping is a great way to spend an evening relaxing and detoxing from the stresses of the rat race.
Bring some buddies and pitch some tents out in the forest for a night.
Build a fire and share stories with s’mores and hot dogs. The smell of smoke and sweetness of toasted marshmallow under the nighttime sky cannot be beat.
You will come home from your birthday weekend refreshed, renewed, and feeling better than ever. If you prefer a low key party, this is the way to go.
12. Climb a Mountain
This one may sound insane but honestly, what would be a better crazy birthday story than reaching the very top of a mountain?
Regardless of your physical state you can easily make a day trip out of a mountainous hike. Just pack a lunch, bring some friends, and go enjoy wilderness at its finest and most pure.
This is one plan that is best done in a group, just in case something goes wrong or you have trouble finding your way back. Always give some loved ones a heads up before you leave of exactly where you will be and how long you should be gone as an extra precaution.
Not only will reaching the summit make you feel like you are literally on top of the world, you will also retain a sense of intense accomplishment that can help you coast through the next few weeks of work in a bit of a better mood.
Plus, just imagine the cool photos you could snap for your Instagram.
13. Get a New Tattoo
Birthdays are celebratory markers of our another phase passing in our lives.
Tattoos, for many, act as a similar concept.
It makes sense that as a birthday splurge you would go get some new ink, especially if you are hitting a milestone age.
Research your artists, make an appointment, and get some stunning new artwork added to your body. It will not only be a really nice way to spend your day, but also will be a really fun memory, especially if it is your first ever tattoo!
Some shops even do birthday discounts for return customers if you ask, so you may get lucky too!
Along the same vein, piercings are excellent birthday gifts to yourself too and are a great way to spice up your look with less commitment that an ink piece.
14. Have a Spa Day
Spa days are one of the single most relaxing things you can ever experience.
From massages to masks to soaking in a tub of bubbling, hot water, all of your cares melt away.
Many spa packages permit a friend or two to come as well at a reduced rate, making this a perfect excuse for a girls day.
If you cannot swing the potentially steep price tag that can come with traditional spa experiences, you can easily do it yourself at home!
Grab a couple bath bombs or bubble bath, some nice wine, candles, and a face mask and let yourself unwind and relax in the tub. Afterwards, order some takeout and snuggle up in bed with some Netflix to round out a perfect evening.
15. Go See a Movie
Who can resist the buttery, salty call of movie theater popcorn? I know I can’t.
If you want a relaxing evening with friends, grab some tickets to a new movie release and venture out to the theater.
Several towns even still have drive ins if you want to celebrate with some vintage flair!
If staying home is more your speed, check your Netflix and Hulu accounts for any new releases or pop down to your favorite video rental hub and grab something interesting.
This is a great way to have a special evening with your significant other on a budget, especially if they offer to cook you your favorite meal as a birthday treat first.
Just do not forget the snacks and sodas! They are mandatory for the full experience.
16. Go to a Concert or Play
Have you been dying to see that one band live for your whole life? Has the opera been calling your name?
Splurge on the tickets and finally let yourself experience it!
Concerts and plays are not only a great way to pass the time with friends, but also provide a lot of excellent opportunities to meet new people.
If no big name bands are playing near you, do not be afraid to check out the local music scene.
You very well could find a new group to fall in love with right inside of your own home town!
17. Do Some Charity Work
It is easy to do something for yourself on your birthday but if you find yourself feeling indecisive, maybe try doing something for someone else.
Volunteer for a shift at the animal shelter or local soup kitchen.
Donate to a children’s cancer research facility or go clean up the park.
Little things to enhance your neighborhood are always welcome and the best thing for the soul is to give.
Facebook and many other social media sites have an option to “donate your birthday”. This posts publicly that in lieu of personal gifts you would like your friends and family to donate to a specific charity on your behalf.
This is a wonderful thing to do if you cannot think of one specific thing you really want or need. Spreading joy is a great gift for yourself, as well as everyone else involved.
Even something quick and free, like donating blood, can make a huge impact.
18. Go on a Road Trip
Road trips can be incredibly fun with the right group of friends, so load up your buds and go exploring!
Pick a destination and set out by car, just be sure to bring snacks, water, and good music along. If you want a truly classic road trip feeling, create a playlist on a cassette or CD. This prevents bickering over who is the car’s DJ, as well.
Road trips work best if everyone involved has enough time off of work and other commitments to fully enjoy the trip. No one wants to have to turn back halfway into the drive because Dave and Sarah forgot to ask off for the full weekend.
19. Zip Lining
If you want to try something a little crazy, zip lining is a sure fire way to get your heart pumping!
This fast moving, thrilling activity involves clipping yourself into a lead that attaches to a long cable, which is extended between two stationary, sturdy bases.
You jump forward and the lead races along the cable at incredible speeds, bringing the strapped in you along for the ride.
It is a super fun adventure that is growing in popularity. Finding a zip line is as easy as googling your location and quick searching it.
Zip lining will give you the same tingly feeling as some other, more extreme options without the commitment to as high a level of danger.
It is a responsible thrill, in a way.
20. Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling
If you have a summer birthday, fun in the sun is a great way to spend it!
Scuba diving and snorkeling are both really cool ways to pass a day.
You can see parts of the world you would literally never get an opportunity to view any other way. You will see fish and other marine life that otherwise would only exist to you in books and movies.
Spending your birthday meeting starfish and coral would be beautiful if you are an outdoorsy type of person.
Be sure to pack a watersafe camera when you go!
21. Have a Nice Dinner
Have you been driving past that one restaurant that looks absolutely delectable but seems ridiculously priced?
Go ahead and give it a try.
Your birthday is a time to feel great and if you can afford the splurge, a nice dinner is an excellent way to feel special and pampered. Many high end restaurants give you a free dessert too!
If you cannot afford to go out, make something new at home!
You can find absolutely amazing, restaurant quality recipes on YouTube and Pinterest that cost a fraction of what you would spend going out and are likely better for you too.
A full belly makes for a happy birthday.
22. Go Antiquing
If you love old stuff and good deals, this one is perfect for you.
Antiquing may sound like a grandma hobby but hear me out.
You can find some serious gems in an antique or consignment shop!
The prices cannot be beat and everything is likely unique.
Not only that, but you can bring friends along and actually have fun with it.
A lot of shops have vintage clothes you can try on to snap photos or goofy old trinkets. It will be a day full of both good prices and laughter.
23. Go Fishing
There is little that can be described as more relaxing than fishing.
Sitting in the sunshine with a cold drink and absolute silence is one of the most refreshing, peaceful moments you can experience.
You can spend the day alone or with friends reeling in fish of all sizes and watching the sun go down over the water.
If your state allows it, you can sometimes even bring the fish home to cook if you catch enough, making dinner an easy move. If that is not your style, just quickly toss them back into the water as you catch them.
24. Take a Class
If you are going to be spending your birthday alone, it might be fun to look into an interesting class.
Cooking lessons are practical and often a great way to spend an evening, as are painting and pottery classes.
For those over 21, some art classes come with a fun twist: free wine or beer included!
There is truly a class for everyone, so start looking around and see what you can find. You just might discover a new hobby you would have never expected yourself to love!
25. Do a Pub Crawl
Pub crawls are a simple event that can be incredibly fun.
You just walk in a group from pub to pub sampling beers, snacks, and listening to music as your guide moves you along. Some even do “passports” to help you check off everything on the list and not miss a storefront with a prize at the end when you finish up.
Aside from snacks and drinks, pub crawls often feature games and vendors. Scavenger hunts are popular with monetary or gift card prizes being common.
Pub crawls are fun alone or in a group, so get out there and taste some brews!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.