Whether you're not too big on birthdays or you designate a "birthday month," turning 30 is likely going to be something that you'll remember for years to come, so it's worth celebrating how you see fit. If this new decade is around the corner and you're trying to figure out how to ring it in, we put together some 30th birthday ideas to help you mark the day with a little or a lot of fanfare.
Turning 30 may be intimidating, but by making it an occasion—and keeping some perspective—it's bound to be just fine. These possible parties cover budget-friendly choices, moderately pricey picks, and splurge-worthy affairs, so you can decide which option sounds right to you.
Read on for our best 30th birthday party ideas.
Order a Round at Your Favorite Dive Bar
This option is casual, fun, and destined to bring your closest friends out for a good time. Best of all, no one has to spend a lot of money. Plus you may even get a free drink from the bartender if you're a regular.
Rent a Karaoke Room
Split the cost with your invitees and get ready to belt out your favorite tunes. If you want something more budget-friendly, you can get a karaoke machine and host at your home.
Throw a House Party
Ask your friends to help with a potluck buffet and drinks, and then put a playlist together that will have everyone on their feet. Make sure there's a cake involved!
Book an Escape Room
This is always a fun idea if you have a small group of friends who are willing to work together. Whether you beat the clock or not, head to a bar after to celebrate.
Spend the Day Outdoors
If you prefer to start a new decade with some fresh air, invite friends on an excursion that culminates in a feast afterward. Find an easy hiking trail, spot a place to go mountain biking, or rent a few kayaks. Don't forget to pack snacks!
Book a Luxurious Stay at a Boutique Hotel
Find one with a bar and restaurant in-house so you can spend more time relaxing and less time on the go. Better yet, order room service and stay in your robe all night. Invite a few of your best friends, your significant other, or just enjoy some much-needed "you" time.
Grab Tickets to a Concert
You could either see your favorite headliner as they travel through town, or investigate an up-and-coming band that seems promising. Whatever it is, make sure to dress up with friends before you go — that's always the best part!
Make It Black Tie
Even if it's just a house party, bring out the suits and stilettos, jazz in the background, and plenty of hors d’oeuvres. Champagne toast totally necessary.
Reserve a Private Room at a Restaurant
Whether you have a favorite spot or you've been meaning to try a popular new menu, this option should make eating out feel more special. A birthday cake dessert is a given too!
Celebrate at the Beach
Is there anything more calming than sand between your toes or floating in the sea? Enjoy some serious fun in the sun and get away from the business of life for a bit. Lounging by the beach is the perfect thing to do on your birthday.
Rent an Airbnb for the Weekend
Who says you need to go out of town to have a vacation? By booking an overnight stay at a nearby Airbnb—hopefully one that has a pool or hot tub—you can still feel like you're on a getaway with your closest pals.
Have a Wine and Cheese Night
Research the perfect pairings for wine and cheese, or wine and anything really, on a site like Wine Folly. If you want to go all out, offer wine flights to your guests. Or just have everyone bring over their favorite bottle, so everyone can try something new.
Road Trip to a Close Destination
Hit the road for a destination that's at most two hours away. Maybe this place has a famous diner or a beautiful museum, or perhaps it's full of beautiful local shops.
If you're in Los Angeles, you can hightail it to Ojai or Santa Barbara, and if you're in New York City, opt for somewhere in the Hudson Valley.
Host a Movie Night
Whether you rent out your own theater at the cineplex or camp out inside someone's at-home movie room, one thing is for sure: You get to pick the flick. In addition to popcorn, have candy and wine on hand.
See a Sporting Event
The perfect moment of your birthday might just happen when your team scores the winning point. And we highly recommend indulging in concession stand eats, either.
Host a Tea Party
Attend high tea at a luxury hotel or throw your own tea party at home, complete with cucumber sandwiches and bite-sized sweet treats. To make it feel more like a celebration, opt for champagne with your tea.
Have you always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower on your 30th? Or maybe you've dreamed of celebrating in Bali? Now is the time to go. Invite a close friend or significant other to join you, and make this dream happen.
Run a Marathon
What better time to accomplish a goal than on your 30th birthday? Make sure you're training for this one ahead of time! Invite your friends to camp out along the route to cheer you on.
Fly to Another City
If you want to get away but it isn't the best time to head overseas, try exploring a different city in America. Book a stay in New Orleans for the party scene, hit up Nashville to go line dancing, or visit Jackson Hole for outdoor adventures.
All you winter babies, listen up. If you're lucky enough to live close to the slopes, you can make this a day trip. If not, recruit a couple of your friends for a weekend getaway.
Spend an Entire Weekend at a Spa
Get a facial, book a massage, show off a manicure, and spend an afternoon going in and out of a steam room. Now that's a relaxing way to celebrate.
Go Horseback Riding
Whether you're a seasoned pro or have never ridden a horse in your life, your 30th birthday is the perfect opportunity to try. Hit a scenic trail and stop for a picnic halfway.
Hire a Private Driver to Explore Different Wineries
What better way to commemorate 30 than at a vineyard? It may also be worth it to book a hotel stay nearby, so you and your friends can savor the day.
Have a Game Night
Board games, card games, anything goes. Make sure you have lots of snacks and drinks on hand, and pick a killer playlist ahead of time.
Host a Catered Party at Your Home
If you don't want to cook on your birthday, hire a caterer. We recommend picking a theme for the food whether it's just your favorite dishes or your favorite type of cuisine. Make an entrance in that pricey-but-perfect outfit you deserve.
Spend a night under the stars with your best friends. If camping isn't your thing, find somewhere to go glamping. You'll still get a dose of nature, but without roughing it as much.
Go on a Pub Crawl
Pick your favorite neighborhood and organize a pub crawl. Each of your friends can choose a favorite bar, or you can surprise them all with a planned itinerary.
Visit an Amusement Park
Grab a group of friends and drive to the nearest amusement park. Ride your favorite coasters, indulge in cotton candy, and take lots of selfies to remember the day.
Have a Dinner Party
Want to keep it low-key? Invite a few of your closest friends and host an intimate dinner party. Dress up or keep the attire casual depending on the vibe you want.
Host a Themed Party
Host a luau, have an '80s themed bash, or channel a winter wonderland. Whatever your preference, coordinate your invitations, décor, and dress code to the theme.