10 Inspired Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas for Adults

Updated 06/11/18

Design: William Hunter Collective, Styled By: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Sara Tramp-Ligorria 

Summer birthdays can be a good and bad thing—it's good because the weather is totally perfect, but the downside is that it can be challenging to get everyone together when timeshares and getaways are a plenty (I know this firsthand because this Gemini's birthday is this week). The thing is that if you pick from some of the best outdoor birthday party ideas and send your invites out with some time to spare, you'll be able to round everybody up for a day or night out together alfresco. And what's better than soaking up the sun with all your favorite people as you blow out your candles and make your wish for the next year?

You should pick your theme based on your preferences and your crowd (some are geared toward the ladies, some are family-friendly—you get the deal). And we decided to get a little creative with our ideas which you'll see because a pool party is not on the list, so your birthday can be as special as you are. So go on and keep reading to see the outdoor birthday ideas we're considering for our special day to inspire gatherings of your own.

outdoor birthday party ideas
Sarah Sherman Samuel

Old Hollywood Movie Night

Find a drive-in nearby or re-create one in your backyard with blankets and a large screen. Don't forget a popcorn bar with various sweet and savory toppings (or rent a popcorn truck for the night). You can take a poll ahead of time to see which Old Hollywood flick your attendees want to watch—or since it's your birthday, it's fine to take your pick.

The Extras: Vintage popcorn containers, "Oscar"-like statues as décor, a red carpet and "paparazzi," and fancy dress for guests.

Relay Race Fun

Remember those family picnics you probably went to as a kid, whether with your extended family or your parent's office? If you're all about fun and games, organized activities like the water balloon toss, tug of war, and potato sack race can be so much fun. Plus, we like that this idea lets the kids get involved too.

The Extras: Team T-shirts, prizes for the overall winners, and a snow cone bar.

Dinner Alfresco

There's just something about eating together under the stars that is so relaxing. Plus, hosting at your place versus eating at a restaurant means there's no rushing you out right after dessert. Do think about having your event catered so you can sit and enjoy it from start to finish.

The Extras: A cocktail hour, a gorgeous floral centerpiece, and assigned seats.

adult birthday party ideas
Sarah Sherman Samuel

A Yoga Retreat

For the person who wants to embrace their spirituality on their special day, why not ask all your friends to go to an outdoor yoga retreat? Whether it's at your place, at the beach, or even one of those extended yoga getaways you can plan, you'll bond through getting your om on together. Just remember: Make sure to hire a yoga instructor or pick a retreat that will cater to different levels of experience so no one feels left out.

The Extras: Matching workout tops, making fruit-infused water, and time in the sauna.

Off to the (Horse) Races

Summer is home to many a horse race, and even if you've never ridden one, it sure is fun to don your finest attire and watch those beautiful creatures run. And did we mention you can bet on the event and sip on champagne the whole time? If you want to splurge, why not go all out and get a private box so you can enjoy the VIP experience?

The Extras: Sun hats, fancy dress, and paper fans to mitigate the heat.

Vineyard Hopping

If you're a wine lover, then going on a vineyard trail with your best friends could be a fun adventure (just be sure to have a designated driver). From experience, three vineyards are enough without making everyone too tired (or too tipsy). Make sure at least one stop has a fun option for lunch—some we've been to have had a brick oven for a tasty pizza party outdoors.

The Extras: Tastings (make a reservation in advance) and a limo.

Flower Crown Party

Is there anything more exciting than crafting with seasonal blooms? It is when they're combined to make a wearable piece of art. Host an earthy, nature-themed party in which you gather and craft flower crowns from an assortment of varietals. A patio is ideal, but a porch or rooftop will do the trick in city settings.

The Extras: An all-white dress code, iced tea, and throw pillows for seating.

outdoor parties
Fashion Me Now

Crawfish Boil

Look to the South for a chill, relaxing way to celebrate. A crawfish boil is truly a sight to see, as the seafood, potatoes, corn, and the like get cooked to perfection in a big outdoor pot. Family and friends will be forced to eat-family style and with their hands—messiness happens to be one of the best ways to get people talking (and laughing).

The Extras: Boozy popsicles for dessert and Cajun lemonade.

A Night of Stargazing

Host a night under the stars to check out the constellations together as a celebration. Place blankets on the ground and have everyone settle in before it actually gets dark. Give each guest a laser pointer so they can show others exactly what they're seeing in the night sky.

The Extras: Renting a bunch of telescopes and serving cocktails named after constellations.

Bonfire Birthday

Make like your camp days with a bonfire (or bonfire pit if you're throwing your shindig in your backyard). A DIY s'mores bar lets everyone fill their treats with all their favorite ingredients before putting them together. Settle in for some live music (or just a low-key playlist) as you sit around the crackling fire.

The Extras: Roasted hot dogs for dinner and cozy blankets for seating.

If you're considering throwing your birthday shindig alfresco, then these outdoor birthday ideas should at least give you a place to start. Just remember—the earlier you send out the invites, the better.

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