85 Cheerful Birthday Ideas For A 20-Year-Old

The 20th birthday is a special occasion in every person’s life. Thus, parents need to come up with fun and innovative 20th birthday party ideas to make this occasion special for their child, or rather adult.

You should ideally try out new ideas beyond the traditional cake-cutting ceremony or a surprise house party. These conventional ideas need to be replaced with quirky or crazy ideas that will make the occasion memorable.

This post provides you with a list of amazing ideas for 20th birthday party events. So, check them out and incorporate some to make the celebrations outstanding for everyone.

85 Unique And Surprising Ideas For 20th Birthday Party

Check out these amazing ideas for 20th birthday that will make sure you have loads of fun on your birthday.

In This Article

20th Birthday Ideas For Him

1. Beach day

Beach day, 20th birthday party idea
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Image: IStock

If you live near a beach, there is no better place to celebrate your special day. A day out on the beach with your loved ones will make your birthday memorable.

2. Sumptuous dinner

Organize a special birthday gathering with your close friends and family at your favorite restaurant and have a fun time together.

3. Go on date

Going on a date with your partner or potential partner is a good way to celebrate your birthday. Find the best venue with music, dance, delicious food, beverages, and a great atmosphere.

protip_icon Point to consider
Avoid going on a blind date on your birthday, as you cannot really predict the outcome. If things go in the wrong direction, it might ruin your birthday.

4. Go outdoor

If you are an outdoorsy person, arrange an outdoor party for your dear ones. You can go camping, kayaking, paragliding, or even bungee jumping.

5. Roam the streets

Go out with your buddies to your favorite spots in your city and relish some good street food and ice-creams.

6. Road trip

Go on a road trip with your pals on your 20th birthday. Make a list of places you haven’t seen and tick them off your list.

7. Retro bowling

Bowling is something you can enjoy at any age. You could go to a bowling alley or, even better, arrange a bowling rink at your own place.

8. Gaming tournament

If you are a gaming fan, you could host a gaming tournament where the winner gets a prize. There are several online games you and your gaming friends can play.

9. Fancy dress

Consider hosting a fancy-dress party if you want to do something out of the box on your birthday. You could even put up a “ramp” for the participants to walk on.

10. 90s Night

You can have a 90s-themed party where you can dress up like your favorite characters from 90s movies and spend your birthday reminiscing about the bygone times.

11. Chilli Cook Off

You can call all your friends on your birthday with their favorite chili recipes in slow cookers. You can start off by voting for the best chili recipe and crown the winner.

12. Breakfast for Dinner

You can invite your buddies to make classic breakfast dishes like omelets, pancakes, french toast, etc., and spend the evening watching your favorite TV shows or movies.

13. Sports Night

Spend the evening with your friends and family watching your favorite sports with snacks and drinks to enjoy the day.

14. Great Gatsby Themed Party

Celebrate your birthday with confidence and expertise. Hand out tiaras and throw a memorable bash they’ll cherish forever!

15. Racing-themed Party

You can celebrate your birthday with a racing theme where cutouts of your favorite car brands like Ferrari and McLaren are placed as the main decor. You may also have a small racing track for toy cars and hand out prizes to the winner and runners-up. A race-themed cake with marshmallows, pretzels, and Gatorade as refueling snacks are good to go.

16. Cowboy Party

Host a western-themed party by draping wooden-look plastic tablecloths, distributing bandannas and cowboy hats, and serving delightful cactus cupcakes and sheriff badge cookies.

17. Army Party

Plan an exciting camouflage party with green, brown, and cream decorations, making it an exciting and adventurous event for your guests.

18. Superhero Party

Spice up your celebration by inviting guests to dress up as their favorite superhero or invent their own. Transform your space with licensed Batman, Superman, and Spiderman party decorations, creating cherished memories to be captured in fantastic photos.

19. Lego Party

Create a Lego-themed party by covering the front door with a yellow table cover, using yellow plates as accents, and constructing Lego containers for cutlery and napkins. Treat your guests to brownies or cookies adorned with smarties, resembling edible Lego pieces.

20. Jump at a Trampoline Park

Experience an action-packed birthday adventure at a trampoline park, where you and your friends can enjoy countless jumping options and have a meal in one of their dedicated rooms.

21. Visit a Museum

Consider hosting a museum party, which offers a variety of themes, from history and art to clothing and witches, catering to diverse interests depending on your region.

22. Paint Party

Unleash your creativity with a paint party, whether in a studio or a location of your choice. Enjoy the art-making process together, guided by an instructor, with all the necessary supplies provided.

20th Birthday Ideas For Her

23. Mocktail party

Mocktail party, 20th birthday party idea
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Image: Shutterstock

Learn to make some good mocktails right in your kitchen using different proportions of ingredients. Create a signature mocktail and share it you’re your loved ones on your birthday.

24. Game night

Invite over your gang and have a night full of games and fun. You can play board games or more interactive games on your 20th birthday.

25. Potluck

Arrange a potluck dinner and invite your friends over. You can play some favorite songs and host an impromptu karaoke night.

26. Spa day

There is no greater pleasure than getting pampered on your birthday. A simple facial, manicure, and pedicure will do wonders for your body and soul.

27. Free stuff

Many companies offer free or discounted stuff on their clients’ birthdays. Check out brands like Sephora, Pinkberry, and bareMinerals on your birthday.

28. Wine tasting

If you enjoy drinking wine, you could host an amateur wine tasting party. Get different bottles of wine and let your friends taste and pick the best one.

29. Book reading

If you are a bookworm, invite your friends to a book reading party. Each friend reads a chapter of your favorite book, and then you can discuss your favorite books.

30. Slumber party

Recreate the magic of your school days by hosting a slumber party with your best friends. You could go out for breakfast to your favorite joint in the morning too.

31. Makeover

Go to a good salon and get a makeover. You can get a haircut or a facial to glow on your special day.

32. Glow party

Get ready to dance the night away in a blacklight-lit area, surrounded by glow-in-the-dark-themed bracelets, tiaras, necklaces, decor, and snacks, including Jell-O shots.

33. Casino night

Create your own casino featuring poker, roulette, and more tables. Reward winners generously with exciting prizes.

34. 50s Sock Hop

Experience the nostalgia of drive-in movies and classic rock ‘n’ roll with a 1950s sock hop in your backyard or living room. Embrace the era with a jukebox, malt shop decor, poodle skirts, and leather jackets. Indulge in tasty diner-style snacks and drinks to complete the vibe.

35. Karaoke Party

Celebrate your 20th birthday with a karaoke party. Set up a machine, pick classic songs, and let the singing begin. Make it competitive with prizes for the best performances and trophies for all participants. Ensure a great time with plenty of snacks and drinks to keep the party going. Nothing beats the fun of a karaoke night!

36. Princess Party

Choose one Disney Princess, like Ariel with her dinglehoppers, Cinderella with her glass slippers, or Anna and Elsa with Olaf the Snowman and Sven the reindeer, for possibly THE most popular party theme for little ladies! Alternatively, go for a general princess theme!

37. Casino Party

Create an exciting atmosphere with a cardboard box spray-painted white, adorned with black cardboard circles resembling giant dice. String up playing cards as a party garland, and serve poker chip cookies with dollar bill napkins.

38. Wonderland Party

Host a mad hatter mocktail party featuring mocktails in teacups and cucumber sandwiches on fine dining plates for a delightful adult twist.

39. Book or Nerd Party

Embrace your inner bookworm by using old books to craft party bunting, place cards, and centerpieces. Treat guests to apple slices and worm cookies while gifting them nerd glasses and bow ties for the ‘ultimate’ geeky book party.

40. Mickey or Minnie Mouse Party

Celebrate the cutest mice around by throwing a Mickey and Minnie-themed party; hand out black ears and white gloves for a visually spectacular experience!

41. Harry Potter Party

Unleash your magical side with a Harry Potter-themed party. Create floating candles using LED tealights, fishing lines, and rolled-up white paper, and let guests make their own wands for a truly enchanting celebration!

20th Birthday Decorations

Decorations are the backbone of any party. Here are some 20th birthday party decorations you can try out.

42. Birthday sash

The birthday boy or girl must wear a sash announcing their name. Wearing a sash makes the guest of honor stand out from the crowd and it can be kept as a memorable souvenir.

43. Balloons

Balloon decoration for 20th birthday party
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Image: Shutterstock

Decorate the party area with balloons that match the theme of your birthday.

44. Banners

Announce your birthday to the guests with beautiful banners. You can design them in colors and patterns of your choice.

45. Streamers

Streamers are a go-to decoration item for birthdays. Get streamers in all the colors of the rainbow.

46. Number balloons

Who said number balloons are for children? You can proudly flaunt your age with number balloons.

47. Neon signs

Neon signs are a surefire way of attracting your guests’ attention. They come in pretty colors and could become permanent fixtures in your home too.

48. Confetti

Confetti fills the party with cheer and joy. If you want to go eco-friendly, you can use paper confetti too.

49. Chalkboard signs

Chalkboard signs lend an aura of rusticity to any party. You can decorate the chalkboard in all the colors of the rainbow.

50. Photo Booth

A photo booth is a perfect prop for a 20th birthday party. Make sure you click loads of pictures in it.

51. Party hats

Guests can wear fun hats to get into the party spirit.

52. Tablecloths

Vibrant and themed table covers enhance the overall look of the party area and guarantee beautiful pictures.

53. Centerpieces

Eye-catching displays placed in the middle of tables add a focal point.

54. Candles

Birthday candles and decorative candles create a delightful ambiance.

55. Cake toppers

Decorative pieces like candles, figurines, or messages sit atop the birthday cake.

56. Fairy lights

Twinkling lights add a magical touch to the party atmosphere.

57. Glitters

Sprinkle glitter on tables or decorations for added sparkle.

58. Hanging decorations

Hang tissue paper pom-poms, lanterns, or themed cutouts from the ceiling.

20th Birthday Theme Ideas

Choosing the best birthday theme is important to set the mood. Here are some 20th birthday party themes you can use.

59. Hollywood

Hollywood theme party
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Image: Shutterstock

Hollywood is a theme that can hardly go wrong. You could even put a red carpet at the entrance to your home and photograph each “celebrity” attending the party.

60. Luau

Luau is originally for children, but who cares? Celebrate your summer birthday to the fullest with this theme.

61. Arabian

With its bright colors and eye-catching motifs, an Arabian theme can be quite exciting for your 20th birthday. You could ask your friends to come dressed in harem pants and crop tops.

protip_icon Point to consider
Not just Arabian, you can go for any country theme. For instance, try a Hawaiian theme and ask your friends to come dressed in floral-printed shirts and dresses.

62. Murder mystery

Stage a “murder” and ask your friends to use their detecting skills to find the murderer. If you want to get involved in the fun, ask someone else to make the arrangements.

63. The 20s

The 20s were the time of flapper dresses, feather boas, and fedora hats. Recreate a 20s theme right in your living room for your birthday.

Things To Do On Your 20th Birthday

Here are some amazing things to do on your 20th birthday. These will help you bond with your friends and spend an enjoyable day together.

64. Mall scavenger hunt

Roaming the malls on weekends would have got you the layout of each mall in your head. Give each friend a list of items they must find in the mall (make a list for yourself, too) and go scavenger hunting.

65. Visit a shelter

Visit an animal shelter home on your birthday and spend some time with them. Make sure you take along some food for them.

66. Tattoo

Get a tattoo on your 20th birthday
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If you have wanted to get tattooed for a while, now is the best time to do it. Decide on a design beforehand and discuss it in detail with the tattoo artist of your choice before getting it done.

protip_icon Be watchful
If you want a tattoo badly but are not sure of it, then get a temporary one. Do not risk getting an impulsive tattoo only because it is your birthday.

67. Escape room

Escape rooms are amazing places where you can solve puzzles and riddles to escape. Go with your group and have an adventurous evening.

68. Concert

Going to a concert on your birthday can be a good idea. If there is any visiting concert in your city or nearby, make sure you attend it with your friends for an awesome time.

69. Barbeque

A barbeque in your backyard is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday. Spend the day lazing around with your friends in the afternoon and binge on delicious meat.

70. Movies/series

If you plan to have a fun movie-night for your 20th birthday, you can hire a mini projector and watch your favorite movie or series with your friends.

71. Puppy party

If you love puppies, you can spend your birthday in the company of some cuties. There are companies that rent out puppies, or you could ask your friends and relatives to bring their puppies to the birthday party.

72. Pool Party

Invite all your friends for an afternoon on your birthday and spend the day by the pool munching on snacks, dancing, and enjoying the day. Some peppy music can add to the vibe and set the tempo right.

73. Masquerade Ball

Celebrate turning 20 with a truly unique masquerade ball. Invite guests to don their finest costumes and offer materials for mask-making. Kick off the party with a masquerade parade and award prizes for the best costumes!

74. Havana Nights

Celebrate your 20th birthday with a vibrant Havana nights-themed party, where you can party like you’re in Cuba. Adorn your venue with colorful decorations and Cuban flags while enjoying the rhythm of traditional Latin music. Get ready for an unforgettable night!

75. Hiking Trip

Celebrate turning 20 with a thrilling hiking trip, surrounded by nature and accompanied by friends and family. Pack snacks and water for the journey and ensure appropriate attire for the terrain.

76. Dessert Party

Host a laid-back dessert party for your 20th birthday, indulging in favorite treats like cake, cupcakes, ice cream, donuts, puddings, and other sweet delights.

77. Pajama Party or a Sleepover

Opt for a cozy pajama party/sleepover for your 20th birthday celebration, inviting friends over in their comfiest PJs. Enjoy an at-home movie marathon, engage in craft projects, or simply unwind with pleasant conversations.

78. Bonfire

Light a fire in your backyard, gather your friends and prepare bean bags and chairs for an unforgettable outdoor celebration. Reminisce about childhood stories and songs while enjoying endless supplies of s’mores, laughter, and warmth around the bonfire.

79. Garden Party

Create a memorable garden party for your twentieth birthday with an elaborate menu and guest list. Deck your garden with seasonal plants, fairy lights, and rustic decor, and offer a snack bar or barbeque along with a refreshing juice bar.

80. Food Truck Party

Elevate your food lover’s party by hiring a food truck to cater the event. Whether it’s pizza, tacos, or ice cream, these mobile restaurants serve as perfect party centerpieces.

81. Bumble Bee Party

Embrace the black, yellow, and white color scheme for your theme and have fun with patterns like polka dots, black and white gingham, and yellow and white stripes. Combine them to create a buzzing and vibrant party atmosphere. Serve honey sandwiches and jumbles for a delightful food experience.

82. Hit an Amusement Park

Amusement parks in the United States provide exciting and manageable options for birthday parties, offering more than just rides for a day trip or overnight celebration.

83. Cake Decorating Party

Organize a cake decorating competition by buying baking supplies and appointing a judge for a creative and spectacular birthday celebration.

84. Ride in Style

Opt for a sophisticated birthday party by renting a party bus or limo to chauffeur the teen and their closest friends, with optional fun stops along the way.

85. Rent a Bouncehouse

Nowadays, there are innumerable options to rent a bounce house and install it in your backyard. Or, you can also rent an inflatable water slide and have fun with your bunch of friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does it mean to turn 20?

It means you are no longer a teenager and now can be called an adult. With the freedom to make your own decisions, you can think about career options, travel to places, make new connections, explore the world, and do things you like without many restrictions but within the boundaries.

2. What is a useful present for a 20-year-old?

The twenties are all about making independent life decisions, so cash or gift cards could be a helpful gift idea. This will enable the teenager to choose whatever they want, invest an adequate amount, or simply go out and party with friends.

3. What is the 20th birthday called?

The 20th birthday is called the “20th birthday” or “turning 20.” However, there isn’t a specific traditional or widely recognized name for it like some other milestone birthdays, such as the “sweet sixteen” for the 16th birthday or the “coming of age” for the 18th birthday.

These 20th birthday party ideas are unique and exciting. You can pick any of these ideas or club a few to make your loved one’s birthday special. Start with inviting friends and family using novel invitation ideas. Select a party theme that’s quirky and fun. Set a dress code and organize entertaining activities that can get everyone involved. Arrange delicious foods and beverages and make your loved one’s birthday party memorable. Above all, don’t forget to capture these memories to cherish later.

Infographic: Exciting Things To Do On Your 20th Birthday

Are you turning 20 soon and not much into lavish celebrations? Well, there are some interesting ways to celebrate your special day. Check out this infographic to know how you can spend your 20th birthday in a distinctive way.

shower some self-love as you turn 20 (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Make your 20-year-old’s birthday party fun by including unconventional ideas, decorations, and activities.
  • For boys, you can plan a beach day, dinner date, or road trip, whereas, for girls, you can plan a game night, potluck, or slumber party.
  • Add interesting decorations, such as number balloons, streamers, and neon lights.
  • Experiment with unique themes like Arabian or Hollywood and activities like escape rooms or concerts.
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