No offense, 20s, but we are so over you. In fact, turning 30 feels awesome. It’s a milestone that deserves to be celebrated, but now that you’re approaching the big 3-0, a bar crawl just isn’t going to cut it. You need a party that honors the sophisticated woman you’ve become. But it still has to be, you know, fun. We’ve got you covered with thirty 30th birthday ideas for the grown-ass woman you are.
1. Go Wine Tasting
A weekend in Napa with your nearest and dearest sounds like a pretty sweet way to usher in your 30s. But if that’s a little too far for you (geographically or financially), there are plenty of wineries and vineyards across the country that can still provide a memorable day. Call ahead to book a group reservation and rent a van with a driver or rely on Ubers to get around. Cheers.
2. Take a Brewery Tour
Craft beer more your vibe? Head to a local brewery for an afternoon of tasting, learning and (hopefully) some good eating. Do your research before pulling together your guest list—many taprooms are dog- and child-friendly and some even offer live music.
3. Host a Brunch
Dinner parties are great and all, but they can be a lot of work. An easier but just as elegant option? A stress-free brunch consisting of a mimosa bar, a selection of bagels and spreads, and an array of delicious pastries. Since everything can be prepped in advance (including the killer playlist), all you need to do once guests arrive is enjoy the party.
4. Try an Escape Room
There’s nothing like being locked in a room alongside your best friends with just 60 minutes to escape. Seriously, it’s a great bonding experience. The classic escape room is always a good time, but we’re also fans of a themed experience (like a Downton Abbey escape room or a royal affair).
5. Visit a Theme Park
Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you can’t get your thrills at an amusement park. Call ahead to inquire about group rate discounts or party options. And remember to budget for the group photo—you’re going to want to remember this one.
6. Spend the Night in a Hotel with Your Best Friends
These days, it can be hard to nail down a weekend where everybody is free (Jenny can’t get a sitter and Megan has a wedding to go to). But a one-night staycation is way less of a commitment and often even more fun. Book a suite at a fancy hotel, order room service, do face masks and lounge around in the complimentary bathrobes.
7. Sing Your Heart Out at Karaoke
Reserve a room, keep the drinks flowing and let her rip.
8. Have a Paint Night Party
Get in touch with your inner Picasso at a paint-and-sip class. Yes, three glasses of Chardonnay will help those creative juices flow. Feel the stress of the past decade melt away as you blend paints and mix shades to create your masterpiece.
9. Or a DIY Pizza Party
Invite some friends over, blast some tunes, bring out the Chianti and make your own ’za. Once you have the dough ready (homemade or store-bought), go wild with the toppings. It’s your birthday, so no one is allowed to judge if pineapple and prosciutto is your thing.
10. See a Concert
If your number one headliner happens to be in town during your birthday month, what better way to spend the evening? Otherwise, pick a date and buy tickets for a night at your nearest live music venue, without stressing over the lineup. Who knows? You just might discover a new favorite.
11. Host a Themed Party
The options are endless, but here are some ideas to get you started: A Great Gatsby party (complete with Prohibition-style cocktails and retro costumes), a movie party (everyone has to come dressed as their favorite character) or a Night in Paris soirée (keep the Champagne flowing and serve éclairs or macarons for dessert).
12. Plan a Murder Mystery
It’s pasta, passion and pistols at this dinner party with a twist that will keep all guests on their toes. Whether you host your own (you can get a murder mystery kit here) or make reservations for a professional party, this whodunnit evening will be one that your friends will talk about for years to come.
13. Game Night
If a murder mystery sounds a tad too hair-raising for you, try something a little tamer. Bring out the board games (we’re partial to retro picks like Chutes and Ladders or The Game of Life) and play the night away. The winner gets the biggest slice of birthday cake.
14. Book a Private Room at a Restaurant
Give yourself the gift of someone else doing the cooking (and the cleaning). A delicious meal in an intimate setting with your closest friends or just your S.O.? Birthday wishes really do come true.
15. Or Take a Cooking Class
You’ve always wanted to know how to roll sushi or bake homemade bread. Grab some pals and learn how to whip up your favorite foods before sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can either find an at-home chef to come to you or head to a local culinary institute.
16. Treat Yourself to a Spa Weekend
You made it through your 20s in one piece—you deserve some pampering. Want something luxurious and intimate? Check out the in-house spa at the fancy hotel downtown. Prefer a location that caters to a big group? Opt for a Korean spa that features multiple levels, pools and saunas. Whatever you go for, remember that a deep-tissue massage is an absolute must.
17. Go Glamping
Now that you’re older and wiser, you know that the best way to enjoy Mother Nature is to do it in style. And with proper toilets and showers. Research glamping sites near you that offer posh digs and upscale amenities (but still have plenty of s’mores).
18. Catch a Movie (or Three)
Spend the day at the movies, munching on popcorn and catching up on the latest must-see flicks. You could keep things interesting by shaking up the genre, but since it’s your birthday, no one’s allowed to complain if you want a rom-com double bill.
19. Plan a Field Day
Remember when you used to have these at school? They were fun then, and yep, they’re still fun now. Think tug-of-war, long jump, three-legged race and many more games that will have your crew rolling around with laughter.
20. Host a Casino Night
Who needs Vegas when you can bring the blackjack to you? For a really special evening, hire a card dealer and bet for cash (we’re talking pennies here—not, you know, Benjamins).
21. Get Physical
We don’t mean going for a jog around the park with your bestie (although you can, if you want to). To ring in a new decade, challenge yourself to do something a little…out-there. Think aerial yoga, rock climbing or indoor skydiving.
22. Go Bowling
Or opt for a group activity that’s a little less intense (but still fun). Get some pitchers of beer, split into teams and see who can get the most strikes.
23. Go Gallery Hopping
Discover your city’s art scene with a group of friends and see if you can find a piece to bring home in order to commemorate the occasion. (Psst: A lot of galleries offer one night each month of special viewings and free drinks, so do your research beforehand.)
24. Check Out a Sports Event
Whatever the season, there’s a game on. Whether you head down to the ice-skating rink, baseball field or college campus, enjoy the thrill of cheering on the home team.
25. Host a Cake Swap
It doesn’t matter how many candles are on there, birthday cakes never get old. Instead of gifts, ask your friends to come over with a cake (homemade or store-bought) and enjoy sampling them all. Up the ante by crowning one baked good the winner.
26. Go Dancing
Maybe you don’t want to stay out quite as late as you used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t boogie down on the dance floor. Prefer to skip the crowds but still want to get wild? Go to a group dance class with your friends instead.
27. Do a Cupcake Crawl
Bar crawling was so 24-year-old you. Now that you’re entering your fourth decade, the idea of knocking back six drinks in three hours just doesn’t have the same appeal. Trying different cupcakes, on the other hand, well, that sounds delightful. (Pro tip: Buddy up so that you can split a cupcake at each place.)
28. Have an Afternoon Tea Party
Want something a little more sophisticated than just cupcakes? How about tiny sandwiches, crumpets and tea? That’s way more civilized (and still delicious).
29. Go Ax Throwing
It sounds, well, kind of crazy, but it’s oddly therapeutic. It’s also insanely popular these days, which means you shouldn’t have any trouble finding an ax-throwing location near you.
30. Trivia Night
Round up your most competitive friends and head to a trivia night (lots of bars and restaurants have them). Go for a general knowledge game or tap into your niche and find an event where you can really shine (hello, Seinfeld-themed trivia).
Who’s going to have the best 30th birthday ever? Answer: You.