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26 Fun 18th Birthday Party Ideas

18th Birthday Party Ideas

Updated on: Feb 20, 2024

If you are looking for 18th birthday party ideas that your guests will never forget, then you're in the right place. We have 25 fun and memorable party ideas and themes that any 18-year-old is sure to love! This list is full of indoor and outdoor ideas and a variety of themes. Your 18-year-old birthday, or the one you are planning, is sure to be a blast if you incorporate the ideas and themes listed below! Make sure you have a checklist as well to ensure your party runs smoothly!

18th Birthday Party Ideas: Outdoors

1. Paintball

Paintball is a great way to have some well-meaning competition at the party. Find a local paintball field and schedule your party day. Break your guests into two teams; naming the teams is a great way to encourage competition. Check beforehand if the paintball facility allows food and drinks; if not, bring food and drinks for your guests. With this idea, an 18th birthday party is sure to be amazing!

2. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts aren't just for middle schoolers, you know. Scavenger hunts can be a test to see how knowledgeable guests are of the birthday girl or boy. Include facts about the birthday girl or boy as clues. These clues should lead to the prize of the event planner's choosing. Whether or not the guests work in pairs or individually depends on the number of guests invited.

3. Camping

If you want to plan a getaway trip for your friend's 18th birthday party, camping is a great option. It's affordable unless you choose to go "glamping" - glamorous camping! Make sure to bring the essentials like flashlights, water, and food; however, don't forget to bring fun board games to play with all your guests! If you're lost on what to play with your friends, we have an extensive list of fun, outdoor games you and your friends will love! If you and your guests are particularly sporty (or not), consider bringing a kayak if there is water nearby.

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4. Amusement Park

Amusement parks are fun at any age. If the guests are up for it, attend an all-day amusement park for the party. Make sure the guests are aware of the prices involved (tickets/souvenirs/food). If guests wish to not spend all day at an amusement park, then consider going to a water park at night instead. If the waterpark has a large TV screen, consider asking the employees to play a movie for you and your guests.

5. Bonfire

Who doesn't love roasting marshmallows? Buy a pack of marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, and skewers to achieve the perfect marshmallow combination. While you are able to make marshmallows at a bonfire, the essence of a bonfire is the connection of friends. Your guests should feel connected over the bonfire and have great discussions about life. Something about the fire really makes you think about life...

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6. Beach/Lake

There are so many potential activities to be done at a beach or lake. If you live near a beach, you and your guests could go surfing or sign up for a surfing class if the activity is like a foreign subject to you and your friends. If you live near a lake or river, consider going tubing or water skiing. Tubing and water skiing involve being attached to a boat, so even if you are not talented at these activities, you can still hang out and listen to music on the boat.

18th Birthday Party Ideas: Indoors

7. Game Night

If you are throwing a party for a small group of friends who love board games, consider using their love of games to your advantage. Because there are so many games - board games, card games, etc. - this game night can turn into a competition. The competition can be individual or teams, depending on how much the guests feel as though they can rely on the others. If you choose to make the game night a competition, prepare a prize for the winner.

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8. Self Care

Being an 18-year-old is stressful. Plan a relaxing day with friends for your party. Book a massage, get your nails done, go shopping, get brunch at your favorite restaurant. To be COVID-19 friendly, order your food to go and eat it at a local park socially distanced. Also, instead of booking a massage at a spa, give massages to each other! This can be a fun and creative way to get your guests laughing!

9. Photo Booth

Set up a photo booth at your party for extra fun! You may decide to use an actual camera, but consider using a polaroid camera. A polaroid camera instantly prints the pictures so that guests immediately receive the picture just taken. Set up a decorative background for pictures, and you're ready for a memorable party with friends!

10. Concert

If you and your friends are music junkies, going to a concert is a great 18th birthday party idea. Search who is coming to your area soon, and decide with your friends who you want to see in concert. Make sure that your guests know they are responsible for their own ticket, as concert fees can be expensive.

11. Escape Room

Escape rooms are great for smaller groups of people. They make for incredibly memorable nights with some of your closest friends. Look up local escape rooms and figure out if an appointment is necessary, or if you and your guests are able to simply walk in.

18th Birthday Party Ideas: Act Like An Adult

12. Mocktails

You turned 18, which is a huge milestone year. However, 18-year-olds can't drink alcohol in the United States. So, to act like an adult at your party, make mocktails for you and your guests. Turn any actual cocktail into a mocktail by eliminating the alcohol from the recipe. For an even better time, tell your guests that the mocktails are actual cocktails, and see how they react!

13. Do “Adult Things”

Being 17 and younger has a lot of limitations. 18th birthday party ideas can still have limitations in terms of "adult things; however, when you turn 18, you're given some freedom to do more "adult things," such as buying lottery tickets, getting a tattoo, going clubbing, and more. Consider taking part in one or all of these "adult things" for your party. Show your guests you know how to have a good time!

14. Rent a Limo

Act like a celebrity for the night, and rent a limo for a few hours. Have a red carpet set up at your final destination so that you and your guests are sure to feel like celebrities walking out of a limo. For the full effect, ask your guests' parents to take pictures with a flash of you and your guests; although parents acting like paparazzi may not fully give off the same vibe as a red carpet, it'll work.

15. Get a Tattoo

When you turn 18, you are finally able to get a tattoo without your parent’s permission. A tattoo is a perfect gift for a birthday girl or boy. Consider gifting the birthday girl or boy money so that he or she can get the tattoo, and at the party, take a trip to the parlor for the moral support of your friend getting his or her first tattoo!

18th Birthday Party Themes

16. Surprise Party

Who doesn’t love surprises? Get all your friends together, and throw your friend a surprise party for his or her 18th birthday! Get some balloons and confetti for the celebrant to be welcomed right when they enter the door! The easiest way to ensure your friend does not find out about the party would be via word of mouth, as a group message may be hard to conceal if you are around your friend often. However, if you are willing to risk it, create a group message with the guests. You should include the location, time of arrival, and if they should bring any food or drinks to the party. Make sure you don’t spoil the surprise!

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17. ‘90s Party

You can do so many things with a ‘90s party from the fashion, the music, the food, and so much more. Ask your guests to wear the brightest clothes they own! For the food, buy classic ‘90s staples, such as bagel bites, fruit roll-ups, and Rice Krispies. The music at your party is arguably the most important part. Make sure you make the most ‘90s playlist possible that is filled with Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, anyone you can think of! In need of a good set of games for your party? Check out our indoor and outdoor activities that are sure to be a blast!

18. Casino Party

Pretend you and your friends are 21, and make your own at-home casino! Bring the casino to your living room where the risk is not as high as it would be in a real casino. Set up some casino games like roulette, blackjack, or poker, and get started on your casino night! Urge your guests to dress in formal dress wear to make the environment more casino-like!

19. Thrift Shop Party

Thrift shopping is not only an incredibly sustainable way to shop, but it’s also turned into a trendy form of shopping for teenagers. Consider throwing a party where your guests come in their best-thrifted outfit, and whichever guest has the best outfit wins! The judge should not be involved in the contest so that the contest is fair to all contestants. It is up to the judge as to how he or she judges, but there should be some sort of point system to the judging process: points for creativity, points for money spent, points for fashionability, etc.

20. Movie Night Party

If the birthday girl or boy is a movie fanatic, consider throwing him or a movie night party. Even if he or she is not movie-crazed, movie nights are always a great option for a laid-back party atmosphere. While it can be hard to please everyone, be sure to pick a movie that most guests will enjoy - sitting through an hour and a half or longer of guests complaining about a movie choice is not fun! Gather all your guests around the TV, pop some popcorn, get all the blankets available, and enjoy your movie!

21. Costume Party

There is no limit to creativity if you decide to have a costume party. You could either have a themed costume party based around the birthday girl or boy’s interests or simply tell your guests to come in their best costumes. Either way, make a competition out of it! Whichever guest arrives in the best costume of the birthday girl or boy’s choosing receives a prize!

22. Harry Potter Party

I think almost all teenagers have thought about applying to Hogwarts at least once after watching the Harry Potter movies (or is that just me?). Having a Harry Potter-themed party is the perfect time to live out your fantasy of going to Hogwarts and casting spells on your enemies! Have fun with the decorations and invitations. Set up a Hogwarts backdrop so that your guests can take fun pictures and send out Hogwarts acceptance letters as invitations.

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23. Foam Party

You saw that right! Foam party! Remember when you were a kid, and you would play with the bubbles in the bathtub, and your mom would yell at you for getting bubbles all over the place? Well, not this time! Foam parties are a great and unique way to celebrate your 18th birthday party. Because it is so messy, it may be hard to book a venue that will allow foam, so it may be easier to rent or purchase a foam cannon. Imagine how fun it will be to roll around and dance in all the foam. You will be living out your childhood dreams!

24. Toga Party

Toga parties are one surefire way of making white sheets turn into a chic outfit. Turn your event into ancient Greece with the tables set up with grapes, sparkling apple juice, and various hors d’oeuvres. Purchase some white sheets at your local thrift store to have at the party for anyone who does not come dressed in a toga - there’s no getting out of it! For the girls, getting a belt for the toga is a great way to dress things up a bit. You can simply use a rope as a belt or go the more fashion-forward route and purchase a gold chain belt. Either way, you’re sure to turn white sheets into a chic outfit at your fun toga party

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25. Tik Tok Party

What teenager isn’t on Tik Tok these days? Theme your party around the app in any way you can think of. Consider asking your guests to dress up like the people in their favorite Tik Tok and rank the outfits from best to worst. Whichever guest has the worst outfit must be the birthday girl or boy’s “butler” for the rest of the party.

26. Fancy Dinner Party

Do you love dressing up and going out or do you love dressing up and having a fancy dinner? You can do either one! Get all fancy with your fancy and pick an amazing dinner spot. You can also have a fabulous dinner in the comfort of your home - make sure to tell everyone to get dressed up!


Planning your 18th birthday party is sure to be a breeze with this list of party ideas and themes. Whether you’re a fan of going clubbing on your birthday or treating yourself to some self-care, we hope you complete all your desires on your 18th birthday. We truly hope you enjoyed this list we provided of 18th birthday party ideas! Don’t forget to stay safe in these unprecedented times for all party ideas and themes listed above! If you enjoyed this blog, check out our others at!

Written by Sydney Pattison

Sydney Pattison

Louisiana State University

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