18th Birthday Ideas
Are you turning 18 soon and in desperate need of some fun 18th birthday ideas inspiration?!
If so, you’ve come to the right post!!
After searching the web for hours and reminiscing about all the experiences and fun I had celebrating my 18th birthday, I have compiled the best-of-the-best 18th birthday ideas that will make your day the best day ever!
Below, you’ll get:
- A LAUNDRY LIST of insanely fun things you can do on your 18th birthday,
- Tons of cool 18th birthday decoration ideas for an inside or outside party
- Fun 18th birthday-inspired games for you and your friends to get in on, and
- Some cute and fun 18th birthday costumes and accessories to wear on your special day!
Let’s jump in!
Disclosure: *This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small commission at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.
Things To do On Your 18th Birthday
1) Shopping & Dinner
If you love shopping and eating, then this is an excellent way to celebrate your 18th birthday.
Just grab some of your girls, find a mega mall with a huge array of fun shops and an outstanding food court, and enjoy the day!
2) Amusement Park
Are you interested in a day out of never-ending fun with thrill and adventure, then consider going to an amusement park for your 18th birthday!
At amusement parks, you won’t have to worry if your guy friends or girlfriends are having a good time as they’ll be plenty of fun rides and games to get in on.
Most importantly, the fair food won’t disappoint.
3) Pool Party
Want something more chill and laid back for your 18th birthday? Throwing a pool party is a great 18th birthday idea.
You and your girls can take selfies, eat barbeque, and play fun games in the pool.
It’s also a fun but cheap thing you can do for your 18th birthday if you’re rolling on a budget.
4) Dinner w/Friends At a Fine Dining or Upscale Restaurant
If you’re an extreme foodie like me, then another great thing to do for an 18th birthday is dinner with friends . . . fine dining or upscale style!
What makes fine dining/upscale restaurants so special is that the chef goes all out to make the food displayed on your plate and/or at the bar look insta-worthy.
The produce, meats, breads, and cheeses are super fresh, usually organic, and seasoned very intentionally to give your taste buds an experience you’ve never had.
The only “negative” thing about fine dining and upscale restaurants are that they can get pretty pricey.
As such, if you decide to go with friends and you’re paying for their dinners, make sure you only invite 1 or 2 people.
Nevertheless, the fine dining experience is SO worth it.
Even if you can only afford to go to a fine dining restaurant with your boyfriend, the experience is worth every penny.
Here are some great fining dining recommendations just in case you decide to go:
- Texas De Brazil (My personal favorite!)
- Yard House
- P.F. Changs
- Long Horn
You can find more of the best high end restaurant chains at this site here.
5) Escape Room
Another fun thing to do on your 18th birthday is visiting an escape room.
An escape room is a themed and locked room filled with mystery and puzzles you and your party have to solve in order to get free from the room.
And you’re on the clock! See how long it takes you and your friends to escape the room and see if you can break the room record!
6) Karaoke Party
This is something I’ve only learned a couple of years ago but if you love Karaoke, you can totally find and reserve your own private Karaoke Party Room.
Here is an example of one near me that I’ve enjoyed with friends: Volume Up Karaoke.
At Karaoke bars, you can choose from thousands of hit songs that you and your party can either sing along to or play in the background, decorate the room to fit whatever theme you want, and bring the food you want.
7) Day Trip to a Fun Destination
Has there been a place just hours away that you have been dying to visit?? Well, I think your 18th birthday is a pretty darn good reason to visit!
Don’t put it off one more year.
Commemorate your day but taking a day trip to the destination you’ve had your mind set on visiting for months or years.
Bring your friends or your family, take lots of pictures, and enjoy the local food! It’ll be a new and exciting adventure.
Have you ever been on a vacation cruise before? If not, this is another genius 18th birthday idea you should highly consider!
Going on a weekend cruise or a week-long cruise will make your birthday last longer as you spend it with family/friends eating food, dancing, playing games, and visiting hot spots.
9) Spa Day
Another fun thing to do on your 18th birthday is a spa day. Invite a couple of your girlfriends and enjoy the day in white robes getting massages, facials, skin treatments, and jacuzzi time all while enjoying mocktails and appetizers.
My cousin did this for her 18th birthday with her sister and best friend and had the best day ever.
She felt like a total queen!
10) Rent a Hotel With Friends – Staycation
Want to go on vacation for your 18th birthday but I don’t have the money to go too far away??
Do a staycation by booking a room at a really nice hotel in your neighborhood for a night or two and invite your girlfriends over.
No parents or older allowed!
Just make your mom or dad buy the drinks, the food, the cake, and enjoy a late night of fun with your friends on the town or in your hotel room watching classics, playing games, and/or doing each other’s nails.
11) Disney Trip
If you’re obsessed with Disney and going to Disney will make your WHOLE DAY by going again, then this 18th birthday idea will be a no-brainer! Go!
At Disney, there are tons of rides to try, tons of great entertainment, and the food is always super delicious.
One place I definitely recommend that you visit while your there is Disney Springs, Florida.
At night, Disney Springs (previously named Downtown Disney) comes to life as musicians and DJs come out to play really fun music that you can dance to all night long.
12) 18th Birthday “Survivor” Themed Beach Party
Another cool thing to do for your 18th birthday is throw a themed birthday beach party with friends and family.
You can have a barbeque, play volleyball, frisbee, or flag football on the beach, or turn the beach field into competitive water and land course out of the show Survivor with bragging rights being the ultimate reward.
Or you can choose do a Hawaiian themed beach party and serve delicious Hawaiian food on the Beach. It’s totally up to you.
13) Top Golf
Whether you’re great at golf or suck at golf, Top Golf is hands down one of the best 18th birthday ideas ever.
With a group of your family and friends, have fun seeing who can hit the ball out the farthest as you hit the ball out in an open field to collect points.
Then enjoy gourmet burgers, tacos, and other appetizers to please the foodie inside of you.
14) Glam Day
If you’d rather do something more low-key and don’t care for company, then another genius thing you can do for your 18th birthday is have a glam day.
A day where you get your hair done, your nails done, your eyebrows done, and go shopping! You can do this by yourself or with friends
15) Day Cruise Dance Party
Want to have a dance party but without the responsibility of cleaning everything up when you’re done?
Then consider renting a day cruise and having your dance party on there.
Your friends will be totally impressed that you thought of this genius idea since not many people will think to reserve a boat!!!
You can tell your friends to come in all-white or come dressed in 90s gear and have tons of fun dancing/singing the night away to your favorite songs on the water.
16) Visit a Caribbean Island or a Country You’ve Never Been
Anxious to travel after being cooped up all school year in your room on the computer??
Well then, consider visiting a Caribbean island or a country you’ve never been to for your 18th birthday.
You can relax on the beach, enjoy exotic foods, and get lost exploring the country.
17) Host a Boho Inspired 18th Birthday Party on Your Outdoor Lawn or Park
Another great 18th birthday idea is to host a boho-inspired 18th birthday party on your in your backyard or park.
Boho parties are becoming extremely trendy.
So much so that this trend has birthed event planning businesses that specialize in setting up boho parties.
If you’re a total foodie and love a day of eating and chilling with friends, then I highly recommend this idea as boho parties center around tables dressed with good food and company.
18) Photo Booth Party
The next insanely good 18th birthday idea is to have a Photo Booth Party. Just pick the theme that you want (i.e. an emoticon photo booth, disney inspired photo booth, or “adulting” photo book), book or assign someone to be the photographer, and invite your friends over for a day of fun taking selfies.
19) Skating Party
Another great 18th birthday idea is to rent out a skating rink and host your 18th birthday party there. You may not know this, but most skating rinks are pretty dead and empty during the week so they love when someone books out the rink to keep the lights on and will usually offer the rink at an affordable rate.
Typically, a birthday skate rental package includes the DJ, pizza, and drinks so you get a lot out of value for your money when you rent out a skating rink.
Another super cool thing about renting out whole the rink is that you can typically have more control over what songs the DJ plays. So check with your local skating rink. If it’s a yes, take full advantage. If you need help coming up with a list of cool songs, you can ask your friends to send you a list of songs and go from there.
20) Bowling Party
Like bowling better than skating? Rent out a few lanes and have 18th birthday bowling party. You and your friends will definitely have a great time.
21) Chicken & Waffles Party
So this one is making me really hungry but…Another really good 18th birthday idea is to host a Chicken & Waffles Party. You can rent out or buy the waffle makers and then order or make fried chicken yourself and have a fun lunch/dinner with friends eating chicken and waffles.
You can make your C&W party even more fun by having a who can make the best looking waffle. Just provide a bunch of tasty toppings (ie. chocolate, caramel, whip cream, ice cream, sprinkles) and let your friends come up with something creative. Then you can choose the winning waffle.
After you’re all done eating, you can play some games, take photos, and/or watch your favorite movie. I wrote a WHOLE section on fun games to play below.
22) Go to a Concert with Friends
Are you and your friends obsessed with a particular artist and would love to see him or her in concert?Turn it into a fun birthday outing with you and your closest friends and sing the night away with your favorite artist.
23) Visit an Indoor or outdoor Water Park
If you enjoy swimming and going down steep slides, another fun 18th birthday idea is to visit an outdoor (if its summer) or an indoor (if its winter) Water Park.
24) Go to Dave & Busters (or another Fun Arcade Place)
If you’re worried about your friends having fun, then an 18th birthday idea that is guaranteed to give your friends a GREAT time is Dave & Busters. Dave & Busters is an adult arcade place with hundreds of fun games you and your party can play.
Then at half time, you can stop and enjoy a selection of amazing food from their gourmet menu, which never disappoints.
25) Have a Dance Party
Another insanely fun 18th birthday idea is to host a dance party. I did this for my 18th birthday and boy was it a ton of fun!!! One of my guy friends was the DJ and all of us danced in my living room way into the night.
We also ordered lots of pizza and chinese food. It was definitely a hit and everybody had SO much fun!
So I highly recommend it. You can either host your own dancy party in your living room, in your backyard, or rent a hall.
26) Have a BonFire
If it’s not too cold and not too hot, then another genius 18th birthday idea is to have a bon fire with your friends. You can supply food everyone needs to make smore’s and you can tell your friends to bring a tasty dish to share with everyone, that way there is plenty of really good food to go around. Great bonfire food can include:
- chips & dip
- roasted corn
- fried chicken
- lasagna or baked macaroni, &
- candied yams
If you choose to have a bonfire, just remember to start the party early enough to take pictures together before the sun goes down.
27) PJ Slumber Party
The next great 18th Birthday Idea is to host a PJ slumber party. Invite your best girlfriends over, have some good food, some fun glow up activities, take some fun pictures in your PJs together, and then watch your favorite chic flick until you all fall asleep.
Crazy Things To Do On Your 18th Birthday
28) Skyzone or SkyDive
Want to do something epic and crazy for your 18th birthday??
Go to Skyzone or go skydiving for your 18th birthday.
It will be an unforgettable experience that will go down in the history of your life as being one of the most fun things you’ve ever done!
29) Extreme Water Sports
If you love the water and are looking for something new or adventurous to do, then consider trying out one of these extreme water sports for your 18th birthday:
- jet skiing
- Scuba Diving
- Whitewater Kayaking
- Whitewater Rafting
30) Visit and Climb an Active Volcano
Other crazy things you can do on your 18th birthday is visit and climb an active volcano.
Visiting an active volcano is not like visiting the Niagara Falls where you just look at it, admire it, and take pictures from a safe distance afar.
Nope. With a tour guide, you’ll get to spend 3-6 hours climbing the active volcano and take pictures of the bellowing smoke, ashes, and fire coming out from the top. Talk about insta-picture worthy!
And if there is a spa on site, like at the Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa in Costa Rica, you’ll get to swim or soak in the earth’s natural and hot bubbly jacuzzi.
If you’re interested in learning more about visiting and climbing an active volcano, The Guardian has compiled a great list of the Top 10 Active Volcanoes To See Up Close.
31) Do Some Fun Mountain Sports
Another crazy 18th birthday idea is to do some mountain sports. Here are some fun mountain sports that come to mind:
- Rent out a cabin and go hiking
- Mountain Biking
No matter what you do, it will be a fun unforgettable experience that you can check off your life bucket list of epic activities.
32) Go to Vegas
You could also do something as epic as going to Vegas!!! No you won’t get to gamble or drink but there is still a ton of things you can do. You can:
- visit fine dining restaurant’s like Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen,
- get on the High Roller (Ferris Wheel) and see all of Vegas
- ride the thriller rides like Insanity, where a massive mechanical arm dangles you from the side of a building at more than 900 feet high,
- and shop till you drop at the finest shops like Caesar’s Palace
Fun 18th Birthday Ideas During Covid
It sucks that in 2022, covid is still around. Nevertheless, the fun doesn’t have to stop, especially for your 18th birthday. You deserve to still have the best day ever so here are few amazing 18th birthday ideas you can totally do during covid.
33) Drive-In Movie Party
If you want to play it super super safe, you could have a drive-in movie party. If you have the space to do it at home, great! You can have it in your backyard. But if you don’t have the space, don’t worry. You still have options. You can go to your local drive-in movie theatre, have your own private drive-in movie party at the park, or outside a church’s parking lot.
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
34) Photo Shoot
Another epic 18th birthday idea is to have a professional photo shoot. You’re an adult now!! Capture this major milestone by getting glammed up with a new hairdo and clothes and hire the best professional photographer to take some stunning shots of yourself.
When you’re done, you can post it to facebook or to Instagram to share with all your friends. More importantly, it’ll be pics you’ll be able to keep with you for a lifetime.
35) Drive-by Photo Booth Party
The next insanely fun 18th birthday idea is to have a Drive-By photo booth party. Send out your invites to your friends and relatives with at least two weeks notice so they can prepare to ready and available to drive by. When your day comes, they can drop off their gifts for you and you can take a picture with them with some of cool props. You can also share some of your cake with them.
What Can Do For A Cheap 18th Birthday
If you don’t have to any money to do anything big or extravagant for your 18th birthday, that’s okay.
There are plenty of things you can do for a cheap 18th birthday that’s just as fun, including:
- Beach Day
- Dinner with close friends or family at a restaurant or at home
- House party/potluck (Have a house party at your house and tell your friends to bring a dish)
- Barbecue at the park
- Pool/Pizza Party
- 18th Birthday Brunch or Happy Hour (Food at restaurants is usually cheaper for lunch or 1/2 during happy hour)
- Day trip to the zoo or museum (check to see if you’re local library gives out free passes to your local zoo)
- Go sightseeing in a nearby town you’ve always wanted to visit and have lunch/dinner there
18th Birthday Decorations For Inside/Outside House Parties You Need To See
1) Party Welcome Sign
First, you need a make a statement with your welcome “party is this way” sign to let people know that they’re turning up to a cool 18th birthday party. You will do so with these impressive, eye-catching welcome signs:
This cute polaroid sign…. (yes, you can change it to say your birthday)
Or this gorgeous acrylic custom welcome sign…
Or this Photo Welcome Sign Poster…
Or this Juliette Birthday Party Welcome Sign…
2) 18th Birthday Photo BackDrop & Props
A party is NOT a party without a backdrop and props to take a bunch of fun pictures so I’m sharing the top photo decor accessories I found online to make your party a hit.
See this 18th Birthday Party Backdrop here…
3) 18th Birthday Party Balloons
A party ain’t a party with balloons! But you’re 18 now, so let’s make sure your balloons look cool and sophisticated (not circus-like unless that’s your theme) for the day. Here are some cool balloon decor ideas that will take your 18th birthday party to the next level:
4) 18th Birthday Party Food Labels
As you know, food is a must for a good party. But having super inviting food labels is the way you take your “good” party to a “great” party. Don’t skimp out on this. Print these labels at home and add them to your table for a complete party look.
5) Fairy String Lights
Do you anticipate your 18th Birthday lasting into the night? Then light up your party with some magical fairy string lights.
6) Customizable 18th birthday Cake Topper Idea
You’re 18 now so it’s time to ditch the circus-painted kiddie candles for something more elegant and sophisticated.
7) 18th Birthday Party Straws
Up the party look even more by getting these straws. Choose from over 30 beautiful colors to match your parties theme:
8) Party Favors
Make sure your friends leaves the party with something sweet with this perfect party favor:
9) Milestone Posters
Becoming 18 is a huge milestone so make sure you have these posters at your party so you and your guest can enjoy the highlights of your birth year:
10) Boho Party Decor
Love the boho idea and want to have a boho-inspired brunch or dinner party for your 18th birthday? Well, Etsy has a ton of gorgeous boho decor items you can get to pull off this look!! Here are the basic decor items you absolutely need to pull this look off:
You’ll need a Foldable picnic table:
Area rugs like this one:
More 18th Birthday Party Ideas:
Fun Games and Activities To Play
Looking for some fun games and activities you can play at your 18th birthday party? Well, look no further. These games will keep your party super engaged.
Other Things To Do on Your 18th Birthday
What to Wear to Your 18th Birthday Party – The Best Birthday Attire Ideas
Finally, you mustn’t forget to wear 18th birthday party gear to let the whole world know you’re officially an adult!!! Check out these must-see party clothes and accessories:
2) 18th Birthday T-Shirts
18th Birthday Gift Ideas
Here are all the best 18th birthday ideas for 2022:
3) Chanel No. 5
Why 18 is an important birthday
Turning 18 is an important birthday because turning 18 means you are legally an adult. Becoming an adult grants you certain privileges and responsibilities including:
- Voting rights
- Serve in the Military
- Work full-time
- Own and rent an apartment/house
- Buy a lottery ticket
- Open a bank account by yourself
- Purchase a car on your own
- Buy Alcohol & Drink (in most non-US countries, must be 21 in the US)
- No curfews (with some parents lol)
- No driving curfews
- Get a driver’s license
- Do “hazardous” jobs or work with “hazardous” tools (context: I worked at a store and couldn’t use a box cutter until I turned 18 lol)
For more information examples on why 18 is an important birthday, see this amazing (super interesting) video: