Parties & Entertaining

21st Birthday party ideas

By Mark Winter
Info Guru,

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Celebrate your 21st birthday with a party you'll never forget
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Here are great 21st birthday party ideas to throw a memorable celebration

Turning 21 is definitely a milestone in the United States, perhaps the biggest milestone because now you can do everything an adult can. At 16, you can break that vehicular tie to your parents and venture out on your own (in Dad's car). At 18, you are legally considered an adult and gain a bunch of new rights (still not as exciting as that first ride in Dad's car). At 19, you can smoke, but unless you're addicted to tobacco, it doesn't matter. I suppose the same could be said for turning 21—unless you drink, who cares?—but for many it represents the last hurdle.

So regardless of whether you plan to drink or not, your twenty first birthday is an important day. That said, many of my recommendations do involve alcohol because drinking is the main milestone in turning twenty one. I'm not endorsing heavy drinking, but many celebrations do include alcohol. Some would like to use the new privilege they obtained by virtue of becoming legal. No matter what, stay safe and be smart: If you drink alcohol, hire a limo or a taxi or bring along a nondrinking designated driver. So without further ado, here are some 21st celebration ideas that should be quite fun.

  • Bars/clubs The first most obvious thing to do on your coming of age birthday is to go out to a bar or club with your friends and exercise that new ID. Be sure to pick a nice club or bar. Oftentimes if you aren't sure where to go, you can accidentally pick a dive bar or a club that just doesn't fit your social scene. Do your research and talk to people who have been to the bar or club you're considering before going out. Many bars and clubs offer nice packages for drinks and food so be sure to ask for any deals you might have coming to you. The downside is that if you have friends who are under 21 they cannot attend. Weigh the importance of that, and make your choice.

  • Barbecue. I'm sure you're all a little worried now about how to have a safe and a fun time, but hear me out. Throw a barbecue with all your friends or family, but make sure you're the one to go to the store to get all the alcohol you'll need for the party. You'll have fun exercising your new right, and that first alcohol purchase is a rite of passage.

    Keep in inexpensive and simple with burgers and hotdogs on the grill, go heakthy with marinated grilled vegies and fish or vegie burgers, or go all out with thick juicy steaks.

  • Low-key dinner. Why make a big deal of your 21st? This option would be good if you are not into the party scene. Gather your friends and family, and go to a nice restaurant. Spend the night with some good food, and again, you can order that first glass of wine.

  • Wine tasting. If you live in wine country, many of the local wineries offer tours that allow you to taste as much wine as you'd like (proceed at your own risk) and have on-site restaurants that serve gourmet food, and of course, wine. If it didn't sound like much fun before you were 21, now it may be a great option to consider.

    If you're not near a vineyard, you could order a selection of wines and host your own tasting party at home. Learn a bit about the different types of wines before you shop. and you'll impress your friends with your new-found knowledge. Be sure to serve plenty of snacks with the wine...fine cheese (not the kind in the can or tube!, breads, fruit and desserts are grat choices for a buffet with the wine.

  • Brewery. Going to a brewery is similar to going to a winery, but with beer instead, which could be a better choice if the selection of wine intimidates you.

  • Concert. Few things go as well together as a good band and a brew so head to a local or national show. Sample the beers that many concerts have available.

    So there you have it. That is my list for some potentially awesome 21st birthday party ideas. Again, stay safe. You want to make it to 22 so you can remember how great it was to turn twenty one. If you hear the "let's see how fast you can drink these" comment from your buddy, always let cooler heads prevail.

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