Last year you woke up, went to work, took a yoga class and drank half a bottle of wine without letting anyone (besides your mom) in on a secret: It’s your birthday. This year, sorry (not sorry), you’re celebrating. And no, it does not have to be the obligatory “I’m hanging at this bar all night, come meet me” type of event you strategically try to avoid. Instead, try one of these creative ideas.

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birthday dinner
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Throw an All-Hands-on-Deck Dinner Party

Invite your dear friends over to help you prepare a feast. They can bring a favorite recipe or help you with yours (an Ina Garten one, of course). And don’t worry: Your friend who can’t even make ice can help set the table. While it’s a lot of work, sitting down for your birthday meal will feel extra special knowing who helped make it (and yeah, who set the table).

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birthday fancydinner
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…Or Outsource a Dinner at a Private Dining Room

You decided you are not doing any dishes on your birthday. We feel you. Instead, see if your favorite restaurants around town have private rooms you can reserve. Kick back in an intimate, swanky setting that’s yours for the evening—and you don’t have to touch one dirty plate.

birthday skydive

Do Something You’ve Always Been Too Scared to Do

…With your best friends, of course. Whether that’s trying out an open mic, skydiving or tasting pâté, there’s no better time to step outside your comfort zone. And since you’ll have all your favorite people there to support you, you’ll feel ready to dive right in. 

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birthday knit

Learn Something You’ve Always Wanted to Learn

Maybe you’ve always wanted to knit. Or maybe you’ve secretly hidden your affinity for belly dancing. Or pole dancing. (Hey, we all have our thing.) When it’s your birthday, you can make all your friends learn that new thing with you. And we guarantee you’re not the only person who wanted to strip knit.

birthday Camping
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Go Camping

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta get outta Dodge. And great news, there are probably plenty of spots you can head around where you live. Rent some tents and hit the road. Just make sure to bring s’mores (that’s the whole point, after all).

birthday trampoline
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Indulge the Kid In You

Who said laser tag was just for 12-year-olds? (Well, sure, a lot of people.) But hey, your competitive friends will love it—have you seen them in Soul Cycle? Or maybe you organize a trampoline-jumping night with a side of dodgeball. Or give everyone a bunch of coins and go wild in the arcade. You’ll be surprised how fun it feels to act like a kid again.

birthday book

Host a One-Night-Only Book Club

Let’s face it—you and your crew have an unspoken agreement. Book club = wine club. Well, you actually read 100 Years of Solitude and you really want to talk about it, dammit. Hey, it’s your party and you can force all of your friends to actually read if you want to.

birthday spa

Pamper Yourself

Pick a spa, any spa. Now invite a few friends and soak it all in. Get a mask, a massage and a mani/pedi in your favorite color. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, beautified and ready to take on another year. 

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