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20th Birthday Ideas: 50+ Ideas For Memorable Parties

What should you do to celebrate your 20th birthday? If you want a truly memorable party, check out these 50+ ideas to inspire you.

Whether you are celebrating your special day with a best friend, family member, or a whole room full of people, the best way to make sure everyone has a great time on your big day is to plan ahead.

From themed parties to outdoor adventures, there’s something on this list for everyone. So start planning your party, designing birthday invitation, and get ready to celebrate in style!

Photo by Matthew Ball

25 20th Birthday Party Themes

Here are 25 20th birthday party themes to get inspire you to think out of the box for your 20th birthday party!

Host a Dinner Party

Make it a formal dinner with different courses. Or opt for something more casual like a potluck or backyard BBQ.

Movie Night

Pick out your favorite movie and set up an outdoor theater in the backyard or inside your house to watch it together.

An inflatable movie screen would be a fantastic addition to your outdoor parties. These airblown inflatable movie screens are designed for outdoor use and can easily transform your backyard into a captivating cinema experience. With their portability and quick setup, they offer convenience for hosting movie nights under the stars.

Have your guests pick from your favorite movies or watching something new!

Murder Mystery Party

Create your own murder mystery game or purchase a kit. Then invite your friends to come in costume and solve the mystery!

You could also always go to an escape room.

80s Night

Bring back the 80s with a themed party. Play classic arcade games and dress up like characters from your favorite 80s movies.

Chili Cook Off

Invite your friends to bring over their best chili recipes. Then have everyone vote for their favorite and crown the winner!

Photo by No Revisions

Game Night

Bring out all of your favorite board games, card games, and party games for a night of fun. Make it a competition if you’re feeling competitive!

Breakfast for Dinner

Invite your friends over for a breakfast-for-dinner themed party. Make classic breakfast dishes like pancakes, french toast, and omelets.

Sports Night

Pick out your favorite sport to watch together with all of your friends. Serve up snacks and drinks to make it an event.

Glow Party

Set up a blacklight-lit area and get ready to dance the night away. Serve up glow in the dark themed snacks like Jell-O shots!

Casino Night

Set up your own casino with different tables for poker, roulette, and more. Give away prizes for those who win big.

20s, 50s, or 70s

Throwing a themed party for your 20th birthday is a great way to celebrate in style! Get inspired by the past and shine the spotlight on the 1920s, 1950s, or 1970s.

Transport yourself back to an era full of nostalgia and color. Invite friends and family over dressed to impress in the glamorous outfits of their chosen era.

Have dance battles with classic tunes playing in the background while sipping delicious drinks! With a themed party such as this, you can count on it being a night that no one will ever forget.

50s Sock Hop

Bring back the days of drive-in movies and classic rock ‘n’ roll with a 1950s sock hop. Transform your backyard or living room into a scene straight out of Grease complete with jukebox, malt shop decorations, poodle skirts and leather jackets! Serve up some delicious diner-style snacks and drinks to complete the look.

For entertainment, invite friends and family to join in on a dance-off. Make sure you’re wearing your best rockabilly ensemble for this one!

Hollywood Red Carpet Glamour

If you want a truly glamorous 20th birthday celebration, why not throw a Hollywood Red Carpet Glamour party? Choose a stunning venue, decorate it in classic movie star style and invite guests to show up dressed to impress.

Be sure to hire a photographer for the night and give each guest their own red carpet moment as they enter the room! Serve plenty of delicious drinks and snacks so your guests can feel like they’re really living it up at the Oscars.

Get ready to dance the night away in glamorous style!

Cocktail Party

If you’re looking for a sophisticated yet fun way to celebrate your 20th birthday, then why not throw a cocktail party? Invite all of your favorite people over and have them dress up in their finest attire.

Mix up some classic cocktails – like a Moscow Mule or an Old Fashioned – to serve as drinks. Decorate the venue to fit your chosen theme and have plenty of delicious snacks and appetizers ready for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re worried about hosting an outdoor party, especially in the winter months, considering offering guests access self heating jackets that are both comfortable and lightweight from “Wear Graphene”, but most importantly, they are warm!

Put on some smooth jazz music, dim the lights and get ready to party in true 20s style!

Karaoke Party

Nothing says fun like a karaoke party! Set up a karaoke machine, choose some classic songs and get ready to sing your hearts out.

For added fun, make it a competition. Award prizes for the best performances and be sure to give everyone a trophy for being brave enough to take on the mic! And don’t forget plenty of snacks and drinks to keep everyone going.

Your 20th birthday celebration is sure to be a hit with this one!

Pool Party

What better way to celebrate your 20th birthday than with a pool party? Invite all of your friends and family over for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks ready, as well as some comfy seating for when people want a break from the pool.

And don’t forget to play some great music to get everyone in the party mood. Your 20th birthday is sure to be one to remember with this classic pool party!

You can even add some outdoor games like cornhole or horseshoes to the mix if you’re feeling adventurous. Have snacks and drinks ready for the winners! And for extra excitement, why not add in a casino night with games of poker, roulette, and more. Give away prizes for those who win big!

Roaring 20s Speakeasy

Did you know that 2020 marks a full century since the era of prohibition? Celebrate this momentous anniversary by taking your 20th birthday back in time to the Roaring 20s.

Set up a speakeasy in your own home and invite guests to come dressed in their best 1920s-style clothing. For added fun, you can even make up secret passwords for entry into your party! Serve up classic Prohibition-era drinks like gin and tonics and martinis to really complete the look.

Put on some classic jazz music and prepare for a night of flapper dresses, bootlegging and illicit fun!

Masquerade Ball

For something truly unique, why not host a masquerade ball to celebrate turning 20? Invite your guests over dressed in their best costumes (or masks!) and provide masks and materials they can use to make their own.  Imagine your friends arriving at the venue wearing stunning ballgowns like these!

When everyone arrives, have a masquerade parade with prizes for the best costumes! Enjoy delicious finger foods and drinks while you mingle and dance the night away. With a masquerade ball, you’re sure to have an unforgettable 20th birthday party.

Havana Nights

Party like you’re in Cuba with a Havana nights-themed 20th birthday celebration. Decorate your venue in vibrant colors, hang up Cuban flags and play some traditional Latin music.

Serve up delicious rum-based cocktails such as mojitos or daiquiris and prepare to celebrate in style! For added fun, set up a cigar bar or dancing area. With this theme, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable night!

Sports Bar

If you’re a sports fan, why not make your 20th birthday all about cheering on your favorite team? Create a sports bar atmosphere in your home with decorations in the team colors and a giant screen to watch the game.

Make sure to serve up plenty of snacks, beer and other drinks that are perfect for a sports-viewing party. Get your friends together in their best team colors and get ready to root for your team! It’s sure to be an exciting night full of friendly competition.

Hiking Trip

For the more outdoorsy among us, why not celebrate turning 20 with a fun hiking trip? Gather your friends and family for an exciting day in nature. Pack plenty of snacks and water to fuel your journey, and make sure everyone is dressed appropriately for the terrain.

When you reach the top of your chosen mountain or trail, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature and reflect on the past 20 years. This is sure to be an unforgettable experience that you’ll cherish for years to come!

Road Trip

If you love to travel, why not embark on a road trip for your 20th birthday? Get your closest friends and family together and pick a destination that’s within driving distance.

Enjoy the scenery as you make your way there and be sure to take plenty of pictures along the way! Take turns picking out songs for the playlist and make sure to crack open some snacks and drinks for the ride. This is sure to be an adventure you’ll never forget!

Restaurant Party

If you’d rather keep things more low-key, why not take your 20th birthday celebration to a restaurant? Invite your closest friends and family over for a meal at your favorite spot.

Make sure to order plenty of appetizers, drinks and desserts so everyone can have the full experience. When the bill comes around, don’t be shy – it’s your 20th birthday after all!

Dessert Party

For a more laid-back celebration, why not host a dessert party for your 20th birthday? Get some of your favorite desserts like cake and cupcakes, along with ice cream and other sweet treats.

Light some candles and create an intimate atmosphere for you and your friends to enjoy the evening. When everyone’s had enough, make sure to have some coffee or tea on hand to finish off the night.

Pajama Party/Sleepover

If you’d rather stay in, why not throw a pajama party/sleepover for your 20th birthday? Invite your friends over dressed in their coziest PJs and get ready to have some fun.

Put on an at-home movie marathon, do some craft projects or just relax with some conversation. Don’t forget to have breakfast prepared before everyone leaves in the morning – it’s sure to be a night you won’t soon forget!

These are just a few of the many fun and creative 20th birthday party themes you can choose from.

No matter what kind of theme you decide to go with, make sure it’s something that reflects your personality and interests so you can have an unforgettable celebration!

Good luck planning your bash and happy birthday!

26 20th Birthday Party Ideas To Celebrate In Style

Now that we’ve discussed some themes, let’s get into what to do at your birthday party! Here are 25 more ideas to inspire you to add some flair to your party planning.

Rent a photo booth for fun and silly pictures with friends

Celebrating a 20th birthday is always an event to, so why not make it even more special with a unique way to capture memories?

Renting a photo booth is the perfect way to do just that – create fun and silly pictures with all of your closest friends!

You can choose from hundreds of props and backdrops, so you can make each pose as unique or wild as you want. What a great way to celebrate such a milestone birthday!

Photo by Happy Films

Make your own invitations and send them out early to get people excited

What better way to start a 20th birthday party off right than by making your own unique invitations?

Crafting your own invites is an awesome way to get in a creative mindset and make sure everyone knows exactly what kind of celebration you are throwing.

Plus, when you start sending out the invitations early, it helps create that extra bit of excitement with all the guests. Making your own invites could be as easy as cutting out some shapes from candy colored paper and writing special messages!

Decorate with streamers, balloons, and other festive touches

Celebrating a 20th birthday is a special milestone and should be marked with some extra fun! One great way to make it feel even more special is to decorate the space.

Hang streamers and balloons of every shape, size, and color.

Go all out – combine multiple shades that pop together and create as much visual interest as possible.

For extra impact, incorporate other festive touches like banners, confetti, or glittery decorations. It’s sure to help set the mood for the perfect party!

Set up a sweet treat or candy buffet for guests to enjoy

For a 20th birthday that is unforgettable, why not set up a sweet treat or candy buffet for guests to indulge in?

Spoil your friends and family with their favorite treats – it’s sure to be the hit of the night! Let your imagination run wild with ideas like colorful cupcakes, lollipops, gummies, chocolates and more.

Create a joyful atmosphere with fun decorations and labels – small gestures can often be the most meaningful! Make sure everyone has plenty of choices for snacks to enjoy all night long.

Play party games like charades or Twister

Throwing an unforgettable 20th birthday party doesn’t have to be stressful – just break out some classic party games like charades and Twister!

Watching your friends and family try their hand at guessing the right words or contorting their bodies into a tricky pose is always hilarious.

Get creative by combining game elements from different classic games, or coming up with funny twists on each one. No matter which games you pick, everyone is sure to have a blast at your birthday celebration!

Have fun party favors for all of your guests

At the end of the night, you’ll want to leave a lasting impression. What better way to do that than with fun, unique party favors for all of your guests?

You could opt for small items like personalized water bottles or t-shirts with special messages. You could also get creative and give out items like personalized sunglasses, mini activity books, or even special keychains.

No matter what you choose to give away, it’s sure to put a smile on everyone’s face and help make the 20th birthday celebration truly memorable!

Organize some special music to make it extra special

Don’t forget to pull together a list of songs that will help keep the celebratory spirit going strong. Ask your guests for their favorite tunes and compile a playlist full of upbeat jams.

Photo by Omar Lopez

Have a hashtag or special filter on Instagram or social media

Your 20th birthday is sure to be full of fun memories, and what better way to capture those moments than with a hashtag or special Instagram filter?

Create a funny hashtag that is relevant to your celebration, or make use of exclusive filters that you can only access for the evening. These small touches will help generate even more excitement and fun at your big party!

And be sure to have plenty of cameras around so that no special moment is missed. That way, you’ll have plenty of photos to look back on and remember the night for years to come.

Organize a toast with sparkling cider or juice

A birthday isn’t complete without some sort of toast. For a 20th birthday, why not make it extra special with sparkling cider or juice? You can even get creative and create a custom cocktail just for the occasion – something that is sure to be remembered!

Then gather everyone in a circle and let each guest make a meaningful wish or offer words of advice before the big drink is passed around. It’s a great way to honor the birthday person while getting everyone into the celebratory spirit.

Have custom cupcakes made

Another fun detail that will add to your 20th birthday celebration is custom cupcakes. Have a local bakery make a batch with the celebrant’s favorite flavors, then top each one with a unique design or message.

Make a balloon arch

A balloon arch or backdrop makes for a stunning visual addition to any event, and it’s sure to be a hit at your 20th birthday celebration. Opt for colorful balloons in shapes of the celebrant’s favorite things, like stars, hearts, and smiley faces.

Make a photo banner

Fill it with pictures from every year of your life. Massive bonus points if you’re brave enough to put your school pictures.

Give everyone name tags

You can make everyone’s name tags extra special by writing funny nicknames or adding silly stickers from a company like CustomStickers to match your theme.

Plus, it makes it easier for people to remember each other’s names – especially if there are a lot of guests.

Have a Competition

To make the celebration even more unforgettable, think about hosting a small competition. It can be anything from a dance-off to a trivia quiz – just make sure you have some fun prizes ready for the winners!

Don’t forget drinks

No birthday is complete without drinks! To make sure everyone stays hydrated, provide plenty of water and juice, or you could even serve a signature mocktail for extra fun.

Offer snacks

And don’t forget the snacks! You can have anything from popcorn to chips, dip to candy – just make sure it’s something that all your guests can enjoy.

Create a special momento

Finally, why not create a special momento to remember the night by? You could have everyone sign a poster or put together an album with photos from the event. It’s sure to be something that they’ll treasure forever!

Photo by Andrea Riondino

Make a guest book

For an extra-special touch, make a guest book for your guests to sign in. This could include photos from the party, funny memories or special messages from all of your friends. It will be something that you’ll cherish for years to come.

Hang a special banner

At the entrance of your celebration, hang a banner that reads “Happy 20th Birthday!” It’s a simple touch that will make all your guests feel extra special.

Have fun with props

Make sure to have plenty of props around for everyone to use and get creative with. This could be anything from costumes to hats – whatever you think will make the night even more unforgettable!

Creating a memorable 20th birthday celebration doesn’t have to be difficult.

Give a speech

As the party winds down, have the birthday person make a speech. They can thank everyone for attending and share some of their favorite memories that they’ve had in the past 20 years.

It’ll be an emotional and special moment that will wrap up the celebration perfectly.

Color coordinate your guests

Why not color coordinate your guests? Pick a funny theme and have everyone dress up in the same colors. It’ll make for some fun pictures as well as a unique memory of your 20th birthday celebration!

Give everyone a feather boa

Another fun detail you can add is to give each one of your guests a feather boa. It will make for some great pictures, and everyone will get a chance to show off their style and have some fun!

Play music

Of course, no birthday party would be complete without music! Have a DJ spin the night away, hire live music, or put on a specially curated playlist.

Play bingo

For a classic game that all your guests can enjoy, why not play bingo? It’ll get everyone involved and make for an extra-special 20th birthday celebration.

Bring out the confetti

As the night comes to a close, bring out the confetti and have everyone join in on the fun! Everyone will love it. I think this is such a great idea to celebrate the birthday girl and a fun way to end the night!

These are just a few ideas for making your 20th birthday celebration unforgettable. And with the right amount of creativity and planning, you can create a night that will be remembered and cherished forever. Have fun!

These are just some ideas for making your 20th birthday a blast!

If you’re looking for some fun 20th birthday ideas, consider throwing a themed party. You can go with a classic 20s theme, or get more creative with a 50s or 70s theme.

Renting a photo booth is always a hit and gives you and your guests some great memories (and photos) to look back on.

Make sure to send out invitations early so everyone has the date saved in their calendars, and don’t forget the streamers, balloons, and other festive touches to really set the mood.

The best 20th birthday ideas have more to do with the people you spend time with having a good time and all the fun things you do together.

Finally, no party is complete without games and sweets – set up a candy buffet or cake walk for some extra fun.

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About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.