My 18th birthday was an exciting time. Finally an adult. Well, you know, in the way where I could do *some* things adults can do. I could vote, order things off infomercials late at night, and get a credit card. I decided to go to The Comedy Zone of Charlotte for my first grown-up night out. We had a blast! If you want to know of some other fun things to do now that you’re of age, here are fun 18th birthday party ideas for you!
1. Comedy Club-
Most of these venues do not allow under 18 into the establishment due to the fact that they have a minimum order and the content may not be suitable for younger patrons. Find a show near you that gets you excited. If you don’t have a close comedy club, see if any of the bars and breweries near by have local open mics. Because every comedian you love, had a local mic where they started.
2. Tattoo Party-
I know this may seem like a “no-brainer”, yes, you’re 18, you can get tattoo now. But having a tattoo party is a little different. If you have heard of tattoo shops that do the “Friday the 13th” tattoo parties, it the same concept.
- A tattoo studio loves to be booked.
- If you can guarantee that you will bring X amount of people to get tattooed, they will work with you on pricing.
- You and your friends could all get a smaller styled tattoo for about $30 a pop.
- You usually just have to pay the supply minimum and then they will cut you and your friends a deal.
3. Piercing Party-
Similar to the tattoo party, but far less permanent. Contact the local tattoo and piercing shop you like the most and see what kind of deal they are willing to work out for you. I think this is a great time to try something new. Even if it is just a second earlobe hole, marking this day in your personal history will be a fun time.
4. Axe Throwing-
This activity is an absolute blast. Now that you’re 18, you can join the many pseudo-lumber jacks that spend their time honing their throwing skills. When we went to throw axes, there was a coach that taught us the different throwing styles. He even stood by during the session in case we had questions and he also offered advice throughout.
5. Drive-in Movie-
Drive-in movies are fun because they offer the excitement of tailgating with the entertainment of a theatre. I love spending a summer evening in a camp chair with a cooler full of snacks and refreshments enjoying a great movie. When all the cars have their radios tuned in together, it’s the coolest sound experience.
- Bring chairs
- Spray yourself with bug spray
- Have snacks at the ready
- Here Are 8 Ways to Make a Drive-In Theater Your Ticket to Summer Fun
6. Dance Club-
18 has its perks when it comes to getting into night clubs now. I enjoy going to themed dance clubs that have a great floor to bust out your best moves on. Here in Charlotte, we have one that is entirely 80’s themed and it is hilarious to go to. Picking a club that has a fun ambiance that fits your style can make for a great 18th birthday party idea, especially if you like to dress up too.
7. Board Game Competition-
Maybe you aren’t the type that likes to go out on the town and you’d prefer a fun night in with friends. Pick out your favorite board games (we love Settlers of Catan) and host a board game competition night. This could make for some great 18th birthday party gifts as well!
- Check out the 21 best board games (you may have never heard of!)
8. Video Game Competition-
Indoor kids unite! Playing video games with your close friends is fun, playing different consoles in rotation can take the excitement to the maximum level.
- Have your group bring several TVs and consoles to the house.
- Set them up in different areas and rotate every few rounds.
- Winner for the most vintage system!
- Want to make it better?
- Host a game truck party by going to GameTruckParty.com and seeing what’s available in your area
9. Skiing Trip-
Now that you’re 18 you don’t need a parent to sign for you to go skiing. I have a winter birthday so never had the “summer party” experience. Going skiing is so much fun and the cabins you can rent usually have great perks like hot tubs and pool tables for entertainment after the slopes have closed down.
Get one that allows you to exit the cabin right onto the slope if you want a truly memorable 18th birthday party.
10. Salsa Dancing Lessons-
Whether you are a girl or a guy, if you like to dance chances you have friends that do not. By having a salsa dancing lesson, it will encourage everyone to just move. In fact, the worse you are at it, chances are the more fun you will have by not being good. It’s salsa after all, and the rhythm is gonna get you!
- Groupon has excellent deals on Salsa (or other styles) dancing lessons
11. Fireworks Party-
18 years old? Bring on the fireworks. Get all your friends together and have a great time blowing up the night sky! A few tips on this:
- Check local laws regarding fireworks
- If you will be setting them off in an area with other houses, let them know in advance
- Choose an area that has a larger open area
- Bring a fire extinguisher just in case
- Don’t forget the fun small fireworks like sparklers
12. Shooting Range-
Going to a shooting range can be a new thing for you to try if you’ve never gotten to experience this. You may find out you are a natural-born skeet shooter that could rival Annie Oakley. Gun ranges will usually have areas that you can picnic at while there. So bring the birthday cake and enjoy the fun of target shooting for your 18th birthday party.
13. Beach Trip with Friends-
You can rent an Air BnB now! How exciting to finally be able to book a trip for yourself. You can go anywhere you’d like, but nothing beats the beach! Half the fun of the trip will be figuring out the coolest place to stay.
- Choose a location that has things to do at the lodging
- Pick a place that has activities within walking distance
- Rent bikes or scooters
- Remember to bring that sunscreen!
14. Drive on a Speed Track
If you are looking for something to check off the bucket list on your 18th birthday, look no further than this awesome experience. Whether you choose to let an experienced driver drift you around a course or drive yourself around the track at up to 150mph, driving on a speed track is an adrenaline rush like no other. Now that you are 18, forget the birthday decorations and Google: “Drive a Supercar near me” to see where you can go to have this unforgettable experience.
15. White Water Rafting-
One of my first trips with my husband (back when we first met) was going white water rafting. The cool water on a hot summer day will be refreshing and exhilarating. Google search places near you to white water raft for an awesome 18th birthday party idea!
- Great outdoor adventure
- Various levels of rapids ranging from beginner to experienced
- Guides available to keep things smooth
- Adrenaline and excitement constantly
16. Renaissance Festival
My sister-in-law recently went to one of these amazing events and it sounded like a dream come true. She and the friends created outfits in theme by going to thrift stores and getting crafty. You can make a fun day out of this event. Things that you will see at a renaissance festival:
- Jousting competitions (be still my Game of Thrones loving heart)
- Human chess
- People drinking out of horns
- Photo opportunities like prison stocks
- Sword fighting areas
- People eating giant turkey legs
- Jesters performing
- Belly Dancers
- Lots of men in kilts
17. Sky Diving-
Let’s get crazy! Sky diving is a bucket list item for most people. This can be an absolutely breathtaking experience. Nowadays this is incredibly safe. You will be tandem jumping with someone who has done thousands of jumps.
“According to the United States Parachuting Association, there are an estimated 3 million jumps per year, and the fatality count is only 21 (for 2010). That’s a 0.0007% chance of dying from a skydive, compared to a 0.0167% chance of dying in a car accident (based on driving 10,000 miles).” -thanks, Seeker.com for the vote of confidence!
There are thousands of cave channels all across the United States alone. Chances are there is one worth exploring near you. Caving is a magical experience, like stepping into a fairytale or fantasy novel.
Most caves are cooler in temperature and make for a great spring/summer time birthday event. Get your friends together, grab an experienced guide and explore the beauty that nature hides underground.
I hope that you got some great ideas for your 18th birthday party! Have a blast!
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!