Things to do at an 18 year-old's birthday party

Updated July 20, 2017

Birthdays are always a special time of year, but for an 18 year-old's birthday party, the event marks a special milestone from teenager to adult. Whether it is a celebration at home or away, make it a memorable birthday filled with the guest of honor's favourite activities, entertainment, food and games.

Dance Party

Most teenagers turn 18 while a senior in high school or a freshman in college. Create your own version of a school dance at home, complete with the guest of honor's favourite music playlist. Consider choosing a theme for the dance such as '80s night or western night, where songs can be played and guests dress up in clothes that match the theme. You may want to rent a fog machine or coloured lights to create a mood for the event. For music, make your own playlist, or if it's in the budget, hire a DJ. Have finger foods out for guests to eat in between dancing. Depending on the number of guests, the party can be in the garage, living room or backyard of the home.

Cooking Party

Celebrate a birthday with a cooking party complete with cooking instruction from a hired chef or a parent who loves to cook. Choose the guest of honor's favourite recipe, perhaps cupcakes, cookies or another type of fun party food. If the kitchen is large enough, have the chef give instruction and demonstrations there to the guests. If the kitchen isn't large enough, consider doing the theme as a barbecue outside, or create a cold dish such as a hearty salad that can be made in any room. Send guests home with the recipe card of the created dish as a party favour. To find a hired chef on a budget, check with local culinary schools for advanced students looking to make extra money.

Film Night

A film night either at home or at the cinema can be a great way to have a birthday party for an 18 year-old film buff. At home, rent a favourite movie or new feature film and give guests goody bags filled with popcorn, candy and sodas to eat and drink during the film. Block out the windows with thick curtains or construction paper so no light is let in the room where the film will be shown. If there isn't enough seating on the couch for all the guests, place pillows and blankets on the floor for guests to stretch out. For a longer evening, consider showing two or three films and let guests vote for mock awards like best actor and best picture. On a larger budget, guests can go out to the cinema to see a movie. Be sure the rating is appropriate for all the guests' ages.

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About the Author

Journalist Somer Flaherty has been published in magazines such as "Teen Vogue" and "Sunset" as well as online at,,, and others. She is currently an editor at a luxury lifestyle publication, the author of the teen beauty book "Girl in a Fix" and a fashion journalism instructor at one of the top art universities in the United States.