Thirty-five is not what it used to be. Nowadays, for many people the early 30s are a time of firsts: first marriage, first house, first child. Furthermore, now that many people live healthy and active lives well into their 80s, approaching 40 hardly means the end of having fun. Nevertheless, it has probably been a while since you went out to the club or bar to party all night with your friends. A 35th birthday is a good excuse to take time out to remind yourself and others that despite your busy life, having fun is still important.
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Out of the rut
Is there something that you've always wanted to do but didn't take time for? Even though 40 is no longer considered "over the hill," you can still use approaching "middle age" as a wake-up call to shake you out of a rut. Whatever it is you've forgotten to do -- whether it's indoor rock climbing, partying in a hotel room or trying out new food at an exotic restaurant -- a 35th birthday party can be your opportunity. For that matter, maybe you've never tried laser tag or paintballing. Now is your chance. The more uncommon or unlikely the event, the more your friends are likely to have fun and thank you for giving them the opportunity to step out of routine.
Pop culture nostalgia
Host a pop culture nostalgia party where guests come dressed as celebrities and characters from the era when you all went to high school or college. For example, if that was the '90s, guests can come dressed as characters from big TV shows from the era, like the characters from "Friends," "Seinfeld" or, for a dose of teenage nostalgia, "Beverly Hills 90210." Put together a party play list that includes your favourite songs from this time of your life, but throw in a few cheesy big hits as well. You may surprised at how the radio hits that annoyed you at the time spark at least as many memories as your old favourites. If you have karaoke equipment, so much the better. Although such parties offer an opportunity for reminiscence, you're too young to be "reliving your youth." So keep the emphasis on remembering how silly you were in your teens and 20s and saying goodbye to that time of your life.
35 things scavenger hunt
For a birthday party option that's as inexpensive as it is fun, have a "35 Things" around-the-town adult scavenger hunt. Get to know your town (or area, if you live in a big city) while you and your friends run around finding 35 things to bring back or photograph. Try to incorporate the "35" theme as much as possible in the list of items, too. Find a receipt for 35 cents, photograph a number plate with "35" in it, find a restaurant that serves a £35 steak dinner, find a 35-year-old bartender and get your picture taken with him (holding his ID), and so on. The theme will provide an extra challenge for both the scavenger hunt planner and the teams.
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