Holidays & Celebrations


The Ultimate 20th Birthday Guide: 9 Ideas For an Unforgettable Day

20 years old. Gold balloons number 20th anniversary, happy birthday congratulations

The Ultimate 20th Birthday Guide: 9 Ideas For an Unforgettable Day

Are you or a loved one turning 20 years old? This special day is a big milestone, meaningful, and should be celebrated in a special way. You are about to leave your teenage years and shift into the twenties, which is considered adulthood. Take note that it is important to consider your guest list and invite the people who mean the most to you. In this article, we will check out the ultimate 20th birthday guide and 9 ideas for an unforgettable day.

Party with best friends. Group of cheerful young people enjoying home party with snacks and drinks while communicating on the kitchen
Throwing a dinner party is a great way to celebrate your special day.

©G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com

Throw a Dinner Party

Make a list of your favorite formal meals and throw a dinner party for your guests with wine pairings and balloons. Be sure to set up a fine dining area with all the necessary serving and glassware. However, if you want a less formal dinner party, set up your grill in the backyard and have a BBQ pool party with added cocktails. Remember that when you have balloons, you can also pop a message inside and create a fun game for guests to be involved in.

Here are some good wine-pairing, cocktail, and BBQ meal ideas to help inspire you for both a formal and backyard BBQ.


Italian wines enhance the acidity of tomatoes, which is why they pair well. Sangiovese goes well with tomato dishes like:

  • Tomato risotto
  • Bruschetta
  • Tomato manchego tart
  • Cucumber, tomato, and onion salad
  • Tomato and basil pasta
  • Homemade salsa
  • Sundried tomato chili soup
  • Taco tomatoes
  • Tomato butter roast chicken
  • Pizza


There are two types of Chardonnay: oaked and unoaked. Oaked is when it has been aged in an oak barrel, resulting in a buttery flavor. Unoaked is when the wine is fermented in stainless steel, resulting in a more citrus flavor. Chardonnay pairs well with pork or chicken dishes such as:


When eating a meal that uses quite a bit of herbs and vegetables, be sure to have a Burgundy wine available. White wines are made with pinot blanc, chardonnay, or aligoté grapes. Furthermore, red wines are made with Gamay and Pinot grapes. Both red and white Burgundy pair well with earthy dishes that include apples, bell peppers, and mushrooms. These are great options for vegetarian guests. We hope these dishes will inspire you; they are simple to make and can be incorporated into your daily meals too.

  • Burnt aubergine veggie chili
  • Butternut squash & cherry tomato crumble
  • Simple mushroom curry
  • Lentil bolognese
  • Roasted garlic and tahini spinach
  • Vegan roasted sweet potato salad
  • Falafel
  • Coconut curry zoodle ramen
  • Vodka sauce and green bean cauliflower gnocchi
  • Drunken noodles

BBQ Grill Ideas

If a formal dinner doesn’t suit your needs, then you can always opt for a casual BBQ in the backyard next to the poolside. To make it an extra fun pool party, you could hire a slipping slide and set up some patio lights for the evening for a fun, hot summer 20th birthday. Additionally, when creating a BBQ grill for a 20th birthday party, you shouldn’t forget to add a keg of beer and a cocktail table with unique cocktails. Here are a few of our best BBQ and cocktail recipes.

  • Honey lime grilled corn
  • Jerk shrimp and pineapple bowls
  • Ribs on the grill
  • Classic hamburger
  • Piri Piri spatchcock chicken
  • Pimm’s
  • Rhubard gin
  • Sex on the beach
  • Old Fashion
  • Hurricane cocktail
  • Strawberry daiquiri

Themed Party

When choosing a themed party to celebrate a 20th birthday, one should consider the guest of honor's preferences and be creative to match their character. These themes can include their favorite colors, hobbies, or performing artists that they enjoy. It helps to add examples of the chosen theme’s dress code along with the invitation this adds excitement for all guests to prepare.

Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties can be a super fun hit for a 20th birthday party. Additionally, when planning a cocktail party you should make a list of cocktails that you would like to serve to your guests. However, keep in mind your budget for beverage choices and fruits that would be used. There is an array of cocktails that can be made with similar alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It is best to bear in mind that some do not consume alcohol, however, for those who do not partake in alcoholic beverages, there are excellent alternatives. In our next section, we will take a look at different cocktails that can be made with or without alcohol to create an affordable cocktail party. Grab your mixer and open your mind to the creative cocktails you can make to impress all of your guests.

Affordable Cocktails

  • Spritz Veneziano
  • Tom Collins
  • Classic Mimosa
  • Pineapple Margarita
  • Mint Mojito
  • Dirty Shirley
  • Red Sangria
  • Spiked Seltzer Slushies
  • Vodka Tonic
  • Rum and Coke

Beach Day

Going to the beach is a great way to have fun with your friends in the sun. Get your favorite swimsuit and organize for all your friends to ride together to the beach. Make sure to take plenty of water, drinks, snacks, and sunblock. Consider some fun games to play like:

  • Spikeball
  • Volleyball
  • Tug of War
  • Bulzibucket
  • Sand Pictionary
  • Nighttime Bocce Ball
  • Musical Towels
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Jazzminton
  • Kite flying

1980s Night

Having a 1980s night-themed party is a fun way to dress up like your favorite '80s character. Give your guests some ideas and bring back the fashion trends that were hip in that decade such as:

  • Acid-washed jeans
  • Neon top and leggings
  • Fingerless gloves
  • Large sweatshirts
  • Big hair with lots of hairspray
  • Punk leather
  • Fanny packs
  • Suspenders
  • Shoulder pads
  • Coca-cola branded clothes

In addition, create a memorable party playlist filled with the love of the most hip and hot '80s music like pop, rock, alternative pop, hardcore punk, country music, and hip-hop. Turn the lights off whip out those glow sticks and get your guests rocking on the dance floor. Here are some ideas to help inspire you.

  • Madonna
  • Micheal Jackson
  • The Bangles
  • New Kids on the Block
  • Prince
  • Def Leopard
  • Bon Jovi
  • Cindy Lauper
  • Duran Duran
  • Depeche Mode

Sports Venue or Concert

If you have a favorite sports team or band consider taking your family or friends with you. It’s a fun great way to create fond memories and have a good time.

Outdoor Kitchen Equipment and wooden Table set with Field Tents group in Camping area at Natural Parkland
Camping is a wonderful way to relax and embrace nature.

©Prapat Aowsakorn/Shutterstock.com

Go Camping

Additionally, if you are an outdoor enthusiast then camping with a group of friends can be an exciting experience for an ultimate 20th birthday. You can spend quality time together and connect with nature and all its beauty. Here are some tips to help plan a memorable trip.

  • Choose a nice location: Whether you want to go camping at a lake or in the wilderness consider factors like nearby attractions and the weather. Some amazing campsites in the United States are well worth the road trip like:
    • White Sands Campground, New Mexico
    • Many Glacier Campground, Montana
    • Acadia National Park Campgrounds, Maine
    • Devil's Garden Campground, Arches National Park, Utah
    • Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds, Florida
    • Pack necessities: It’s important to be prepared when packing for your trip make a list of things you will need like a torch, tent, camping stove, first aid kit, insect repellent, warm clothes, comfortable shoes, and sunblock.
  • Plan activities: There are many activities to do with your guests while camping some of these activities include: hiking, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, and horse riding. Furthermore, enjoy some music and games around the campfire before you hit the sack.

Spa Day

Celebrating your 20th birthday at a spa can be a luxurious and relaxing way to pamper yourself, close family, and friends. You can enjoy facials, massages, pedicures, and manicures. While planning your day at the spa you think about taking the following things with you.

  • Swimwear
  • Underwear
  • Slippers or flip-flops
  • Workout clothes
  • Hair clips or hairbands
  • Makeup

Photo Booth

Set up a photo booth and have some fun props on hand like hats, scarves anything you can think of that would make it memorable and fun. Make a nice backdrop to pose in front of, some fun examples to inspire you can be:

  • Chalkboard backdrop
  • Balloon wall backdrop
  • DIY booth frame
  • Flower backdrop
  • Hollywood photo booth
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