An 18th birthday is a tremendous milestone; it is finally time to enter adulthood and begin a new chapter, which means that a huge celebration is most definitely in order! Whether you are taking charge of your own celebrations or are a parent, family member or friend planning on behalf of a loved one, your chosen activity must be one to remember. Organising an 18th birthday celebration can prove to be a significant task to tackle, even more so in the current climate when there is so much uncertainty regarding the pandemic. Although 2021 is looking promising, we cannot be quite sure what the government guidelines will entail next week, nevermind in a few months, which can make birthday planning tricky.

Nevertheless, this most definitely doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to your big milestone and settle for an evening cooped up at home. To give you some inspiration, we have put together some of our favourite 18th birthday party ideas, which will be possible both with and without lockdown restrictions.

18th Birthday Party Ideas: Seven 18th Birthday Ideas From Thrill-Seeking To Chilled Days Out

Although typically, an 18th birthday celebration would include a huge party with friends and family, unfortunately, it is looking as if it will be many more months before we can return to our big get-togethers. Our advice is to try to future proof your celebrations as much as possible, putting together a plan B that will allow you to enjoy your birthday, even if lockdown measures are still in place. While it may be disheartening having to put your original plans on hold for the meantime, don’t forget it is for the best and through waiting those few extra months, you will be able to celebrate without worrying about having to comply with government guidelines. There will be thousands, if not millions, of people across the UK in the same position as you, and your guests will always understand if you change your plans at the last minute.

So if you have your big birthday approaching and looking to begin putting together your celebrations, then you’re in luck. Using our many years of experience providing photo booth hire in London, we have tracked down an array of different 18th birthday ideas from adrenaline-fuelled activities to a more relaxed yet fabulous afternoon tea, at both ends of the price scale – we can guarantee that there will be something for everyone!

18th Birthday Cake

1. Festival Themed Garden Party

Garden parties have, by far, become the most popular way to celebrate during the pandemic, especially during last summer when we were lucky enough to experience glorious weather. So why not put a fun twist on the idea of a garden party and throw a festival themed celebration? This is perfect for both small gatherings and parties with a bigger group of your loved ones, should the government restrictions be eased in time for your birthday.

One of the most exciting parts of any party planning is the decor, and with a festival theme, you most definitely won’t be short for inspiration. Festival themes call for vibrant colours, sparkles and lots of fairy lights draped around your garden. If your birthday is during the colder months, then you may want to consider also hiring a marquee – just in case the unpredictable British weather isn’t on your side! Inflatable marquee hire company Inflatatent has various packages to choose from, with tents ranging in size, shape and design. These take under half an hour to inflate and can be fully customised to fit your theme, making them the perfect choice for celebrating outdoors all year round.

For the entertainment, you can never go wrong with capturing every moment of your celebrations with our London photobooth hire. There are so many wonderful booth types to choose from depending on the style of your party, along with how much room you have available. If you are limited in terms of space, you could always opt for our hashtag printing, which allows you to take snaps throughout your party then print them directly using personalised hashtags. This is also ideal if you have to practice social distancing because you do not have to all squeeze into a photobooth. For more information on the options available with our photo booth rental in London and to begin putting together your tailored package, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

If you are looking for more ideas on how to throw a festival themed garden party, take a look at our previous article!

Other popular 18th birthday party themes include:

If you love the idea of a garden party but not so convinced about a festival theme, then there will be hundreds of alternatives to choose from. It is entirely your choice whether you opt for a theme that represents your favourite hobby or choose something purely for the fun it will bring. Just some of the many 18th birthday party themes that we have come across are:

  • Circus & Funfair Theme
  • Enchanted Forest Theme
  • Great Gatsby Theme
  • Tropical Beach Theme
  • Retro 70s, 80s or 90s Theme
  • Carnival Theme
  • Masquerade Ball Theme

Girls At Festival Party

2. Try An Extreme Sport

Calling all thrillseekers, it’s your time to shine! There will be no better way to enter adult life than embarking on the extreme sport you have always dreamed of trying. Whether you are keen to see the world from heights through skydiving or have a passion for water sports, now is the perfect opportunity to face your fears and give it a go!

Depending on the activity you opt for, you may be able to participate as a group while still meeting with social distancing rules. For example, outdoor activities such as Go Ape offer a number of different adventures, from a treetop challenge to a forest segway, all of which can be booked as a group as with these activities, it is super easy to maintain a distance from one another. And even better, any participants over the age of 16 can supervise themselves, which means that you and all of your friends can take a road trip parent-free. Other activities, on the other hand, such as bungee jumping or indoor skydiving, must be done independently, so it is worth keeping in mind as to whether you are happy to take on ventures alone. If you’re stuck for inspiration, Virgin Experience Days has a fantastic collection of adventure experiences, including both indoor and outdoor options ranging in price! This website is also great to take a look through if you are looking for quirky 18th birthday gifts.

Bungee Jumping

3. Murder Mystery Party

If you’re a lover of Sherlock Holmes and feel as if you could be brave enough to take on some of the trickiest detective cases, then why not put your knowledge to the test by throwing your very own murder mystery party? This is a fabulous idea which you will be able to plan regardless of lockdown restrictions. You can choose either a virtual murder mystery party or, if the government ease measures, an evening with a small group of your closest loved ones.

Simply gather together a group of your most creative loved ones and grab yourself a murder mystery party kit – we recommend the kits from Murder Mystery Games as they can be used via video call or together in the same space. Each guest will be given their own character in advance that they will have to take on, including creating their version of how they envision the character to look like with an extravagant costume. Make sure that you send out invitations ahead of time to give plenty of preparation time. As the host, don’t be tempted to take a sneak peek of the plot before your evening as the best part of a murder mystery part is just that, its a complete mystery and down to you to solve!

Friends At Dinner Party

4. Trip To A Theme Park

Living in the UK means that we are lucky enough to be surrounded by many different theme parks that are super easy to get to. If you do live slightly further from your favourite theme park, then you have plenty of straightforward travel options to choose from. Most spots have a direct shuttle bus that can take you from the nearest train station to the door of the park; however, with COVID-19 in mind, it may be safer to avoid public transport and hire a minibus. The Big Minibus offers reliable minibus hire and has many different vehicles to choose from depending on how many friends you have invited, so it is most definitely worth keeping in mind!

While theme parks are fun regardless of when you visit, you are more likely to have the opportunity to experience all rides if you go during quieter periods. If possible, aim to avoid weekends as you’re probably going to end up spending more time queuing than enjoying the ride itself. Instead, opt for a weekday where all of your friends are off sixth form, college or work and be sure to let them know in advance so they can keep the day free.

For those who are only available to go at weekends or during school holidays, there are a few handy tips to keep in mind to make the most out of your day. Always try to arrive at your chosen theme park as early as possible as this will give you the chance to get on your favourite rides before it gets too busy. Alternatively, a handy trick is to go the opposite way to the crowd by leaving the most popular rides until the end of your day. Almost all theme parks also offer Fastrack tickets, which do cost a little more but will massively cut your queuing times.

With this in mind, if you’re stuck on which theme park to visit, this handy article from Theme Parks UK will give you the lowdown on the ten best attractions.


5. Plan A Scavenger Hunt

If you’re looking for a party idea that is a little more active but will also test your brain, then a scavenger hunt would be ideal! Scavenger hunts can be devised either independently or through a company that specialises in creating tricky trails around your local area. When opting for a scavenger hunt pre-arranged by a company, you can choose between working as one large team or splitting into a few smaller groups to compete against each other. This, again, will be based on the lockdown restrictions on the date of your 18th birthday celebrations.

Many corporate organisations arrange scavenger hunts as a team-building activity as they are fantastic for improving problem-solving skills and encouraging teamwork – also great if you, along with your friends or family members are looking for an idea that is a little more challenging. specialise in arranging activities for larger groups; you can find the nearest trail to your local area using their location search tool.

Two Friends On Bikes

6. Paintballing Experience Day

As one of the bravest of our birthday party ideas, paintballing is most definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is the perfect celebration option for those who are not only adrenaline-seekers but also love a sense of adventure. An entire afternoon can be spent running through deserted woodland, camouflaging yourself in any spot possible and shooting opponents – it’s every man for himself!

UK Paintball is the UK’s leading paintball company with over 75 locations across the nation. Specialising in celebrations, including birthdays, UK Paintball provides a variety of different party packages. There are a number of different zones that you can choose from, all of which can be entirely tailored to you with bespoke games to guarantee an unforgettable experience. It is up to the players as to whether they play for a full day or just half a day; either way, all members will be equipped with their very own camouflaged outfits, goggles and a paintball gun.


7. Book Afternoon Tea

Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious selection of fresh sandwiches and tasty sweet treats, washed down by a fruity tea through booking a luxurious afternoon tea!

Afternoon tea is the perfect 18th birthday celebration for those who love all things elegant and sophisticated, with a tasty twist. Due to the evergrowing popularity of afternoon tea, no longer is there only the option for a traditional-style experience; there are now a number of wonderfully themed afternoon tea options. If you’re looking for themed afternoon tea, then London is the place to be. When visiting the capital, you can have your choice between anything from a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tea at One Aldwych to a Mad Hatters Tea at The Sanderson! Square Meal has put together a super helpful article on London’s best themed afternoon teas.

Afternoon Tea

A Celebration To Remember With Our Unique 18th Birthday Party Ideas!

Every teenager looks forward to their 18th birthday, which means that the ultimate celebration is most definitely in order! Whether the birthday girl/boy is always seeking a new, thrillseeking adventure or instead, they love to indulge in luxury, one of our seven unique 18th birthday party ideas is guaranteed to have sparked an interest. To ensure that no one is disappointed when looking forward to the upcoming milestone celebrations, we strongly recommend making all bookings in advance. Particularly if you are hoping to celebrate during a busy period, availability may be limited, so always plan ahead to ensure that it is a day to remember!