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, the day must be one to remember. Therefore, successfully organising an 18th birthday celebration can prove to be a challenging task to tackle, from food to decorations to activities. To give you some inspiration, we have put together some of our favourite 18th birthday party ideas!

Top 10 18th Birthday Party Ideas

Whether your dream 18th birthday party is a huge bash with all your family and friends or a smaller, more intimate affair, there are loads of fun ways to celebrate and mark the occasion. Using our many years of experience providing event entertainment, such as with our photo booth hire in London, we have compiled this list of our favourite 18th birthday party ideas, from adrenaline-fuelled activities to a more relaxed yet fabulous afternoon tea. We can guarantee that there will be something for everyone!

18th Birthday Cake

Simple 18th Birthday Party Ideas At Home

If you’re a massive homebody and don’t fancy doing anything too crazy for your 18th birthday celebration but still wish to mark the occasion in a memorable way, there are plenty of ways you can do this from the comfort of your home!

1. Costume Party

While many people may feel a little self-conscious dressing up in a silly outfit in public, nothing is off-limits when the only people who are going to see you are your closest friends and family members! So, why not hold a fun costume party to mark your 18th birthday?

If you decide to go with this party idea, just ensure that you send out the invitations well in advance of the party so that your guests have plenty of time to plan out and purchase or make their costumes. To give them some inspiration, why not choose a theme for them to follow? Some theme ideas include:

  • Retro or the 60s, 70s and 80s
  • Dress as something that begins with the same letter as your name
  • Pirates/under the sea
  • Outer space
  • Celebrities and famous people
  • The jungle
  • The Wild West
  • Disney characters
  • Your favourite book or film
  • Whatever costume theme you choose, ensure that it is broad enough that all your guests will be able to think of a costume that they will be comfortable making/buying and wearing! It’s also essential to document the funny, crazy and cute ideas that people come up with so that you can look back on them for years to come. There’s no better way to do this than by hiring a graffiti wall in London, which doubles as entertainment for your guests. Our interactive digital graffiti walls enable guests to use spray ‘paint’ cans to create their very own artistic designs on a large digital screen, which serves as the perfect backdrop for photos of you and your guests in your themed outfits! The designs can be saved and used to make many different souvenirs to remember the day by, including mugs, shirts, bags, postcards and phone cases.

Costume Party

2. 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 fabulous idea works both in-person and virtually, should you wish to include loved ones in your celebration from a distance.

All you’ll need is 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 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 party is just that; it’s a complete mystery and down to you to solve!

Friends At Dinner Party

18th Birthday Garden Party Ideas

Garden parties are an amazing way to celebrate any occasion, especially in the summer, when the weather is glorious. So why not put a fun twist on the idea of a garden party and throw a themed outdoor celebration? This is a perfect way to mark the occasion of an 18th birthday, whether your guest list is long or limited to your nearest and dearest.

3. Festival-Themed Garden Party

We love the idea of holding a festival-themed garden party: it’s a brilliant excuse to bring the glitz and glam aesthetic of a festival into your home, combine it with your favourite music and have the time of your life!

One of the most exciting parts of any party planning is the decor, and with a festival theme, you 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!

For the entertainment, you can never go wrong with capturing every moment of your celebrations by contacting Harry & Edge to hire our photobooth in London. 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 space-saving hashtag printing, which allows you to take snaps throughout your party and then print them directly using personalised hashtags. 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!
Girls At Festival Party

4. Tropical Beach Garden Party

If you’re celebrating in the summer, what better way to do so than with a tropical beach garden party? Not only can you enjoy the sun on the big day, but you can also have fun with colourful decorations and funky food to serve at your party.

When prepping your garden for your tropical beach party, the key to capturing the perfect aesthetic is bright, bold colours. From decorative bunting to party plates and cups, go as vibrant as possible and don’t hold back! We love these LED light-up flamingo lawn decorations from Etsy! Not only are they cute, quirky and colourful, but they are also solar-powered, meaning that you can continue to party into the night in a stylish and eco-friendly way!

When it comes to serving refreshments at your tropical beach garden party, you can really get creative. From sweet fruit punch with mini cocktail umbrellas to cute ocean-themed cupcakes, your guests are sure to appreciate whatever equally visually-appealing and delicious treats you whip up. If you really want to add a wow factor to your party, why not hire Harry & Edge to provide a stunning fruit palm tree, decadent chocolate fountain or delightful candy floss machine at your event? Not only will these options fit your tropical beach theme beautifully, but they will also add a sweet, unique twist to your celebration that all of your guests can enjoy.

As for entertainment, your guests will likely want to cool down in the summer heat, so why not plan a water balloon fight? If you want to keep things environmentally friendly, we love these reusable crochet water balloons, which promise hours of sustainable fun!

Beach Party

5. Enchanted Forest Garden Party

If you’re obsessed with all things magical and mysterious, there’s no better way to celebrate your big 18th with an enchanted forest-themed garden party! With the right decorations, you can create a truly beautiful scene straight out of a fairy tale in your own garden!

For starters, the key decoration to bring your enchanted forest theme to life is lighting! We suggest that your party begins at dusk in order to fully capture the mysterious and magical aesthetic an enchanted forest would have. This also means that your lighting choices will be what make or break your party: if you do not have sufficient illumination, your celebration will feel too dark and creepy, but with the right amount positioned in the right way, your can completely transform your garden and blow your guests away! Here are some outdoor lighting options you can use to achieve this:

  • Fairy lights
  • Lanterns
  • String bulb lights
  • Stake lights
  • Candles

We suggest wrapping long strings of fairy lights around the trunks and branches of trees, starting from the bottom and gradually winding their way up. This will make your trees look beautifully enchanted! Hang outdoor string bulb lights above the entirety of your garden to illuminate the whole area. You can use the edge of the roof of your house, trees, and any other outdoor structures you may have, such as tall fences, statues, and gazebos, to anchor your string lights and zig-zag them above the space.

Enchanted Forest

18th Birthday Party Ideas For Small Groups

If you’d rather limit your celebration to include just your nearest and dearest friends and or family, your options really open up! Since you will not need to accommodate the needs of many people or coordinate a large group, activities that are more intimate or action-packed become far easier to arrange and enjoy!

6. Try An Extreme Sport

Calling all thrill-seekers, 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!

There is a range of different adventurous activities you can try, such as those at Go Ape, which include a treetop challenge and a forest segway. We love these activities as they can be completed simultaneously by the whole group so that you can chat and laugh with your friends as you go. Other activities, on the other hand, such as bungee jumping or indoor skydiving, must be done independently, so it is worth keeping in mind 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

7. 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, for a more hassle-free option, why not hire a minibus? The Big Minibus offers reliable minibus hire and has many different vehicles to choose from depending on how many people 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 rides themselves. Instead, if possible, opt for a weekday where all of your friends are off from sixth form, college or work and be sure to let them know in advance so that 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.


8. Book Afternoon Tea

Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious selection of fresh sandwiches and tasty sweet treats, washed down by a fruity tea when you book a luxurious afternoon tea! This intimate experience is the perfect thing to mark your milestone birthday with your closest friends and family by your side.

Due to the ever-growing popularity of the elegant and sophisticated 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

Active 18th Birthday Party Ideas

If you’re somebody who loves an adventure and is always on the go, you’ll love these active 18th birthday party ideas! The beauty of these activities is that they can be enjoyed by both small and large groups and can be done virtually anywhere in the country!

9. 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, depending on how many people you are inviting and how competitive you are!

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 large groups, and you can find the nearest trail to your local area using their location search tool.

Scavenger Hunt

10. 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.


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 special someone is always seeking a new, thrill-seeking adventure or loves to indulge in luxury, one of our ten unique 18th birthday party ideas is guaranteed to spark an interest.

To ensure that no one is disappointed when looking forward to the upcoming milestone celebration, we strongly recommend making all bookings well 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!

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