How to Have a Great Birthday

Three Methods:Having a Relaxing Day to YourselfDoing Something Fun with OthersHolding Your Own Party

Wanting to have an awesome birthday, but don't know how to turn this vision into reality? There are a variety of ways to celebrate, ranging from the relaxing to the raucous! Here are some helpful suggestions to help you to have a great birthday full of family, friends, and fun.

Method 1
Having a Relaxing Day to Yourself

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    Take the day off. Plan ahead and give your job notice that you’ll be taking your birthday off. You’ll likely have to take a vacation day, but some work places that allow free leave will understand and encourage a celebration of your birth!
    • Account for the work time lost from your birthday by working ahead prior to the big day. You don’t want to follow up your birthday with a day full of errands and catch up work.
    • Don’t schedule any meetings or errands on your birthday unless they are absolutely necessary. You want to worry about nothing at all for your birthday.
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    Sleep well the night before. Going to bed early ensures you wake up bright and early to take advantage of your clean slate. The average number of hours to aim for when getting sleep is between 7 and 9 hours for the average adult, but adding an hour in either direction may also be appropriate depending on your needs.[1]
    • Don’t drink too much before going to bed. If you drink too much in the evening, you’ll find your sleep interrupted by the need to go to the bathroom all night.[2]
    • Consider tossing the alarm clock for the evening. Just let your body handle everything, and get up only when you feel refreshed. Don’t be afraid to sleep in. It's your day after all. A few extra hours of sleep feel great and might be what you need to get in the right mindset for the day.
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    Treat yourself to your favorite food. Go out to a fancy restaurant and get your favorite meal, or order in and let the food come to your front door. Your birthday is a good day to order that new meal or dish you’ve always wanted to try.
    • Many restaurants offer free meals or sides when it's your birthday. Take a look online and see if you can score a few free bites! This applies to retail stores as well. [3]
    • Have some breakfast in bed. If you live with someone, ask if they’ll bring breakfast right to your bed. Bring a food tray and napkins so that you don’t get crumbs or runny egg on your bed.
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    Take a fancy bath or shower. Use a scented gel and some favorite soap, even if it's usually saved for going-out occasions.
    • Light candles, dim the lights and play some music to optimize your relaxation.
    • Bath bombs and other bath accessories are perfect to moisturize and feel great, whether you are starting or ending the day with your bath.
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    Open your cards and gifts. You’ve probably received a few cards or packages in the mail for your birthday by the time the big day rolls around. Don’t open them as soon as you get them. Save them for your birthday to accentuate the moment. People are thinking about you!
    • Spend the day deciding how to best display those cards. Cards make a great decoration for window sills or on the kitchen table.
    • If you received gift cards or money for your birthday, think about what you are going to do with those gifts. The day is open, but make sure you don’t let the money burn a hole in your pocket.
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    Have some birthday cake. Buy yourself a cake, or make one yourself. If you make one yourself, consider making it the night before. After all, you don't want to work too hard on your birthday.
    • If you make your own cake, go for the guilty pleasure and eat the leftover frosting with a spoon. You deserve it!
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    Write down your thoughts in a journal. Your birthday is good time to reflect on your life. Think about where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going. Write down how you are feeling in your journal, along with any other things on your mind.
    • Think back over your day.. Pick out three extra fun and enjoyable moments.Write these moments down as a memento. You can look back on this entry when your next birthday approaches to get ready to have an even better time.
    • Write down your goals. Writing down the goals you’ve achieved and the goals that are still in front of you give you a good metric to measure your progress each year.
    • Other things you can reflect on are your recent successes, your dreams, and any feelings you may have that you haven’t been able to express otherwise. [4]

Method 2
Doing Something Fun with Others

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    Take a day trip. Get out of the house and take a trip somewhere to have some fun. You don’t have to have a particular destination in mind. Rambling helps clear your mind and get your thoughts in order.
    • Hit the road. Take a drive to the far corners of your town or beyond. Travel along the back roads to observe buildings, structures and landmarks you never would have seen otherwise. Jot down any places you might want to revisit in the future. Road trips also offer a chance to visit locations related to your family history. [5]
    • Go to the beach. Beaches offer everything you could want out of a great day – sun, surf and the warm beach sand. Even if the weather is on the colder side, a walk along the beach gives you a great place to think.
    • Find a trail to hike. Much like the beach, hiking offers a great place to collect your thoughts. Nature and other green space is also healthy for the mind and body. [6]
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    Organize some low-key fun. Get your friends together for a fun activity that doesn’t necessarily result in drunken revelry. A fun night out bowling or playing skee-ball is something that anyone can enjoy, while still providing the option for drinks if desired. You can also hit up a specialty restaurant that you’ve always wanted to try.
    • There are a variety of leagues dedicated to casual games such as skee-ball or kickball that can provide a perfect new opportunity for your birthday. You might even decide to make a habit of playing! [7]
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    Go bar hopping. Gather up some friends and hit up the bars for a classic birthday celebration. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, head to some smaller dive bars, or take the night on solo.
    • Let people know it’s your birthday! It’s a great way of scoring some free drinks.
    • Make sure you have safe transportation to get home. Take a taxi service or public transportation such as the bus or metro if you have been drinking a little too much.
    • Some taxi services offer special rates for birthdays or other events. Make sure to call ahead of time.
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    Go wine tasting. Travel to a local vineyard with some friends to sit back, sip some wine, and celebrate your birthday with an air of sophistication.
    • Research common wine tasting techniques prior to visiting to get the most out of your wine experience. There are techniques dedicated to maximizing the taste, aroma and even atmosphere of your wine. [8]
    • Areas particularly well known for wine offer wine tours, a guided educational (and delicious) tour through all of the area’s vineyards. Such tours can accommodate groups as well – a great opportunity if your friends are wine lovers. [9]
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    Sign up for sky diving or bungee jumping. Birthdays are a perfect excuse to take part in these thrill-seeking activities. Even better, many sky diving or bungee jumping groups offer a discount if you come in on your birthday.
    • Make sure someone takes pictures of the occasion. Who knows when you’ll next jump out of a plane that’s 12,500 feet in the air?
    • Plan to spend the whole day skydiving. There are several safety measures to take into account, including weather concerns and a pre-jump class, before you get into the air. [10]
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    Visit your family. Take a spontaneous trip to see some of your family members and see if they want to go out for a bite to eat. We usually settle for a phone call or a birthday card from our family members, but a visit can show them how much you care.
    • If your family lives far away, arrange for a gathering of the whole family. Plan ahead to make sure everyone can take the time they need to travel.
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    Go on a date. Arrange to spend your big day with that special someone in your life. You can try out a few of the other activities featured on this list, but limit it to your partner for a more intimate experience.
    • There are plenty of ideas for toeing the fine line between birthday bash and romantic date. For example, go on a picnic and follow it up with a brewery tour. [11]

Method 3
Holding Your Own Party

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    Plan ahead. Start planning about 2 to 3 weeks before your birthday. Send out invitations early and through multiple media channels, such as Facebook, text and phone messages.
    • Create a Facebook page or website about the party. Add those you’ve invited to the page in order to create a hub of information that can keep everyone up to date on the latest information on the party. [12]
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    Create the guest list. Figure out where the party is taking place and how many people can comfortably fit into the venue. Prioritize your family and close friends to make sure your party is full of people you enjoy being around.[13]
    • Create a cutoff date. When inviting a large amount of people, place a cutoff date for accepting the invitation, or on the number of attendees allowed to the party, to make sure you don’t end up with far more guests than you can handle. If the cutoff date is well before the actual date of the party, you can open the invitations to additional guests to account for those who failed to RSVP.
    • Account for those who can’t make it. If you are planning a large party, allow for guests to invite one friend, or invite more people than you think you can actually handle. This is helpful if your party is less formal and you aren’t sending RSVPs.
    • If you are concerned about guests bringing friends that you aren’t comfortable with, place a caveat on the invitation regarding plus ones. For example, you might require guests to ask if they would like to bring a plus one, allowing you to screen your guests carefully.
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    Check your messages. Your family and friends are bound to be leaving you messages about your impending birthday, with some suggesting they hold a party for you. Let them know early that you will be holding your own, so that a surprise birthday party doesn’t go to waste!
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    Set a location and time for the party. Choose a time and place that is as convenient for the largest number of people as possible. Take into consideration whether your friends have obligations, such as kids or projects, and whether there will be plenty of alcohol.
    • Celebrate on a more convenient day than the actual day of your birthday if it happens to fall on a holiday or work day.
    • If you don’t plan on going to a restaurant or bar for your birthday, and you don’t think you have the space to hold it at your house, ask a friend if they can help with hosting duties.
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    Organize and prepare leading up to the big day. Food, drinks and decorations will need to be taken care of prior to the big day. Assign some work to friends or family to help pull everything together.[14]
    • Create some space. Move tables, chairs, and other furniture in order to create enough space for the expected number of guests. Avoid blocking off exits or creating dangerous obstacles when arranging the party space.
    • Have guests bring food and drink. You can make planning much easier if guests are required to bring food and drink to the party. [15]
    • Set up the music. Create a party playlist according to the ambience of the evening. Preset playlists are available on many music streaming programs, including Spotify and Apple Music. Some popular music stations also list their playlists for you to mix and match. [16]
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    Throw that party. Have a great time! Remember to stay safe and minimize the risks for you and your guests.
    • Serve water and other snacks if you plan on serving alcoholic drinks. Drinking on an empty stomach increases the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream.
    • If someone is getting too rowdy or a tensions get heated, take them to the side and let them know they need to either calm down or leave.
    • Keep your valuables secure and in other rooms, away from the party.[17]
    • Be mindful of your neighbors. You wouldn’t want your party to end early because you’re making too large a ruckus.


  • Don't mope about not getting what you wanted. Be proactive instead and buy yourself that something if you really want it. Treat yourself!
  • It's your birthday. Don’t feel forced into celebrating in a way you aren’t comfortable with.


  • Drink responsibly at all times.

Article Info

Categories: Birthdays