6 30th Birthday Party Ideas to Ring In the Best Years of Your Life


I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your thirties are the best years of your life. Hear me out. Obviously, “best years” is completely subjective, and the general wisdom is that college is supposed to be the best time in your life. But I’m of a mind to think that your thirties introduce a settled feeling that, whether or not you’re conventionally “settled,” allow you to escape that feeling of floundering and confusion that dominates your twenties. There are also actual stats that suggest more people are happier in their thirties!

Thirty and up should be about living your life the way you want to, without being bogged down by expectations, youthful recklessness and the ever-present twentysomething question of what the hell we’re doing with our lives. By 30, I’d like to say I know what I’m doing, for the most part. That’s my only goal.

30 years old is also a huge milestone that everyone is afraid of, but having a huge, amazing bash is a chance to turn something usually considered negative into a positive. Who doesn’t love to celebrate their birthdays? People shower you with attention and sometimes even presents, you get to maybe wear a crown of some sort, and no one judges you for drinking a smidge too much. So to ring in the best years of your life, make your party something to remember and look back on, with these cool party ideas. Spoiler alert: most of these are themed.


1. Destination Party

Like a destination wedding, a destination 30th birthday party will move you and your friends to an exciting place for a weekend, like Hawaii or Vegas or Paris. Plan in advance to make sure everyone is available, or even turn it into a multiple birthday celebration if you share a birthday week with a friend or two. Making your birthday a destination will make you that much more excited about hitting this scary milestone.

2. Bucket List of Events

Instead of throwing a party, gather some friends and decide on a bucket list of things you’ve always wanted to do. Go away for a weekend and plan to do them all, and remember to take a camera with you to document your once-in-a-lifetime experiences. On my list would definitely be sky-diving! But it can be anything you each want to do. Ringing in your thirties by accomplishing major dreams and goals definitely makes getting older a lot more exciting.

3. Dork-Themed Party

My 30th birthday will probably be some costume party mix of Harry Potter and Jane Austen. Regency dresses and magic wands sound like the perfect combination. Indulge your inner dork by planning a party around the thing you love best. Bonus points if the thing you love is tequila. Other ideas include an Alice in Wonderland party with mad hatters and fun tea tables, the circus, or Game of Thrones.

4. Jazz Age Party

Listen: everyone wants to be a flapper. Or Ernest Hemingway. Indulge your inner expat with a Paris during the Jazz Age party and encourage all your guests to wear tuxes and drop-waist dresses. Have gin martinis served at the bar and do the Charleston with reckless abandon. Close out your “roaring twenties” and usher in the…Great Depression?

5. Theme Party of the Decade You Were Born Into

Born in the 80s? Perfect. You just have the recipe for an amazing 30th birthday party. Yes it’s been done before, but really—Madonna never goes out of style.

6. Carnival Theme

Rent some fun carnival booths in your backyard, hang striped tents around, and spend your first day of your thirties playing ring toss, doing a potato sack race, and eating indecent amounts of funnel cake. Celebrating your thirties by indulging your inner child will remind you that you’re never too old to act like a kid again. You’re only as old as you feel, after all.

Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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