It is your special day! If you feel like this year should be different, and you want to do something other than organizing a party for your friends and family, try coming up with something you want to do, without necessarily thinking of indulging others. If you are out of ideas, try mine and let me know how they worked for you. Great minds think alike so I doubt you won’t find something you have always wanted to do.
1. Throw a theme party
This is the perfect timing to bring back the part of the past you like. You can ask everyone to dress up the same way they did on their New Year’s photo from when they were 10. Give your guests some homework and have them read your favorite fantasy novel and show up as one of the characters. Raid a charity shop and buy random pieces of old-fashioned clothing.
Make sure there are hats, shirts, and dresses for all of your guests. Put them in three boxes and ask each one of them to take one from each of the boxes. You will have some chuckles over this and that would be a great party starter. You could also do this as an introduction to a night out in town.
2. Free birthday hugs
This is a fun activity to do on your way to a club. Again, choose a theme and dress up. Approach random strangers you come across and offer free birthday hugs. Make sure your friends do the same or have them run around and advertise your hugs. You would be surprised at how many people enjoy this and how precious their role will be on your special day. Ask one of your friends to record some of it and you will have a great home video of a memorable night out.
3. Do something daring
Do something you have dreamed of doing for a while, but never had the courage. If you are out of extreme-sport ideas, google them and see what is available in your area. It can be pretty much anything from horseback riding to flying a plane or skydiving.
4. Room escape
If you have played or heard of the game, you know what I am talking about. There are places with rooms set up, where a team of people is meant to figure out how to get out of the room. However, it is not all in bashing through the door, but you have to solve different tasks to get more clues and decipher codes. Eventually, you will run into something, a key of some sort which will help you escape the room. This activity is usually done in smaller teams of four or five, but do try this for your sake. You can organize a dinner on the weekend for those who did not make the team.
5. Organize a birthday day
If your birthday falls on a weekday, organize this chain of activities on the weekend following your birthday. Select a group of your closest friends and do things such as paintball, bowling or go-kart racing. After you have enjoyed your active birthday day, take your friends out for drinks to a local bar
6. A Surprise getaway
Ask your friends or family members to organize a road trip for you without telling you what the route is. It may be a bit of work for them, but it is good work, and they get to decide where they want you to take them. It does not necessarily have to be a road trip, it can be a cruise, a city gateway, a camping trip or a visit to a theme park, as long as it is a surprise.
7. Get on the next flight
Another surprise and a touch of spontaneity. Take your partner along, go to the closest airport and catch the next plane. Perhaps you want to delay this a bit or take some time off work as this is not something you want to fit in one afternoon. Also, you can set some ground rules limiting the budget and the length of the flight depending on the time you have available.
You probably do not want to spend 12 hours on a plane if you only have 2 days available. Ask your friends to chip in as a birthday present and you can bring back some fridge magnets for them. Alternatively, you can host a dinner once you are back, in order to share your experiences and present them with a photo-shopped photo from the holiday with all of them in it.
8. A scavenger hunt and outdoor games
When people organize birthdays for their children they think of dozens of fun activities designed to keep the little hosts and their little guests entertained. This is because they cannot get caught up in a conversation and they prefer playing. Who’s to say that adults don’t enjoy playing? The fact is that often we find it too much of a hassle and prefer conversing with those around us. Even though some unwillingly participate at first, they get sucked in quickly. If the forecast allows it, organize an outdoor party and play games.
You can do children’s games or you can be ninja warriors, it is up to you. Your guests are bound to bring presents so assign one person to collect them and include them in a scavenger hunt they will have organized for you. And of course there will be appetizers and drinks but to make your job easier, use a Mobile Bar Hire and you won’t have to worry about setting up tables and running back and forth with drinks.
9. A game-night tournament
This is quite similar to the above, but more suited for those born in the colder months. Organize a large-scale game night at your home, of course with finger food, drinks, and music. Spice it up by making it into a tournament and the winner or one person from the winning team gets to jump out of your cake.
If none of these suit you, I hope I have at least stirred you in the right direction. You need to do something which will make you feel happy and free. Do not obsess about having to please or invite everyone you have in your life. You can always organize a pleasant get-together for them at your place the following day.