Bucket List Ideas For Milestone Birthdays

Celebrate A Milestone Birthday With The Ultimate Bucket List Experience

As adults, we tend to let most birthdays pass without a fuss, but there are some special birthday occasions where it's important to mark the passing of another year. For both kids and adults, milestone birthday celebrations are the perfect time to encourage your friend or loved one tick off some of the top experiences on their bucket list.


What ages are milestone birthdays?

Milestone birthdays are those extra special landmark ages that deserve a little more attention than just a birthday card and cake. A first birthday, turning 5, becoming a teenager at 13, and a 16th birthday are all important childhood milestones that usually involve a large party and an extra-special gift. Milestone birthdays for adults are typically their 18th birthday, 21st birthday, and then all those round number birthdays.


There are so many reasons to celebrate a big birthday year. Landmark birthdays for kids are about fussing over them as they grow up and cherishing each new phase of their life. Milestone birthdays for adults are more about connecting with friends and celebrating life. Planning something special for these most important birthdays is a nice way to honour past achievements and show how proud you are of your loved one.


Milestone birthday party and bucket list gift ideas

How you celebrate a milestone birthday depends on the birthday boy or girl. A surprise party for a 30th or 40th birthday is a popular idea, but not everyone likes surprises. If you want unique birthday gift ideas for an important milestone, then starting them off with a birthday bucket list is perfect at any age.


A DIY bucket list is a unique gift for an 18 year old or for an adult celebrating a round number birthday. Encourage them to create their own adventure jar (or actual bucket!) full of ideas for things they’d love to do. Bucket list ideas to live life to the fullest don’t have to be epic adventures. While everyone has travel goals and big plans for the future, the best bucket list wishes are simple things that bring joy or encourage you to take a chance.


What is a bucket list?

A person’s bucket list is a very individual collection of things they want to do within their lifetime. A bucket list might include things like new experiences, personal goals, travel destinations, and things that they would like to accomplish within their lifetime. A slightly more morbid way to look at it is making a list of things to do before you die—or kick the bucket. The point of a bucket list is to make the most of life and experience as much as possible.


Writing out a bucket list helps people to live life to the fullest by evaluating their priorities and pushing them outside their comfort zone. A bucket list should have a mix of meaningful life goals, amazing experiences to bring joy, and things that scare you (in a good way). For the big goals on a bucket list, breaking them down into the smaller steps you need to take to achieve them can help with a feeling of progress. Bucket list things to do can also be frivolous, like binge watching every season of an old favourite TV show or dancing in the rain. Ticking off simple, fun bucket list experiences can be just as rewarding as accomplishing inspiring goals.


Give a DIY birthday bucket list kit

A great milestone birthday gift idea is to get them started on creating their own bucket list. You could create a gift basket that contains an inspirational book, a journal for jotting down ideas, a special pen, and a jar or physical bucket. Start them off with a few beautifully written notes in their bucket listing ideas for things you know they want to do. Talk to friends and family about pooling resources to buy a joint gift for something more impressive. Or plan a birthday weekend away with lots of opportunities to start ticking off their bucket list ideas. 

Fifty Places To Camp Before You Die Hardcover Book

Great bucket list ideas for an 18th birthday or 21st birthday

This is the age for crazy fun bucket list ideas. You’ll want to think of activities, challenges, and adventures that encourage exploration and self-expression. Forget the idea of a traditional list of goals and dreams you think they’d like to accomplish within their lifetime, and aim a little more short-term. Bucket list ideas for a teenager or young adult might be things to do before they turn 30 or even just a plan for 365 days of adventure. For those all-important coming of age milestone birthdays, you’ll also want to include a range of fun bucket list ideas to do with friends.


These are our top 10 bucket list ideas for young adults:

  1. Swim with sharks or whales
  2. Cook a five-course meal from scratch
  3. Challenge yourself to go vegan for a month
  4. Learn fire juggling
  5. Go bungy jumping with a friend
  6. Give a speech in public
  7. Go on an overnight hike or walks in nature
  8. Shave your head (and donate your hair to charity)
  9. Complete a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle
  10. Get 15 seconds of fame on TV


30 Day Vegan Challenge


30th birthday bucket list ideas

A 30th or 40th birthday is a great time to get serious with some big bucket list ideas. This is the time to be brave and take a chance with some lifechanging experiences and putting those ‘one day’ dreams into motion. Brainstorm a mix of purposeful activities and whimsical bucket list ideas. If you’re planning a surprise for someone who has children, they might also be interested in a few bucket list ideas for a family for things they want to do before their kids leave home. Be inspired to create your own activity wishlist with ultimate bucket list ideas for yourself!


Here's our top 10 bucket list ideas for someone turning 30 or 40:

  1. Host a lavish home spa party
  2. Run a 5K marathon
  3. Write and publish a book
  4. Learn photography and sell a framed photo
  5. Gate-crash a university lecture
  6. Travel and see more of Australia
  7. Get on stage at a live improv or open mic night
  8. Go abseiling
  9. Learn to make home brew
  10. Pat a wild cat with an up-close zoo encounter


The Big 4-Oh Birthday Wine Glass


50th birthday bucket list ideas

Turning 50 and 60 are important milestones worthy of great bucket list ideas. If you’re planning a special 50th birthday gift for your husband, wife, or a parent, you could start by putting together a list of things they’ve always wanted to do but never had time for. For someone who might be looking to liven things up, you could create a list of 52 things to do before their next birthday. Encourage them to share the list with friends or even on social media so they can be accountable for ticking off the more intimidating challenges and share each fun experience or achievement with their loved ones. 


These are the top 10 bucket list ideas for someone turning 50 or beyond:

  1. Turn up at the airport and just hop on the next flight
  2. Live large with a gourmet wine tasting experience
  3. Learn a new language
  4. Go tandem sky-diving
  5. Walk the Kokoda Track
  6. Read all of Shakespeare’s classics
  7. Host an elaborate cheese tasting party
  8. Dabble in the stock market
  9. Offer your time as a mentor to someone in your field
  10. Set up a home bar in your garage and invite the neighbours over


Home Bar Beer Tower


Bucket list ideas for couples

You don't need to wait for a birthday to start thinking of ways to live life to the fullest. You can give a couples bucket list gift as an anniversary present for your other half or for your parents. Making plans for the future and thinking up new and fun things to do is the best way to bring some much needed joie de vivre back into your life. These bucket list suggestions are especially great for empty nesters and would be great retirement gifts for when they have more time on their hands and are looking for new adventures and experiences. We also love these as romantic or fun bucket list ideas for new couples to do together.


  1. Pack a hamper to enjoy a champagne picnic at a lookout spot
  2. Follow a local tourist trail and take selfies along the way
  3. Ride in a ferris wheel together
  4. Rent a BBQ boat for the day and invite your friends
  5. Go skinny dipping
  6. Visit a local farm that offers farm tours or fruit picking
  7. Order an extra large ice-cream sundae to share
  8. Binge watch an old favourite TV series together 
  9. Plan a mutual pamper weekend
  10. Visit every antique store or museum within 200km


Veuve & Sweet Foodies Hamper


Find The Perfect Bucket List Ideas at Gifts Australia

There are so many important reasons to celebrate your birthday as an adult, even if you only do something special for the big milestone birthdays. Make your special someone’s next birthday even more memorable with bucket list gift ideas to create meaningful moments. From books to broaden their horizons, to party-worthy gourmet food and wine, travel accessories, 5 star pamper products, and gifts to get their creative juices flowing - you'll find inspiration for unique bucket list ideas that will full them with joy. Join them on their adventure with a gift to share, or send them off to learn something new and have the experience of a lifetime. 


Birthday Gift Ideas


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