Favourite Ideas For An 18th Birthday Party

Guide To Planning An 18th Birthday Party

Planning a great 18th birthday party for your son or daughter is exciting, but it also presents some challenges. This is one milestone birthday that requires some pre-planning and discussion so that the event runs smoothly. More than any other birthday, a party for their 18th needs to find that magical balance between a pile of teenagers running amok in the backyard and a special family event to honour their transition to adulthood.


As the proud parents of your almost 18 year old, this is an important milestone for you as well. But, more than anything else, your teen will have some definite ideas about how they want their 18th birthday party to go. Make sure you involve them in the planning process. Every teenager is different, so planning an 18th birthday party that’s fun and tailored to suit their personality is important. This is one milestone event they will look back on for years to come, so you want to be able to make it special for them.  


There are a few 18th birthday party planning essentials that you’ll need no matter what theme you choose or what activities you have in mind for the big day. From simple 18th birthday party ideas at home to planning a big birthday bash, these are our top ideas for things to consider when hosting or planning an 18th everyone will love.


18th Birthday Guest Book

While everyone will probably bring an 18th birthday card, it’s a great idea to also have a keepsake book that guests can sign. If you have time, making a scrapbook style keepsake with quotes and photos from their childhood is a gorgeous way to create a memory book that guests can also sign or add their own personal message. Encourage friends and family from afar to mail a small message that can be included in the book even if they can’t attend the birthday party. Books with inspirational quotes and plenty of space to add signatures and well wishes are another nice idea for an 18th birthday guest book if you don’t have time to make your own 18th memory book with photos.


18th birthday guest book


Cocktails and Mocktails For An 18th

Everyone loves cocktail shaking and mixing up their own creative drink ideas, so set up a dedicated drinks table at the party. It’s a good idea to have a responsible adult on the bar to help serve or to make cocktails, especially if you’re paying for the drinks! Alcohol gifts are common for an 18th, but be sure to offer alternatives.


There’s bound to be a mix of ages at an 18th birthday party, and not everyone will be over 18. Make sure you cater to the drinkers and non-drinkers alike by serving a range of beverages. While raising a glass of champagne to toast to the new adult is a highlight of any 18th birthday party, mocktails are a lot of fun. Low-alcohol options are a good idea if you want the party to last. Grab a heap of different glasses from your local op shop and learn a few fun and colourful low-alcohol cocktails and mocktail recipes so everyone can raise a glass.


cocktail recipes for an 18th birthday party


Set Up A Birthday Party Photo Booth

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a photo booth with props is an essential idea for any 18th birthday party. While there will probably be selfies galore, there’s something special about posing with friends in a giant frame or under a balloon arch. If you can, hire a professional photographer, even if it’s just for an hour. Time it right so you get photos far enough into the evening that everyone is mingling and having a good time, but before the make-up starts to wear off! Ideally, the photographer should be there for the cutting of the cake and the all-important 18th birthday speeches.


18th birthday things to do


Organise Some 18th Birthday Party Games And Activities

You’re never too old for birthday party games! And, at an 18th party, everyone will love to up the stakes with a casino party. If you’re having a small 18th birthday party at home, create a whole casino vibe with a few intimate tables for poker, roulette, or black jack set up in the garage. You can buy green felt by the metre and a range of casino themed party supplies to bring some glitz and glamour. Add in some professional betting chips and you have a winner!

If you’d rather host the party outdoors, set up a large outdoor projector screen for movies or music videos. Buy some cheap carpet and create an outdoor dance floor. If you’re planning an 18th birthday party in winter, a bonfire or BBQ party are great ideas.

Casino Theme 18th Birthday Party


18th Birthday Party Alternatives

The downside of hosting an 18th birthday at home is the clean up the following day. If you’d rather avoid the mess, then there are plenty of ways to make your son or daughter’s 18th birthday special without having to organise the whole event yourself. Unique 18th birthday party ideas for a small group include hiring a limousine for a luxury city-by-night tour, an organised scavenger hunt, a private group Segway tour, or spending the day at a spa retreat with endless champagne, massages, and hot tubbing. Decadent and pampering spa weekends with friends are favourite 18th birthday party ideas for girls.


Day Spa 18th Birthday Party


Not everyone wants a party for their 18th. If your son or daughter would rather just have a quiet family celebration with just one or two close friends, you can still mark the occasion and make their birthday something special to remember. Sometimes, doing something completely different or having a new experience is more important than a big party. Ideas for things to do for an 18th instead of a birthday party include sky-diving, driving a racecar, or even flying a plane with an aerobatics flight experience! Adventure experience gifts are always popular 18th birthday party ideas for guys.


18th birthday party ideas for guys


How To Make An 18th Birthday Special On A Budget

You can celebrate an 18th birthday on a budget by planning your own luxury picnic somewhere meaningful to your child. You can choose a quirky location for their party to make it a talking point. It might be the school playground where they went to kindergarten, the sports oval where they kicked their first goal, or the lookout carpark where they had their first kiss! Set up a gazebo strung with balloons, surround it with picnic blankets, fill an esky with ice, and set up a picnic table with a lavish cheese platter or grazing board with champagne, chocolates, and gourmet nibbles. Bring along some portable speakers for some birthday tunes, a photo book filled with childhood photos, and you have all the makings for a great 18th.

18th birthday hamper

Choose A Heartfelt 18th Birthday Gift For Your Son Or Daughter

The most important thing to remember when it comes to celebrating your child’s 18th is to take a moment together to express your unconditional love. Whether you choose to write a letter to your son or daughter on their 18th birthday filled with words of wisdom, or prefer a personalised present to show how proud you are of them, take some time to think of a heartfelt gesture that best suits your relationship. As you mark their entrance to adulthood and a new chapter in their life, you have the opportunity to set the stage for a whole new phase in your relationship with your soon-to-be adult child. Your 18th birthday gift to them is something they will cherish forever. The possibilities are endless! 




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