1. Bring The Bar Home
Cocktails are a must for any birthday bash, so get the party started by bringing the bar to you. Call in the pros to do the hard work for you, whilst you sit back, get ready and enjoy yourself with your guests – hiring your very own DJ and a mobile bartender service (we seriously rate Coxtails) will give your celebration that wow-factor. Then, later in the evening, either venture off on a girls' night out, or keep the party going at home.
2. Play Dress-Up For The Night
Love a bit of fancy dress? Why not throw a costume party? Firstly, decide on a theme for the night. You can go sophisticated with cocktail dresses and black tie, or choose your favoruite movie, book or decade – we all like to look our best, so pick a theme that will showcase your guests' best assets (The Great Gatsby or Saturday Night Fever are always failsafe options). If you want to go all out, put a fancy-dress box together filled with props, and scatter disposable cameras around the room so people can snap away throughout the night.
3. Throw A Garden Party
Weather dependent, of course, but if you have the space, your garden can be transformed into the coolest of party hangouts. Adorn your lawn and decking with low-lit lanterns to set the mood; decorate your dining table with flowers; create a boho party tent scattered with soft cushions; and serve up tasty sharing platters – Social Pantry are the caterers to call for mouthwatering (and very Instagrammable) summer party food. Or, if you have a large garden and want to go all out, turn it into an adult funfair; hiring street food stalls and big balloon displays.
4. Plan A Grown-Up Sports Day
Sports days aren't just for kids... Throwing your own school-style event will guarantee an afternoon full of nostalgia and a lot of laughs. As for location, use your garden if it's big enough, or scout out local parks and playing fields – don't forget to ask permission from the local authority if necessary. Alternatively, hire the pros to arrange it all for you, so all you need to do is turn up (having practiced your egg and spoon skills first, of course): Sharky & George do fun like no one else.
5. Embark On A Scavenger Hunt
Hear us out on this one. Whether you’re planning your own adventure, or buying an affordable pre-planned PDF from Treasure Days, scavenger hunts are a surprisingly fun way to spend an afternoon – especially when they finish at the pub.
6. Host A Pamper Party
If you fancy a relaxed evening in for your birthday, there's nothing better than a blissful night of pampering fun. Call in the mobile beauty therapists at Secret Spa or Perfect 10 to treat yourself and your guests to facials, manicures and pedicures. Or, if you're heading out for the evening, book a pre-party pampering session – indulge in one of London's best blow-dries at Duck & Dry or head to bar-cum-hairdressers-cum-get ready station, Salon 64, to get glammed up whilst sipping cocktails.
7. Pull Out The Pizzas
If your birthdays are all about food and booze, get the girls together and serve margherita pizzas with margarita cocktails – the perfect party combo. For those not fussed about partying, sit back, relax and watch some classic movies back-to-back. Or, for a more lively affair, spend the evening playing hilarious games – trust us, The Cereal Box Game, Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity are riotously funny after a few birthday tipples.
8. Have A Wine & Cheese Tasting
For a laid-back foodie affair, a wine and cheese spread is guaranteed to go down a storm with your guests. Perfect your pairings with servings of tangy cheddar and gooey camembert, served alongside glasses of your favourite merlot or sauvignon – check out our expert guide to buying supermarket wine if you're in need of a helping hand. Or, for a relaxed evening out, take the tasting to a stylish wine bar – we love East London's Sager + Wilde, which serves up superlative cheese boards and toasties filled with British artisanal cheese, alongside an ever-changing menu of unique wines by-the-glass.
9. Try A Tattoo Or Piercing Party
There's no cooler way to commemorate your birthday, whatever your age, than getting a tattoo. Make like Kate Moss – who hired a tattoo artist to give all the guests matching designs at her Glastonbury-themed 40th – by throwing a tattoo party at your home (if you dare). Or for those wanting something a little less permanent, piercing parties are big news in the fashion world right now thanks to the trend for multiple ear piercings. Maria Tash is the name to know in London; when Camille Charrière's a fan, you can't go wrong.
10. Host A Dinner Party With A Difference
If you are dead set on a dinner, make yours different by outsourcing the food; your guests can enjoy a lavish feast and you won't have to work up a sweat in the kitchen (no one needs that on their birthday). The priavte chefs-for-hire at La Belle Assiette will cook up a storm – with menus spanning sharing platters to five-course feasts – and even clean up afterwards. We're also big fans of Sushi Rolls, who send expert sushi chefs to you home to put on a dazzling, and delicious, display. Or call in pre-made catering from the likes of bespoke catering service Zara's Kitchen; another SL fave.