21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On Your 21st Birthday (No Alcohol Required)

21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On your 21st Birthday (No Drinking Required) Click To Tweet

If you're anything like I was on my 21st birthday, you might be excited to celebrate the milestone but don't totally desire the crazy bar scene. You may not be interested in taking 21 shots or blacking out just to say you turned 21.

Perhaps you're more interested in celebrating LIFE instead of forgetting or wasting it away.

Seek to celebrate life, not to waste life! Click To Tweet

In college and society at large, there's often an unsaid expectation and uncomfortable pressure to “live it up” on your 21st.

And 21st birthdays often come with the pressure to abuse it…just because it's legal.

I can't help but think that just because it's legal doesn't mean it's good.

Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's good. Click To Tweet

A celebratory toast or glass of wine is wonderful, especially when shared with family and friends. In fact, I shared a glass of wine with my family and best friends at dinner on my 21st. As “lame” as that may sound, it was actually really nice.

I just didn't feel the need to do what culture expected me to do because by that point, I wanted so much more out of the life God gave me than destructive decisions I'd regret. A few weeks later, my friends through me a little girls night with makeovers and movies which was the sweetest thing!

Here's the truth about drinking too much on any occasion: it's often used as an escape.

Consider the phrase, “live it up.”

It's almost an attempt to feel fully alive…and it's that deep desire that leads us to seek life in death things.

Sometimes we look for life in dead things. Click To Tweet

I think coming alive, having a blast, and escaping the ordinary can be done in thousands of ways that don't require bad decisions and hang over headaches. And I want to show you 21 ways you can do that without downing 21 shots, caving to peer pressure, doing something you regret, or forgetting the night all together.

1. Find a hot air balloon venue near you, grab some friends or your family, and sail through the skies.

2. Rent bikes and cycle around the city. Make a whole day of it. Stop for ice cream, have lunch, visit a friend.

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3. Serve the community. Make meals for the homeless, pick up someone's tab at dinner, volunteer to help the elderly in the community, or find other ways to serve. We live in a world that says our birthday should be that the world revolves around us. What if we served the world? We come alive when we come undone and give to the lives of others; there is nothing more rewarding.

21 Things to Do On your 21st (That Don't Require Drinking)

4. Have a baking party. Invite over 3-4 friends and tell each one to bring over ingredients to make 3-4 dozen batches (1 dozen per person present) of their favorite dessert (or, if it's cake, 3-4 cakes!) and then swap with each other so that each friend involved has one dozen of each dessert made!

5. Go to one of the 100 places that will give you FREE stuff on your birthday!

6. Make confetti pancakes (because who doesn't love confetti pancakes?) and deliver them to local businesses to share the birthday love.

21 Ridiculously Fun Things To Do On Your 21st (No Alcohol Required)

7. Learn a new skill. Ask a friend or two to join you in a cooking class, or try dancing lessons, or even try a pottery or painting class!

8. Travel to a different terrain…hike through forest or mountains within driving distance or kayak or on a lake near you.

9. Plan and host a backyard dinner party. Make it an event! Pick out your favorite decor, make a unique menu, forage flowers, and plan some fun backyard games for after dinner! Even give it a theme and tell your friends to dress accordingly!

21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On Your 21st Birthday that Don't Require Alcohol

10. Do something crazy adventurous–visit an indoor trampoline park or go skydiving, camping, or mountain biking!

11. Have an old fashioned tea party in a garden or a picnic on the beach

12. Play laser tag or paintball with a bunch of friends

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13. Get tickets to a local sports game or concert! I went to a baseball game with a few friends on my 21st and it was a blast!

14. Grab your best girlfriends for brunch and enjoy a spa day

15. Go to a nearby carnival, amusement park, or indoor waterpark for the afternoon

21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On Your 21st Birthday (No Drinking Required)

16. Have a planned food fight or water balloon fight with friends. Make it a game with teams and rules. Losers buy the birthday cake!

*Be careful with this one. I was sent to the emergency room one year for taking a bowl to the head and had to get stitches!*

17. Use Expedia or Kayak and look up the cheapest round trip tickets that you can find for you and a friend. Go wherever those tickets are going to for a day and explore that city or destination. Try to travel for under $200. Stay in an air BnB and find a restaurant only locals know about!

Your Brokenness is Welcome Here Sweatshirt


18. Go to a drive in movie or try an exotic restaurant. For one of my friends' birthdays, we went to an authentic Turkish restaurant and got to sit on cushions on the floor!

19. Take a road and sleep in your car (or camp!)

21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do on Your 21st Birthday (That Don't Require Drinking)

20. Have a bonfire–invite friends, bring a stereo, and roast marshmallows!

21. Go thrift shopping or to the Farmer's Market (and then use the food you bought to make a fresh meal!)

21 Fun Things to Do On Your 21st

22. Just a bonus: Makeovers and Movies! Get some girlfriends together, hire a makeup artist to do all of your makeup, go out to dinner, take photos, and then crash at someone's house for a movie marathon. Trust me, this is a good time. Simple but a little different and girls love it!

I hope these ideas helped you get a little creative when it comes to your 21st birthday (or any birthday, really!)


Most people resort to drinking because they don't know how else to have fun. I dare you to bring the fun, the creativity, and the true joy to the circle. I dare you to be different and show the world a real, good, and unforgettable time.

I dare you to bring the fun, creativity, & true joy to the circle. Show the world a real, good, & unforgettable time Click To Tweet

And by the way, Happy Birthday 😉

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 Click To Tweet
21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On your 21st (No Alcohol Required)
21 Ridiculously Fun Things To Do On Your 21st (No Alcohol Required)
21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On Your 21st
21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do On Your 21st Birthday

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Jordan Lee

Author: Jordan Lee

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2 thoughts on “21 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do on Your 21st Birthday (No Alcohol Required)

  1. Dude, it’s pretty much only American’s who can’t drink ’til their 21, and thus abuse it. Look at the healthy, respectful European countries! Gah!

    Posted on March 29, 2018 at 1:55 am
  2. Hi, I’m from Malaysia. I’m turning 21 in November. Just what I need when the milestone is reached in 5 months. No alcohol required, I like it.

    Posted on June 11, 2018 at 7:16 am