30th Birthday Ideas: What To Do For a 30th Birthday | Petal Talk (2024)

They say life begins at 30, and for good reason. Reaching thisbirthday milestonecan feel like you’re bidding farewell to a more carefree phase of your life and stepping into true adulthood…which sounds like a cause for celebration!

Past milestone birthdays, such as your21st, were probably thrown for you. But when you turn 30, you have every right to plan this bash yourself. Far from being a turning point to dread (my youth is gone!), turning 30 ushers in a time to get amped for all the wonderful opportunities life holds now that you’re a little older and, hopefully, a lot wiser. And what better way to welcome such a momentous milestone than with a birthday celebration that’s uniquely you?

Invites signal a 30th birthday done right

You might be thinking, “Do I really NEEDinvitationsto a birthday party?” In your 20s, life may have been filled with random parties that mostly came together over group texts. But this is your time to feel grown up, so it’s worth the splurge to classy up the experience and set the tone for an affair that’s a tad more formal.

Another reason is much more practical: weddings. Does it feel like everyone around you is getting married or engaged? That can mean plenty of weekends already eaten up by pre- and post-wedding affairs within your social circle. Invitations provide that tangible way to lock loved ones into your celebration date. Plus, it’s a fun way to give guests a preview to your theme and any instructions for the event, such as dressing as their favorite Pokémon (although we’re totally not suggesting that as a party theme…or are we???).

Give props to your 30th b-day

You only turn 30 once, so why not maximize the experience with the rightdecorations. Giant “3-0” numbers really drive home the point, lest anyone forget the age you’re turning. These can be anything from giant homemade cardboard cutouts to big rented pieces with Hollywood-style light bulbs. Or you could hire a designer to make them theme specific. Taylor Jones, owner ofProp My Party OKC, suggests travel-friendly inflatable numbers when hosting a destination party, like she did recently for her own 30th celebration in Palm Springs (in hot pink no less).

If you’re sticking close to home, props can act as standalone party decorations that fill up a space. Oversized “3-0” Mylar balloons are an absolute must for decorating and posing with. Balloon arches, honeycomb paper spheres, and custom floor signs all create the perfect place for guests to gather for photos. Add a clever saying like “Talk Thirty to Me” for Instagram-worthy photo ops. Customize everything to the color scheme for instant visual pop. Jones recently designed the decor for aBarbieparty, which included a pop-up toy shop (complete with doll box to pose in) featuring self-serve walls of sprinkled waffle cones and pink glasses of Champagne androsé.

Turning 30 calls for a transfixing theme

The most important part of planning a 30th birthday may be choosing a theme, as that will likely dictate many other party elements, from decor to food to entertainment. Jones advises going with a theme that reflects a personal passion. “The best way to plan a 30th is to ask yourself what you love. We all have saves on Pinterest that we one day want to happen. Well, go find those pins and do it! You’ll be happy you did.”

Here are five themes to consider.

1. “13 Going on 30”

Did you love the Jennifer Garner movie “13 Going on 30″ growing up? Here’s your chance to reverse roles and relive your younger years. “This is such a vibe right now. Bringing elements of the movie to life in a fun way, such as ‘I wanna be 30 and flirty and thriving,’ playful purples, yellow, and lime green, and Razzles, of course,” Jones explains. For bonus points, make it a pajama slumber party and deck out a living room with inflatable beds. In the morning, serve up a scrumptious grown-up brunch with a heat-and-serveeggs Benedictbar complete withsparkling wine and sweet treats.

2. ’90s and ’00s nostalgia

Were you a Nintendo kid or Yu-Gi-Oh! player? Whatever your pre-teen passion was, here’s your chance to replay it in grand style. Host a gaming night or your own book fair, or just dip Dunkaroos (yes, they still make them!) while binging on classic cartoons (SpongeBob!) from your favorite era. Dig up some Tamagotchis or Furbies, break out the Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and enjoy a blast from the past. Need party favors? Lip Smackers and Goosebumps, of course!

3. Dirty 30 for real

Whether it’s glamping in the backyard or just serving up a “dirt and worms” cake, embrace this fun play on words by getting back to nature for your 30th. You could even add in camp crafts from your younger years, such as makingfriendship braceletsor playing paper fortune teller games.

Want to keep the camp theme but skip the dirt altogether? Host s’more making inside with akit that has everything you needto make your own ooey gooey dessert sandwiches.

4. A tasteful 30

Embrace the new all-grown-up you with something super sophisticated, such as awinetasting, French-themeddinner party, or vintage-inspired soiree — whether that’s a proper Regency-style royaltea partyor recreating a boozy Roaring ’20s speakeasy. Think lots ofcandlelight,fresh flowers, andmonochromatic colorsfor an elevated table setting. Don’t forget to ask guests to dress up in their glitziest evening attire.

5. Recreate your favorite TV show

Whether it’s “Saved By the Bell” or “Succession,” trick out your celebration with the colors, sayings, and costumes that make each TV series unique. Play up on your “aging” with a “Golden Girls” sunny Florida get-together, or make it “The One Where You Turned 30″ with a “Friends” theme, complete with trivia about the show.

Permission to be extra with 30th birthday entertainment

A photographer might not be one of your first ideas when planning an epic 30th birthday party, but do not overlook this pro in your plans, Jones advises. “Finding the perfect photographer is huge,” she says. “There are different styles of photography, so finding someone that completes your vision is really important.” You’re sure to have wonderful memories to document, and you won’t have to worry about getting everything captured.

Beyond that, lean into your theme when it comes to keeping guests entertained, whether that means renting a bounce house or ball pit, or putting up a projector screen to watch favorite movies from your youth.

30th Birthday Ideas: What To Do For a 30th Birthday | Petal Talk (6)

Renting a Champagne cart can also make for a fun, interactive way to serve up party fare. Jones, who supplies carts for many of her parties, says these can be customized with wallpaper or paint to match the party theme. She’s turned hers into everything from a bouquet bar to gelato cart to mobile smoothie display, so the possibilities go beyond just a fancy way to servebubbly.

Don’t forget the favors

Any proper adult party has to have favors. Chicago baker Mindy Cruz ofMindy’s Cookies and Sweetssayscookiescan make an awesome — and yummy! — favor that guests will appreciate taking home. “Over the past few years, custom cookies have really grown in popularity as an option for dessert tables and party favors. As an added bonus, they do well outdoors, unlike cakes and cupcakes.” Design ideas for 30th birthday custom cookies can include the birth date circled on a calendar graphic, a cute saying like “Thirty & Flirty,” or the word “Thirty” spelled out in different styles.

Consider favors that guests will get real enjoyment out of post-event. Keep the “Dirty 30″ theme going after the celebration is over with take-home gifts ofmini succulents, help them maintain the feel-good vibes at their next party with mini bottles of bubbly — wrapped inpersonalized labelsto remind them of the fabulous time they had at your bash, of course — or give them a sweet sendoff withice cream cone cake pops.

30th Birthday Ideas: What To Do For a 30th Birthday | Petal Talk (2024)


What is a phrase for turning 30? ›

"Welcome to the dirty 30 club!" "You're officially a grown-ass man/woman now!" "30 looks good on you!" "One more year closer to perfection!"

What makes 30th birthday special? ›

They say life begins at 30, and for good reason. Reaching this birthday milestone can feel like you're bidding farewell to a more carefree phase of your life and stepping into true adulthood…which sounds like a cause for celebration! Past milestone birthdays, such as your 21st, were probably thrown for you.

What do guys do for their 30th birthday? ›

If they're an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, skydiving or a camping trip are great choices. If they're a foodie, a cooking class or a brewery tour are optimal. You only turn 30 once. Make memories that last a lifetime with one of these awesome 30th birthday party ideas.

How do you embrace turning 30? ›

Dealing with a Fear of Aging in Your 30s

Think of your 30s as a time to be your truest self; you can express yourself however you like and spend your time doing things that help you grow. Try not to compare yourself to younger people and focus on your own unique strengths instead.

Why is it called Dirty 30? ›

The “dirty 30” describes the increased amount of — ahem — fun that women have in their 30s. While we're not exactly crazy about the origins of this term, there is some truth to it. After all, the 30s mark a decade of increased confidence, financial stability, and increased self-knowledge.

Why is turning 30 called dirty 30? ›

It's a reference to the 1930's dust bowl and severe economic effects. Basically in the 30's there were constant sand storms and it really was a bad time, lots of people were hungry and everything was covered in sand. So it was called the dirty 30's.

What does dirty 30 mean? ›

Dirty 30, as we informally refer to it, is a phase and stage in life where people, especially women, are supposed to have found themselves enough to start the walk towards 40. The dirty three zero is a realisation age, unapologetically. Now let's have this interesting conversation about sex on the third floor.

Is 30 a milestone birthday? ›

Milestone birthdays are what you make them. There's no right or wrong way to celebrate, and no celebration is too small. Milestone birthdays typically include when you turn 1, 15 or 16, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, and so on.

Is 30 the golden birthday? ›

Many people wonder exactly what age is the “golden year.” But there are actually multiple chances to celebrate. Your golden birthday is the year you turn the same age as your birthday – for example, turning 25 on the 25th, or 31 on the 31st. If you've ever wondered where the tradition comes from, you're not alone.

Should you celebrate 30th birthday? ›

Turning 30 is a huge milestone, so stop dreading it and instead embrace your 30s by throwing a big birthday bash. Your 30th birthday party is a great opportunity to gather your friends and loved ones to celebrate life together. There are many 30th birthday ideas to explore, ensuring you have a special experience.

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