9 Great Backyard Birthday Party Ideas that are Perfect for Adults

backyard birthday party ideas for adults, decor banner happy birthday with outdoor setting
backyard birthday party ideas for adults, decor banner happy birthday with outdoor setting

Did you know that the average size of an American backyard is around 8,500 square feet?

While the average size has decreased since the 90s, that’s still plenty of room to throw one of the greatest adult parties ever. You don’t ever have to worry about booking a venue elsewhere because you can create one right behind your house.

Are you wondering what you can do with such a seemingly limited space? Keep reading to learn all about the best backyard birthday party ideas for adults.

White Flowers on a Light Brown Paper-Like Background with White Text: Elegant Birthday Invitation Design.

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Browse gorgeous designs for every party theme!

White Flowers on a Light Brown Paper-Like Background with White Text: Elegant Birthday Invitation Design.

1. Carnival

Regardless of how old you get, there’s no denying how nostalgic and fun carnivals are at any age. With a backyard carnival theme party, you can have all of the expected tropes while also making it for adults. For instance, there are adult clowns you could hire who roast guests like a stand-up comedian.

There’s also the wonderful element of alcohol. If you set up a bar in the backyard, you can start concocting crazy and delicious carnival-themed drinks. To go with that, you should remember to get all of the carnival staple treats like funnel cakes, candy apples, and popcorn.

Charming Backyard Birthday Party Ideas for Adults: Festive String of Lights, Carnival Vibes. Wood-Like Background with Elegant White Text.
Strings of lights – Birthday Invitation

Why not go all out and buy or rent a popcorn machine? After all, nothing tastes better than freshly-popped popcorn. If you really want to have the wildest backyard festival-themed party, then you should consider getting the birthday girl or boy their very own popcorn cake.

Let’s not forget that carnivals could also refer to Mardis Gras. This type of carnival has a whole different vibe if you want to make things as adult-like as possible. From dazzling beads to shots galore, the party will be so exciting that your guests won’t ever want to leave.

2. Luau

Why go all the way to the islands of Hawaii when you can have a backyard luau party that’s only a few steps away? The luau atmosphere is one of dancing and celebration, but also relaxation and good vibes. Once you put on that traditional flower necklace called a lei, there’s no doubt that something special is happening.

When inviting your guests, be sure to mention in the card that they should wear casual clothing. Ideally, they can break out a Hawaiin shirt or some other clothing that has flowers or vibrant designs. Comfortable sandals are a must.

Tropical Luau Flower Wreath Invitation: Elegant Black Text Centered on Vibrant Floral Wreath. Perfect for Backyard Birthday Party Ideas for Adults.
Tropical Flower Wreath – Birthday Invitation

To complete the decorations for this party theme, you can use coconuts, pineapples, totem poles, and tiki torches. Nothing says luau like a big bonfire where people can dance even when it gets dark.

One or more fruit platters would be great to have on hand. For a twist on plain fruit, you can try bacon-wrapped pineapple bites. Your guests will fall head over heels for the flavors you can get from that treat with just a single bite.

3. Wine Tasting

Blonde Girl Enjoying Wine Outdoors, Holding Two Glasses, Taking a Sip
Justin Aikin, Unsplash

If you’re in need of some small backyard ideas, then wine tasting is a fabulous option since it only requires enough space to seat everyone comfortably and set up a wine station. For this type of station, you’ll need to get a trusty wine bottle opener and enough wine glasses for everyone.

If you’re expecting to invite a lot of people, then it could even be worth investing in a wine dispenser. As for the wine itself, you should try to get as many varieties as possible, such as red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, as well as ones from different vineyards. That way, you’ll have plenty to taste and talk about throughout the course of the party.

While wine is amazing on its own, it’s even better when paired with the right finger foods. Cheese and wine is a classic staple, but by no means is it the only combination out there. You should feel free to put out some sushi, nuts, deviled eggs, olives, chips, soft pretzels, chocolate, and even some delicious bruschetta.

What better birthday cake for a wine tasting party is there than a wine cake? You might be surprised to learn that red or white wine can go great inside certain kinds of cake.

Just be sure to eat your wine cake and drink responsibly by collecting everyone’s keys in a bowl as they arrive. This makes it easier to get them to a cab if they need it later on.

4. A Night in Paris

Woman Admiring Backyard Christmas Lights with Decorated Trees and People in the Background

Few cities are as iconic as Paris. Instead of flying everyone out to France and breaking the bank, you can bring the city to your backyard and save a ton of time and money.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can bake a layered cake in the shape of the Eiffel Tower or you can hire professionals to handle that on your behalf. Nowadays, the pros can even put tiny lights in the cake tower so that it shines brightly throughout the evening. Your guests will be like tourists as they take a bunch of pictures of your edible Eiffel Tower.

Glittering Gold Parisian Night Birthday Party Invitation with Eiffel Tower Illustration
Touch of Paris – Birthday Invitation

Don’t forget to create a photo booth where people can use fun props to improvise and capture funny moments. Props you can get include a classic French beret, a curly-ended mustache, a plastic baguette, the French flag, and more.You could invest in an affordable projector or rent one so that you can have an outdoor screening of Midnight in Paris. The story involves a character, portrayed by Owen Wilson, who is in love with Paris and, during a trip there, he gets sent back in time to Paris’ glory days in the early 20th century. With heartfelt humor and nostalgia, it’ll be a wonderful way to tie a bow around the party’s theme.

5. Glow in the Dark Dance Party

How many dance parties have the night sky as their venue’s ceiling? Your guests will love bathing in moonlight as you play great music to get everyone’s bodies moving. To add another dimension to the atmosphere, your neon glow party can be enhanced by glow-in-the-dark clothing, decorations, and more.

The glow-in-the-dark materials can have a range of colors, as you might have seen at a traditional rave. Nowadays, it’s easy to find glow sticks with every color of the rainbow. You could even make glow-in-the-dark cotton candy shots, mini cupcakes, Oreo pops, and more.

Vibrant Neon Pink Birthday Party Invitation with a Neon Heart and Glowing Photograph, Text in Pink: 'All Glowed Up!' Featuring a Purple Envelope on a Black Background.
Pink Neon Glow – Birthday Invitation

Make sure you spend some time coming up with a playlist that fits the mood, such as “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, “E.T.” by Katy Perry, “Saturn” by Sufjan Stevens, and “Rocket Man” by Elton John.

You can decorate the cake with fun star-shaped sprinkles and even make the cake itself in the shape of a star.

6. Square Dancing Party

Outdoor Wine Tasting Party: Women Enjoying Backyard Decorations and Each Other's Company, One Holding a Bottle.
Andrew Knechel, Unsplash | Kelsey Chance, Unsplash

Southern people are known for much more than their hospitality. Square dancing is a staple of just about every Southern celebration. You can take this fun dance activity and create an entire backyard festivity out of it.

For decorations, you can have hay bales and wine barrels to accomplish that homey and rustic look. You could even use them as tables to set out Southern-style finger foods for the party guests, such as deep-fried dill pickles, Cajun boiled peanuts, crawfish dip, pimento cheese, and onion straws. Why not go all out by creating a birthday cake in the shape of a cowboy hat?

Speaking of cowboy hats, you’ll definitely want to let your guests know on their Cowboy and Western party invitations that they’re expected to dress as country as possible.

Of course, what would a square dancing party be without a bunch of country music to get the blood pumping? Music made for square dancing, in particular, includes “Fort Lee Line” by The Rounders, “Four Around” by Square Dance Hollers, “The Town and Country Square Dance” by Zip Wilson, and “Fast Square Dancing Yee-Haw” by Square Dance Heroes.

If you don’t like country music, you’ll be glad to know that there are country hip-hop hybrid songs that can give you the best of both worlds. You should consider adding “Country Folks” by Bubba Sparxx, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X, and “Ridin High” by the Jawga Boyz to your playlist.

7. Ice Cream Social

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Even people who are lactose intolerant can still eat ice cream because of all of the varieties that are out there. From dairy-free ice cream to sugar-free ice cream, there’s plenty to choose from so everyone can join in on the fun.

When it comes to flavors, the possibilities are practically endless. You could get a ton of different flavors for people to try, or you can stick to a handful of the most popular flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla, and mint chocolate chip. If you want to go with the option of taste-testing a bunch of flavors, then it’ll be worth it to invest in tiny spoons and paper cups. This will ensure that the many different ice cream types don’t get mixed up as your invited guests try one after the other.

Chic Gold and White Striped Square Invitation with Elegant Text Inside a Frame
Brunch Stripes – Birthday Invitation

For variety, you can choose other lesser-known ice cream flavors like birthday cake and rocky road, but things can get even more unique than that. For the more adventurous ice cream aficionados out there, you can supply them with pickled mango, ghost pepper, lobster, and even Cheetos.

No matter which flavors you choose, you’ll still need to make sure you have an epic ice cream cake with the birthday star’s favorite flavors.

When it comes to decor, you can go with the classic colors and designs of a vintage ice cream shop. If you want to go even further, then you can take a page out of Willy Wonka’s wacky book and make your backyard a color-popping ice cream wonderland.

8. Walk the Red Carpet

It’s not every day people get to walk the red carpet unless they’re a Hollywood celebrity. Instead of dreaming about it, you and all your guests can do it for real. Red carpets are surprisingly cheap, which means you don’t need to have movie star money to have one.

Since the party will be in your backyard, you can use your backdoor as the designated area for people to make their grand entrances and walk the red carpet like they mean it. Of course, your guests will need to dress the part, so be sure to mention the high-end dress code on your party invitations. You can even turn it into a game by having one or more people judge each entrance and the outfits.

glitter gold birthday invitation, white envelope
Dot Strands – Birthday Invitation

If you want to go even crazier with the festivities, you can challenge your guests to dress up as their favorite celebrity. Whoever comes away with the total highest score for their outfit, entrance, and overall impersonation can earn a little award like the ones that are given out during the Oscars. Don’t forget to play the Oscars theme song to set the luxurious and celebratory mood.

You can also use an Oscar figurine as the topper on the birthday cake. Some golden fondant stars and red ribbon accents will make it look as elegant as everything else.

9. Dog Petting Zoo

Punch and Refreshing Drinks Served with Straws, Alongside a Garden Party Scene with Women and a Dog Enjoying the Set Table Outdoors.
James Bold, Unspash | Susn Matthiessen, Unsplash

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but the truth is that dogs are everyone’s best friend. Chances are many of your friends have at least one dog if not more. With that in mind, you can invite their dogs along to the party when you send out the invitations.

Since everyone will be caught up in petting a bunch of happy and excited puppies, it’s a good idea to have some hand sanitizer available. This will make it easy for people to get their hands clean and dive into whatever finger foods you decide to serve. The main attraction could be a dog-shaped cake, but don’t forget to cover the dogs’ eyes as you cut into it.

To ensure that the dogs aren’t jealous of all of the adults, you can get a small dog-friendly birthday cake for them to share. When it comes to dog finger foods, you can have a range of different treat brands for them, including Maro Snacks, Meatball Delights, and Beggin’ Strips. Be sure to have plenty of water bowls so that they can stay hydrated as well.

Although cats tend to be a bit more rebellious, you could try having a cat version of this party if you aren’t a dog person. However, it’s probably best to keep the cats on leashes so that they don’t climb up the fence and run away.

Ready to Use These Backyard Birthday Party Ideas for Adults?

Now that you’ve learned all about the best backyard birthday party ideas for adults, you can start planning something extra special. By making it a surprise, everyone can cherish the look on the birthday star’s face when they find out about all of the hard work and love you put into the festivities. When it comes to eye-catching birthday party invitation templates, look no further than the professional designs from Greetings Island. Feel free to spend as much time as you’d like browsing the many invitation designs for each special occasion. You can also customize them so that they’re the perfect fit no matter which birthday party idea you choose.

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