21 Things to Do When You Turn 21 In Chicago

Turning 21 is a right of passage, and probably one of the last birthdays you will be genuinely excited for! So doing it in a city like Chicago, you have to do it right. So here's a list of 21 things to consider for some inspo on your special day!

1. Buy your first (legal) drink!

You might want to do it at the stroke of midnight, but I’m a sleeper so I had a mimosa at Brunch. I’m Classy.

Courtesy Giphy

2. Have a great best friend.

Mine took a train all the way here just to celebrate with me. She’s amazing.

3. Buy the big 21 balloons.

It’s cheesy but you can celebrate your birthday for the rest of the month with those puppies. Or you can suck the helium out at the end of the night. Whatever you want.

4. Take pictures with the balloons at Chicago landmarks!

I am figuring at this point you will be slightly buzzed, so taking pictures in front of the bean won't feel that weird and people love saying happy birthday!

Photo courtesy Tara Woods

5. Buy a shot glass.

You will want one to commemorate your big day!

6. EAT!

This is a big one- if you're tryna get smashed the whole day you need to eat so you don't die.

7. Write a letter to your 30-year-old self.

Mine consisted of what I think I’ll be doing, what my goals are now and just a reminder of who I am at 21.

8. Make a toast!

When you're out with your bestie make a toast with some cheap champagne! (We’re all poor, I know).

Courtesy Giphy

9. Bar hop.

I made it to seven (SEVEN!) bars in the night.

10. Try a new drink at every place.

This might make your stomach upset, so try to keep with liquor and then beer.

11. Take activated charcoal!

Remember my amazing best friend? She taught me that taking activated charcoal when you're drunk can help you not get sick the next day!  

12. Hit up a drag bar!

I ended up at the Baton Show Lounge, and it was the most fun I had the whole night. Those ladies make sure you have the most fun possible!

Courtesy Giphy  

13. Get carded!

When I didn't get careded for my mimosa, I started having a complex.

14. Buy wrinkle cream.

Good skin starts young, ladies!

15. Go to the Laugh Factory.

It was by far one of the funniest live shows I've ever been to. (And I wasn’t that drunk, I swear!)

16. Walk along the river.

Doing the riverwalk at night when you're trying to sober up does wonders!

17. Dance!

It is time to be the Dancing Queen you always dreamed of! You're 21!

18. Have a stranger buy you a drink!

Dudes be thirsty, why not profit?

19. Sing karaoke at your favorite bar!

We made it to Brando’s Speakeasy and had a blast! They were playing ALL of the hits.

20. Get a DJ (Or Drag Queen) to give you a shout out.

Nothing is more fun than being a WOO! girl on your 21st.

Courtesy Rebloggy

21. Hit up Dunkin Donuts for a late night snack before calling it a night.

Pro tip, the ones on Wabash and Clark are 24 hours.


That’s all ladies! Share your favorite 21st birthday stories or spots in the comments below!