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Birthday Party Ideas for Homebodies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

My birthday is quickly approaching, and every year I am faced with the all-important decision of how to host my party. When you’re 21+ in college, it can be challenging to navigate the assumption that all “party” means is drinking and going out to bars. While that still can be fun, it can also be problematic for many reasons. Whether you’re just someone who doesn’t drink, or you get anxious in loud and crowded spaces like bars, you don’t want to spend your birthday feeling uncomfortable to fit the status quo. On top of all that, chances are this is the first time in your life that you have some adult money and your own space. This is the perfect time to take advantage of that and host a party you’ll love. I have split this article up into two sections: themes and activities. Feel free to mix and match to meet your preferences, use this as more of a starting point that will lead you to your party destination.


1. Birthyear bash

Nostalgic themes are such a fun place to start when thinking of themes for a party. So, since this is your birthday, why not use your birth year as your theme? To achieve this you can have each of your guests choose a song/music video, movie or other pop culture moment from your birth year to theme their outfit around and/or bring food themed around. For example, I was born in 2001 so at my party my guests could bring a “Shrek’s swamp” inspired green punch or wear an outfit inspired by Björk’s swan dress from the 2001 Oscars.

2. Pun central

This theme can go so many ways. You can simply tell your guests to pick their favorite pun and theme their outfit around it, or you could go a bit more specific and personal with it. For example, you could supply your guests with a list of your favorite songs, movies, etc. and they can pick one and come up with a costume that uses its title in a pun. Additionally, you can also prepare food items in the same way. Just think of the possibilities: “Wake Me Up Before You Fro-Yo,” “Stranger Wings,” and so many more. 

3. Everything but the birthday

Finally, you could tell your guests to pick their favorite holiday (that isn’t birthdays) and design their costume or outfit around it. I have seen this theme used for house parties and even spirit weeks at schools through videos on TikTok, and people can get really creative with it! If you have a lot of guests and start to run out of typical holidays, don’t shy away from including days like Groundhog Day or President’s Day, those costumes can be just as, if not even more, fun!


1. guess that song

If you are someone who really loves music, karaoke could be a perfect activity for your party. And it can be free because there are so many songs with karaoke versions available on YouTube. However, for some people, plain old karaoke can be intimidating. So an alternative that still utilizes those YouTube karaoke tracks could be “guess that song.” Have the player sit with their back to the screen and everyone else will decide on a karaoke song to play. Depending on how your guests feel about singing, the player then either has to guess the song by the backing track alone and/or try to sing it accurately. No matter how you play, this activity can foster lots of laughs. 

2. personalized kahoot

This is something that I have done personally, and it’s lots of fun. You could make the Kahoot full of fun trivia facts about yourself or you could have each of your guests supply trivia about themselves and include everyone. And the rest is pretty self-explanatory, have everyone compete to see who knows everyone the best! (Or is the best guesser.)

3. custom pillows

The last activity that I’m suggesting also comes from personal experience, albeit from a long time ago. All the way back on my 8th birthday, my mom organized a pillow decorating party for me. Each guest got a small, white throw pillow and we had a few packs of fabric markers. Everyone was able to draw on and design their pillow however they liked on one side and signed each other’s pillows on the other side. This idea was adorable, it gives everyone something that they can keep for years, and I’ve always wanted to recreate it now as an adult. I hope that it can bring as much joy to your party as it did to mine!

No matter how you choose to celebrate, it is YOUR day, after all … so, get creative and party on! Oh, and happy birthday!

Sonny Crull

Illinois State '23

Hi! My name is Sonny Crull, I am a Senior at Illinois State, and I'm majoring in Interpersonal Communications with a minor in Music! As a writer, I aim to use my voice and platform through Her Campus to share fun, engaging, and relatable content.