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The Ultimate 21st Birthday Checklist

This is the checklist you need to make sure your 21st birthday is up to par. From being prepared for the nights of partying ahead, to simply enjoying another year of being you, here’s the ultimate checklist for when you turn the big 2-1!

  1. Decorations: Please don’t ever forget the big, iconic 21 ballons. Check out your local party-planning store and grab the numbered balloons in your favorite color. While you’re at it, get some cute banners to hang around your place too! For example, the banner could read, “Cheers to 21!” Go big or go home with décor!

  2. Find the perfect outfit for your first night of going out as a newly inducted 21-year-old. Bold colors, statement jewelry and killer heels were all on my list, but make it match your individual style and you can’t go wrong.
  3. Be prepared for your weekend shenanigans (or weekday if you’re really dedicated to your birthday). Save money and eat a little healthier by stocking up on frozen pizzas and snacks for those late-night munchies. Also, have lots of water on hand (I love drinking coconut water to stay hydrated too) because let’s be honest, staying hydrated is KEY especially if you’re going out multiple nights in a row.
  4. Treat yourself and get your nails or hair done. Or whatever floats your boat!
  5. Don’t forget to make a 21st birthday playlist to get ready to.
  6. Take a picture purchasing your first legal bottle under the birthdate sign.
  7. Take a picture with a bouncer showing your ID.
  8. Pop a bottle of champagne!
  9. Buy your first drink at the bar.
  10. There’s nothing wrong with a birthday sash letting everyone know you’re 21… just saying.
  11. On the day of, go out to dinner with friends and order your first adult drink. Go for something fancy if you’re feeling it!
  12. Please don’t forget to dance like there’s no tomorrow!
  13. Take a shot at midnight or pop a bottle of champagne upon turning 21!
  14. Get the bar/DJ to sing you happy birthday.
  15. Order a drink you’ve never had before.
  16. Make sure to take lots and lots and lots of pictures with your best friends.
  17. Have a bottomless mimosa brunch (at home or a restaurant) on the day of!
  18. Go to all the 21+ bars near you.
  19. Make sure you get some kind of dessert in you, whether it’s a cake or not. It’s your freakin’ birthday!
  20. Celebrate all weekend long because you only turn 21 once!
  21. Last but not least, have the time of your life and drink responsibly. Make 21 the best one yet!

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Abby is a senior at VCU majoring in Political Science and minoring in Media and Italian studies. She's passionate about all things related to food, travel, and dogs. In her free time she binge watches cooking/food shows on netflix, enjoys running with her pup to Belle Isle, practicing yoga and barre, and trying new restaurants wherever she goes. She enjoys grocery shopping, appreciates all things locally-sourced, and won't say no to kombucha. You can follow her on Instagram @mangiwithabby!
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