How To Throw An Awesome Birthday Party For Someone In Their 30’s


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Who doesn’t love a good party? Birthday party or other I’m there! I love all things party related: planning, prepping, surprising, going, there’s nothing I don’t love about a well planned and executed party. Even the clean up. It’s where you get to replay the night over in your head and cement all those good memories.

And I have no shame in planning my own party! (My husband is not super creative. Love him! But creativity is totally the area I own in the relationship.) So, with this month bringing me closer to my mid-thirties (32 to be exact) I decided it was time to have a big birthday bash!

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The weekend before we celebrated Evelyn turning two with a Two-tti Fruity Themed party, so I knew I didn’t want to go crazy with decorations. That just happened. Planning my own party I wanted less prep, more doing! Sometimes it’s nice to play around with a theme, but this wasn’t one of them. With kids, when you pawn them off on your parents for the weekend you realize how valuable and fleeting time is, and you want to spend it enjoying (while also pining for your kids, even though you’re glad for a break. The struggle of being parents.) as much as possible!

The party was scheduled for Friday (We would have done Saturday but I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and this was the only weekend we could make it work for our kids to be watched for two night. (Thanks dad and mom! 😉 ) We decided to make it a lake day down at The Cove on Long Lake. We were boating out with some friends and meeting everyone else down there as they got off work and headed over.

Tip #1 when planning a party for someone in their 30’s: Have everyone find sitters!

This was my FB Invite:


*No kids please!* 😉 

We start the day out at the cliffs on Long Lake. Bring your boat! We’ll have ours, but if you don’t have one just meet us at the cliffs! Bring drinks and snacks. We’ll be jumping and swimming until around 6ish.

After swimming we’ll give everyone a chance to get home and change, then meet us over at our house for an outdoor movie! Bring blankets, chairs, and more drinks. We will provide hamburgers and home-made ice cream! 

Let’s have some fun!!!!

Us, as well as most of our friends, all have pretty young kids and I really wanted a day where we could relax and channel our inner 21 year olds. No worry, lots of fun, little responsibilities. We dropped the off kids to my parents at 9am, then headed to the store for supplies and food. Obviously the essentials: Water, beer, chips, some protein bars, jerky, cherries, other odds and ends, and lots of ice!

party hardy, dirty thirty, boat snacks

Once home we loaded up the coolers and boat, waited for a few friends to show up, then hitched up and took off!

Tip #2: Do something different!

We decided on cliff jumping and an outdoor movie for my party. You can do something similar, or get creative and think of something else unique! Don’t do the normal BBQ and beers in the backyard. There’s nothing wrong with that periodically, but I’m tired of seeing people get boring in their thirties. I don’t understand!!!! I’m thirty so now I’m less interesting and do less fun stuff? No thanks! Make your birthday an adventure!

Other fun ideas:

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boat time

Launching the boat. Photo courtesy of Christine over at her IG.

This leads me to,

Tip #3: Make the party arrival time flexible for all your busy friends.

Sadly, we all have lives that run on different timetables and giving everyone a strick – “show up at this time or don’t show up at all” ultimatum is going to cost you people at your party. I kept it very chill, arrive with us, later, skip out on the swimming and just come to the outdoor movie, I really didn’t care. I just wanted to see everyone at their convenience. So, if you can make a half a day event where people can come and go at their leisure you’re far more likely to receive lots of “going” on your FB event page.

Once to The Cove we anchored the boat and wasted no time jumping in the water and heading to the cliffs!

We spent hours relaxing, swimming, and enjoying our time with friends. Very rarely do we all get a “day off” so it was nice to do a lot of nothing on a hot day chilling in a cool cove. We all promised we’d do it again soon! Everyone needs a day off from adulting every now and again. It places things back into perspective of what’s truly important.

long lake wa, long lake


Long lake

Towards the end of our trip I got up the courage (With the help of our friend Richard) to climb to the tallest rock and jump off. Let me tell you, it felt ten times higher than it was!

We left just after six, sunburned, happy, and relaxed. I honestly didn’t get any photos of our outdoor movie later that evening, but it was fun also! We BBQ’d, ate home made ice cream, and watched Top Gun.

Home Made Ice Cream

My grandma Martha always made ice cream at family gatherings while she was still with us, and it was nice to carry on her tradition.

Super easy recipe!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream:

  • Gallon whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

You’ll also need

  • Ice
  • Rock salt

Beat eggs well in a bowl, add sugar and beat again. Slowly add vanilla & evaporated milk. Place in ice cream mixer, ours is similar to this one, and fill up with whole milk until 4″ from the top. In layers place ice and rock salt around ice cream. About “4 of ice then half a cup of salt and repeat until bucket is filled. Turn on and start checking for it to thicken about 45 minutes after starting. Add ice as needed, can take up to an hour and a half to harden.

When shopping for outdoor theater equipment it was really hard to figure out which one would work best, there were so many options at tons of different price points. We eventually settled on the set below and it had great picture quality. The sound was good but we ended up hooking up speaker to it and that was perfect!

I can’t wait to use this set to have outdoor summer movie nights once a month with our friends. Oh the possibilities!

And that was the start of 32! I spent my true birthday (the 18th) sitting down and writing out the goals for the next year. It’s going to be amazing!

What fun things have you done for your birthday? I’d love to hear!





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